Category Archives: How To

How We Communicate With Children

As parents, guardians, grandparents, carers, teachers or support workers, we can find ourselves relating to personalities that can be quite different to our own. In most cases we are trying our best to do the right thing for the child, so that they can achieve what we perceive to be the best possible outcome.

The challenge is that our values, our priorities, our way of doing things and our goals might not match those of the child. If we really want to help them to be the best person they can be we need to understand them, to communicate effectively with them and to accept that our way might not be the best way. Effective communication can have a considerable impact on their confidence and self-belief.

The tone of our voice, the words we use and our capacity to take time to actively listen to children can all contribute to their development. Simply by saying much the same thing in slightly different ways, we can alter the response, encourage independent thinking and help children to take on a degree of personal responsibility.

NLP Courses

NLP is a technique that has been widely used to help to develop effective relationships. Many teachers, coaches, counsellors and trainers who are working directly with people have found it a valuable tool to help get the most from the people they are working with.

On NLP courses, people gain an understanding of communication. They consider the impact of language, tone, body language, active listening and other aspects of communication. They learn how simple changes to communication can alter the response.

Feelings and Actions

We all know that we can feel elated and motivated after talking with certain individuals, whilst others leave us feeling deflated or frustrated. The two conversations may be about much the same thing, but are response will be different. Our feelings typically translate into actions, either a desire to do something positive or negative.

If we spend a lot of time with the people that listen, recognise our achievements, engage in two way conversations, ask questions, seek our opinion and value our skills, we can find ourselves living life to the full. We gain confidence, learn how best to utilise our skills, make good use of our time and are driven to do more.

Conversely, if we spend more time with the people that ignore us, fail to notice our contribution, pick up on our faults, always expect us to do more and speak at us, rather than with us, we soon start to feel bad. We might stop making an effort, or we might become angry and channel our energy into more destructive activities.

The Challenge of Getting It Right

Few parents or carers want to be the ‘bad’ guy, but it is easy to be distracted by the demands of home and work life. In trying to give children new opportunities, we may be pushing them to always do more and be better. In trying to protect them, we may stifle their ideas, their independence and their ability to cope. In guiding them along our path, they might miss their true calling; the opportunity to really showcase their talents and realise their potential.

If you are a parent, a carer or a professional working with children, NLP could prove to be a valuable tool in building positive relationships. To find out more about NLP courses, click here. 

Positive Parenting

Having children and becoming a family unit is one life ambition that many people have in common. There are certainly many joys involved in bringing up children, but equally many challenges. With full responsibility for their care and development, yet no definitive ‘how to’ guide, most parents are simply giving it their best shot.

For parents there can be considerable pressure to ‘do the right thing’, but as few people have managed to be the perfect parent and each child is different, what is the right thing? We often get through by seeking the advice of family and friends, following the words of professionals, trusting our own instinct and being influenced by peer pressure.

There are many different approaches to parenthood, but at the end of the day, the majority of people are hoping to bring up well rounded individuals. No matter which way we go about it, we generally want our children to have the confidence, skills, knowledge and self-motivation to thrive as adults.

This goal may sound relatively straight forward, yet there can be many factors which make it far from a walk in the park.

Relationship Challenges

Even for the strongest family units, there will be times when we face challenges. Our efforts as parents can seem fruitless and we may feel ill-equipped to deal with what we are facing. As the people who are meant to be responsible, protective, supportive and guiding, it can feel like failure when you don’t have the answers.

Challenges might be in the form of conflicting parenting styles that cause tension between the adults in the family. They could be the result of differing responses to a major life event, such as moving to a new area or the death of a family member. It can be a personality clash with our children that makes everyday interactions explosive.

When we are failing to have a constructive relationship with our children or we can’t seem to find the right way to help them through a tough situation, it can seem that there is nowhere to turn. As an emotionally bound unit, it is difficult to take a step back and see things from an objective perspective. Our efforts to make improvements can simply escalate the problem.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Whilst any family will face challenges, there can come a time when an on-going issue is pushing everyone to the limit. In order to turn things around, the input of a professional counsellor can really help. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a widely used counselling technique that is used to help everyone involved to understand the situation and action change.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy offers everyone an opportunity to present things from their perspective and to hear the view point of others in a confidential and supportive environment. It helps everyone to recognise their role in the relationship and the impact their actions have on others. It provides the chance for everyone to consider how they could contribute to changing the situation around. It has helped many families to get back on the right track.

