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.



This time of year means different things for each and everyone. For some it means excitement, happiness, fun and celebrations. Whilst for others it means tiredness, loneliness, sadness and highlighting how they have felt over the last 12 months.

It may bring unexpected emotions, the Christmas blues, with feelings of stress and anxiety and unexpected highs or lows. Take a look around at your christmas party, at your neighbours and at your friends. Is there somebody who looks like they are struggling, somebody who may need a little support? Can you give them a little bit of your time, can you listen to them? Not many years ago we would have done this. We would have taken the time to enquire about a neighbour and a friend in need, or the elderly lady living down the road. We used to pick up the phone to check on our relatives and friends, checking on somebody who was struggling, or just sending a christmas wish to say that we cared.

When you are on your own at this time of the year is it because you choose to be, or is it because you have nowhere else to go? Sometimes there is a place to go but it is about accessing that help, supporting yourself and finding it. Once upon a time there was no room at the Inn, Joseph searched and searched and found a room for Mary in a stable, it wasn’t the best but they made do and they made the best out of what they had. Joseph wasn’t looking for a 5* hotel with a spa and jacuzzi, he was looking for somewhere to support Mary. Sometimes you need to take control to help yourself, you often have a choice.

Today, living in this throw away society, we always want the best and miss the importance of what is going on around us. But is the best needed?

Are you spending out of your budget trying to buy the top gift, trying to get the no.1 toy of the year? How many are spending on the ‘never never’ and then worrying when this will always catch up with you in your January pay packet. Who is this going to make happy?

I remember as a child we only had 3 channels on the television and longed for a remote control on a wire on a video player (which we never got), I had an apple and an orange in my stocking and one gift from Santa. We played board games on Christmas day and we all talked. It was amazing! We had toys and games, we didn’t have computer games to pull us away from the importance of family time! But we did talk to each other and we spent time with each other. What would it be like to spend an hour with each other playing a board game at Christmas. Learn something new about each other. I wonder if that lonely neighbour would enjoy being with you all, at your table enjoying too much noise and hustle and bustle, enjoying time on the sofa whilst you all have your heads in your gadgets. How will you get through December?

Our forgotten children.


After reading a report in the ITV news today I was saddened yet not surprised by it’s contents with regards to children’s mental health services.

This report highlights how children are being forgotten, cast away and rejected by the mental health service.

Between the years of 2015 – 2017 the report stated that out of 652,023 cases which were reported to CAMHS, a massive 109,613 were turned away. That’s an average of 150 children each day who are rejected by the mental health service. Yes we can argue that some were misdiagnosed or wrongly referred, however how many were not? How many were given the much needed follow up session, how many do not even make it to the first assessment?

These children, our future adults, may already feel rejected, suicidal and presenting signs of self- harm by the issues that they are living with. So to be rejected and turned down from the support that they need is extremely sad and worrying. Is this because they are not opening up within their first session, because they are not at risk or that they are not extreme enough?

Sadly it seems that there is also a postcode lottery with regards to the appointment system, some areas seeing patients within 2 days, whilst other areas taking 5-6 months. The average waiting time is said to be 8 weeks to have the initial assessment however if you are in trauma and at risk of suicide is 8 weeks too late to find somebody who will actually give you sufficient time to talk, somebody to really listen?

Sadly not all parents can afford private counselling, and not every school offer a qualified counsellor working within a counselling service. Some schools will only provide a T.A or a mentor who have no experience or training in counselling children and young people. As counsellors we attend college or university to get the required qualification, attend supervision and continue development.

The feelings and emotions that come with rejection at any age can bring a negative reaction, so why are our children being let down? Should a child be feeling rejected, let down and as though they have nobody to turn to?

Our children and young people need to be supported and listened to, not ignored or rejected.