The news that Wimbledon High School for Girls, one of the country’s top independent schools, is holding a Failure Week brings neatly into focus what many of us feel about failure. It has a knack of hanging around in our minds far more than do our successes. And many of us see failure only in negative terms
Yet, without failure as a comparison, how would we know what success was? And if we didn’t, as the school suggests we should, take calculated risks would we spend our lives wishing we had done differently, hearing that persistent internal refrain “if only” echoing in our ears?
Building resilience – which includes developing a way of managing our feelings about failure – is an essential life skill. Everyone is likely to face numerous setbacks and knocks in their personal and professional lives – in families, amongst friends or in business relationships – which affect not only those relationships but also their behaviour, self-esteem and confidence. Their feelings about failure might also cause anxiety, worry or depression; it might increase their fears; or lead to irritability, mood swings or insomnia.
What would happen, though, if you were to reframe failure, or setbacks, as feedback? You tried something; it didn’t go as hoped; the result was that you learned why it didn’t work – gaining valuable insights that can guide you towards approaching challenges differently. Looking at some simple examples:
- at school: not passing an exam also indicates what you are better at or that one way of revising is better than another;
- at home: not achieving everything on your weekend to-do list could be a sign that some things are unimportant and should rightfully be dropped;
- at work: not winning new business or losing a client provides a chance to identify strengths, show where training would reduce weaknesses, improve internal processes, or build dynamic teams.
As the headmistress of Wimbledon High School says, it is “acceptable, and completely normal, not to succeed at times in life”. She wants to encourage her pupils to be courageous and learn the positives that come from failures.
We agree. Many people define themselves by their perceived failures rather than viewing them simply as part of life’s learning or refining process. By actively encouraging people to see their failures differently, whether at school, at home or at work, they might be able to expand their capacity for growth and resilience instead of being limiting by the negatives.
If you would like to learn how to build resilience, through counselling or therapy, so you can face failure from a different viewpoint, do get in touch.
08/02/2012 | Posted in Psychotherapy, Counselling, CBT,
One father of two was featured in the media this month after he quit smoking using hypnosis for his two young children. Fifty-six year old Chris Carter from Woodley has two children aged two and six years old and, having been a cigar smoker for 35 years, he decided it was time he put his family first and improved his health.
Methods such as chewing gum, nicotine patches and going cold turkey using willpower alone do work for some smokers but for many, these just mean bad moods for days on end before finally giving in to the pull of smoking again.
Using hypnosis, Chris Carter quit smoking with the help of a clinical hypnotherapist. Quitting smoking is one of the most well known reasons for using a hypnotherapist although other issues it can help with are becoming better known nowadays, especially now it is available on the NHS.
Curing someone of their smoking habit can be done in as little as one session using hypnotherapy - but only if the smoker has decided they really do want to quit, because hypnosis cannot make you do anything you don’t want to. As the recession continues, hypnotherapists are seeing more clients who want to quit smoking because it is such an expensive habit as well as being dangerous to your health.
31/05/2009 | Posted in Hypnotherapy,
In the Mirror earlier this month, there was an article featuring a mother and daughter, who had taken part in a pilot mediation scheme called the Time Out project. The scheme was designed to help families and was launched in Lambeth, South London.
In the first 12 months, the Time Out project showed a 91 per cent success rate, reconciling 91 per cent of families referred to them. This project actually allows troubled teens to stay in a home for up to six weeks, the only requirement being that they and their family take part in mediation to help resolve their problems. Mediation is a neutral way to discuss problems. It is important to understand and remember that a mediator will not judge or take sides in the disagreements in front of them. They are there solely to help negotiate and find a mutually agreeable resolution.
When mediation is first suggested to people, they often worry about a third party listening in to their talks but, after one or two sessions, most find that it really helps. Mediation isn't just for family problems either, but for any disagreement where two or more parties are involved, whether in a small business, large corporations, neighbours, families or any other situation.
