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  • marypascallcounselling

Welcome to blog 12 of 2022. With each blog, we've focused on a topical theme of counselling therapy, to help you in your search for therapy or consider becoming a therapist.


As we approach the close of the year, it's inevitable that our minds turn to thinking about endings and new beginnings. Endings can be tricky.


With sad or negative endings, we anticipate difficulty, and during such times, we hope to receive some level of support or, at least, some sympathy from others. But what of other endings? A phase of life, right of passage, close of the year?


During periods of transition, whether positive or negative, we may experience mixed feelings.

During periods of transition, whether positive or negative, we may experience mixed feelings: sadness because a good thing or familiar routine is coming to an end; excitement, nervousness or we may feel daunted by the prospect of beginning something new. We may feel eager for or resigned to the next inevitable stage of life.




Such feelings are natural but, at times, they may become overwhelming. However, there are ways to manage such feelings, to avoid being swamped by them.






If you are experiencing difficulty coping with change, you could try to:

  • accept that it's okay to feel a sense of loss.

  • give yourself time to adjust to the idea of change.

  • share your feelings with trusted others.

  • remind yourself that you can revel in the positive memories.

  • look ahead to new beginnings or the possibility of something new.


If, however, after trying the above, you find yourself continuing to struggle

to adjust, it may be worth considering seeing a professional counsellor. Counsellors are experienced in assisting people to navigate change.


A counsellor can help you to:

  • express and understand your feelings

  • offer tools to help you adjust through periods of transition

  • support you in working towards accepting that life has altered

  • focus on new goals and preparing for change.


Ring the changes...



You may find the following links useful:


https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/bacp-children-young-people-and-families-journal/december-2019/managing-change-tolerating-thresholds/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtixmXEnHzk


https://www.news24.com/life/wellness/mind/coping-with-change-5-ways-to-make-it-through-your-life-transitions-20220927







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Welcome to blog 11 of 2022. With each blog, we focus on a topical theme of counselling therapy, which I hope will inform you in your decision to seek therapy or to become a therapist.


Those of us who experience a winter climate may anticipate a change in mood and behaviour as the nights draw in. We grumble about the cold and the dark. We may feel less keen to leave our homes, to socialise, exercise. Our diet will change, as we seek warmth and comfort. We feel the need to slow down. We may feel a little flat.


Some of us experience more debilitating symptoms, such as very low mood, irritability, stress or anxiety, feelings of isolation. This is commonly referred to as Seasonal Blues or Winter Blues and diagnosed by medical professionals as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).


It's estimated that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), affects around 2 million adults and children in the UK.


You're not alone. It's estimated that SAD, affects around 2 million adults and children in the UK and more than 12 million across northern Europe. It's believed that reduced light affects the circadian cycle - a 24-hour cycle that governs the rhythmical behaviour of most living organisms, including sleep, temperature, hormones, appetite and digestion.


Ways to combat SAD include:

  • light therapy

  • altering your diet

  • exercise

  • counselling




If SAD is affecting you daily throughout the winter months it could be beneficial to seek a counsellor. The right counsellor will help you to explore your feelings, highlight any patterns of behaviour, identify just how this impacts your life and support you to make changes.


Although it's more common to experience SAD during the winter months, it's also possible to experience SAD during the summer.

Although it's more common to experience SAD during the winter months, it's also possible to experience SAD during the summer. Symptoms may include low mood, restlessness, agitation, loss of appetite.


You needn't suffer in silence. Speak to your GP and consider seeking counselling.




Useful links:


https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/mental-wellbeing/low-mood-and-depression/beating-the-winter-blues


https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/treatment/


https://www.bacp.co.uk/news/news-from-bacp/2022/14-january-tips-to-help-your-mental-health-and-wellbeing-this-winter/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAm5ycBhCXARIsAPldzoVZK1R9XuSziCstozJMVAc6p3vgHd14Wnu0EfNCxdtVlSsWzG-6SDcaAl-xEALw_wcB





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  • marypascallcounselling

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Welcome to blog 10 of 2022. With each blog, we focus on a topical theme of counselling therapy, which I hope will inform you in your decision to seek therapy or to become a therapist.


I have been invited to facilitate a workshop on November 26th for the 2022 Bereavement Conference 'Decolonising Grief: From Marginalisation to Inclusivity', which is hosted by ONLINEVENTS. So. recently, I've been thinking a lot about grief.




As a therapist, it's inevitable that bereavement, being a part of the human experience, features in my work. Clients seek a space in which to acknowledge their loss, express their grief and understand its process.



Loss of a loved one is painful; it can be harrowing. The same may be true for other kinds of loss.

Loss of a loved one is painful; it can be harrowing. The same may be true for other kinds of loss. Grief may be due to the loss of a home, job, identity, friendship group. It may be a response to a gradual loss or change over time, such as aging, a health condition, the erosion of the planet.


Although grief is not considered to be a clinical condition, there are common symptoms that can affect both our physical and mental health. Some symptoms may be similar to depression. Lack of focus, a lowered immune system and physical pain may also occur. Which is why some of us visit our GP and seek counselling when experiencing grief.



Loss and grief that does not conform to a social or cultural norm may be denied or suppressed for fear of judgement.

What warrants loss and grief is often dictated by society: who or what we can grieve for, in what way and for how long. Consequently, grief that does not conform to a social or cultural norm may be denied or suppressed, for fear of judgement. This can be an isolating experience, causing psychological wounding, adding to the pain of grief. People of minoritized groups may not feel free to express their grief beyond the privacy of their homes or outside of their community. Grief can be multi-layered.



Rituals for mourning differ according to custom and belief. But across cultures, there are key strands to the process of grief:


Acknowledgment

Emotional response

Adjusting to being without

Holding whilst moving on.


There are several stages, not necessarily linear, in this process. Grief can be complex. It may be personal, familial, communal, societal, ancestral or multi-layered. Time is needed to adjust to a way of living after loss.





With such losses, we may respond in a similar way to the loss of a loved one, yet judge ourselves or feel judged by others for our sense of loss. But, in order to heal, it is important we acknowledge our loss along with our emotional responses to it.


If you are experiencing grief and feel that you are struggling to cope, counselling can help.




You may find the following links helpful:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-7c74-pUlk&t=23s


https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/bereavement/about-bereavement/


https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/feelings-and-symptoms/grief-bereavement-loss/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2BJsOQypuw


https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200402-climate-grief-mourning-loss-due-to-climate-change


https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bereavement-conference-decolonising-grief-tickets-262487315627






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