Read our posts about therapy

Mindfulness Tames the Monkey Mind

Mindfulness Tames the Monkey Mind

I screwed up. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good either, and it was entirely my fault. In the vernacular of my youth, I dropped the ball, hard. So, naturally I gave myself a hard time about it. And then, I gave myself a hard time about it again. Whenever I thought of it (and it was a lot) the worry and shame came, the adrenaline and cortisol burned in my chest, and I chased the disturbing thought down the rabbit warren of my emotional interior. Funny, that, as I’d been practicing mindfulness for some time and I thought I’d got the hang of it. Yeah, right. The thing...
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How to Stay Out of Debt

How to Stay Out of Debt

People who are great with money tend to stand out, because they’re a minority.  Most of us, at some point, find ourselves in debt, wondering how it happened. We try to live within our means, and yet still we’re overdrawn at the end of each month.  If this sounds like you, it’s time to look closely at your relationship with money and find a way to change it. Money is a symbol - coins, cards and paper have no meaning, except what we invest in them. But money is a powerful symbol because - whether we realise it or not - it takes us back to something in our childhood. Only...
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Can Celebrities De-Stigmatise Mental Illness?

Can Celebrities De-Stigmatise Mental Illness?

Long gone are the days of lowered voices and nervous shifting glances at the mention of the T word; more people than ever before are seeking therapy for a whole host of reasons and are speaking about it openly on sites like this, or to their families, and their friends. But have things changed for the better-known members of society, where a mental health diagnosis might affect public perception or their ability to make a living? In the last 10 years, the answer appears to be yes. From accomplished actors to decorated sportsman, from successful pop stars to seasoned...
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How Much Should I Pay for Therapy?

How Much Should I Pay for Therapy?

Whenever a friend consults me about starting therapy the second question after “How do I find a good therapist?” is usually “How much should I pay?”. It is a fair question. None of us like to feel we are being taken for a ride, but there is also the concern that lower fees may mean the therapist has less experience or is, simply, less good. It is not necessarily the case. Quite often the most experienced, most highly trained therapists charge the most reasonable fees. This could well be because they are psychoanalysts who traditionally charged a relatively affordable rate...
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What Therapy Did For Me

What Therapy Did For Me

I have the dubious distinction of having made my therapist cry - when I said goodbye recently, after four and a half years of therapy, I gave him a small artwork I’d made which featured the words ‘you helped me change my life’.  He was moved; it was gratifying to see him cry, since I’d struggled not to throughout our entire relationship. But I was truly grateful for his care, his insights, humour and professionalism. We’d had quite a few laughs together, along with the agony, sadness and confusion. What I have now accepted is that there are times in your life when you...
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Should You Have Therapy?

Should You Have Therapy?

When therapists are asked to list their areas of expertise for inclusion in Find a Therapist services, they sometimes find they have checked over 20 boxes listing every imaginable problem from sex to suicide, anxiety to anorexia. But none of that really helps the client decide the first question: should I seek therapy? So – how do you know if it's for you? The first thing to consider is whether you have spotted an emotional pattern of long duration. You don’t need to wait for a therapist to tell that something is repeating itself. Are you thinking ‘here I go again’?...
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Why Philippa Perry Loves This Therapist Directory

Why Philippa Perry Loves This Therapist Directory

I am really delighted that Louise Chunn has set up the Welldoing.org directory and this is why. Up until now, it has been hard to know how to find a suitable therapist and whether you get a good match with one is far too much down to luck. I’m going to share some case studies with you: Good outcomes in therapy should not be so dependent upon chance encounters. An acquaintance told me that her partner had gone to the doctor for an erectile dysfunction problem.  The doctor referred this 48-year old man to a female counsellor who looked about 22; he felt too embarrassed...
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Broken Heart: How To Cope With Bereavement

Broken Heart: How To Cope With Bereavement

We all know that loss is an inevitable consequence of making an attachment. No one gets out of here alive, as it were. Yet the severing of this attachment is literally heart breaking. A recent study by St Georges, University of London found that a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke is highest in the month after bereavement and this declines slowly over the following year. This is because grief can lead to a range of adverse physiological responses, such as changes in blood clotting, blood pressure, stress hormone levels and heart rate control – all of which are...
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Talking to a Sex Therapist

Talking to a Sex Therapist

I talk about sex a lot; as a sex therapist it is my job to ask questions.  I ask my male and female clients and couples to tell me very intimate details about their lives.  I ask about their childhoods, their parents, their siblings, their relationships and, of course, I ask them about sex. But I do need to constantly keep myself in check and always try to put myself in “my client’s shoes”, wondering what it must be like to be asked the most intimate questions and share sexual thoughts, feelings and practices with a stranger (well, almost a stranger). It has been said...
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Compassion: Why Being Gentle to Yourself is the Foundation of happiness

Compassion: Why Being Gentle to Yourself is the Foundation of happiness

It took me a very long time to work out the difference between being kind to myself and actually being kind to myself. I used to think a long hot bath, a yoga class or a new pair of shoes would suffice to ease a low patch or quieten my noisy inner critic. These gestures may have helped a bit, but they remained just that – actions representing a kindness rather than actions that also felt kind to myself when I did them. I could practise yoga for an hour and still feel bad. I might even feel rubbish at yoga and leave a class feeling even worse. Learning to be truly kind,...
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