Read our posts about mind

Self-Acceptance:  Letting Go of Regret

Self-Acceptance: Letting Go of Regret

January is traditionally a time when we are bombarded with messages prodding us to change. We’re encouraged to be more weight conscious and philanthropic to be less bibulous and self-indulgent. However, as we face into the New Year there are some things that go beyond, say, our alcoholic intake, and remain irritatingly outside of our control. At the beginning of last year a psychiatrist referred a retired dentist, John, to me with the hope that working together we might help to alleviate the elderly man’s distress. When John arrived in my consulting room he...
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How To Spot Sociopath Women

How To Spot Sociopath Women

Sociopath women are present among us, in some of our families and social groups, in some of our workplaces and in the public eye, throughout history and in literature. They may be fewer in number than male sociopaths and viewed with less fear but do we have cause to be concerned about them? How do sociopath women differ from sociopath men? Sociopathy is a disorder of personality. At it's core is a pathological level of narcissism. The self-esteem of the sociopath is poorly regulated because the sociopath acts to protect and sustain an in?ated, but ultimately...
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The Psychology of Impulse Buying

The Psychology of Impulse Buying

Why do we buy things we never use? Why do we keep shopping when we’re not happy with what we buy? Why do we give in to impulse buying? Marketing plays a part. As consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow puts it, marketers make powerful use of psychology. Deep down, Yarrow says, we all want to believe in magic. So we look for it in shopping bags; hoping to spend our way to satisfaction. But if we’re doing that in the hope of meeting a need, did the consumer world really create that need? Or did we already have it? My self-awareness has blossomed since I started...
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What you Need to Know About Counselling for Children

What you Need to Know About Counselling for Children

I am sometimes asked, why can’t just any psychotherapist or counsellor work with children? Why do I need to look for somebody with specialist training? My answer would be, whilst any fully qualified adult psychotherapist or counsellor may choose to work with children and young people, there are particular differences in therapeutic work with children and adults that require different skills and experience. Some differences between adults, children and adolescents are obvious, but the needs and expressions of these age groups are distinctly different. As well...
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From Hedonist to Healthy: Overcoming OCD and Anxiety

From Hedonist to Healthy: Overcoming OCD and Anxiety

Bea Mitchell has obsessive-compulsive disorder and experiences debilitating intrusive thoughts about her partner and their relationship. As she wants people to understand OCD better, she has written here about how it led to her recent decision to get healthy: I don’t care about my health because I’m not far off 30, or because I want to be fit, toned or thin. I care about my health because if I don’t, my OCD runs wild, causing extreme anxiety. Healthy living is something I’ve never really aspired to. The sheer bliss that drinking, eating, smoking - and the rest...
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Silver Circle: A Support Network for the Later Stages of Life

Silver Circle: A Support Network for the Later Stages of Life

Aged 50 and at the height of my former career, I was one day informed that I had become ‘surplus to requirements’ and without warning made redundant. I felt then that I had been stripped of my sense of identity, my sense of purpose and everything I thought I had known about the world. That shocking experience is the base metal from which Silver Circle has been formed. Having re-trained as a counsellor and psychotherapist, my work has since been primarily with adults on a one-to-one basis; in the process I have found it particularly rewarding to work with people who,...
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Why is Saying no so Hard?

Why is Saying no so Hard?

Do you know how to say “no”? It’s such a small word but often one of the most difficult to say. Those of us who feel uncomfortable saying no are actually doing ourselves are disservice and often struggle with healthy boundaries. So what are boundaries? Boundaries are a way in which we keep ourselves mentally healthy and safe. We can see and feel physical boundaries. Have you ever had the experience of speaking to someone and feeling he or she was just too close? You move away and he or she still moves in on your space. We can see and feel these boundaries but...
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9 Tips to Help with Seasonal Affective Disorder

9 Tips to Help with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a cyclical depressive period which usually occurs in autumn and winter. Sufferers are plagued with symptoms such as fatigue, increased appetite, loss of interest in daily activities, loss of libido, inability to focus and feelings of anxiety and irritability. People may automatically turn to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate, which in turn can make symptoms worse. SAD is thought to be caused by the lack of sunlight in the winter months. The lack of sunlight is thought to affect the functioning of your hypothalamus, the part of your...
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Why Christmas Makes Me Really Anxious

Why Christmas Makes Me Really Anxious

Bing Crosby delicately sings that he’s dreaming of a Christmas that he used to know and for so many years, this longing for a reenactment of the past has kept me down. I’ve set myself up for a fall, over and over again. Christmas seemed like angels and gingerbread men dancing in my heart when I was a child. This is probably the most obvious statement I could make, of course Christmas was better when I was a joyful tot who hung on to Santa’s every word. My problem is that I haven’t been able to leave this in the past. Every year I gear myself up for the ‘perfect’...
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5 reasons anti-depressants are not the answer to women’s problems

5 reasons anti-depressants are not the answer to women’s problems

One in 10 women in England take anti-depressants, according to a report released this week by the Health Survey for England. This shockingly high figure - nearly twice the level for men, and higher than figures for Europe overall – should make us pause for thought. Does this mean that 10 percent of women in England are suffering from severe depression? Because that is what NICE recommends anti-depressants for. Whereas, for mild to moderate depression, the advice is not pills, but talking therapy, which is not nearly so easy to get hold of as an easy-to-write...
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