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Stigma, Discrimination and Mental Health.
Postive thinking
Self expression.
"Once in a Blue Moon".


stigma and discrimination
The Self
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The top 5 regrets of the dying.

Firstly, I want to thank my 15 year old nephew for posting this article on facebook recently....... "Very impressed dear nephew!"
The article written focused on data collected by a palliative nurse in Australia.
The top 5 regrets are:
  • I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life     others expected of me.
  • I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
  • I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  • I wish that I had let myself be happier.
I found these results particularly interesting for several reasons.
All of the regrets are based on factors or issues that clients have brought to me in therapy.  For example when a client is feeling fragmented or depressed, they sometimes find it difficult to express their feelings, thoughts and ideas.  By having counselling/psychotherapy the client has the opportunity to express their feelings in an environment which is confidential, safe and non-judgmental.
 Imagine it!..................someone has lived their life, are about to die and their regret in life is that they wished they could have been happier!!!  Gwhizz!.... to me, this seems very sad.  There are so many strategies and/or techniques that could enable an individual  to be happier in this world.  Look..... I'm not here to ram counselling/psychotherapy down your throat, but, funnily enough, I do have evidence that counselling and psychotherapy works excellently.  I view them as enriching processes and  excellent tools in which to empower an individual.  If the therapist and the client are fully engaged in the work, then counselling/psychotherapy will help to diminish/eradicate negative thoughts and feelings.
I feel that the article in the Guardian,  connects beautifully with a popular blog I wrote back in October 2012 titled, "To Live".  In that blog I looked at the notion of living/existing.  In short, I explored what it would it take for us to live happily,  bearing in mind, that after we live, we die;  The article in the guardian goes to the next step, it explores the regrets that people have actually shared, near their death.
I'd like to think that those of us that are experiencing some personal, interpersonal and professional concerns, wouldn't wait until their death bed to explore, assess and treat.  You are alive now! Please don't wait until it's too late.
If you knew you were about to die, what regrets would you have about your own life?
Your comments are always welcome and thank you for reading this blog.


Christmas is a magical time,
Is there any doubt?
But I'm going to need a psychotherapist
To get my anxieties out!
The sugarplums might be dancing,
But they're messing up my mind;
The silver bells aren't doing much
To help me unwind.
Section of a poem by
Joel Bjorling, Gilson taken from: www.theholidayspot.com 

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.  Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?
By Bob Hope,takenfrom: quotations.about.com
This comes to wish you
joy and good cheer
not just for Christmas
but throughout the new Year. 
Christmas is..Christmas is...
What is Christmas?..
To some there is no Christmas..simply because of their religon.
To others Christmas is a time of loneliness because of past events.

By James, taken from: www.poems.md

More endings.

93  murdered in Norway.......Amy Winehouse found dead are shocking endings that have occurred over the past 48 hours.
As outlined in my previous blog about endings, they can take on many forms; the recent atrocities in Norway and Amy Winehouse's death illustrate endings that were sudden, painful and definitely caused shock waves.
This blog could take so many different avenues, such as focusing on the callous nature of, put simply, a sociopath who disguised himself as a police officer to slaughter copious amounts of young people  in Norway; or the addictive behaviour and personality of a singer, unable at times to function to her full potential, as the escapism of  her drug use helped her to escape her reality; the idea of an individual walking amongst us with so much hate and resentment; or the unfair notions that come up when we think about young lives being taken before their time.  These recent headlines encompass the idea of loss....loss of life, loss of rationality, loss of love and empathy.
These events will stir up a multitude of emotions and the healing process will be a long long way in the distance (if at all).  My thoughts are with those families that experienced tragedy over this weekend.
Your thoughts are welcome.

Work it on out.

An Hour Glass, an abstract image of life passing on by.And I, I can let my life pass me by
or I can get down and try
work it all out this lifetime
work it on out this time
I can let it all pass me by
or I can get down and try
work it all out this lifetime lifetime

Maxwell - Now (2001); 'LifeTime' Lyrics (chorus). 
There are many of us who can find the motivation to achieve our goals and to live each day as if it were our last.  However, in contrast, there are some of us who find the future a scary place, therefore, are more cautious or tentative; we may have no self-worth or belief, so become frustrated, confused and even more unsure.
Listening to these lyrics, as a therapist, I wondered, how many of us just let life pass us by? Wishing for something else....... something different, but, feeling paralysed to do anything about it.  Maxwell's song 'Lifetime' expresses feelings and thoughts of love, loss, depression, hope, growth and change.
"I can let my life pass me by....Or I can get down and try".
It's true, change is scary and the journey to some form of Self-actualization, has its obstacles, but breaking free from debilitating thoughts and behaviours is achievable and empowering .  We can choose to let life pass us by, but surely we owe it to ourselves to......
"Work it all out this lifetime...work it on out this time". 

When a push doesn't result in a shove.

A candle to show that we remember those young people who have been murdered violently. Between 1999 and 2003, I worked with young people who were labelled as disaffected.  My role at the time was to ensure that they utilised our services and assist them in changing certain patterns of their behaviour.  Back then we predominately worked with young men aged 13-19, viewed at risk because they were truanting from school; had been expelled; or were known offenders.  The gang culture amongst the young men that used our services was in full effect and the staff team and I would hear countless tales of violent encounters between our young men and rival gangs.  Stabbings and shootings were frequent occurrences.  Some of our young people were admitted to hospital as a result of stab wounds; one of our young men was stabbed which resulted in his death.  He died alone in a ditch in South London .
When I hear media coverage of the young man(aged 17) who was found dead in a stairwell on the pelican Estate in Peckham, my heart bleeds.  Yet another senseless murder.  What had he done that warranted him dying in that way? This takes the total of teenager murders this year in London to 19.
Although I'm not condoning violence, couldn't this matter have been resolved with an argument and a punch up? How come a push doesn't result in a shove?
This topic is both emotive and a long way from being exhaustive.  There are many variables to consider when we look at this subject matter.  I invite you to share your experiences and views.
This Blog is in rememberance of all of those young lives that have been taken, through violent means.