• Be Kind Week


    An opportunity to encourage everyone to be kind to others. This is especially relevant in schools, to help children to understand the importance of kindness, especially to anyone who presents as different and outside a social group. This will prevent or deter bullying. Bullying through social media, with its ability to render perpetrators faceless and nameless, has increased the potential for bullying. Once children could at least leave the bullying behind at the school gates, now it intrudes via laptops and mobile phones with messages and texts.

    If you know someone who is being bullied, or are being bullied yourself, whether you are an adult or under 16 years, please tell someone. Get the help and support you deserve.

  • Relationships


    Relationships are not always as easy to maintain as we would like. They can be full of conflict, pain and confusion.

    Relationships also come in many forms: friendships, those with work colleagues, familial and of course, those with our romantic partners. Pressures on couples can be many and varied; these may include work, finances and the pressures of being part of a blended family. This latter is part of the progression in society, with parents taking on children from their partner’s previous relationship(s) and children emotionally negotiating having step parents; sometimes two homes can present challenges for children and their parents.

    In blended families, the step parent can often find themselves on the outside; perhaps not knowing what is expected, wanted or desired in terms of parenting a child/children of their new partners. Often couples want to blend children from both their previous relationships, yet may feel defensive if their new partner attempts to discipline their child or children. Thus conflict between the couple arises with neither feeling sure of what to do, what their new role requires, what their partner wants or what is best for the children.

    A child in a blended family can feel confused, may display behaviour that is out of character or difficult to negotiate. This can arise due the having a new parental figure in their lives, new step brothers or sisters, plus newly acquired extended family. The child/children may experience their own conflict in divided loyalties to their biological parent who may only have access rather than custody. All the aforementioned can place stress on families; counselling, either couples counselling or family counselling, can help with these complex feelings and behaviours.

    Counselling provides the space for those involved in the relationship(s) to discuss their feelings openly and begin a process of listening in order to gain an understanding of how they can better interactive with one another. Sometimes an individual within a relationship or family group can feel unheard and hopefully counselling can provide a place in which this person feels enabled to vocalise feelings and explain behaviours.

    Counselling can be a emotionally challenging process, but the rewards can be worth it. Opening up in a safe and non-judgemental environment, often facilitates greater understanding for the couples/family group of how each feels. In this way, communication can become healthier and conflicts resolved.

  • Bullying


    If you are suffering with the effects of being bullied, whatever your age, then counselling may be able to help you.

    It is common for people to think that bullying only happens when we are at school or in a learning environment. However, individuals can experience bullying at any time of their life; at school, at work, in a social context or within a family structure, as an adult as well as as a child. Whist schools have structures in place to identify and deal with bullying, the adult within a work or family situation may feel they have no where to turn to.

    Bullying can impact very heavily on someone’s self esteem: it can lead to any one or more of the following:

    Social anxiety


    General Anxiety Disorder




    Suicidal thoughts

    Physical symptoms may include:



    Upset stomach

    Tension in the body may lead to stiffness

    The impact on individuals may also lead to self- harming behaviour such as, cutting, pulling out their hair, picking at their skim. Or resorting to reliance on drugs and/or alcohol in order to cope. If you are suffering from being bullied, please do not carry on alone. Talk to someone and let them help you.

  • Anxiety

    Anxiety is something that most of us experience at some time in our lives. We all recognise the butterfly feeling in the pit of the stomach that indicates anxiety. As children we may have felt anxious about the start of a new school year, changing groups, not being picked for a team and/or sitting an exam or test. As adults these feelings may re-visit us if we are meeting new people, starting a new job or giving a speech. We can feel anxious when we hit a huge life event or are concerned about money problems or employment prospects.

    Chronic anxiety is now a recognisable illness: in fact between 10 - 30% of the UK population is likely to suffer anxiety disorder at any one time: the writer Franz Kafka was a sufferer. £80 million pounds is lost annually to the UK economy with individuals who need time off because of chronic anxiety. However anxiety, although more prevalent today perhaps, is not a new phenomenon: Freud wrote about it ninety years ago in his text, “The Problem of Anxiety” and Spinoza wrote, “Dread” in which he examined our enslavement to fainting and hysteria, in the seventeenth century.

    Anxiety can manifest itself physically and well as psychologically: physical symptoms such as, nausea, stomach aches, headaches and insomnia can be present. Anxiety and Depression work in co-morbidity - that is, they are often found together in the sufferer. Some people attempt coping strategies to alleviate the psychological distress caused by anxiety and depression through use of alcohol, drugs, self-harm or develop OCD habits. Often these are self-defeating as they bring their own concerns, feelings of guilt and being trapped in a cycle of undermining behaviour.Anxiety often leads to circular thinking - that is, thinking the same thing in the same way over and over.   There is, in many cases of Anxiety Disorder, a movement towards catastrophizing, with suffer believing that the worst will happen whatever the indicators may be.

    For the lucky ones these are transitory feelings that go away when the event is over or when the worry is sorted. However, some people live in a perpetual state of anxiety, unable to enjoy life or move forward with a sense a wellbeing, due to overwhelming feelings of anxiety, panic and fear. In this instance counselling becomes a useful forum to work on anxiety disorder and to talk through experiences from which anxieties originate. Clients often say that they arwever, behaviours and responses can be learned and if they are learned then they can be unlearned. Help is out there. Don’t be afraid to ask.