Whether you are an individual, couple or family group that need support in changing things for the better, a professional counsellor can help. If you want more information on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Amersham based Cognisant PDC are happy to answer your questions.

Managing a Cluttered Mind

Juggling the demands of work and family life can be a challenge. We spend so much time trying to keep on top of urgent deadlines, essential admin and appointments at work. Then after an often stressful commute, we have to plan dinner, care for the children, keep the house tidy, help with homework and manage family appointments. We might also have elderly relatives to look after, exercise routines to squeeze in and maybe a little social time with our partners and friends.

It is no wonder that our minds get cluttered and we are constantly thinking about what’s coming next, rather than focusing on what’s happening in that moment. It is also unsurprising that things can sometimes get on top of us.

Tales of the Unexpected

The real problems often arise when something unexpected is thrown into the mix. We can just about keep all the plates spinning until we receive a big bill that stretches our finances a little too far, have a serious illness or death in the family, go through a divorce, face redundancy or get bullied by a work colleague.

At this point, the problem can seem insurmountable. Our minds are so full and our time is in such great demand, that finding the clarity or energy to see how to move forward is impossible. Family and friends can provide support at this point, but there can be great value in seeking the objective support of a professional counsellor.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Whilst it may seem difficult to find the time to attend counselling, the process can be exactly what you need to tackle the issue. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a form of counselling that allows you to commit time to work on the issue. In a confidential and supportive environment, you can focus on your situation, pay attention to it, explore the impact it is having on you and consider ways of moving forward.

With many of the same principles that are used in meditation, or mindfulness, the challenge can be easier to deal with when you can focus on it without distractions. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy allows you to gain a realistic view of the issue and how it is impacting on other aspects of your life.

You can build an understanding of your priorities, as well as things that can be put on hold or delegated to allow you time to deal with these priorities. The counsellor will ask questions that help you to explore the issue, so you feel empowered to take actions that will help you to deal with the current situation and find your way out of the predicament.

This could be the first time you have considered counselling and you may feel unsure about whether it is right for you. If you would like to learn more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Amersham based Cognisant PDC is happy to provide further information. We have helped many people from all walks of life to overcome the challenges that life presents them, we can help you too.

How to Deal With Bereavement

This month many people will be spending time with their mums. An afternoon tea, a meal out or even just popping round with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates all give us the chance to show our appreciation for the things they do for us.

Our maternal relationship is our first connection with another person and it plays a significant role in forming our sense of self. Even when the relationship goes through difficult times, it is incredibly difficult to break the bond and we typically find ourselves drawn back together.

For many people their mum is someone that they have always turned to for support. From putting a plaster on your knee and a kiss on your cheek when you’ve fallen over, to a reassuring smile or squeeze of the hand before you take your next big step, or a cuppa and a hug when things haven’t gone to plan. The familiar reassurance makes you feel you’ve got someone on your side, no matter what.

Losing Mum

The death of a loved one is always a sad occasion, but when we lose our mum, the sense of grief can be overwhelming. It can feel as if the chair has been pulled from under you as you crash to the floor. A sense of stability is lost and you may feel that it can never return.

As adults we may get a day or two to grieve before we are expected to ‘buck up’ and resume a normal life. We have to turn up and function at work, we may have our own children to look after, a house to maintain. Our feelings of despair have to be disguised as we act our way through the day.

Grief can affect us in many ways. We may lose our appetite or feel the need to comfort eat, we may find it difficult to get motivated and lose our desire to go out, exercise or socialise. It can feel like too much effort to get dressed up, to face people, to shop. We may turn to drink or gambling in an attempt to escape the emptiness. Unless we find a way to grieve, address our feelings and look at ways to move forward, it can be detrimental to our mental and physical health.

Seeking Support

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a counselling technique that has been used to help many people to move forward following bereavement. It isn’t a quick fix that is going to make everything fine, but it does allow you the chance to acknowledge and understand your feelings. It allows you to grieve and also accept that moving on with your life doesn’t mean you have forgotten your mum or are being disrespectful.

If you feel you could benefit from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Amersham based Cognisant PDC is there for you. Taking action will be a challenge, but in processing your feelings in a supportive environment, you can begin to live your life again. After all, that would be what your mum would want.