11/05/2009 | Posted in Mediation,
In the Yorkshire town of Bradford, secondary schools are to have police officers appointed to visit the schools regularly to help educate pupils at an early age about the pitfalls of crime and to help with day-to-day welfare problems. The scheme is designed to help tackle common school issues such as weapons awareness, truancy and other problems. This new scheme in Bradford is a partnership between several agencies including Education Bradford and West Yorkshire Police and is funded by the police and Education Bradford. It will also help to ensure that mediation techniques are employed as early as possible.
Sgt Dan Greenwood of Safer Neighbourhoods and Partnerships, said: "By treating each school as a community and responding appropriately to their individual needs, we are able to give young people the targeted support they deserve and assist their transition into adult life. It is important that we support the school and assist in enforcing clear boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, but utilise restorative approaches to incidents where possible, ensuring that mediation is successfully employed to tackle underlying issues."Mediation is still a relatively new approach to resolving issues and not something everyone has experienced. By using mediation in schools and to resolve family issues, it will help highlight the positive benefits of mediation and a more peaceful, less time consuming and less expensive way to resolve disputes in all areas of life.
05/05/2009 | Posted in Mediation,
Despite its growing popularity in recent years, mediation is still a relatively unheard of term for many people who, although they may have heard the term, still remain unaware of what it means and what it does. It helps raise awareness, therefore, when respected spokespeople promote the use and benefits of mediation.
One mediation expert in the Isle of Man has been helping raise awareness in Sheffield by giving a talk about how mediation can save businesses money. Using mediation services can help companies to save millions of pounds by helping to make sure that their staff members and workforce get along together in the workplace.
Making use of mediators means that any cases or disputes can be resolved quickly - and in a much more cost effective manner than by going through the courts. Of course, solving workplace or employment disputes is not the only means by which mediation can save companies and courts much time and money. Mediation can also be used in family matters and in any case where two or more parties have a dispute.
Mediation has seen success all over the world and continues to grow in popularity, with courts taking a dim view of those who refuse to participate in any form of mediation.
21/04/2009 | Posted in Mediation,
A child's fear or phobia can be difficult for a parent to assess. Sometimes it can seem like nothing serious and indeed may fizzle out. However, it is important not to dismiss them. Even those that appear to fizzle out can sometimes rear their head again in a year or two, or even as an adult, and become much more severe. So how can parents decide what action is best if any?
Children are often afraid of things like the dark, spiders, dogs or the dentist, and if left unnoticed, dismissed or ignored, these feelings can develop into worse phobias. So it is important for the parent to speak to the child and talk about their concerns. In childhood, fears are often picked up from close relatives, especially parents, or close friends so it is important to try not to show such fear in front of children or to talk to them about it. If a fear does develop or seem to be becoming a problem, then hypnotherapy is great for children because their imagination is still so active. Many hypnotherapists specialise in helping children. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is also another option that parents can explore.
27/03/2009 | Posted in CBT, Hypnotherapy,
Alcoholism is a fast rising problem in the UK - as the culture of binge drinking seems not to be reducing, despite the government's efforts to tackle the problem.
Alcholics affect not only their own lives but also the lives of their friends, family and others around them. Factors contributing to the problem of alcoholism include a person's personality and character traits, suffering from depression and loneliness, shyness and also inheritance. People born to alcoholic parents are reportedly much more likely to suffer from alcoholism themselves than are adopted children. Being raised in a broken home and the early years, including teenage years, has a huge impact on whether or not a child is likely to suffer.
Psychotherapy is part of the government's plans to tackle depression and anxiety, and is also a method to help people cope and recover from alcoholism. Talking therapies, like CBT and psychotherapy, encourage the patient to look at how they can resolve their problem rather than how they came to suffer from it. Hypnotherapy has also proven successful in helping people to challenge and change their relationship with drink. In helping to understand and combat this rising issue, the profile of psychotherapy is being increased.
23/03/2009 | Posted in Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, CBT,
During a recession, many people are affected in a negative way. Unemployment is rife with up to two million people currently out of work, and even those who are lucky enough to still have a job probably have a family member who is out of work or are worried about their own job. Money worries are high and as a result, stressed out couples are likely to take it out on each other and on those around them. With little money to spare, it can be difficult to spend quality time together too.
