SMART goals


Today has been a day of looking at SMART goals, looking at smart thinking and working out how to be a smart achiever.

This process began by personalizing ‘SMART’ goals for individuals, so that they were able to understand their desired outcome and make a plan to suit their goals.

By taking control of this process a client will be more willing to manage and accomplish their own set goals and assist their outcome.

Remember to make all SMART goals manageable, attainable and reachable. These goals are smart goals for a reason. Remember to manage your time, your thinking and your processing. Take control of your time and ensure this is reachable.

Remember this goal is your choice so you can take control.

One of those days


Picture this, I am walking down the stairs, no slippers on, rushing for work as usual last, with my arms full of dirty laundry, and as per something falls out on to the stairs. So it could have been a sock, a PJ top but no it was a soggy wet flannel! NICE!!! Yes you have guessed I stood on it with my nice stocking foot ‘squelch’. Hmm is this the start of my day or just one of those things you could be thinking. Well it depends how you look at life.
For me luckily I picked it up, realised I hadn’t fallen down the stairs, So it could have been worse. Things can be sorted if we decide to choose to take control. It was my choice to either scream and shout or laugh about it and I felt like doing both. However which takes more energy and which has the better outcome?
There are times I still do scream I won’t lie I am not a saintly counsellor.

I am real, I have feelings, emotions and I cry so how do I handle it? Because I am not a super hero, I don’t wear a cape and I don’t have a magic powers.

I think I can honestly say I handle it by talking! Since beginning my journey to becoming a counsellor I have had to learn to really talk and listen, not just a little chit chat with friends but be open. I have supervision and in that I am listened to and I can be me. I have realised that if I need somebody to talk to about my emotions I am happy pay a counsellor, but I have also learnt the value of talking openly to my family and friends!

Counselling has taught me so much about me. If you are struggling and need support don’t sit in silence thinking there is nobody to listen to you.

Don’t sit thinking nobody understands you, there is always somebody willing to listen, willing to help you. Sometimes you are stuck in a place and you just need a helping hand to get you up.



I have been given permission to share this piece of writing by a client to show how accepting your diagnosis can really help you with your progression, thank you and kind regards.

What is the difference between acceptance and giving into something?
I’ve been pondering this question over the last couple of weeks. Having been given a diagnosis I don’t want, my key phrase has been ‘I don’t want to give into this like others do’ but realising that phrase as much as it’s fighting talk it’s stopping me accepting the situation.
So how do you accept something but not let the illness define you and who you can be?
According to Wikipedia Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest it. The concept is close in meaning to acquiescence, derived from the Latin acquiēscere (to find rest in).”
Even in that definition there is an element of negativity of giving in, but is there another way to look at acceptance? Should acceptance be admitting there is something you don’t like, something that you don’t want and taking that and saying ok that situation has happened, that illness has been confirmed BUT what is important is what I do with that. Yes we can accept and give in, and allow that situation to have a negative hold on us or we can say ok this is what it is but I am going to do what I can to not let it impact who I am.
In the definition above I like that acceptance derives from the term “rest in”, so accepting is finding peace with the situation, being able to say its ok. It’s not about giving in and letting something overtake who you are and what you can do. It involves change, adapting your lifestyle, and not seeing either of those as negative.
Something that strikes me as well is that acceptance is not a weakness, as I was told last week I could spend time fighting the diagnosis, not accepting it but that is taking up negative energy, and energy that I don’t have. What I need to do is accept, not see it as a negative but think about the changes I can make, how to accept help (there is that word again), but to continue to challenge myself on what can and can’t be done.
Accepting things won’t always be easy and we each find our own way of doing so, and this differs greatly on what the thing is we are accepting but I know I have been challenged to try and see the positive and make those changes so that the diagnosis does not define me but that I can do all the things I want to be able to do. Now to keep remembering that and putting it into practice.

Looking out for our children.


Children’s mental health awareness week.

