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What To Do When a Friend Dies

What To Do When a Friend Dies

I have lost a dear, old friend. And as my mother said, “you don’t find new old friends”. What can you do when a friend dies? We were probably never very obvious soulmates – Georgina Henry was intensely political, I spent years working on glossy magazines. But over the last 20 years we became very close, and she was one of the few people I felt safe sharing my secrets and vulnerabilities, disappointments and dreams with. As well as lots of laughs, gossip and shopping expeditions. Two years ago George was diagnosed with cancer of the sinus. Treatment was brutal...
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Are You in a Relationship With a Narcissist?

Are You in a Relationship With a Narcissist?

All of us can be selfish at times, but some of us are selfish all of the time! There’s nothing wrong with a little ‘me-time’, but some people are so self-preoccupied that they're unable to form healthy relationships. If that sounds like your partner, you may be in a relationship with a narcissist. Narcissists, in bygone days called megalomaniacs or severely egocentric, are people who spend the entire time wrapped up in themselves. Narcissism occurs in a spectrum of severity. In its more extreme form it is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), which affects...
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What Do Therapists Wear?

What Do Therapists Wear?

What we wear says a lot about us. That can be unfortunate for therapists when trying to let their clients do the talking. It can affect how people see you, whether they trust you and how much they're prepared to open up. So how does a therapist choose the right outfit?The respected psychoanalyst and psychologist, Peter Hobson, says in his new book, Consultations in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, that he always puts on a tie to meet a potential patient as “symbolic acknowledgement that, however intimate, this is a meeting within a formal framework” and to underline that his...
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What You Should Know About Sleep

What You Should Know About Sleep

Don’t smoke, cut back on the booze, try to stick to a healthy diet, get some exercise --- that’s enough health rules to be getting on with surely?  But there’s one essential element that many people forget about. Sleep is as important as any of those in keeping us on the rails. This was one of the main messages I took away from a visit to Champneys Tring recently. I was at the well-known health spa to sample a Lifestyle Improvement Plan, for which food and drink intake, exercise levels and daily activities are monitored in advance. The aim is to illustrate that...
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Cosmetic Surgery Makes Beauty That's Barely Skin Deep

Cosmetic Surgery Makes Beauty That's Barely Skin Deep

I was sad to read in The Guardian today that there’s been a big rise — nearly 17 per cent – in the demand for cosmetic surgery in Britain in the last year. Breast augmentation is the number one favourite, with anti-ageing techniques such as eyelid surgery and face and neck lifts following closely behind.  I was, however, not surprised to read that there’s also been a rise in reports of patient dissatisfaction. Quite apart from any issues of competence  this shows that cosmetic surgery doesn’t offer lasting satisfaction. Why not? First, the procedures rarely promise...
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What is Kundalini yoga?

What is Kundalini yoga?

In the farthest departure lounge of yoga (next stop, Nirvana), white-robed initiates pursue altered states of consciousness, chanting and panting as they wait for a mystical serpent to rise up through their spines. Kundalini yoga is as far from the tight-buns yoga-cise trends of East London as the Himalayas are from Hackney. Kundalini shakti is the name given in esoteric Hinduism to a potent energetic force that believers claim lies coiled at the base of the spine, like a snake – which is why it’s sometimes called the ‘serpent power’. Kundalini...
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Taking Care of Our Elderly

Taking Care of Our Elderly

More and more of us have an elderly relative in residential care. Currently more than 400,000 people in the UK live in care homes, a figure which is bound to rise further, given the ageing population (there are currently 3 million people aged over 80 in the UK, and that figure is predicted to almost double by 2030. Currently one-in-six of the UK population is aged over 65; by 2050 it will be one-in-four). NICE the (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has issued new guidance on improving the mental wellbeing of older people in residential care, via a...
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Veganism: Obsessive or Principled?

Veganism: Obsessive or Principled?

With stars like Beyoncé and Jay Z doing couples’ cleanses, and Gwyneth Paltrow being papped  every other day with the diet deity that is cold-pressed green juice, veganism seems to be this year’s must-have accessory. Could it be that this fashion for deprivation, veiled as nutrition, is doing something damaging for our already body-conscious society? A vegan diet was once an ethical life-choice, the preserve of so-called hemp-loving hippies concerned with the moral dilemma of eating produce from sentient, living...
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