As a result, mediation is in great demand. Although divorce law is meant to be recession-proof, thanks to property problems and negative equity running high, many couples cannot afford to consider divorce. Mediation is one answer that is certainly much cheaper than a divorce. Mediators can help with all manner of family issues, not just couples that feel they're reaching the end of the road. The mediator is a neutral third party, not there to judge but to facilitate communication and negotiation to a mutually agreeable solution.
01/03/2009 | Posted in Mediation,
A new mediation service has been offered in the town of Bury to help solve problems with neighbourhood feuds. This mediation service has been set up by the local council's anti social behaviour team, The Whitefield office of Contour Homes and the Irwell Valley Housing Association - to help those neighbours who are no longer speaking due to a fall out or disagreement.
Ann Walton from Contour Homes commented: "This scheme is quite unique because it is bringing together housing experts from different organisations. All parties are 'loaning' their experts free of charge in order to provide an impartial service to people living in Bury. Essentially the service is for neighbours who have fallen out and are at the stage where they can no longer talk to each other. Our trained mediators will work with all parties to find a solution that is agreeable to everyone".
As with all mediation services, it will be impartial. Whatever happens during mediation is not reported or noted to any other individual or organisation; it is strictly confidential. For any mediation to work, all parties must agree to take part. Mediation has proved successful in business matters and families as well as neighbour issues. It is a much cheaper and quicker resolution than taking any legal action.
17/02/2009 | Posted in Mediation,
The mediation solution being offered on an estate in Kingston, Surrey, has been noted as a success by the local police. Conflict on the Knollmead estate between residents and local youths was originally managed by a dispersion order issued by the local council, however, it was soon noted this was not an effective long term solution and so a mediation service with a local company was offered to bridge the gap. The two groups, residents and youths, met separately with the team of mediators and agreed to take part in a mediation process. Two sessions took place to listen to each group first before brainstorming took place to find possible solutions before a written agreement was designed to solve the conflict moving forward.
Lead mediator Mike Morris said: "The willingness to talk and listen honestly to each other revealed a strong commitment to express feelings but also to explore practical solutions. I was impressed with the ability of these two groups to explore an effective solution. They are to be applauded."Mediation is constantly being used in different situations all over the UK, at group levels, in business and also in smaller situations such as domestic issues between families or neighbours, and is proving a successful, cheap and quick resolution in many cases.
15/02/2009 | Posted in Mediation,
A local mediation service has teamed up with the Wandle Housing Association to help train eight local residents to become community mediators. The idea of this new scheme is to help tackle things like anti-social behaviour in several London Boroughs. The volunteer residents complete a 40 hour training course and learn how to act as mediators and support other residents.
Mediation is expected to become a valuable part of the service to tackle anti social behaviour. It is hoped that, should this pilot scheme prove successful, then there is the possibility that it might be rolled out across London and possibly even the whole of the UK.
Key skills for mediators include being able to communicate effectively, listen to different parties without making judgment and facilitating discussions leading to mutually agreeable solutions. Mediation is a great service for helping people to resolve issues and disputes. The mediator is a neutral party and does not offer advice, but merely helps the disputing parties discuss their issues openly with a view to reaching a resolution. Mediation has proved successful in areas such as business matters, family disputes and neighbour issues. Mediators help in a wide range of scenarios and, as a result, mediation is becoming much more popular.
09/02/2009 | Posted in Mediation,
There has been much talk in the media about the oil refinery strikes happening across the UK and, this week, a mediation service was called in to help with the negotiations. In strike action, the employers and employee representatives (often a staff union) negotiate to reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion. However, with emotions often running high, it can be difficult to work through the discussions and reach that conclusion. That is where mediation is particularly useful.
A mediator is a neutral third party who sits in on the negotiations and is there to help facilitate the discussion. They do not take sides or offer advice and mediation is often quicker, cheaper and easier than going through court proceedings.