I am a mum of 3 boys and I have had the pleasure and/or misfortune of going through varying systems and organisations with anxiety, autism, dyslexia and relating issues. As a family we have worked closely within the mainstream and autism specific school system, it has been a rollercoaster ride of Senco’s, Ed Psych’s, school nurses, varying out reach services and pediatricians.

Over the years my children have needed support to get used to changes and gain control. I think we have been extremely lucky with the support that we have had.

However as a counsellor who works with children, families and adults I hear how other individuals feel let down by the system.
That is why they seek out private counselling for themselves or their children.

The Governments recent Green Paper children’s mental health promise is certainly an admirable statement to empower schools to tackle these problems.

However is their approach to fulfilling this promise manageable or are parents left with feelings of doubt and worry. Children will recieve support in schools from a mental health team and support staff with a teacher who is in charge of their mental awareness. This will hopefully encourage a sufficiently skilled counsellor in schools across the UK. This will hopefully discourage schools who are at the moment utilising their T/As and mentors as counselling services and ensure that their children are recieving the right support.

I believe that we need more qualified level 4 and above counsellors, play therapists and educational psychologists working in our schools who are already trained and have the experience to help these children. Yes this may cost a little more than the teaching assistants or mentors who are being employed to do this job. But isn’t it worth it? My concern is what level of training will this mental health team have to work with the children and young people. Is this quick fix really the best way to tackle children’s mental health in the long term? Or is it an ill advised therapy likely to create more issues that need dealing with later?

So on Children’s mental health week we need to look at these policies and realise that any therapy is only as good as the therapist.

Too much vs not enough.


One question I am commonly asked with regards to a clients initial contact, ‘What is too much and what is not enough in the first message’. So over a cup of tea I sat and thought about this and yes, I wrote it in a blog to share what I think on this subject.

So I am going to help to break this down for you, give you an idea of what I feel is important, what I feel is handy and what you can put in if you want to.

The initial contact by clients is usually made via telephone email, text or social media.

When the contact is made by telephone this problem doesn’t need to arrise, the counsellor is open to Q&As.

Some clients would rather make their initial contact via messaging or email, this is perfectly fine and I am happy to recieve these.

So let’s look at what is in the message?

OK, it is important to put your name and age (ie adult or child)

It is good to put your availability of when you would like your initial consultation, ie day, evening and over the next week and with some times that you are free.

It is helpful to give to give brief description of why you what you are coming to counselling for. However if you don’t feel comfortable doing this over a message that is perfectly fine.

You can also ask me on the initial message when giving your name if I can call you back to discuss counselling, always remember I may not read this message as soon as you send this. I always reply to messages, texts and emails within 24 hours of receiving.

On a foot note always remember, voice tone cannot be heard in a message.

Please also remember, I may not return my messages as soon as you send them. This may be because I am with a client.

January Blues


You may be hearing today is ‘Blue Monday’ but you have a choice to be happy, sad, smile or frown. You can walk or run, trot or skip but remember it is your choice to do whatever you want to do. If you woke up this morning feeling ok and then you heard on the radio it was depression day, do you turn instantly low, why? Stop! Now think, how were you before this and remember how you started your day. You can choose how you want to get through the rest of the day. It’s your choice. Have a good Monday!

Through the eyes of a child.


I was sent this lovely piece of writing yesterday, which yes it did bring a tear to my eye, thank you for such a precious share. I have been given permission to share this with you all.

After I had wiped my tears, reading this made me think about how a child can see the importance of what I do as a counsellor. In a nutshell she is correct counsellors do listen to people and help them so why is there still a stigma to receive this help?

Why are there people still worrying what others will think if they find out that they are attending counselling?

Why are people being judged, being questioned and thinking it is not beneficial?

When actually as this child has pointed out a counsellor is there to listen and help people. Sometimes we need somebody to listen, somebody to talk to who doesn’t know us. It is amazing how open a person is with an impartial listener. Remember it is good to talk.