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bereavement Archives - A Step at a Time

Why treating mental health is like peeling an onion

Posted by | anger, anxiety, bereavement, boredom, Children's Therapy, confidence, depression, mental health, parent separation, self-belief, self-esteem, self-image, sensitive children, separation anxiety, Stress, Teenagers, trauma | No Comments

Mental health, and the treatment of it, causes so many families chaos, confusion and frustration. Accessing support can be difficult and in some cases impossible, and when support is accessed the expectations can differ from the outcomes. When working with clients, I frequently talk about mental health being an onion. Onions have layers and layers that you can peel back.¬† Some mental health issues are isolated, and therefore can be stripped in one go, therefore only requiring 1-2 sessions. Other mental health issues have developed over months, years, have multiple affects and triggers and therefore require us to strip off more layers to return to positive well-being – therefore requiring multiple sessions over a period of weeks or years. In some cases, clients will have attempted a number of therapies for only 1-2 sessions and when not finding an immediate cure give up and move to the next therapy. Others,…

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Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anger, anxiety, bereavement, boredom, child therapy, confidence, depression, disordered eating, grief, mental health, self-belief, self-esteem, self-image, sensitive children, separation anxiety, Stress, Teenagers, trauma | No Comments

As lockdown eases in some places, and starts round two in others, the world feels like a strange place to navigate. For the many parents that I am speaking to on a daily basis, the concern for child and adolescent mental health grows. The uncertainty of the world, the disruptions to education and the distortions to social lives, for many, has created a wealth of mental health issues, ranging from low level to crisis. But, as a parent, what do you need to be looking for? And at which point should you be stepping in and looking for help?   Signs and symptoms: Seeing signs of mental ill-health as warning flags is a great way to keep things in check. I frequently work with children who, in the face of adversity, coped like a trooper. However, in the months/years after, then began to struggle. Because life had resumed to a…

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The story behind the Adventures of Brian

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, bereavement, books, hypnotherapy | No Comments

I often get asked WHY I wrote the Adventures of Brian. With an ever growing book collection many people we meet want to know how it was inspired and what comes next. So it seemed an apt time to share it with you, as the anniversary of meeting the little girl who would prove to be a game changer to my life is coming up soon. So here’s our story… the Adventures of Brian Back Story… I’ve worked with children for my whole career, at 16 I worked in nurseries, progressing up to Nursery Manager and later to Early Years support roles within the local council. In 2005 I became a lecturer in early years and health and social care and committed the following years to teaching students from 16 upwards in A-Levels and Foundation Degrees. I suppose you could say that working with children and young people was in…

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My scars are on the inside…..

Posted by | anxiety, bereavement, BWRT, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

Over the many years I have worked with children and teenagers, and over the last 5 years working in my therapy office I meet so many clients with different backgrounds. Some have scars on the outside, from domestic violence, self-harm, eating disorders or alcoholism. Others have scars on the inside from emotional abuse, neglect, domestic violence, narcissism, bullying, grief and loss….. When we have scars on the outside it is easier for many people to comprehend the sadness and the pain. The medical intervention required means that there is a feasible reason to allow us to make sense of their suffering. When someone has scars on the inside we can easily forget the level of anguish, pain, self-doubt and suffering they have incurred as it is invisible to the naked eye; but its levels of impact are on an incomprehensible scale. Wounds heal, but internal scars remain for a long…

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Brains, filing cabinets – and why noone is coming to do your filing!

Posted by | anxiety, bereavement, BWRT, child therapy, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

Is your brain talking to you? Just take a moment and scan this communication list…. My head hurts all the time… I have a permanent headache…. I just can’t turn my brain off… I can’t sleep… I am permanently exhausted… I had to take a day off as my neck and shoulders hurt so much… I can’t concentrate… I keep forgetting things… The smallest thing makes me angry… I can’t deal with being around people… I’ve suddenly developed anxiety about things I used to find easy… I feel so fragile all the time.. My family are getting really fed up with me being so helpless… (If you didn’t tick off anything on this list then I can only say well done, you either have fantastic coping strategies in place, a support system which is second to none, are in therapy regularly or have had a peaceful year or a combination…

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Why self-care is NOT selfish

Posted by | anxiety, bereavement, BWRT, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

Every day I hear mums and my professional clients utter the same words ‘I can’t be that selfish’…. In fact it’s probably the main thing that they have in common, a belief system that looking after their own emotional health and well-being is ‘selfish’. Having worked in the teaching industry for many years i’m quite accustomed to skipping meals, working ludicrous hours, cancelling personal engagements to opt for lesson planning and marking and collapsing in a heap at the end of term wondering what way the steam train that hit me had gone in… So why is the main thing that I am accustomed to hearing ‘I can’t be that selfish’. Perhaps it’s an archaic belief system, maybe a new one from the unrealistic expectations that we have placed on life, but is it time to acknowledge that selfceare is NOT selfish? How is looking after your emotional health selfish?…

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Why our mummy bears need to be encouraged to engage in TLC

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, bereavement, BWRT, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

Why our mummy bears need to be encouraged to engage in TLC…. Please note – whilst daddy bear is not mentioned in this blog it is not for a lack of respect of his role – we are just focussing on mummies today! I know you’re probably wondering if I have lost the plot after a little too much sunshine this weekend, however it was a conversation I had whilst standing at a book fair that prompted this blog. Mummy Bear Syndrome may not be a known term, in fact it was a new concept that I learnt 5 years ago whilst sat training with Richard Wain in the concepts of Responsive Hypnotherapy but it explains nearly everything you need to know about mummies. On becoming a mummy a woman quickly sidelines her needs and jumps into the defence of her baby. The Mummy Bear leads her pack of teddy…

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Grief – 4 things you need to know….

Posted by | anxiety, bereavement, loss, trauma | No Comments

Grief is a subject that presents almost daily in my work as a therapist. Working with clients who have experienced a bereavement or loss, through death, illness or trauma I meet women who are experiencing a wide range of the symptoms from grief. This may be through overwhelming sadness or pain to experiencing anxiety, depression or PTSD or those who are experiencing negative habitual behaviours due to longer term unresolved grief. From my experiences here are 4 things you need to know about grief…. 1. Your brain cannot process it All of our behaviours, habits and responses are learnt, from when we learn to walk to when we learn how to count our subconscious mind creates a sequence of patterns associated with a trigger so behaviours are generated on requirement. For instance we see a path and our brain receives a message to walk or we see a fire and…

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