March 2016 Post Archive - London Counselling Practice Limited Blog

Contact us via Skype for an online therapy sessionLike our page on FacebookJoin us on LinkedInFollow us on Twitter
Home    |     Contact    |     Site Map    

Showing posts from March 2016

Comments (0)

Our latest article has been published in the Chiswick Herald, click to read it here or read it below:

Stressed by your work or responsibilities? - Younger or older you are not alone!
 
I have been thinking about how many of our clients are routinely impacted on stress that comes from work, either from the pressure of the work itself and or difficult relationships at work. And too much stress can so easily have a significant impact on a persons quality of life. Stress can lead to anxiety and depression that brings with it many symptoms that can prevent people from getting the most out of life.
 
And did you know that employers should be thinking about whether your work is well designed, organised and managed? Employers in the UK have a legal duty of care to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees and yet according to research conducted by the mental health charity Mind in 2013, work was given as the most stressful factor by 34% of respondents saying they found their work life either very or quite stressful. Other research quoted by the Health and Safety Executive also shows that workers in the public service industries tend to have higher incidences of stress.
 
It can of course be difficult to attribute stress to just one source and yet if you find yourself saying that work is stressful, or if you notice that someone else tends to exhibit signs of stress in relation to work then it can be helpful to keep in mind that there are ways to manage and reduce stress. It is also helpful to remember that if you are stressed at work then your employer has a responsibility too.
 
Mind you other research conducted by Monster in 2012 showed that Britons were the most bullied workers in the world. Seven out of ten workers admitted to being bullied by either bosses or colleagues and I suspect the connection here is that although employers do have responsibility we British can find it hard to speak up?
 
But it is not just adults in the workplace who are suffering from stress. It seems this is an increasingly recognised problem for children too. In August 2015 The Guardian reported that English children are among the unhappiest in the world and again there seems to be a significant link with bullying. This month Head Teachers have been calling for improved mental health care and yet for some time now the news has been full of articles on how much stress teachers say they are experiencing.
 
Marybeth Mendenhall, our Senior Associate and a Systemic Psychotherapist told me “The dynamics within organisations can usefully be likened to those that occur in families -  dysfunctional organisations are like dysfunctional families. For the members belonging to the group harmful behaviours may easily become so familiar that it is only when a new member joins or an outsider gets to see and experience being part of the group that the harmful dynamics can be identified”. 
 
Ia Tollstam, our Consultant Supervisor for business services told me “many medium and large organisations have services in place to help managers think about stress and employees deal with stress. Access to counselling is commonplace in many organisations but not so much for those that are smaller”. She added “there is so much an organisation can do to support its staff and the value of a workforce who feels looked after is something the most successful employers understand.”
 
As Marybeth says “Just like with a family, members can really help each other out when trouble strikes and good communications and strong relationships can build resilience that minimises the impact of difficult times or events.” 
 
In talking to my colleagues about stress at work and in families I have found myself thinking about how more and more of our work is with children and adolescents. It seems that stress is affecting everyone? Stressed parents equals stressed children, stressed managers a stressed workforce and stressed teachers stressed pupils so to end I guess I am thinking about just how useful it can be to think about the different roles you have in life - parent, manager, partner, friend, colleague, teacher - when you think of that role can you recognise stress and if so what impact might that be having on those who count on you?
 
Comments (0)

Our latest article has been published in the Chiswick Herald, please click here. Or read it below:

This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions and of course there is no one single easy answer.. or is there? 

Well what I can say is that there is a state of trust and a quality of communication that I think is definitely needed in order to restore or heal a damaged relationship and I can explain more about that. 

Meanwhile my experience is that whilst the therapeutic process can facilitate change the route will depend upon an endless amount of variables. If you have not had any experience of therapy before it can be a very challenging experience and ultimately you will need to start to consider and behave differently with your partner.

And because it will be up to the two of you to be different with each other you will need to have the desire and the energy to make the changes that will be required. You will also need courage. I think the hardest thing about therapy and making any significant change in life is that it requires us to let go of ways of thinking and behaving which are familiar to us, have served us well in the past in other situations and ultimately we need to start doing things differently - something that we naturally think of as risky and frightening.

We have to accept change all the time, every day and in every way because change happens and there is nothing we can do about it except try and manage ourselves so that we can cope and continue to live a positive life. Then of course there is our potential for changing things - all the choices we make every day that change the course of our lives. Ultimately we may have a limit as to how much change we can endure before our quality of life starts to feel threatened or affected.

Coming back to our relationships, when we start to feel threatened it is natural to start analysing the situation to try and understand what is going wrong. We might accept that there are things we could do better and we might make some changes but then it is quite normal for us to turn our attention to what the other person is doing wrong. Here are where the misunderstandings start to occur, conflict arises, escalates and the quality of the relationship starts to become eroded. You are no longer a team, no longer each others main supporters but instead they become just another person in life that needs managing or even another battle that needs fighting.

It is really important to accept that you must first cast aside the notion that either one of you is to blame. The problems exist because your relationship exists. Who you are with each other creates a unique and complex phenomenon where the only possible solution is a team effort aimed at understanding what you create together and what needs to change for the relationship to adequately contain the two of you.

In order to achieve this you will first need to achieve the state of trust and quality of communication I mentioned earlier. And what is this? Well you need to accept that there are two truths in your relationship - yours and your partners. You are both right but because the relationship is not working for either on or both of you then you are also both wrong. You need to approach each other with a kindly curiosity to understand the foundations of each others truths and work together to find approaches that can bring you both happiness.

When you think back to the start of your relationship you will have been nervous and careful with each other but over time it is likely you will have lost patience. Accepted situations that you find painful and retreated into a position of trying to accept things that are just not acceptable. Harbouring resentments and putting up with things that make you unhappy. If either of you is unhappy then you are in an unhappy relationship.

In therapy we help you to return to that state of kindly curiosity - one where what hurts can be spoken and understood and where a way forward can be considered.