Friday, March 6, 2020

Telephone and Online Counselling

Scheduled telephone and video/online counselling sessions are available to provide appropriate and consistent care to anyone struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or any other mental health concerns at this very difficult time.  It is possible to have a free ten minute test session to see if you feel comfortable with having your counselling session through one of these methods.

Counselling can assist you in supporting your emotional and mental wellbeing during this challenging time. It can help you to prepare and empower you to cope.

It can provide reassurance and motivation to develop coping strategies that work for you.
It can help you to identify and deal with unhelpful thought patterns and emotions.
It can help you to stay grounded and calm when facing the COVID-19 challenges.It can help to lift your mood and help you to grow resilience and confidence.It provides access to a supportive, ethical, safe and respectful practice which is essential during these times of uncertainty.   
Please contact me for further details. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Laya Healthcare

I am now registered with Laya Healthcare.  My clients may be eligible for a partial refund if they are a member with Laya healthcare and they have the relevant level of cover.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Three ways to happiness

There are many ways of understanding human well-being, but perhaps the most simple and useful is to think in terms three different approaches. In other words, if you want to find happiness, there are three different routes you can take.
First of all, there is doing. There are certain activities you can engage in that are highly likely to bring you well-being. You can have contact with nature, for example. You can practice altruism, kindness, and generousity to the people around you. You can exercise, spend more time socializing, and ensure there are activities in your life that will provide you with "flow"—the state of intense absorption, which comes when we engage with challenging and stimulating activities. You can also try to ensure there are goals in your life to engage you and for you to work toward. In this way, the path of doing is clearly a very effective way of bringing well-being into your life.
Secondly, there is thinking. You can bring more well-being into your life by changing the way you think. You can learn to think positively rather than negatively. You can identify your "scripts" of repetitive negative thoughts and replace them with more rational thinking patterns. You can learn to interpret events positively and train yourself to see the future in an optimistic light. And perhaps most importantly of all, you can cultivate a sense of gratitude and appreciation. You can learn to value aspects of your life that you used to take for granted, such as the people in your life, your health, the social conditions you live in (such as the peacefulness and stability of your life), and even the fact of being alive itself.
The third approach is happiness through being. There is a well-being we experience whenever our inner-being—or consciousness—is in a relatively quiet or empty state. We experience this when we stop striving to achieve things or when we stop living in the future and give our full attention to our experience in the present. We often experience it in the countryside, when the stillness and beauty of nature have the effect of relaxing and slowing down our minds, filling us with a sense of ease and aliveness. We might experience it when we go running or swimming—even though we might feel physically tired, we’re glowing with a vibrant energy and inner calm and wholeness. It might happen during or after meditation, yoga, or a period of playing or listening to music.
In these moments we feel in a positive, contented state without knowing exactly why. We feel happy without necessarily having any reason to be happy. We don’t feel happy because something good has happened to us or because we have something to look forward to. We feel happy just because a tangible energetic sense of well-being is inside us. It’s almost as if the energy we sense within us in these moments—the energy of our being or consciousness—has a natural quality of well-being.
This is the "well-being of being" itself, which you can cultivate by developing inner quietness, by giving yourself the opportunity to "withdraw" from activity and external stimuli for a while, and allowing your mind to slow down and empty. Probably the best way to do this is to meditate or practice other meditative-type activities such as swimming, running, tai chi, or yoga. Meditation will allow you not only to experience this well-being on a temporary basis, but it will help you to "touch into it" on an ongoing, long-term basis too. The happiness of being also comes from living mindfully, giving our full attention to our experience in the present rather than immersing our attention in "thought-chatter" based on the future or on alternate realities.
In my view, these three approach to happiness are equally important, and they should be cultivated in parallel. As well as changing out lives by introducing activities that bring well-being and learning to think in a more positive and appreciative way, we should also aim to cultivate the inner, spiritual well-being described above. In positive psychology—the field of psychology that investigates human well-being and flourishing—inner spiritual well-being isn't given much attention. Positive psychologists almost exclusively focus on the "doing" and "thinking" approaches. But the happiness of being is very important too. In fact, in some ways it's possibly the most significant approach to happiness, because it suggests that well-being is actually natural to us, and it's something that we only need to allow to express itself, rather than attain.
Steve Taylor(link is external), Ph.D. is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, UK. He is the author of Back to Sanity and The Fall.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

A person may be depressed if, for more than two weeks, he or she has felt sad, down or miserable most of the time or has lost interest or pleasure in usual activities, and has also experienced several of the signs and symptoms across at least three of the categories below.
It’s important to note that everyone experiences some of these symptoms from time to time and it may not necessarily mean a person is depressed. Equally, not every person who is experiencing depression will have all of these symptoms.


