Read our posts about therapists

Online Counselling Explained

Online Counselling Explained

Traditionally, the term ‘counselling’ generally refers to the confidential conversation between a professionally trained counsellor and a client. This conversation usually takes place at a mutually agreed date and time. However, if you lead a busy life, work overseas or in shifts, or you're the parent/guardian of young children, then ‘face-to-face’ counselling may not be for you. Online counselling has some similarities with face-to-face counselling. You still engage in a conversation with a professional counsellor, with the intention of finding a way forward...
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Gambling Addiction Therapy

Gambling Addiction Therapy

Jo had never seen herself as a gambler. When she realised she had run up a debt of over £1,500 on what she told herself was harmless fun, it came as a terrible shock. It was only when she tried to stop, however, that she was forced to admit how big her problem had become. At 28, Jo had recently left a difficult relationship and was living alone with her two children. She had a part time job as an office assistant, and her life seemed routine and lacklustre. She got into the habit of playing games on her phone once the children were in bed; it was an innocent way to...
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How To Deal With Anger

How To Deal With Anger

Anger isn’t a mental illness...but as anyone experiencing difficulties with the ‘the red mist’ will tell you, it can feel like it is.   ‘Dave’ is a man in his mid-thirties who began by informing me that his anger issues go back to his mid-childhood. As he matured and advanced in his career however, their impact upon his life seemed to reduce. Something was now changing for Dave, however, and he wanted help to understand why. The techniques Dave had developed for managing his anger were becoming much less effective. His relationship with his wife was making...
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Is Masculinity A Cultural Myth?

Is Masculinity A Cultural Myth?

In my role as a counsellor I was working with a boy who had just had his 10th birthday, I asked him what did that feel like? His reply had a stereotypical ring to it which was almost chilling: “I am a man now”. There it was laid out before me; the role of being a MAN, soon to be joined by all the traditional expectations that come with that role. “Take it on the chin; No pain, no gain; Act like a man; Are you a man or a mouse”? We have all heard them so often but do we really appreciate the damage these expectations can have on that young man of 10? A Persistent...
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Men In Therapy: Why Are We Holding Back?

Men In Therapy: Why Are We Holding Back?

Why do men become therapy clients? We can also ask why men become therapists. Are men’s aims and goals, as clients and practitioners, different from those of women and, if so, have therapists really recognised this? Or, just as so many aspects of culture take the male as the norm, could it be that, for contemporary therapy, it's the female model that prevails? And men simply have to fit in. We know that men die younger than women, commit suicide more frequently, and are slower to take serious symptoms of illness to the doctor. We assume that men aren't as likely as...
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Edna O'Shaughnessy: Melanie Klein's Handmaiden

Edna O'Shaughnessy: Melanie Klein's Handmaiden

The leading Psychoanalyst Edna O’Shaughnessy is 90 years old today. For many this will be a cause for celebration of one of the UK’s leading psychoanalysts. For Mrs O’Shaughnessy (as she is more respectfully known by her colleagues and students) it will be just another day in the office as she leads the weekly clinical seminar of the Fitzjohn’s Unit at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Mrs O’Shaughnessy is a Distinguished Fellow and Training and Supervising Analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She came to psychoanalysis from a...
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What Makes Us Who We Are?

What Makes Us Who We Are?

This unassuming question, which is nevertheless one of the most complex we are ever likely to encounter, lies at the core of psychotherapy.  Who we are, and how we deal with our experiences, forms the basis of any form of self-development, whether we are seeking help for a particular problem, or simply curious to find out more about ourselves. From its earliest inceptions psychotherapy has been concerned with people’s thoughts, behaviours and feelings, and how these are interlinked.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is currently popular, because it offers a time-limited...
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Does Facebook distort our body image?

Does Facebook distort our body image?

Facebook offers a fun way to connect with others, share photos, news and events.  However, arguably everybody uses Facebook in other subtle, self-esteem boosting ways: to project a more ideal sense of themselves, to receive supportive comments and to gain ‘likes’ from others.  Sounds warm and wonderful. But there is a flip side.  Other people are also presenting their best selves and constant social comparison can lead to self-persecutory thoughts as well as self-improving and assuring ones. Our negative thoughts provoked by a visit to Facebook can often revolve...
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Don't Let Mindfulness Unleash Your Inner Critic

Don't Let Mindfulness Unleash Your Inner Critic

Many years ago, I did what increasing numbers of people are doing – I turned to mindfulness meditation in an attempt to get my psychological health back on track. Back then it wasn't endorsed by the NHS or written about in lifestyle magazines, nor were there iPhones, let alone apps, around to help with its instruction. But despite a few cagey responses from friends and family, at long last I felt I'd found something I could 'do' that would help lift my mood and dampen down anxieties. And it worked. For a bit. What I hadn't known then though is that mindfulness often...
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Does Religion Have a Role in Therapy?

Does Religion Have a Role in Therapy?

If you lived in England a hundred years ago and described yourself as having beliefs, it would be almost certain that you went to church on Sundays, read the Bible, and said your prayers at night.Britain has changed a lot in the last hundred years.  A chaplaincy in a university or hospital, once populated by a Catholic priest and an Anglican vicar, is today a multicultural hub with representatives from all the major religions.  People’s religious and spiritual well-being has never been so well catered for -  in certain places.  In others, unfortunately understanding remains...
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