Archives for News

De-Scrooging (and Being Mindful) at Christmas

Guest Blogger Chris McConnell, CBT, ACT and Mindfulness Therapist, has written some timely words on managing anxiety, stress and depression at this time of year. De-Scrooging Yourself this Christmas Watching an advertisement on Irish TV recently, showing two employees going to great lengths to de-scrooge their boss, who on Christmas Eve demands a pile of work gets done by the morning, it reminded me of how we need to work to de-scrooge ourselves at Christmas. This work can be especially needed when we are struggling with anxiety and/or depression, and especially at a time when we ‘should’ be enjoying the
Read More

Surviving The Family at Christmas

Let’s face it, we might all love our families, but that doesn’t mean we like them all the time. Christmas can be a stressful time of year, when relatives who have not spent any time together all year, suddenly converge in one place.  With them they bring memories, habits, routines and their own beliefs of ‘how Christmas should be’.   This article looks at the various personality types you may have to deal with over the festive period, and how to successfully do so. The Passive Aggressive Passive aggressive people do not tell you what they are angry about, they
Read More

One Quiet Day Of The Week

Living away from home for a few years now, first studying, and now working in the capital city, has meant that household routines have become a lot different than they used to be.   I’m fortunate enough to live with friends. However, living with friends who all work different jobs, different hours, in different parts of the city, means a quiet house is rare and having some downtime can prove difficult, particularly if it’s the quiet kind you’re looking for, or the kind that’s catching up with housemates and friends. During the week, my housemates and I mostly see each
Read More

Changing the conversation around Eating Disorders

I went along to the annual conference for the International Association for Youth Mental Health in the UK a few weeks ago, where I heard from many researchers and professionals working in the area of youth mental health. These people are all working endlessly and passionately towards ending stigma and raising awareness for youth mental health. The speaker that really stood out for me was Justin Scaini, a young man who is President of Student Engagement for the Jack Project in Canada. Justin spoke about his work passionately and finished his inspiring speech with the following phrase that he has
Read More

Anorexia Athletica – The clue is in the name

Anorexia Athletica… Sports Anorexia… Hypergymnasia… Compulsive Exercising… There is a rapidly emerging area of eating disorders and the clue is in the name…   With eating disorders, a common motivation is the sense of control the individual feels over their body. When everything around them seems to be in chaos, eating disorder sufferers often feel that the only thing left that they do have some form of control over is what they put into their body. Therefore, the eating disorder can actually seem empowering. In the case of Anorexia Athletica, the sense of control over the body is extended to
Read More

Orthorexia: How ‘healthy’ is your healthy eating?

Last night I was watching one of my favourite movies, Notting Hill, with friends. We found ourselves laughing as usual when the friends of lead character Will tried and failed to set him up with different women after his heart is broken by Anna. Of course, the ladies seemed to be a little, shall we say, ‘different’, portrayed as not exactly the most appealing love interests. One had crazy red hair straight out of the eighties, another announced herself as a ‘fruitarian’. One friend who hadn’t seen the movie before looked utterly confused!   When faced with a dish of
Read More

Emotional Eating – When A Little Becomes A Lot

‘’All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.’’ ~ Charles M. Schulz.   Don’t you agree? After a long day at work, there’s often nothing better than a few squares of chocolate with a coffee.   This is one of the many roles food has to play in our lives. At its most basic it provides us with the energy and nutrients needed for daily tasks. Food is very much a social outlet; we share dinners with family members, brunch with friends, and chats over the hum of the microwave in the office at
Read More

Focusing on Feelings

“Many people are afraid of their feelings, especially the so-called negative emotions.  They are afraid they can’t handle their pain, that it will overwhelm them.  They are afraid that if they allow themselves to feel their loneliness it will last forever, that if they fully experience their anger they will do hurtful, destructive things.  They attempt to ignore or keep under tight control all their ‘bad’ feelings like fear, sadness, anger and loneliness.” Anita Johnston, PhD, “Eating in the Light of the Moon”, USA: Gurze Books Adults with eating disorders distract themselves from their feelings with constant thoughts of food. 
Read More

Balancing our ”Shoulds” with out ”Want To” Lists

I was chatting with a colleague at the water cooler one day, and I was sounding off about all the things I ‘should’ be doing.  More exercise (any exercise if I’m honest!), cutting back a little on client work, focusing on  other projects that demand a lot of time just now, spending more time with daughter, getting all my paperwork and administration in order.  Getting back to my own personal therapy.  Moan, moan.  Things to do lists.  Yuck. My colleague is not only a counsellor, she is also a music and singing teacher. She in turn was chatting about a
Read More

A Model of Counselling We Can All Live By…

Working with an Executive Coach recently, I was reminded by her of a particular model of counselling, called Transactional Analysis.  The assumptions of the ‘Transactional Analysis’ Framework are: People are OK. Everyone has the capacity to think. People decide their own destiny, and these decisions can be changed.   Wow.  It’s that simple.  And to prove it, let’s look at the assumptions a bit more closely… 1                  People Are OK Everyone has worth, value and dignity.  This is a statement of character, as opposed to how people behave.  So although I may not like or accept what a person DOES, 
Read More