News & information

This page offers you thoughts, resources, and information on psychotherapy, psychology, and related areas.

There's also a wealth of information available on the BACP website

If you have specific questions for me or are interested in seeking counselling, please do feel free to get in touch via the contact form or I look forward to hearing from you.

Sitting with Uncertainty

For many people, the unpredictable or uncertain is an awful place to be. Evidence suggests that our biology can sense this place of unpredictability and sets off processes in response. It doesn't feel particularly good but we work harder in that place than either other extreme (easy success or certain failure). Hope exists in that place of uncertainty. It can be dangerously addictive but, in the right circumstances and with mindful consideration, it can push us forward to a better outcome. First, though, we need to learn to sit with uncertainty.

Rage Versus Healthy Anger

Yes, healthy anger. I tend to think that just about every emotion we can produce is probably healthy in doses and anger is certainly one of them. Things happen in life and processing, as well as expressing, anger can be cathartic. It might allow you to let it go, even. Rage, in some circumstances, is probably necessary, too. But, rage is for the really big things and it isn't meant to be set off everyday. Identifying how to manage your anger well and keep rage at bay, unless its rare time has come, is part of a developing good mental health.

When Do You Ask for Support?

It is a new year and many people are looking to turn over a new leaf, change habits, start something new, find contentment. Many people are going through very difficult things and the holidays themselves can be rough. People are hoping this year life will get easier, happier, better. It probably will. Time helps. Yet, friends and family are also valuable as support.

The Softest Science?

You may have heard therapists or others interested in mental health complain about CBT - cognitive behavioural therapy. It is, perhaps, unfortunate. It isn't really the CBT that they are complaining about, but rather the almost singular focus NHS funding has seemed to have given it. It is no surprise. CBT has a fair amount of evidence to show progress in a short time - effective and cost-effective. You can't really blame the government for seeking such a magic bullet in an overextended and underfunded situation. (As an aside, I love the NHS without reservation.

What is Private?

I’m actually a bit confused – thrown, disoriented (disorientated, if you prefer). I am not a moral absolutist but there are certain things I hold quite dear. There was an incident with the young people I work with where one adolescent had a bit of a meltdown during a discussion of a sensitive topic. This was not in a therapeutic space – it was an educational space – but the material was controversial, emotional. His behavior created a tenseness in the room. Some people were offended by his words, others were simply uncomfortable with all the feeling he emitted. I was concerned.

Social Animals

It has been a very long time since my last post. I got caught up in seeing clients, research, and life, in general. That "life, in general" part was probably mostly socialising because we are social animals, human beings. Some people would probably say they aren't - they're loners and I can relate. I love being alone, it is quiet and peaceful amidst the noise and bustle of London. Right now, I'm sitting in the sun with a wonderful dog, relaxing as I write this. Yet, people seem pulled to each other. Even most solitary types seek out some companionship.

Is there any point in placing blame?

I'd been asking myself this very question - is there any point in blame - just last night, as 2013 sped to its close. I had started thinking it on a personal level, like we all must from time to time in the bigger battles we have with ourselves around forgiveness. My thoughts, eventually, moved onto considering justice and social justice. Funnily enough, while baking bread this afternoon, I found these questions considered in a great NPR podcast I'd been meaning to listen to for some time.

What is our responsibility?

Today I went to a really nice mini-conference put on by Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (PCSR) in London. It was just a few hours long but tried starting dialogue around something often on my mind. It was an opportunity for counsellors with connections to the activist community and activists to speak about provision particularly for those working towards social justice that have suffered trauma. It was a meant to be and felt like a safe space for this discussion. I hope more comes from it.

Myriad Thoughts on the Emotional Lives of Young People

As autumn sets in, I almost invariably get lost in the moment, tasks at hand, and find it hard to make space for things that aren't immediately in front of my eyes. In some ways, maybe that is good. Yet, I think there is some value to taking a step back and reflecting. With the popularity of mindfulness philosophy, it would be easy to forget that life is probably best lived in a balance between being in the moment and looking back and forward. With all that said, I have several articles I wanted to post here that I will include in one update.