Mental Health

I Love mental health, but hate Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health and I have been happily entwined for most of my adult life. From volunteering at Samaritans aged 21, to becoming a counsellor in my thirties. Because I truly believe having someone to talk to can make a massive, almost immeasurable, difference to mental health. It’s a job I love. But I do not, … Read more

Creating a meaningful Christmas

Christmas can be challenging for so many reasons. Even when life is going along smoothly, the festive season is far from the fun filled love-in we imagine it to be. In fact it can often be laced with fatigue, frustration and family tensions. But even in the midst of this emotional overwhelm, it’s possible to … Read more

Had a rubbish year? 3 tips to surviving the festive season

Christmas comes but once a year, but My God doesn’t it make a big deal of itself? Trumpeting its arrival in shops, TV and magazines from mid October onwards, you’ll have to work hard to miss it. And the lump of coal stuffed at the bottom of the Christmas stocking, is the expectation that we … Read more

The 4 best places for wellbeing in St Albans

Want to enjoy some wellbeing in St Albans, but don’t know where to start? Well, I can help. I’ve rounded up the best places to have a break, take a breather and get back to your old self again. There’s something suitable for everyone – from the boujie, budget-busting Sopwell House to the no-cost sanctuary … Read more

Woman with young children either side, looking at her mobile and seeming stressed.

The price of perfectionism

Are you buckling under the pressure to be perfect? If so, you’re not alone. Many good women have fallen under the weight of this unfair expectation. There’s an implicit belief that to be loved, to be worthy of praise and acceptance we must excel in all areas of our life. A flawless appearance, cherubic children … Read more

Why ‘wellness’ is worsening your anxiety

This week it’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, and its theme? Anxiety. We know there are many things which up the ante on our anxiety – driving in rush hour, getting your kids ready in the morning, giving a presentation when you’re not properly prepared. But sometimes there is a double agent. A frenemy, if … Read more

Book review: The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

It’s not easy to write a review of Matt Haig’s The Comfort Book. Not because it’s badly written, or dull or unoriginal. But just because it’s all so pleasant and reassuring, that there’s not a lot to say. The book is ideal for the coffee table, the bedside table, or as a gift for friends. … Read more

Book review: Unspeakable by Harriet Shawcross

As a therapist I believe in the healing power of talking. But for some people, speaking about how they feel is an almost impossible task. They withdraw into a world of their own, and silence becomes their sanctuary. Harriet Shawcross’s book, Unspeakable The Things we Cannot Say, takes a look at the limits of language … Read more

Dare to embrace your dream? 3 tips to help

Daring to embrace your dream, only to have it snatched away is painful. A proper stomach sinking, tightness in the chest, type painful. For some, the fear of failure will be a block to even attempting to achieve goals. Disappointment just hurts too much. But the truth is, if you have a dream, and the … Read more

Book review: Notes on Grief

My very first counselling placement was within bereavement. Where I listened as clients explored their grief. Often they spoke of shock, sometimes abandonment and occasionally a sense of overwhelm. Reflecting on this work, I’m struck by how inept words are to express the raw, desperate, profound feelings that death can deliver to those left behind. … Read more

The shopping’s not stopping

From the moment I started earning money, I have been desperate to spend it. I hear the siren call of the shops, wherever I am. For me a day without an Amazon package is dull and grey. But when I know my doorbell will be a’ringing with deliveries, there’s fission and purpose in the air. … Read more