In cases such as this strike, where speed is of the essence, mediation can be very useful. However, mediation doesn’t just have to be used in extreme cases like these oil refinery strikes. It can also be particularly useful in family or neighbour issues as well as business matters. Mediation in recent years has gained popularity and is being used more and more frequently.
05/02/2009 | Posted in Mediation,
Through a mediation process, Channel 4 and the phoneline operator Eckoh yesterday reached an agreement and dropped legal action against each other in the Richard & Judy phone-in dispute.
A spokesperson for Eckoh said: "Eckoh announces that they and Channel 4 decided to resolve their differences through mediation rather than through the courts. Following a successful mediation held on December 1, both parties have reached an agreement and all matters relating to this dispute are now settled”.
Channel 4 has said that Eckoh breached their contract in an effort to recover the £1 million fine it received from Ofcom when viewers were not able to have a chance of winning the Richard & Judy You Say We Pay competition on the show last year. Eckoh had denied any liability and issued a counter claim against Channel 4. No other details have been disclosed about the agreement reached via mediation between the two parties. Mediation can be used as a process to reach a mutual agreement between any two parties, whether that is companies, as in this case, or individuals, as is usual in family mediation.
03/12/2008 | Posted in Mediation,
Everywhere we look at the moment, people are feeling the strain of everyday life. It might be family troubles, pressures at work or something completely different. But more and more therapists are seeing clients for anxiety or stress-related problems.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and hypnotherapy are both useful when it comes to handling stress. But here are a few tips to help you handle stress:
- a healthy lifestyle: there are not many of us who really have the time to fit in hours of exercise every week, but to adopt a healthier lifestyle means making small changes to our diet and our exercise levels, as well as getting enough sleep. This helps our bodies to cope with stress.
- avoid taking on any more: if you are feeling anxious or stressed, try to avoid taking on any more. All of us wish to please and do not want to let anyone down. However, this can only add to your stress so learn to say no without offending or upsetting anyone.
- take time out: it is important to find a little time to relax, even if it is only 10 minutes to chill with a cup of hot tea and a magazine. If you can, find time to meet up with friends for a cuppa; having a break will mean you are more productive afterwards and make you feel better. Laughing also helps boost your immune system, helping you cope with stress and anxiety
These are just a few general tips to help you. A therapist will be able to help you spot recurring patterns of behaviour and responses, helping you to prioritise things, look at your situation from a different point of view and learn how to cope.
27/10/2008 | Posted in Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, CBT,
Earlier this month, The Sun newspaper wrote about the importance of children when parents are having personal relationship troubles. At times like these, children can be scarred, not only in terms of their memories as they get older but they can also carry these problems into adulthood. It can damage them and help prevent them from forming proper relationships with other family members, friends and even from finding the right sort of relationship with partners in the future.
When you are experiencing personal problems, you often feel low in confidence, tired – both physically and emotionally, and the last thing you might feel you can cope with is the additional pressure of coping with your children’s needs. However, how you handle your children now can affect the rest of their lives.
There are many ways that counselling or mediation can help, even with just a few simple and straightforward tips:
- Do not pretend that nothing is wrong. Tell them that you are not getting on but be sure to emphasise that it is you both love them (so long as that is true).
- Re-iterate constantly that it is not their fault.
- Ask how they feel.
- Tell the school what is going on.
- Do not blame your partner.
Family or partner counselling or mediation is not there necessarily to try to keep a failed relationship going, but it can also help you negotiate your way through the hurt to make necessary arrangements for dealing with your children and helping them through it too.
23/10/2008 | Posted in Counselling, Mediation,
Family mediation is often done in the months following divorce or separation. It is a way of helping couples search for their own solutions to any disputes they may be experiencing. It is not some form of psychiatry, as some believe; it is simply being able to discuss issues in front of an impartial third party to help people find solutions they might have missed, without things getting too heated.
Family mediation is growing in popularity and is now used for many issues such as disputes between children and their parents, upset or angst over caring for seriously ill relatives or elderly relatives, children becoming homeless through family arguments, or even disputes over contact with an absent parent or grandparents.
