Mental Health Week is here and I’m a very happy bunny. There is a real sense of ‘normal’ taking hold in Ireland and this is incredibly heartening! We are finally “getting” that not feeling OK is OK, that asking for support is OK. We are fostering a ‘knowing’ that we have worth and that change is possible.
First the super good news: people are asking for Christmas gift therapy vouchers again this year and I think that’s amazing. It’s a sure sign that mental wellbeing is being taken more seriously than ever before and that therapy is being normalised. When I first started out in private practice this was one of my dreams and honestly, I didn’t think we’d get here.
But here we are!
That said, I won’t sell vouchers. And here’s why:
Not a week goes by that a therapist doesn’t hear about a client or a client’s friend self-harming. This is particularly true of therapists who work with teenagers – lately it feels like something of an epidemic.
After first hearing about self-harming behaviour – which usually takes the form of cutting, scraping, hitting or otherwise causing injury to the self – parents and friends usually react in one of two ways:
I am aware that the words ‘Counselling’ and ‘Psychotherapy’ are often used interchangeably, particularly by clients and members of the general public. However, with the huge increase in training courses and the growing (and very much welcomed) normalisation of counselling and psychotherapy, the definitions of and distinctions between these two professions are becoming clearer.
An article caught my eye on The Good Men Project last week: 30 Ways to Make Yourself Miserable (Along with Everyone Around You). Good title isn’t it? It’s a wordy one though, and being a fan of the bottom line I decided to make a meme and share it here, with kind permission from Lion Goodman, the original author. He even posted it on his site which is nice. Thanks Lion!
Take a minute right NOW to do NOTHING: take 3 slow, deep, to your tummy breathes, feel the chair under you, the ground under your feet, hear the sounds around you, feel the clothes on your skin, be aware of what smells are around you.
Listen to your inner dialogue: how much pressure have you put yourself under? How many rules and demands have you made of yourself for Christmas? Would you make these same demands of your best friend??Write down what you expect of yourself, then cross off the unreasonable and unnecessary items, the ‘shoulds’, and marvel at how few are left:)
Remember to breathe during today – just remind yourself, and you’ll soothe yourself nicely.
Well here’s a blast from the past! Routing through my old (OOOLLLD) posts I found this piece by Colette Keane in the Examiner entitled: Region is to get its first Counselling Psychologist (and that was me – nearly twenty years ago!! #eek)