What you need to know about co-regulation
Counselling Directory | Helping those in Distress
by Lauren Baird
1M ago
Co-regulation is a key concept from Steven Porges’ work on polyvagal theory, where he stresses the importance of our deep-rooted need for safety and connection within relationships. In this article, we’ll explore why it’s important and how to seek out co-regulation in order to heal. What is co-regulation? At its core, co-regulation is the interplay of two nervous systems connecting; a dance where one person’s regulation influences another’s. This connection is a little like a “dance of attachment” (Van Gulden, 2010). This process is particularly crucial in our formative years when, as small ch ..read more
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Ask the experts: How can I talk to my partner about sex?
Counselling Directory | Helping those in Distress
by Emily Whitton
2M ago
Talking about sex with a partner or partners can feel like a difficult topic of conversation for many people. It can lend an air of vulnerability as you open up to each other, but how do you actually start the conversation? Here, psychosexual and relationship therapist, Jacqueline Jones, answers your questions on communicating about sex and intimacy. Can you explain the difference between sex and intimacy? Sex is generally thought to be about sexual function, like the act of vaginal, anal and manual (using hands) intercourse, or oral-genital stimulation, with a partner or partners. Solo sex is ..read more
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Discovering glimmers in the darkness of winter
Counselling Directory | Helping those in Distress
by Lauren Baird
4M ago
As we move towards winter, the clocks change, the days get shorter. It can be hard to find the light when everything feels so cold and dark. Many of us will experience some difficulty adjusting to the change in season. At this time of the year, I often feel a pang of dread as my mind defaults to the negatives; months of darkness, limited time to be outdoors, and the chill that winter brings. I detest crawling out from under my warm duvet when it’s dark and cold outside. And there’s a good reason for this; scientists note the impact that a lack of daylight has on our mental health. Less exposur ..read more
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Ask the experts: How can I navigate difficult family dynamics?
Counselling Directory | Helping those in Distress
by Emily Whitton
6M ago
Family dynamics refer to the roles and interactions within the family unit. Our experiences strongly influence how we see the world around us, our behaviours and how we form relationships with others. Some people may experience a strong family dynamic that functions well. This might look like having open and honest communication with each other or having shared responsibilities. For others, the dynamic may be a little more complex. So how do we recognise when this is the case? Counsellor Nina Jellinek answers your questions, helping us to recognise difficult dynamics and how we can navigate th ..read more
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Grief beyond bereavement
Counselling Directory | Helping those in Distress
by Cat Randall
10M ago
Grief is a process which we go through when we steadily adjust to the loss of someone. Grief involves experiencing a range of different emotions, sometimes uncomfortable and tricky ones. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, making it a very individual process. Grief also has no end, so once experienced, it’s something that will walk alongside people’s lives forever. And, despite the uniqueness of grief, researchers have proposed that for most people, grief comes in stages, introducing the concept of ‘The Stages of Grief’ — courtesy of Kübler-Ross (1969). While much of this is an accepted ..read more
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What is cognitive dissonance?
Counselling Directory | Helping those in Distress
by Samantha Redgrave-Hogg
1y ago
Have you ever done something you know is bad for you but tried to make excuses for your actions? This could be a sign of cognitive dissonance.  We sometimes find ourselves doing things that don’t fit with our everyday beliefs. For example, we might eat something we know isn’t good for us whilst striving to have a healthy body. Or we might end up gossiping about someone when we hold the belief that being compassionate to others is a priority. Sometimes we do this without even thinking about it. We like to hold ourselves up to certain standards, but our actions do not always match up to wha ..read more
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Ask the experts: How can I be more open-minded and understanding?
Counselling Directory | Helping those in Distress
by Katherine Nicholls
1y ago
If you spend any time on social media, you may notice that society appears to be polarising. Moving further and further apart, now seems like a great time to work on our empathy skills and develop an open mind so we can work on bringing ourselves together again. To help with this, we spoke to integrative-relational counsellor Kayan Houssein. How can I be more open minded? I’ve been brought up with quite a closed-minded way of thinking but I’m ready to break that pattern. How can I start to be more open-minded? OK, so you want to become more open-minded, this is a positive thing, right? Yes, bu ..read more
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Ask the experts: I feel financially trapped, what can I do?
Counselling Directory | Helping those in Distress
by Katherine Nicholls
1y ago
Many of us have money on our minds but, for some, it’s causing a feeling of being trapped. What can we do about this and how can we take steps towards freedom? Here we speak to individual and couples counsellor Francesca Amor to learn more.  What can I do if I feel financially trapped? I’m unhappy in my relationship, but we live together and I can’t afford to leave. How can I cope? This could be a tricky situation; the first thing to do is not rush into quick decisions. Is there any chance of you rescuing what is left of the relationship? Maybe couples counselling can help. It could help ..read more
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Ask the experts: How can we promote equality in mental health?
Counselling Directory | Helping those in Distress
by Katherine Nicholls
1y ago
The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘make mental health and well-being for all a global priority’. Discussing the theme that will be explored on 10 October, the World Health Organization says, “Stigma and discrimination continue to be a barrier to social inclusion and access to the right care; importantly, we can all play our part in increasing awareness about which preventive mental health interventions work and World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to do that collectively.”  To learn more about how we can reduce discrimination and promote equality, we asked counsell ..read more
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What could your dreams mean?
Counselling Directory | Helping those in Distress
by Emily Whitton
1y ago
Every night when we are asleep, we dream. In fact, studies suggest that we actually dream anywhere between three and six times a night. So, why is it that we can sometimes remember our dreams so vividly when we wake, and yet, more often than not, we have no recollection of what was going through our minds the night before?  What are dreams? Dreams are typically visual images or stories that go through our minds during sleep. They are a representation of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. For people who are blind, their dreams tend to be based on sound, touch, taste, and smell.  D ..read more
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