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NZ Counselling and Psychotherapy Posts

Starting the Process of Emotional Decolonisation

[To download this blog and read later click here] Colonialization was based on racism. This abhorrent system affected approximately 400 million people worldwide and was based on the idea that one race was superior to another – that one race had the right to have power over another. Colonisation legitimised slavery and racism. It gave permission to the masses that people of colour could be exploited and abused, and that challenging this oppressive and dehumanising system was unlawful or terrorism. Some say that colonialization no longer affects us today and that decolonisation happened long ago. I was once told on…

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Asian Matters: why are we being excluded from black history month?

[To save and read later, download a PDF copy here] Reading September’s edition of the Therapy Today journal “Black matters: race and culture in counselling” felt both exciting and isolating for me. Black history month was first celebrated in the UK in 1987 to honour, remember and commemorate black history and communities. Although there has been some criticism expressing whether it is appropriate to confine the celebration of black history to one month and to only focus on celebrating one race, it is an important and meaningful step in promoting black issues within the wider community. However, I felt somewhat…

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Dreams: are they the royal road to your unconscious?

[To save and read later, download your PDF copy here] Dreams have always been a source of mystery for me. I have always had vivid dreams, full of rich imagery, metaphor and emotion. When talking about my dreams to family, friends and colleagues, I have tried to decode them, understand them and pull apart their meaning, waiting for them to reveal hidden truths about me and my life, past, present and future. However, I am often left wondering whether my dreams have any ‘real’ meaning, or whether they are just a by-product of the day to day mental processing which…

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Eating Disorders: the war on food

[To save and read later, download your PDF copy here] When I wake up in the morning there is always the feeling of dread. The dread that I will have put on some weight. No, I can’t even bear the thought but I know that I will have to face the scales and then my day will be ruined if I have put on any weight at all. Sometimes, I weigh myself repeatedly because I just cannot believe that I have put on weight- not after trying so hard. When I look at myself in the mirror all I can…

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Is Mindfulness Islamic?

[To save and read later, download your PDF copy here] Many would not put Islam and mindfulness together; some would say that one is not synonymous with the other. Some Muslims suggest that mindfulness or meditation is un-Islamic or haram (forbidden) because it has originated from Buddhism, and still may carry some of its tenets. In this blog, I challenge that idea, and propose that mindfulness is central in the very foundation of Islam, and can support an Islamic way of life. What is Mindfulness? This definition of mindfulness given by Jon Kabat-Zinn who is a professor of Medicine and…

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What’s the relationship between sleep and depression?

[To read later, you can download this blog by clicking here] Feeling sad is an integral part of the human experience, especially during difficult, stressful or challenging times. However, constant feelings of sadness, anxiety, hopelessness and apathy are all symptoms of depression. Depression affects the way a person feels, thinks, eats and sleeps. The relationship between depression and sleep is a complex one, and insomnia, oversleeping and troubled sleeping are all classic symptoms of clinical depression. Whilst not all depressed people have sleep disorders, many do. For some people, symptoms of depression occur before the onset of sleep problems. For…

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Stress: it is sabotaging your life? What stress is, and how to manage it.

[To read later, click here to download] Life is normally full of ups and down, and it is more than likely that we have all felt stressed during some point in our life. During periods of stress we may feel overwhelmed or start to feel burned out. We may experience headaches or migraines, have stomach problems or feel tired before the week has barely begun. Feeling stressed can be unsettling, difficult and sometimes even debilitating. The good news is, that how stressed we get or how often this happens, are two things that we can have an enormous influence over.…

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Anyone for Mindfulness?

[To save and read later, download here] In this busy life, we often rush from one thing to another without stopping and appreciating the beauty around us. Commitments, pressures, and worries take over, and staying awake to our present experience become more and more difficult. Mindfulness meditation helps us to stop, breathe, and reconnect with our present experience. Mindfulness meditation has become more widespread and popular than ever before. This fast-growing phenomenon is being endorsed by celebrities such as Emma Watson, Ruby Wax and Angelina Jolie. Why? Because research is showing time and time again, that if mindfulness is practiced…

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Can Transcultural therapy address the issues of racism within psychotherapy?

[To save and read later, download here] Current worldwide race relations are not at their best right now. In a study published last year in the American Journal of Public Health, it found that African Americans are almost three times more likely than white people to be killed by the police. Indigenous Americans are also almost three times as likely to suffer such a fate, while Hispanic men are twice as likely. Whilst this is happening in the US, in Myanmar, the Rohingya people are being ethnically cleansed from their homeland by Buddhist aggressors. And meanwhile, in the UK anti-Muslim…

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