So what happens during family mediation? Both parties explain their concerns to the other in front of a family mediator. The mediator is not on anybody's side but is there to help both parties. Occasionally, the mediator might suggest ways of solving the issue, to discuss the options, but will never tell either party what they should or shouldn't do. In addition, the mediator might provide information on legal matters but, again, will not and cannot give advice on what to do. So, if legal advice is needed, the mediator will recommend seeing a solicitor. In some instances, it is useful to see a solicitor when agreement is met, or between sessions, so that each party can be certain that whatever is agreed is fair to them.
07/10/2008 | Posted in Mediation,
Many business people recognise stress as their top complaint. But they do not necessarily realise how much stress can contribute to health problems until it is too late.
Although stress starts at work, it affects home life and other areas quite quickly. For example, it can interrupt normal sleeping patterns, cause weight loss or gain, and cause a lack of concentration. This can cause issues at home for the person's partner, children, family and friends.
Hypnotherapy is often used to relieve stress and many companies have seen success by incorporating hypnotherapy into their employees' routines and corporate benefits. Hypnosis helps, not just by relieving the stress but also by teaching the patient's mind how to deal with stress.
The physical problems we feel from stress are caused by a reaction in our mind. Sometimes a patient will have no conscious or concrete idea of why they are stressed. So the hypnotherapist can work with them on an unconscious level to help discover the reasons and how best to deal with them. It is not only a case of learning how to deal with new stress but also how to release the old stress of the past. Hypnotherapy can help people to do that.
06/08/2008 | Posted in Hypnotherapy,
Mediation is when two parties involve a neutral third party to help them overcome or resolve a dispute or argument. The third party is not advisory but there to help the parties come to a shared understanding of the situation and to work towards an agreed resolution. Mediation is also sometimes called alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It can be undertaken by couples, two companies, or even two countries. Some examples of disputes which may be dealt with or helped by mediation include:
- marital disagreements
- prenuptial agreements
- separation / divorce
- financial distribution
- parental / custody issues
- elderly care issues
- sibling conflictsWorkplace:
- wrongful termination
- landlord/tenant issues
- medical malpractice
- personal injury
- youth/peer mediation
- violence prevention
28/07/2008 | Posted in Mediation,
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is generally thought of as being one of the most successful psychotherapies for bulimia, or bulimia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder where the sufferer will often binge on extremes of food and then force themselves to throw it up to prevent themselves from gaining weight. Many sufferers report a feeling of loss of control whilst bingeing and the purging is often their way of gaining back that control.
CBT, especially when combined with hypnosis, is a very effective and quick therapy. When dealing with bulimia, CBT aims to interrupt the old thinking processes associated with the issue, such as the preoccupation with food or weight, the 'all or nothing' thought process and the low self esteem that generally comes with bulimia. It also aims to interrupt the 'binge-purge' cycle.
Many therapists will ask their patients to keep a food diary and give feedback on the meal plans, triggers of thought processes, etc. CBT and hypnosis are used to challenge these old patterns. Around 50 per cent of bulimics are able to stop the binge-purge cycle using CBT. From the remaining 50 per cent, many show partial improvement and only a small minority do not respond. Sometimes, bulimia is a symptom of a food-obsessed family background so occasionally, family therapy is also recommended to decrease the chance of a relapse.
26/06/2008 | Posted in CBT, Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy,
Yesterday, one of the UK's top psychiatrists told the Belfast High Court that the families of the victims of the Omagh tragedy had received inappropriate treatment. This is week six of the trial and Dr Nicholas Cooling, a psychotherapist and psychiatrist of more than 25 years, suggested to the court that, had the right treatment been available, many of these families would have been able to move on.
Dr Cooling said that many of them suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression and the counselling that they had received had not been beneficial. Dr Cooling recommended that therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy with psychotherapy would have been much better than the counselling they had received.
"Unfortunately the help available was not effective. None of these people had any effective psychotherapy intervention," he told the court.Psychotherapy can be extremely effective when dealing with deep issues, in particular where distress is being caused from past situations including traumas.
06/06/2008 | Posted in CBT, Psychotherapy,