Read our posts about self

How to Be Vulnerable - and Find your Real Self

How to Be Vulnerable - and Find your Real Self

Feeling lonely sucks. And sometimes knowing what to say and how to be with others seems so hard that it feels easier to be lonely than taking the risk of rejection. We may feel cut off but perhaps that's better than showing what you really deep down feel and than having that part of you rejected. If we feel lonely and always keep part of ourselves hidden it may feel that at least that vulnerable part is safe. When beliefs like these dictate our actions it is a default mode of defence, such a strategy isn't consciously planned, rather we were trained for it...
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Show Some Self-Compassion

Show Some Self-Compassion

We all know about compassion – the recent Children in Need and Band Aid campaigns reminds us again how much we can be moved to try and alleviate the suffering of others. Christmas time ignites giving in a lot of us. However, turning this motivation inward, to ourselves, is often very challenging. Research done in this field tells us so, but I also see this every day in my practice. The Dalai Lama talked about it when he first came to the West – he found it remarkable how mean we can be to ourselves. And I'd argue, along with the research again, that...
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Why you Should Join a Running Club

Why you Should Join a Running Club

“You should join a running club”. After the third person made the same suggestion I wondered if they knew something I didn’t. I’ve always run alone, happy at my own pace, competing against myself. Joining a running club had crossed my mind, but the idea of running with lots of people made me nervous – my perception was that I simply wasn’t good enough. A general impression of running clubs is that they are for ‘serious’ runners: gnarly men and whippet-like women who run marathons at weekends and compete in county leagues. Ruth thought the same: “I was always...
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Using Mindfulness to Banish Negative Self-Talk

Using Mindfulness to Banish Negative Self-Talk

How do you feel about 'future you'?  Can you see possibilities and positive things for your future or is your future negative and difficult? When faced with a new challenge, do you find yourself filled with self-doubt? "I'll never be able to do this", or "I'm not good enough", or "I can't". How do you feel about 'past you'? When you judge yourself in a negative way it can lower your self-esteem. For example, when you've made a mistake, do you tend to judge yourself for it? Does your self-talk include comments such as "How could I be so stupid?"...
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How to Become a Psychotherapist

How to Become a Psychotherapist

It took a while to get there, and by a rather circuitous route, but I count myself extremely lucky for having one of the best jobs I could imagine. I'm intellectually and emotionally challenged, with ongoing development and learning an essential part of my work. I'm my own boss, which allows me to structure my working week around other commitments. I work both alone and with a team, and I have a strong network of professional support. Every hour of each working day differs, and there is a range of directions in which my professional interests may steer me....
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Eating Disorders: A Deep-Rooted Problem

Eating Disorders: A Deep-Rooted Problem

Increasingly it seems that almost every woman has some sort of disordered relationship with food and it’s become quite rare for women I see in my therapy practice not to have issues with food and body image. It’s so common in our society that it seems almost normal. However diagnosed eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are far more serious than the day-to-day preoccupation with food and weight that many women experience. Sophie contacted me in her late twenties, having had an eating disorder for over ten years. She had reached the point where she...
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Ever Wondered 'Why Am I Hungry All The Time?'

Ever Wondered 'Why Am I Hungry All The Time?'

Ever shovel one overloaded fork of food into your mouth after another, barely taking a breath until the plate is clean? Ever wondered how you could consume so much without even being hungry? What’s happened to our appetites? Are they in control of us? They haven’t always been: did you know that into the first few years of life we actually have an inbuilt ability to regulate our energy intake? Seems if we honour this our children tend to have better appetite control down the track. There’s a clue to healthy eating right there! I’m thinking of a close family...
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From Patient to Psychiatric Nurse

From Patient to Psychiatric Nurse

"Does it make any difference that I have had a depressive illness myself?” “Yes, it does,” replied the Chairman of the interview panel.  “It means that you will have more understanding of the patients”. In the l960s, I had been admitted to a traditional psychiatric hospital which was characterised by an authoritarian system of government, staff hierarchy and custodial care.  Battling with depression, and difficulties with concentration and memory, had left me without energy or motivation. I was panic-stricken at the feeling that I was losing my grip on...
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The Runners: Life on the Move

The Runners: Life on the Move

The Runners, a short documentary film by Matan Rochlitz and Ivo Gormley, is a surprisingly uplifting look at ordinary lives on the move. Since it was released in November 2013 it has had over 210,000 views on YouTube. Shot from a bike with a cart attached for the cameraman, Rochlitz and Gormley questioned fair and foul weather runners and joggers in Victoria Park, East London about some of the most intimate areas of their lives. Apparently distracted by the process of running or disconcerted by the couple’s unusual interviewing technique the runners drop their...
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Why Do We Like Being Scared?

Why Do We Like Being Scared?

Horror. Danger. Suspense. What’s the attraction? There’s certainly no doubt that the attraction exists. Crime novels and dark tales of the occult regularly make their way into the best-seller lists, and horror films are ever popular. What’s so good about feeling scared, and how universal is the desire to do so? To answer these questions, we need to start with some definitions. It may surprise (but not frighten!) you to learn that humour, surprise and fear are closely related. The element that binds them is expectation. When something happens that is...
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