Charlotte Clements - and Adults 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


Being in private practice
Continuing Professional Development
First Blog
Thought for today
Ways I sometimes work
What works for me
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Near Death Experience and Trauma

It's that time of year where I've had to submit my Continuing Professional Development Form and decided it might be quite a good idea to blog about it.

I joined the Taunton Association for Psychotherapy a while back and in May went to an amazing talk by Penny Sartori called 'What near-death experience can tell us about life'. Penny has worked as a nurse in the Intensive Therapy Unit of a major hospital and has undertaken a five year research project into near-death experiences. As the talk was back in May, I cannot remember it too clearly but I know it gave me goose bumps and as she told us; confronting our own mortality can empower us to live life to the full. I would highly recommend 'googling' Penny and seeing what she has to say.

I have also attended a trauma workshop given by Angela McCormack who was so warm and engaging and made the space feel very safe. I was amazed to hear it was the first talk she'd given on the subject.
I think the main things I took away from the day is that 'The body remembers what the mind forgets'. Trauma is often forgotten/denied in the mind and impossible sometimes to put into words but the memory of it is held in the body and it is the body we should work with. See Babette Rothschild for further reading on the subject.
She also suggested Post Traumatic Stress is not a disorder and the D should be dropped from PTSD, which I wholeheartedly agree with. As she wrote on the top of every sheet she gave us - 'Trauma is a normal response to an abnormal situation.'

The next CPD I have in mind are some workshops run by William Bloom on Spiritual Development, Developing Ourselves and Transforming our World.


It is only since I've started gardening that I actually welcome the rain and I'm enjoying seeing the new lavender plugs I've planted, soaking it up. Obviously I welcome the sun more but rain is less bad than it used to be.
All the veg seems to be doing well apart from the aubergine plant, which is pretty much dead but I don't want to admit defeat yet. The courgettes are huge and I've put up a bean frame (all by myself!) for the runner beans to grow up. It definitely feels good to nurture things and the first thing I do in the morning now is open the greenhouses and check how much things have grown.

There are also some amazing flowers opening up all around the garden. So many different types...

Psychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, Somerset
Psychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, SomersetPsychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, SomersetPsychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, SomersetPsychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, Somerset

The Inner Garden

I have been busily catching up with my BACP journals, which had been a bit neglected amongst all the other things that have been going on since moving back to Somerset.

I have also been busily trying to sort out the fairly neglected and very big garden I am lucky enough to have access to, so an article in the December 2012 issue really struck a chord with me. It is called 'Nurturing Reflective Space' by a psychodynamic counsellor called Mark Emery.

This is a quote from the article;
"I first came across Jung's idea of the psyche as self-regulating when I was training and it has informed my personal journey and my therapeutic work ever since. It is lived experience. It is a deeply personal and authentic evidence base. I adore its optimism but like all seeds of hope, it needs a fertile place to grow; it needs an 'inner garden' that we protect and nurture; a garden with variable seasons, with times of aridity and decline and times of lush growth and beautiful flowerings."

As I've been weeding, planting, watering, digging etc,  I've been thinking a lot about how a garden really can be a metaphor for the mind, amongst other things.

The weeds can be likened to negative thoughts, which can sometimes be a daily battle to keep on top of, with their deep roots like the dandelions that you just can't ever seem to pull right out, or the bindweed with similar long roots that just seems to take a strangle hold on everything if you let it. Then there's the celandine that covers everything like a blanket and has fiddly little roots that seem impossible to get rid of.

My garden fairy godfather advised planting perennials in the beds, which now have lots of space after one over enthusiastic weeding session, as they will cover so much ground the weeds won't be able to get through. He also brought over 10 bags of 'mulch', which I am to spread around newly planted plants to stop the weeds growing around them.  A bit like blasting the 'negative thoughts' with constant positive ones (or something).

The part of gardening I really enjoy is, watching the vegetables grow, like planting positive thoughts, which need nurturing and keeping in mind almost constantly. I check on these every day and am becoming almost obsessed with it. Have they grown any bigger since I last checked? Have the slugs got them? Have they got enough water? Why have the leaves got holes when there are no slugs around? Is it the ants?? How will I feel if they don't grow and I somehow kill them???

People have been very kind and brought me a variety of vegetables to put in the greenhouse, peppers, aubergine, courgette, rocket, sprouts, cauliflower and I have also planted some of my own in the garden - carrots and runner beans. 

So it is basically a constant desire for the 'good' plants to grow and to keep the 'bad' ones away. Now I'm thinking I should have a special corner just for weeds so I can accept good and bad at once and not try to repress everything. I think I'm maybe confusing myself and getting my metaphors mixed.....

Metaphors aside, I'm very proud of the rockery I built aided by garden fairy godfather. There is something really therapeutic about taking care of and nurturing something you have built and planted yourself and it looks so neat and tidy and well looked after! I do like the more wild looking parts of the garden as well, but it's calming to have a very ordered bit to focus on when it feels like there is too much else to do.

When I was a child I could never really understand why my Mum was out in the garden all the time and wish I had shown more appreciation of the fruit and vegetables and flowers she had grown and we all ate (yes, even the flowers, I recall making some sort of crystallised pansies and eating nasturtium leaves). I was a very reluctant gardener/helper when I was a child, although I did like eating the wild strawberries.

Now I'm really proud of the garden and it is so heart warming when it is acknowledged and appreciated, just as it is to have ones self and emotions acknowledged and appreciated.

I'm looking forward to the newly planted lavender blooming so I can walk around with a bit tucked behind each ear to keep the midges away like Mum used to.

I have it in mind to write a sort of regular garden blog and keep track of how my veg and flowers/inner garden metaphors are doing but we'll see how it goes. 

 : Psychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, Somerset
Psychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, Somerset
 : Psychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, Somerset
Psychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, Somerset
 : psychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, Somerset
psychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, Somerset
 : Psychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, Somerset
Psychotherapy blog Shepton Mallet and Bath, Somerset

Tame the Tiger

I receive a ' thought for today' from Inner Space every day and decided this is a lovely one to share.

"Just as in 'The Life of Pi', there will be times when we have to live or wrestle with a tiger of our own.
The tiger in our lifeboat is our fears and anxieties. To tame the tiger:
1) Have faith in yourself.
2) Don't give in or give up hope.

Hope and you'll see what's needed to overcome your fears and anxieties. Have faith and you'll discover how amazing you really are."


Patience is a virtue and a power too. Patience tells us that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and we get over there one step at a time. Patience teaches us not to rush. Knowing that there is a reason and a season for everything, it enables us to smile at the challenges, realising that there is an answer to every problem. And, even though we cannot see it, yet there is an awareness that within every crisis lies an opportunity.

A good one for me to remember as I negotiate my new(ish) life in Somerset.

The Guest House

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, 
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out 
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
Meet them  at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

First Blog

So this is my first blog - encouraged by Vistaprint. Apparently it's the thing to do to according to my 'search engine optimiser'!

I'm a bit of a technophobe but I love my job and am looking for new clients so I now have a facebook page, a twitter account and a blog.

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