  • not going out anymore
  • not getting things done at work/school
  • withdrawing from close family and friends
  • relying on alcohol and sedatives
  • not doing usual enjoyable activities
  • unable to concentrate


  • overwhelmed
  • guilty
  • irritable
  • frustrated
  • lacking in confidence
  • unhappy
  • indecisive
  • disappointed
  • miserable
  • sad


  • 'I’m a failure.'
  • 'It’s my fault.'
  • 'Nothing good ever happens to me.'
  • 'I’m worthless.'
  • 'Life’s not worth living.'
  • 'People would be better off without me.'


  • tired all the time
  • sick and run down
  • headaches and muscle pains
  • churning gut
  • sleep problems
  • loss or change of appetite
  • significant weight loss or gain
If you think that you, or someone you know, may have depression, there is a quick, easy and confidential checklist you can complete to give you more insight. The checklist will not provide a diagnosis – for that you need to see a health professional. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Declaration of Self esteem

My Declaration of Self Esteem

I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it -- I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me.

By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know -- but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me.

However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded.

I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.

--- From Self Esteem by Virginia Satir

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Autobiography in five chapters


Autobiography in five chapters
by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost...I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall is a habit.
My eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Journey

The Journey

Success sometimes seems like a collection of products, or a place that you can get to or buy.

When we are small we think we will be happy when we can finally turn over or walk or go to school. 

Then it’s being old enough to date or drive or finish school - that really feels like success.

Some people think success is getting married. That’s when they’ll really be happy. 

Or that real happiness comes when a baby finally arrives.

Maybe we’ll be sucessful and happy when we get that job or promotion, or when the kids finally leave home and we can have some peace. 

Success might be when the house is finished or when we retire.
The “golden years” - that’s it.  That’s when we reach success.

Success is every minute you live. 

It’s the process of living. 

It’s stopping for the moments of beauty, of pleasure: the moments of peace. 

Success is not a destination that you ever reach. 

Success is the quality of the journey.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workshop Review

Workshop Review:  Strategies for solving problems in life.
Presented by:  Gerhard Baumer.
Reviewed by:  Monica Jackman. 
Organised by: Adlerian Network of Ireland, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.  
Date:  10th March 2013.

The aims of the workshop were to enhance and widen the ability to find new and more creative problem solving strategies. The main focus was on birth order i.e. a person’s place in the family of origin.  We were asked to consider several questions.  What problems do we have and how are we dealing with them?  What was our place in the family?  How did we deal with problems in our family of origin? How are our goals in life tied in with our decision-making strategies?  We broke into small groups to discuss this and then gave feedback to the larger group afterwards.

Gerhard’s approach was very relaxed, still and calm. We broke into groups of eldests, middles, youngests and only children. We discussed how decisions were made in our childhood homes and brought it into the present day to see how these childhood experiences still might affect us in our daily lives.  When the information was fed back to the larger group it became clear that even though there were a lot of similarities between the people in each of the small groupings there were a lot of differences as well depending on a lot of factors including the age gap between people which might push an individual out of the stereotypical expectations that others might have.

Gerhard was gently challenging and it may have felt life-changing for the brave ones who stepped forward throughout the day to volunteer to do some personal work with him. I think that based on the information that he was given, he was able to see things that people may not have seen for a lifetime and in some way by him voicing them there was a permission granted to be able to finally let go of them or some of the intensity of the emotions surrounding them.

These are some ideas that Gerhard put forward about Birth Order. 

Older siblings may be seen as substitute parents. The older one may try to overcome younger ones to defend their own space by control.  An eldest may be self-sufficient, lacking in self-doubts if the parents tend to agree with their role as an eldest. They are less likely to be in the caring professions unless they would be recognised for this work.

Middle children are under pressure from above and below.  They may try to avoid conflicts.  They may try to “sneak out” emotionally or get another job if there are issues in the workplace.  Middle children are often to be found in the caring professions. 

Youngests may not be taken seriously.  They might start to fight to prove that they are smart. They may be easygoing and flexible. They may be talkative, and outgoing if not discouraged.  They can learn things by just watching.  Parents are usually less strict with them.  

Only children can be lonely.  Their main relationships are with adults except in case where there may be a lot of children living in the area. They are taken as being older than they are.  They don’t learn how to fight.  They are always the centre of attention at home.  School and work may be difficult for them, as the attention on them is not there in the same intensity.  They may go into jobs where they can be seen.  One to one relationships are important, they may not fit as well into groups.

Adler’s personality types were also discussed, and how these might affect decision making.  I think that everyone enjoyed the day and learned a lot.