Charlotte Clements -  Psychotherapist in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5NF
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How does the weather affect our mood?
Making a memory jar when someone special has died
Another fab poem from the Counsellor's Collective workshop
Beautiful poem from the Counsellor's Collective Workshop
Counsellor's Collective Event

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How does the weather affect our mood?

I'm currently admiring the sounds and sights of today's stormy (ish) weather in the Shepton Mallet area from the comfort of my therapy room and looking forward to getting outside in at at some point. 
I find the idea of being out there in the wind and sun and cold quite exhilarating; maybe it's the drama of it, something that doesn't happen that often, the cobwebs being blown away and things getting stirred up a bit.
Obviously it can have its down sides and be disastrous in some cases but at the moment I am thoroughly enjoying the excitement of it.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29700594


Making a memory jar when someone special has died

We had many different experiential weekend workshops in my 5 year training and one that has probably stuck in my mind the most was the one on bereavement.
We had a wonderful man from Winston's Wish running it and he taught us how to make a memory jar.
We began by thinking of 5 different memories/feelings about someone we knew who had died and assigned a colour to each memory.
After filling a jar with salt we then tipped it out again into five different piles, each pile represented a memory/feeling and could be as big or small as we liked.
We then chose a different coloured chalk, to represent each of the five different memories and rubbed the different colours into the different piles of salt individually until they turned that colour. The longer you did it, the more vibrant the colours became.
We then tipped the five piles carefully back into the jar creating coloured layers and placed a cotton wool ball on top to hold it all in place and put the lid back on.
It was an emotional and at the same time very therapeutic process giving us the chance to explore and communicate our feelings about someone special to us who has died and create something beautiful to remember that person by.
This is something I often do with bereaved children or adults who are having a hard time coping with loss.
I still have mine and have decided to share it on this blog.



Another fab poem from the Counsellor's Collective workshop

Autobiography in five short chapters by Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in
I am helpless
It isn't my fault
It takes forever to find a way out

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I pretend I don't see it 
I fall in again
I can't believe I'm in the same place
But it isn't my fault
It takes a long time to get out

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I still fall in - it's a habit
My eyes are open - I know where I am
It is my fault
I get out immediately

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it

Chapter Five
I walk down another street

Beautiful poem from the Counsellor's Collective Workshop

I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop I attended on the 27th September; 'The therapist's journey', where we were able to look at what shaped us as therapists and reflect on, explore and share our journey so far.
Alison read what I thought was a beautiful poem, which really resonated with me, so I wanted to include it on my blog. 

About School - R. Nukerji

He always wanted to say things. But no-one understood.
He always wanted to explain things but no-one cared.
So he drew.

Sometimes he would just draw and it wasn't anything. 
He wanted to carve it in stone or write it in the sky.

He would lie out on the grass and look up in the sky 
and it would only be him and the sky and the 
things inside that needed saying.

And it was after that he drew the picture. 
It was a beautiful picture.
He kept it under the pillow and would let no-one see it.
And he would look at it every night and think about it.
And when it was dark and his eyes were closed, he could still see it.
And it was all of him.
And he loved it.

When he started school he brought it with him. 
Not to show anyone, but just to have it with him like a friend.

It was funny about school.
He sat in a square, brown desk like all the other square brown desks.
And he thought it should be red. 
And his room was a square brown room. Like all the other rooms.
And it was tight and close. And stiff.

He hated to hold the pencil and the chalk, with his arm stiff and his feet flat on the floor, with the teacher watching and watching.

And then he had to write numbers. 
And they weren't anything.
They were worse than the letters that could be something if you put them together.
And the numbers were tight and square and he hated the whole thing.

The teacher came and spoke to him.
She told him to wear a tie like all the other boys.
He said he didn't like them and she said it didn't matter.

After that he drew. And he drew all yellow and it was the way 
he felt about the morning. 
And it was so beautiful.
The teacher came and smiled at him.
'What's this?' She said.
'Why don't you draw something like Ken's drawing?'
'Isn't that beautiful?'
It was all questions.

After that his mother bought him a tie and he always drew 
airplanes and rocket ships like everyone else.
And he threw the old picture away.
And when he lay out alone looking at the sky it was big and blue and 
all of everything.

But he wasn't anymore.
He was square inside and brown, 
and his hands were stiff,
and he was like anyone else.
And the thing inside him that needed saying
didn't need saying anymore.
It had stopped pushing.
It was crushed.
Stiff.
Like everything else.


Counsellor's Collective Event

Looking forward to tomorrow's workshop  with the counsellor's collective.

Counsellors Collective Sponsored Run

Myself and fellow runners/walkers from Counsellors Collective South West have managed to raise over £1000 to provide affordable counselling to those in the Mendip area who wouldn't usually be able to access it.
Many thanks to everyone who sponsored us and if you'd like to donate there are still a few days left; just go to our Yimby page.
I thoroughly enjoyed (most of the time!) the training and the actual run and will definitely keep it up by running around Shepton Mallet as I really felt the physical and psychological benefits.

New Therapy Room at Kilver Court

As of September the first I have been working from a new therapy room at Kilver Court.
The wonderful thing about it is that it is away from the rest of the shops and on the second floor so it feels like a very cosy, quiet attic room. It is smaller than my last room but I don't have to share it with anyone else and I can leave all my equipment in there without the need for lugging heavy suitcases of toys around anymore.
It seems to have been a hit with everyone who's seen it so far.....






























The Compassionate Mind - Paul Gilbert

Reading a fantastic book at the moment called 'The Compassionate Mind'. It really resonates with what is going on for me and a lot of people around me at the moment.
I'm literally going to copy the blurb on the back....

'In societies that encourage us to compete with each other, compassion is often seen as a weakness. Striving to get ahead, self-criticism, fear and hostility towards others seems to come more naturally to us.
The Compassionate Mind explains the evolutionary and social reasons why our brains react so readily to threats - and reveals how our brains are also hardwired to respond to compassion and kindness.
Research has found that developing kindness and compassion for ourselves and others builds our confidence, helps us create meaningful, caring relationships and promotes physical and mental health. Far from fostering emotional weakness, practical exercise focusing on developing compassion have been found to subdue our anger and increase our courage and resilience to depression and anxiety.'

Really fascinating and so useful for understanding why we (some of us) constantly beat ourselves up.

I've only just started reading it and haven't got to the exercises yet but hoping they'll be helpful in sessions with my clients.

Better late than never!

Psychotherapy Blog Shepton mallet and Bath, SomersetIt's a long time after the event but I did manage to grow and eat some delicious vegetables. Here is the proof!
It was all very much trial and error, I had a fantastic amount of runner beans but the bean frame blew over in some strong winds and I'll have to re-think building it this year. 
I had quite a lot of courgettes but the ants seemed to enjoy most of them for themselves.
I had tons of tomatoes but I also hadn't really thought through how to tie them up and the greenhouse looked like a bit of a wilderness come September.
I'm really proud of my first attempts though and things can only get better....

meditation

I am thoroughly enjoying and would highly recommend the meditation website www.getsomeheadspace.com  It's a really simple way to start meditating and I particularly enjoy having someone guide me rather than sitting in silence trying to do it by myself...
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