The thing about labels…

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Day 38 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. It’s strange to think that this challenge is coming to an end! Whilst I won’t be posting a blog every day in a few days time, doing this challenge has highlighted the fact that people are ready to speak about their battles. Because of that, if you have something you feel you’d like to share, then please do just get in touch – there will always be a space for your story here. Today, I share about my views on labels… Continue reading

Mindfulness: hot air and deep breathing?

times go by concept digital illustration orange on black

 

Day 36 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Someone asked me what I thought about mindfulness, in fact they asked if it was just hot air and deep breathing?! It’s true that over the last 20 years, but particularly the last 10 years, mindfulness has become increasingly popular and seems to have found an application in almost every corner of life. Do a quick Google search and you can quickly become overwhelmed by the results! But we can hear of mindfulness so much and perhaps not really understand what it really is in essence, so I shall attempt to explain… Oh, and here’s a free download Falling Leaf Mindfulness Exercise Continue reading

Birth Trauma

Trauma

Image: “The Birth Trauma Tree” courtesy of Emma Sasaru at www.UnfoldYourWings.co.uk

Day 14 of my 40 Day Challenge. Again we have a topic about which it seems so few people have much awareness: Birth Trauma. WARNING: the following story contains narrative about events which may act as a trigger for your own PTSD if you have had a similar experience. Thank you Dawn for being so brave in sharing this.

Birth Trauma

I had a happy marriage, an almost two year old and had just welcomed my second daughter in to the world by emergency C-Section. That sounds common enough right? But, unless from this point I get more graphic, you won’t be able to understand how and why for the next 11 months after this event, I suffered with PTSD from the minutes that followed. Continue reading

Faulty Powers

plugs on fire

Day 13 of my 40 day blog challenge. I am thrilled to introduce Denis who is truly an inspiration to me and has helped countless individuals in their recovery. Here he shares some of his thoughts on what recovery means… Continue reading

Therapist Experience…

Day 11 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge, over 1/4 way through!

Thank you to the 4 amazing contributions to the blog so far. It is so lovely to hear other’s stories of living through real challenge and that these stories really are encouraging others. I’ve got a number of other contributions lined up, but there’s still plenty of room for more! Do get in touch if you feel you’d like to share your story (doesn’t have to be a new topic, as each story and experience is unique).

Today I’m going to attempt to answer a question, (or at least give my personal opinion) which someone emailed to me recently. It’s actually a really common question in the counselling realm and it’s a very well debated one… Continue reading

Domestic Abuse: Sylvia’s Story

Day 10 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. I am amazed at the vulnerability with which people have decided to share with me on this blog; it has already been such a privilege. If you have been moved or encouraged by anything you read, I am sure the authors would love to hear from you; please do leave a message in the box below if you’d like to show your support.

Today Sylvia talks openly about her experience of emotional abuse.

Domestic Abuse: Sylvia’s Story

The 2013/14 CSEW (Crime Survey of England and Wales) found that, overall, 28.3% of women have experienced domestic abuse since the age of sixteen. I am one of the estimated 4.6 million women in the UK. Continue reading

6th March

Day 6 of my 40 Day challenge!

I’m really excited to be able to share a number of people’s stories in the coming days and weeks, thank you to all those who have already agreed. There’s still plenty of room for more contribution, so I’d love to hear your story…

Today my amazing wife Hannah has written about her experience of living through grief. Thank you so much for sharing this Hannah, you truly are an inspiration to me in so many ways…

6th March

As I drove up the M23 this morning on my way to work, I caught flashing lights in my rear view.  I rather suspect many commuters immediately think of the inconvenience of traffic delays and lateness to work.  My thoughts race like this: has there been a crash?  Is someone/ people injured?  Are their next of kin about to be contacted?  Thank goodness it’s not me and it’s not my family who get the worst news.  Continue reading

Inside Out…

Day 3 of 40 Day Challenge. I’m blogging about issues around mental wellbeing through lent and would love you to join in with inspiring stories, topics/suggestions for topics etc. Please feel free to follow this blog, comment share etc so we can encourage each other in this area over the coming weeks. You can also contact me privately via the Home page on this Blog site.

The first film I took my daughter to see at the cinema was Inside Out. It’s a lovely film about a young girl’s battle with her emotions as she comes to terms with big life changes. I’m sure most of it went over my daughter’s head, but I have to admit to shedding a tear at the end 😥.  Continue reading

Instrumental by James Rhodes

I finished reading a book yesterday. Big deal. Well it is for me. For some reason I have always struggled to read, it makes me tired and often restless. But a friend gave me this book and recommend I read it, so I did.

Instrumental is an autobiography by James Rhodes. It is awesome. It is awful. It is shocking. It is kind. It is full of pain. It is full of hope. Somehow, despite the most difficult of subject matter(s), it is beautiful. Read it.

It is a very honest and personal story of horrendous abuse as a child and the life long affects this has on every aspect of life. It is about how his love for classical music eventually begins the healing process, lifting him out of despair and periods of crippling mental ill health.

I feel not to say too much about the book, as it’s not my story, but urge you to read it.

As a counsellor I am most grateful for the book. Every day I sit with clients who have suffered the worst of abuse. I have not read any text book which comes close to the insights that James gives in Instrumental. It is easy to become accustomed and even desensitised to hearing difficult experiences, and sadly to miss the impact it has on an individual. We want to understand, but we often fall woefully short.

Instrumental leaves no room for misunderstanding of the grave impact that childhood abuse has on a person.

It does however leave the reader with a huge sense of hope, and it does this in such an impassioned way, that despite being a difficult read, it is also impossible to put down.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Instrumental-James-Rhodes/dp/1782113371/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1434105526&sr=8-1