The Need for Rescue

‘Reading this, I realised that there are times when the ability for self rescue can be compromised, and that enduring the restrictions which the Covid pandemic required of us all, can be such a time. That coming out of those restrictions and re-connecting with people, could also be such a time. I noticed, within myself, that some imaginary scenarios felt too threatening to be managed without outside assistance. The idea (before vaccinations became available and were administered) that, because of our age, we might contract the virus and become desperately ill, even die, became impactful because my... Read More »

How therapy works! The Therapeutic Relationship.

Whatever theoretical approach to counselling or psychotherapy a practitioner is trained in, or prefers to use, and whatever models they adopt or tools they offer the client, there is only one aspect of talking therapy which is absolutely key to its effectiveness, and that is the level of trust which is built between the client and the therapist.  It is this, the ‘therapeutic relationship’, which allows the transparency of sharing to create the environment for change. It is common for counsellors and psychotherapists to rely on their training, on their experience and on their accreditation with a recognised Membership Body as... Read More »

Mindfulness and Trauma

For a while now I have been convinced that Mindfulness could hold a key to the effective management of post-traumatic stress – in terms of somatic symptoms and in the management of anxiety and panic attacks.  There is an obvious correlation between the calming effects of Mindfulness meditation scripts and the need to control the run-away panic caused by extreme anxiety, but also, in the simplest terms, the idea of being grounded in the here and now, or in the present, can create the necessary anchor which can safely enable the ‘front’ brain (Hippocampus) to start to process the trauma... Read More »

A New Perspective for the New Year

I suspect everybody has done it at some time in their lives – or felt it, at least. The guilt which seems to come out of nowhere and which induces apology. We feel ‘bad’ and responsible for someone else’s discomfort. In the UK, it has become part of the culture to say ‘sorry’ a lot! We say “sorry I’m late” when we have been held up by traffic or a late train, or if we feel depressed and disheveled we say “sorry I’m such a mess”. So many people feel it necessary to apologise when they are reduced to tears... Read More »

What does it mean to be alone?

“When you are alone you are not alone, you are simply lonely.. and there is a tremendous difference between loneliness and aloneness. When you are lonely you are thinking of the other, you are missing the other. Loneliness is a negative state. You are feeling that it would have been better if the other was there.. your friend, your wife, your mother, your beloved, your husband.. it would have been good if the other was there but the other is not. Loneliness is the absence of the other. Aloneness is the presence of oneself. Aloneness is very positive. It is... Read More »

Counselling is not comfortable

Sometimes I hear people say that they are not ready yet to confront their deepest and most troubling emotions. This sometimes comes to their awareness just at the moment that they sense that those emotions have come up, out of the depths, and could spill over. For years those emotions have been kept under wraps – perhaps disguised by other emotions which feel easier to handle, or which have been allowed by their family of origin whereas the troublesome emotion has been dis-allowed (anger instead of scare, for instance, or perhaps sadness instead of anger). I am humbled by how clients... Read More »

The risk of suicide…..

The decision to take their own life can feel, for some, as the only workable solution to overwhelming problems and sad feelings. The problems and feelings themselves are not the issue, but how the individual experiencing them is coping, or feels they are coping, is. To be able to speak about how you are feeling, what has led to you feeling this way, and whether you have thought about suicide as a vague ‘way out’, or whether you have made specific plans, and most importantly, whether you have the means to take your own life, can be, literally, a lifeline. Not everyone,... Read More »


I have often wondered about Life Coaching, in terms of how different it might be from Counselling, and whether it is possible to integrate it into my practice.  I find that I occasionally experience a sense that I have been ‘coaching’ rather than ‘counselling’ during a session with a client and have thought this is more to do with my Humanistic training in the Person Centred model, which is non-directive – so that when I feel I have moved away from that, I feel a tinge of guilt, and hope that I have not let my client down. In fact, many... Read More »

It is so easy to give away your personal power, but by adjusting your perspective in a few ways it is possible to regain it!

Here are 9 ways to keep your personal power: 1. Don’t waste energy complaining. There’s a big difference between complaining and problem-solving. Venting to your friends, family, and co-workers keeps you focused on the problem and prevents you from creating a solution. Grumbling implies that you have no power over your situation, and also shows that you lack power over your attitude. 2. Accept responsibility for how you feel. Don’t let other people’s behavior dictate your emotions. Saying your mother-in-law makes you feel bad about yourself, or claiming that your boss makes you mad, suggests that they have power over how you feel. Instead,... Read More »

Professional Qualification in the Therapeutic Use of Mindfulness

This was a three day course which I attended towards the end of March 2015.  The early spring weather certainly made the journey to and from Bristol interesting – and at times, challenging, but that aside Bristol was worth visiting.  It felt confusing coming into an unfamiliar city, but I let my trusty GPS device guide me.  I have been before, but then had not really registered the immensity of the rocky cliffs around and below Clifton on my way in, or noticed how the tide changes the feel and look of the river at the bottom of the gorge, sometimes... Read More »