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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:








  • Writer's picturemarypascallcounselling

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:













Welcome to blog 9 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.


Alongside my counselling practice, I've been delivering a series of workshops over the past couple of years, focusing on the impact of race and culture on our mental health and wellbeing. The aim of these workshops is to explore what happens for us when we encounter another who differs from ourselves in race and/or culture, and to consider the impact of these responses.




Integral to my approach to therapy is the need to address the whole person, which, I feel, includes some acknowledgement of an individual's awareness of their race or ethnicity, culture, and heritage.


I'm writing this on September 30th, following a short interview on The Friday Night Show with Sophie Little for BBC Radio Norfolk and BBC Radio Suffolk about my practice and upcoming workshop Who's in the room? Race, Culture and Wellness for Norfolk Black History Month.


Norfolk Black History Month theme is 'Black Health and Wellness'. Who's in the room? Race, Culture and Wellness has been designed around this theme.


This workshop is for those looking to positively engage with others in exploring the impact of race and culture on our wellbeing. It’s an hour-and-a-half workshop, suitable for 18s and over. We’ll be sharing our lived experience, sharing narratives and celebrating difference. There’ll be opportunity to express ourselves through word, mark-making, sound and movement, if you feel so inclined. The aim is to offer a thought-provoking and uplifting experience.


Tuesday 4th October 7 pm - 8.30 pm

Last Pub Standing,

27-29 King Street

Norwich NR1 1PD


Booking is in advance by emailing marypascall@yahoo.com

Entry: free



Select here for Norfolk Black History month events

Select here for radio interview

Select here for more information on my workshops




and here

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