Archive for Paul

A Self Esteem Question

People with low self esteem quite often think, “I am a bad person”. I’m finding that a powerful question to explore is, “So what would a good person do?”.

The answers are often surprising. Sometimes it questions the notions of “good” and “bad”. Sometimes these personal definitions are how other people expect us to be. It takes time to develop these themes with clients, but the resolution after therapy tends to be, “I am a good person”.

The paths to the end are varied and inspiring, and the conclusion is one of the many reasons I love counselling. I’m privileged that people allow me to be part of this realisation, and that realisation keeps alive my belief that for the most part people are capable of wonderful things.

If you have self esteem issues, we just might be able to work together to help you.

Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group Sponsorship

I’m pleased to announce that Sydney Counsellors has become a new sponsor for the Babana Aboriginal Men’s group. Based in Redfern, this group has made a difference to the lives of many, through support and empowerment. For more information, or to make a donation, go to Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group

What are irrational beliefs?

There are many different theories on what can cause stress or discomfort and as many theoretical therapies. They all may have some truth for some people. One that may ring true with you is the idea of irrational beliefs. This list is quite extreme, but a useful thing to do is scan the list and see whether any ring a bell to some extent. If an irrational belief can be substituted by reality based thought, a person can move on from the past. Try scoring each of the 12 statements below from 1 (rubbish) to 10 (fact). How do you rate?

12 irrational beliefs and rational replacements

12 irrational beliefs and rational replacements of their concentrating on their own self-respect, on winning approval for practical purposes, and on loving rather than on being loved. 

Why a Men Only Practice?

I’ve been asked the question why run a male client only practise several times. To best explain this, I’ll introduce you to Bill “Superfoot” Wallace. Now this is a long bow I’m drawing, but bear with me!

Wallace was a world karate champion for six years and retired undefeated. This was despite having an injury to his right knee that prevented him using it as an effective kick. His left kick was dynamite and when asked about his success, to paraphrase, he said, “most people run through 15,000 kicks per leg and that makes them very good. I’ve had to do 30,000 kicks with one leg which makes it unbeatable”.

So focussing my efforts on only men, makes me a far more effective counsellor for men.

However, I do know an excellent female counsellor that I’d be happy to refer women to if needed.


Anxiety attacks often begin with racing negative thoughts and shortness of breath, for some this can escalate and be debilitating. Although medical opinion is divided on the effectiveness on breathing techniques, given that one can be performed in less than a minute, it may be worth trying.

I’d suggest that they can be effective for two reasons. Firstly, counting whilst breathing distracts the mind from anxious thoughts, providing a circuit breaker on the downward spiral of catastrophe. Secondly, they negate the shallow breathing that occurs during an attack.

3 Surprising Ways a Deep Breath Can Reduce Your Anxiety - Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement

3 Surprising Ways a Deep Breath Can Reduce Your Anxiety – Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement a deep breath in through the nose and hold it for a count of four. Then release it through your mouth as though it was a big sigh of relief.

Diet and Depression

A good diet has more benefits than you can post a stick at. A new study has shown a distinct correlation between poor diet and an increase in susceptibility to depression. Eating well is a habit that requires practise, as with anything new it can be difficult to get started. Think about what you eat, could you eat better, what stops this?

The food habits that could be making you depressed |

The food habits that could be making you depressed | all like to indulge in a bit of comfort food now and then.

Meditation – Not just for hippies

Meditation. The word conjures up images of new age crystal lovers humming whilst listening to whales for hours on end. Right? Wrong. Meditation is simply a learned technique to calm the mind from racing. Just like any skill, such as playing an instrument, it requires practice before becoming second nature. Left to its own devices, the mind can fret about the future, or dwell in the past. Scenarios swirl around, none of which are based on reality, and we can forget to enjoy the present.

There is no mumbo jumbo involved, just mental discipline to empty the mind. Just twenty minutes a day, and you will be able to recognise when your thoughts are taking a turn for the worse and you will simply stop them. Letting go of self can reduce stress, help concentration, aid sleep, and provide a great coping mechanism for when times are tough.

Make your life ’10 percent happier’ with meditation | Fox News

Make your life ’10 percent happier’ with meditation | Fox News people may roll their eyes when they hear the word ‘meditation’ – but ABC News anchor Dan Harris is aiming to convert skeptics with his new book, “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story.”

Dealing with stress

An important thing to recognize about stress is that the majority of the time it lies in your mind. There is no saber tooth tiger chasing you! Many people resort to short term relievers such as alcohol, but the medium to long term effects render the mind less capable of coping with stress. Resilience of the body and mind is your best bet, self awareness and healthy living. True, it can be difficult to make these changes alone, but the pay off is golden. Does this article ring true? If you are considering changing your life, and perhaps are having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, counselling may help. Contact Sydney Counsellors today!

When Men Suffer Abuse

Relationships are no easy ride for many men. Many accept unacceptable behaviour from their partners and suffer in silence. Sydney Counsellors is a safe, non judgemental place for men.

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Is Alcohol a Problem For Me?

Alcohol use is for many people an enjoyable part of their lives. For some, it can become the main way of life. If you are beginning to question whether your drinking is becoming a problem, this article may shed some light.

Read more…

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