Is Stress Good or Bad?
Kelly McGonigal speaks at TEDGlobal 2013: Think Again. June 12-15, 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: James Duncan Davidson / TED

Is Stress Good or Bad?

The Covid 19 pandemic has affected all of us in many ways. We don't yet know what Christmas will look like, and although although we now have the welcome news that vaccines will become available, we don't know  when and we don't know what is in store for us in…

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Strategies for Managing Uncertainty

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. —Victor Frankl.  This is the third of three blogs about uncertainty - this one focusing on strategies for managing uncertainty. As human beings, we crave security - having a sense of control over ourselves,…

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Reduce Stress by Managing Uncertainty

Reduce Stress by Managing Uncertainty When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. —Victor Frankl This blog looks at ways we can reduce stress by managing uncertainty. As I wrote in my previous blog, human beings crave security. We  need to have…

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Managing Change and Uncertainty

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. —Victor Frankl. During 2020, managing change and uncertainty has been a constant challenge for us all. Today we wait for the new lockdown restrictions to be announced in Ireland, and it's hard to keep…

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Adults and Attachment

My two previous blogs looked at theories and research into attachment between children and their care-givers over the past 80 years or so. This blog looks at adults and attachment.  It was not until the mid-1980's that researchers began to take seriously the possibility that attachment processes may still be…

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Attachment

John Bowlby's Research What is meant by "attachment" and does it matter? Attachment is an emotional bond to another person. Psychologist John Bowlby working in the UK in the 1940s,  believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. According…

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Adverse Childhood Experiences

Most people would agree that experiences that we have had in childhood (both good and bad) can have a lasting effect on us throughout our adult lives. But what can we learn from scientific research about this? This article looks at the well known large scale Adverse Childhood Experience studies…

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A Happy Childhood?

Did you have a happy childhood? As an adult, we’re often taught to look back on our childhood with nostalgia and happy thoughts, back to innocent and carefree times. Childhood is coined as the time where we learn who we are, and where secure attachments are formed with caregivers. It’s…

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The Emotional Needs of Children

Does love matter? Are the emotional needs of children important? How we are treated as babies and toddlers determines the way in which what we're born with turns into what we are. According to Sue Gerhardt, in her excellent book “Why Love Matters”,  “The kind of brain that each baby…

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The Effects of Scapegoating

This second blog about scapegoating in families looks at the effects of scapegoating. Within a family, one member becomes the target of accusations, blame, criticism or ostracism. While it’s happening, family members are often unaware of what they are doing and would deny it if confronted with their behaviour. Becoming…

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Scapegoating

What is scapegoating? Scapegoating within families is rarely talked about but many of my clients have described this process in their families.  What exactly does it mean? Well, in ancient tribal societies, a goat was chosen to represent the group’s collective sins to appease an angry god. By casting the…

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Ways to Cope with a Toxic Family

My last two blogs introduced the idea of toxic families and this one looks at ways to cope with a toxic family. Looking for support in dealing with difficult relationships within their own close family is one of the most common reasons people come to me for counselling. Dealing with…

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