Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gaslighting and recovery

Over the course of last week, after the last votes were cast in the 46th presidential election in the United States, many of us developed an increasingly problematic compulsion: a need to stay tuned to CNN’s rolling coverage, its interactive map and the graphics of votes cast that changed at glacial speed. For me, the […]

After this

I. After this I’m writing the day after a second three week lockdown was announced here in the UK. While there was an inevitability that the first three week period would be extended, and for many it is a relief, it was another reminder that life has changed beyond recognition for most of us. In […]

Chickens, eggs and emptying nests: fledging with your children

Our kids are growing up and out: their peers matter more to them than their parents. In evolutionary terms, they’re attaching themselves to a tribe outside their biological family to gather the support they’ll need for their adult lives. As they can join more than one tribe, they can also reinvent themselves; at home, you […]

In uncertain times, just tell me what to do

  In the latest episode of Phoebe Waller Bridges’ astounding comedy Fleabag, (BBC1, 25th March) the eponymous heroine finds herself in one half a  Catholic confessional. Reeling with grief for her mother and best friend and desire for the man on the other side of the confessional box, she utters a lament that sounded to […]

I Am, I Am, Am I?: Counselling and Memoir

Recently I’ve been reading memoirs: mainly by women (well, all by women), and mainly by women of my age and older. Musicians, politicians, biographers, writers, performers…in some cases I’ve by- passed the life’s work and gone straight to the life story, as if to say ‘I don’t care what you’ve done, just tell me how […]

How does that make you feel?

One of the things that people who come for counselling most frequently want is a strategy or technique to help them to cope with whatever it is they’re finding difficult. Of course they do; that’s why they’ve turned to a counsellor for help. One of the more challenging but ultimately rewarding aspects of counselling is […]

‘Listen without prejudice’: What’s different about the counselling conversation?

  Counselling is referred to by the medical profession as ‘talking therapy’, harking back to the Freudian ‘talking cure’ and, presumably, to distinguish it from drug-based therapies or more directive, technique-based approaches like CBT. Certainly, having the space to talk is part of the therapeutic benefit of counselling. Counsellors, however, while far from silent partners […]

Feeling the strain: how counselling works to reduce stress

A recent episode of the BBC series ‘The Truth About…’ dealt with what it and the World Health Organisation called a 21st century health epidemic: stress (4th May, 2017). Stress, it told us, is a primal emergency reaction to a perceived threat. It is a physiological and neurological reaction in which a part of the […]