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Archives for September, 2010


Keeping Your Appointment with Life: Mindfulness and Therapy

What are you like with appointments?

Do you tend to run late or just scrape it in on time?
Or are you the type who’d rather be early than late – do you worry about your arrival?
Are you so busy that you get distracted and forget some appointments?
Do you keep them or cancel them?
(Do you make more than you can keep?)

So much of our lives in the western world are guided by appointments, meetings,...
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Finding Inspiration: Listening For What Matters

This looked like a very uninspiring sticker from a distance.

A small black line on a blank white wall.

But looks can be deceiving like that:
This inspires you,” it read.
It sparked a whole lot of queries (not least of which was, what is a sticker like this doing here and what is it actually on about? Mysterious…)

So what inspires you?

Just take a moment and see where this question leads you…

And how do...
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How Does Therapy Work?: Neuroscience and the ‘Sixth Sense’

Therapy’s a bit of an enigma. It seems to work – but how? How can sitting in a room with someone and talking about things have such a deep impact?

Many psychotherapists think the answer lies in the relationship. That the therapeutic space between client and therapist can act as a kind of safe vessel to travel through the emotional turbulence that’s explored. That the therapeutic relationship is a chance to experiment...
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‘Emorationality’: Where Your Head Meets Your Heart

Binaries are compelling things. Life seems so clear if we split it into on/off, good/bad, masculine/feminine, healthy/sick, love/hate, body/mind, thought/emotion, head/heart.

Even therapy, itself, can fall into a binary trap like this. One of the most well-known therapies, CBT (or cognitive behaviour therapy), has sometimes drawn criticism for just that kind of simple formulaic approach.

CBT’s underlying premise is that your thoughts impact your emotions; perhaps even control them. And that, in turn,...
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Life, Death, Spirituality and Therapy: an Existential Crossroad

I was wandering through a cemetery by the sea the other day.  A strange thing to do on a weekend, perhaps, but I was searching for inspiration for a guest post on The Daily Undertaker’s blog. (It’s tempting to say that I found it in spades, but that sounds a little too gruesome).

What I did find was a certain curiosity which seems to hover above all the graveyards I’ve ever visited –...
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How Do You See Yourself? Reflections on Therapeutic Mirroring

This wall of mirrors in the photo is in a local café. Each mirror hangs at a slightly different angle, and so captures a slightly different view of things – a different detail or a vignette of life unfolding around it.

It got me thinking about the nature of reflection, and what kind of mirror we might each be holding up to our lives in order to understand ourselves.

Reflection is a mainstay...
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Art Therapy

Drawing on Your Inner Therapist: Art Therapy in Everyday Life

When was the last time you picked up some coloured pencils? Or crayons? Or filled a page with random scribbles?

It’s curious how we encourage this kind of spontaneous creative expression in children, but often forget to indulge in it ourselves.

Maybe it doesn’t feel ‘serious’ enough for an adult to engage with. Or ‘weighty’ enough to mix it with the depths of adult problems. But creativity can unleash serious business indeed.

For while words...
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Growing a Garden of Individuality and Togetherness

If you’re into gardening at all, you’ll probably know that although plants like to grow alongside one another and create a supportive ‘microclimate’ together, they still need their own space.

Even at the time of seed planting, if you want to give them an optimum chance to flourish, you’ll need to include a certain distance between them.

Planted too close, and they can start to...
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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Mindfulness as Therapy: Your Personal GPS

Where are you right now?

Not metaphorically, as in ‘where is your life right now?’ Or ‘where is your head right now?’ Or even ‘where are your thoughts?'

But physically.

Take a look around you. Where do you find yourself in this very second?
(Where is your life unfolding this very second?)

And then zoom in even closer, from the external to the internal. To the very body you occupy inside this moment.

How does it feel to be...
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Following the Seasons of Change, Growth and Hope

As the seasons roll around again, here in Australia, spring is coming out of hibernation. Even though there was no snow in these parts, a sense of thawing is in the air.

And perhaps in the self…

There’s something about sunlight that can penetrate right into the psyche sometimes. And it seems the chronic absence of sunlight might predispose us to things like the very aptly named “” or Seasonal Affective Disorder – a...
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