Resources to help you find your way
Finding the right information or advice at the right time can be profoundly empowering. Here are some ideas that have supported many of my clients. Maybe some of them could help you too.
The Gestalt approach
While how you get on with your therapist usually matters more than the theories and techniques they use (see 'Helpful helping' below and large-scale research findings), you may wish to find out more about the Humanistic Gestalt tradition which underpins my work.
Gestalt means whole and this approach recognises the profound, holistic inter-connectedness of mind, body and spirit. While experiencing therapy is different to reading about it, this article from Coaching Today gives a great introduction.
Creative, sensory play is an important part of my work. There is a respectful, step by step process to developing any optional, creative experiments.
This SoulPancake video may give you a taste of how the creative process could help you to pause, reflect and potentially reveal new possibilities.
Developing a good working relationship matters. This Open University video explores why it’s central to achieving positive outcomes from counselling/psychotherapeutic encounters.
Still curious after watching the video? Here are 50 signs of good therapy.
Learn to relax
Dr Herbert Benson wrote The Relaxation Response in 1975. Since then, thousands of studies have shown how regular practice of relaxation exercises supports physical and mental wellbeing.
There are many ways to promote balance and inner peace. Here’s Dr Benson’s approach.
Take a breather
Interested in Autogenic Training? For almost 100 years, this practical, self help system has enabled thousands of people to manage stress and promote wellbeing.
AT shares much with modern mindfulness approaches. Professor Mark Williams champions mindfulness in the NHS. Here’s his three minute breathing space that may help you get your feet back on the ground if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Your balancing touch
Like some therapists, I recognize the benefits of integrating body-based, energy psychology methods into the psychotherapeutic process. These techniques also have significant self-help potential.
While there are many energy psychology approaches, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is probably the most widespread. You can find out more at the Tapping Solution.
Warm porridge please
Goldilocks was OK. As she pondered the Mindfulness Awareness Stabilizing Training (MAST) advice by St Michael's she thought 'Yes, I'm in the warm porridge zone.' This was her way of saying she was in her Window of Tolerance. A much better day than yesterday when she'd had a row with Cinderalla. During the clash with her friend, she'd got overwhelmed by emotion and found it hard to think clearly. She’d been in a hot porridge (hyper-aroused) place. As she recalled the upset, however, Goldilocks started to go numb; not feeling anything in a Mama Bear, cold porridge (hypo-aroused) kind of way. Realising her need for self-care, she had a rejuvenating slurp of Earl Grey tea and settled down to do the MAST self compassion meditation. 'That's better!' she said ten minutes later as she washed up her mug.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, this story is a metaphor for the ups and downs of our inner life. Just like Goldilocks, it can help to recognize when we're struggling, be aware of what's going on and take steps to move back into a more balanced place. Counselling and stress management practices like Autogenic Training could help you re-enter your Window of Tolerance. And maybe help you get the temperature of your metaphorical porridge 'just right.'
Use your strengths
These words are embroidered on my metaphorical Careers Adviser hat! Knowing about and applying a good mix of your strengths could also support your personal life. Check out the free Values in Action Character Strengths Survey for a potentially illuminating strengths boost.
Face your fears
Change or challenge in our career or personal life sometimes brings us face to face with thoughts and feelings we'd rather avoid. Developing the psychological flexibility to gently acknowledge and explore difficult inner experiences may help us to keep doing what matters most.
iCould do this
Are you exploring your career options? At some point, you may find it helps to speak with people doing the kinds of work you are considering. iCould gives a wide range of engaging case studies which could support your research and information interviewing.