I attended a course recently called Essentials of CBT ( Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). It was a very informative course and I learnt a great deal that I hope I can put to use, when appropriate, in my counselling practice.
Growing Up, or our Attachment to Things
Before I had my own children, I never had any understanding of just how much a toy could embody. So much more than the material it is constituted from, be it plastic or fake fur. I can still remember my Huggy Bear. I had seen him on the television in the frenzy of adverts leading up to Christmas, and oh how I had wanted him. He was small and brown, and had these arms that could grip, or rather hug, anything that took his fancy. He was adorable. And he was at the top of my Christmas list in 1979. I remember tearing through the wrapping paper on Christmas morning and just being overwhelmed with joy at seeing his box. I think Huggy Bear spent that whole Christmas, and beyond, attached to my arm.
Suicide - A personal view
This September, it will be 13 years since my brother’s suicide. That seems like such an incredibly long time when I write it down like that. He was 34 when he died and so he would be 47 now. In that time, his two little nephews have grown up from 4 and 2 to 17 and 15. He has a niece now too. I am used to the idea of my own tragedy in all of this; that particular knife rarely wounds me anymore. It is not until I think of how much my children have missed out on that I feel the sharp stab of grief again.
They lost Uncle Steven. On my phone, I still have a Facebook message where he talks about wanting to fly kites and play cricket on the beach at Mersea Island with them. He had just bought a Beach Hut, that last summer of 2008. He was imagining a time when he could play with them and create the same happy childhood memories that we two siblings shared from Mersea.
Natalie's Blog - Feelings
There are many ways we react to difficult emotions, often these avoidances happen without us even being aware that we are avoiding something. These things may provide us with temporary relief, but they don’t always align with the direction we want our lives to go in. We often then have further uncomfortable feelings about the action we have taken to avoid the initial feeling. We then come to live from a place of reactivity and avoidance rather than from a place of conscious choice.
I received an email this morning entitled “Wellbeing Walks through the Forest.” It read “spending time amongst the trees and really noticing your surroundings is scientifically proven to boost our mental and physical health.” I am not sure how this could be measured ‘scientifically’ but I can offer anecdotal evidence that it really does seem to work.
Grief – a personal view
Grief is something we will all feel at some point in our lives. It’s unavoidable. As Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
In my experience the loss of a beloved family member stays with you forever. The loss I’m thinking about as I write this is the death of my sister, Donna, and I find comfort that she is still remembered and still missed after so many years. Her loss has had repercussions all through my life. There is sadness in every life experience that cannot be shared. I was a bride without a chief bridesmaid, my child will never know their auntie, even a joke or funny event that can’t be shared. Some happy times are bitter-sweet in my family, because one of us is missing.
Journalling by Natalie Bailey
Hello and welcome, below is a short video on the topic of journaling and how we can use it to not only achieve better mental and emotional wellbeing but also to feel more empowered in our lives.
I am a journaling fanatic and deeply encourage it, so…. purchase a journal, carry it with you, leave it in a safe space at home, do what feels best to you but ultimately dedicate that time and space to connect. With you….
This may feel difficult at times... stay with that, let your feelings be your guide, if you feel uncomfortable, say that, if you do not know what to write, say that… stay with you, wherever you are, be with it. Wherever you are is ok, in fact it is just where you need to be at this time.
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep” Scott Adams – cartoonist.
Today I would like to speak about art and why I find it to be both therapeutic and freeing.
Art is a subject close to my heart, when drawing or painting an image, I can get lost, absorbed into a world of creation. The process from beginning to end, captivates a part of me like no other. An idea stimulates a plan to create a visual expression of what is inside and how to bring it out. I play games in my mind, considering how far I will push myself in this next creation, I wonder if I can actually do it, and whether it will work out the way that I visualise it.
I notice that it is made harder for thoughts to enter or disturb the creativity once I’m there, like a trance that becomes obsessed with creating something meaningful. The technicalities, the colour, the angle, amending or remoulding a mistake, all taking me far away from my day to day thoughts or worries.
Anxiety and Panic attacks -5 strategies to cope and a word on prevention
I talk to clients every week who struggle with panic attacks and they can range from a feeling of breathlessness to absolute paralysis.
Panic attacks can happen as a one off, perhaps the result of a stressful life event or an unusually worrying time or they can happen more frequently triggered by your brains reaction to anxiety.
According to the NHS website, common physical panic attack symptoms are:- faster, more noticeable heartbeat, dizziness, headache, chest pains, sweating, breathlessness, shaking...
This is a scary list and its unsurprising that when all, or a few of these symptoms appear together it can feel terrifying, as if there is something seriously, life threateningly wrong with you.
But these symptoms will pass, maybe in a few minutes maybe longer.
My good friend Charlotte drew this fabulous image of the physical symptoms of a panic attack along with a list of the negative feelings. It’s such a personal, powerful evocation anxiety that I felt I had to share it. There’s a link to her page below.