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.

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.

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.



So how’s your first month going? I know it’s only 3 days in and you are still getting used to being in January, whilst getting over the December feeling. You are probably still writing 2017.

The trouble is after all the hype of Christmas and New Year, the fireworks and the seasons greetings, January can be a bit of a dull month for some, it can be a struggle after the excitement, an anti-climax. Then there’s the thought of going back to school and work, some of you may be back already, whilst others are not. For some it can be a hard month financially too, especially if you are waiting until the end of the month for your pay packet knowing that it has already been spent on gifts and going out. Working out a budget and spending wisely in January and February may help reduce those feelings of stress. Why not invite friends round to your house for a meal instead of the expensive nights out over the next two months? You will be surprised how many other friends are feeling the pinch of January.

Is anyone struggling with seasonal cabin fever, that strange feelings and emotions which arise from lacking in your regular routine, days off and not knowing which day it is?

How many of you have spent the festive time either with family you really don’t get along with, counting the hours until the house is silent again. Whilst for others they have no choice but to spend their time wishing to see more people but only face it alone.

Any and all of the above can cause stress, arguments and anxiety, which can also heighten a person’s symptoms or bring on new.

So how can you help yourself and others around you?

If you think about individual’s who work in a structured environment ie children who are at school with a timetable, they seem to cope ok at school, they don’t seem to get anxious with a set routine in place. Or a man working in an office with a set amount of hours, he has a lunch and break time, he knows exactly what is expected of him, so he functions OK. So why does this all go wrong? Could it be the unpredictability of home and social life? In school and work we are in a controlled environment whereas when we leave we are not. There is no routine, no control, this life is all crazy which triggers anxiety. It all seems to hit the fan and then the parents for instance are left wondering why their child can cope at school but not at home.

Something so small can trigger a past anxious issue which has been kept on lock down. You dont always know what the initial issue was, it could have been the way the turkey was cooked but because you haven’t dealt with it, layers of stress and anxiety have built up which makes the outer layer weaker. It becomes hard to focus, tempers begin to get shorter, the room feels as though it is closing in, others around you can irritate you easily, then the fight or flight kicks in.

It’s not about blaming or making excuses, its about learning. Parents you can put helpful routines in place to lessen anxiety at home. Talk to the childs school to see if there is any support and ask them how they reduce anxiety. Talk to their GP or the school nurse and discuss how you can help your child.

Adults you need to look at the triggers of your anxiety and what changes happen in you, become self aware. Start to notice what is going on around you and work on making positive changes. Whether this is a short or long term issue, it is ok to seek help. Talk to your GP who may be able to put support in place, alternatively your workplace may have a scheme for counselling and support.

You don’t have to go through this alone. Counselling can help you with anxiety and stress.

Let go


When feeling down, depressed or anxious means being stuck inside, locked behind the closed doors. Locked inside our safe place, but is it really that perfect?

Would you rather be out there with friends, family. Could you be making new friends and breaking a pattern? How would that feel?

Do you really need to feel alone within yourself, with all the emotion that comes with it. Is that fair?

Sometimes we just have to just let go and have fun. Let our hair down. Ok it may feel scary, you may need support and that’s ok but why not try to take this control for you. Make that choice for you and see how it feels!