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Our private world

We all have a private world inside us. It is entirely unique. We know much more about our own private world than anyone else does, but even we don't know it fully. There are depths we will never reach. Parts of us we will never completely know or understand.

Our private world contains all of the experiences we have ever had, and our reactions to them - our excitements, loneliness, joy, shocks, frustrations, contentment, confusion, boredom, confidence, terror, shame, disappointment.

Our private world contains our own ideas about who we are and the story of our life, including expectations of how our future will play out. It contains all of our dreams, longings and fears, and also all of our 'rules' about how we should live and who we ought to be. It also contains our moment by moment feeling, thinking and awareness.

We hold all of this - our experiences, beliefs, thoughts and feelings - not only in our minds but also in our bodies; in the way we move and hold ourselves, in ou…

What is the experience of psychotherapy like?

It is different for everyone, but I think it is fair to say that it always involves a journey into the unknown in some way.
From the first moment of meeting, the therapist and client begin to make a relationship, to build understanding and trust.
The client shares their experience of their challenges and of what they want to get from the therapy. The therapist listens and absorbs and aims to step into their client’s world as fully as possible so that the client can feel that someone is really alongside them in their struggle.
The client begins to feel accepted for who they are – even when they show parts of themselves they thought no-one should ever see.
The therapist works to shed light on the nature of the client’s difficulty; to create a framework for thinking about it. This illumination of the problem often helps to normalize it so that it feels less overwhelming.
The therapist shares tools for working through the problem and this, too, brings relief and hope.
As progress is made, th…

New growth

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Just now there are less than 8 hours of daylight each day and we spend much of our time in darkness. Many living things - plants, animals, insects - are asleep, often underground. Last years vegetation is rotting down and energy is being stored in readiness for new life and new shoots to appear as the days lengthen. 
As we enter a New Year this can be a time for us to reflect, to ruminate, for our conscious and subconscious mind to sort through whatever aspects of ourselves we might want to let go of and what new growth we might want to make. 
We often to tend to live our lives according to well established routines and patterns. But sometimes we yearn for something to be different; to shed a part of our experience that is painful or stuck or stagnant - to experience something more nourishing, fresh or creative. To stride out in a new direction.
Often, finding out what we want can be half the battle. We can hide the knowledge of what we most desire from ourselves, perhaps out of fear…