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Introverts…Currently Saving the World!

Check out this beautiful article written by one of my clients about her experience of realising she was an Introvert…

Int vs ext

Originally, I believed introverts were people who disliked socialising and were quiet or shy. Sarah explained to me that this definition was wrong, and together we worked out that I was actually an introvert.

As a person, I am often loud and outspoken around those I’m familiar with, as long as I do not feel vulnerable (such as discussing a topic I am not confident in understanding or one that I am sensitive about). I am always making plans in my head about ideas for days out, and I love being with my family and friends. This is what made me believe I was an extrovert.

My main understanding is that I have what I believe most people call a ‘social battery’. This means I can socialise just as an extrovert would, but up until a certain point.

For example, when I’m on a holiday, at some point I have to separate myself from my family, like staying in my room or sitting on a balcony. I don’t do this because I’m mad at them or fed up but purely because I just need some alone time.

It’s difficult to explain the feeling you get and I don’t know the reason why it happens, but I think it’s something a lot of people experience and is tricky to deal with if you don’t understand what’s happening. It can also be hard to explain my behaviour to people around me, like my Mum who doesn’t really understand why I’m not out with my friends every weekend, because she doesn’t experience that feeling.

I definitely have a very close circle of true friends, which I know is a characteristic of an introvert. Despite this, I also like to be on friendly terms with lots of people that I can spend small amounts of time with, like having a quick conversation within a corridor, getting lunch with or spending lessons with. However, I would never get personal with people I wasn’t extremely close with. At school during my breaks I would often avoid places like the common room because it would be too much, and usually went there when it was in my free periods and there were less people.

I often fake confidence when I meet new people. I do this because I want to seem like an approachable person, when I’d usually rather not be speaking to people I don’t find interesting or have a relationship with. I worked as a cafe assistant for a time and didn’t mind small talk with customers, but I would always try to work in the kitchen with people I knew well instead of out front where I’d have to interact with lots of customers.

Something I have noticed since gaining a better understanding of myself, is that there are certain people who I find it hard to get socially exhausted around. For example, my few very closest friends and my Mum, are people who I find it hard to need to take a break from. I may need to take a break from the social event we are at, but I find I can relax with them rather than on my own.

Understanding I am an introvert helps me to keep in control of my behaviour. I can now understand that certain things are too much for me, and it makes me feel better knowing that it’s not that I’m too lazy for a night out, it’s that this week I really don’t feel like being around strangers and I’d rather we stayed in. (And often my friends are on the same wavelength).

Quarantine has not really been affecting me like I see it affecting some people. I don’t feel a need to go out and don’t think I will do long as I can entertain myself. Although, I do miss my friends and family, and would say I am looking forward to it being over.

-Anon, Lichfield, Staffs, UK

Sarah Terry is a School Counsellor and Author who works in Central England. Her interests include Counselling and Psychology, Personality Types, Jogging and Yoga and Meditation. Find out more here

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Second to None!

In this latest article in my personality series, we are going to inspect the second letter of your Four Letter personality type! If you still want to take the test you can do that here.

So the second letter will either be an “N” or an “S” and these letters are all about what we do with the information we get from the World.

N for iNtuitive

Intuitive types like to think about the past and the future to process information about what to do next. They prefer to ponder the “What ifs” of life. Intuitives tend to be Big Picture thinkers and will explore many differing theories before connecting the dots and coming to a conclusion.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this means they are wishy washy in their thinking or find it difficult to make decisions. This is far from the truth.

It’s just that they think “around” things and integrate more factors into their thinking processes than Sensing types.

On the down side, Intuitives can struggle with more complex issues as they will often come to a conclusion very quickly and can appear to be out of touch or just generally confusing to others!

Where a situation requires drastic change, however, your Intuitive is your number one creative outside the box thinker!

S for Sensing

Conversely to the Intuitive type, the Sensor often has no regard for the past or present as they are clearly focused on the here and now. Sensors are able to think about the past and the future but only in regard to how it affects them in the “now”.

Sensors are practical and sensible people, keeping the focus on the job in hand. This makes them excellent “doers”

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sensors can also be creative and imaginative when applying these traits to a job in hand.

Sensors need to watch their tendency to be overly practical in everything as they may miss an opportunity to create a smarter solution by avoiding over thinking.

If you want a job doing and doing well call on your sensor!

In conclusion, we are all fabulous! Intuitives and Sensors working together are a force to be reckoned with!

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Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Hopefully, if you have identified either of these two letters as your second letter, you will now be making some sense of your personality type!

Subscribe to my website to get articles as they are published! Next in the series “F” and “T”

Sarah Terry is a School Counsellor and Author who works in Central England. Her interests include Counselling and Psychology, Personality Types, Jogging and Yoga and Meditation. Find out more here

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If you liked this article, here are some more you might be interested in…

First Letters First

Personality – It’s no Joke

The Ultimate Four Letter Word

#INFJ etc.

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Book cover

Why doesn’t everyone feel anxious?

Have you ever wondered why you feel anxious?

Many people I counsel suffer with some form of anxiety. I often spend time explaining exactly what anxiety is which can be really helpful. Find out more here.

But are some of us pre-disposed to feel anxious? Could it possibly be something to do with our personality type?

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

I see a lot of anxious people and I find that most of them are Highly Sensitive People or Intuitive people. Although this is a great gift, it can also cause us much angst in a modern, hustle bustle World.

To find out more, click here

I am a Highly Sensitive Person and an Intuitive Personality Type so I have a double whammy!

Pros

  • creative
  • know when others aren’t feeling so good
  • able to see beyond what is in front of me

Cons

  • nervous disposition
  • often feel weird or misunderstood
  • struggle in busy environments

And many more on both sides! For now though, if some of this makes sense to you, subscribe to my blog as I’ll be exploring in more depth how we can harness our amazing personalities and how we can learn to understand ourselves and others much better.

If it doesn’t make sense to you and you feel like you may as well be reading this blog in another language, I encourage you to also stay tuned because what you will learn may well help you to see yourself and others in a totally different light!

And who doesn’t want to learn how to make relationships that little bit easier to navigate!

I encourage you to take this really quick personality test and a make a note of the 4 letters that make up your amazing personality. It’ll help more with the stuff I talk about later.

Good luck with your fabulous 4!

Sarah Terry is a School Counsellor and Author who works in Central England. Her interests include Counselling and Psychology, Personality Types, Jogging and Yoga and Meditation. find out more here.

If you like what you see here, please hit the “follow” button, leave me a comment below or contact me directly.

You can also see what I’m up to on Twitter and Facebook and follow my books on Goodreads or Amazon

If you liked this article, here are some more you might be interested in…

#INFJ etc.

An Introvert’s Hell

And…Breathe

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An Introvert’s Hell

Last weekend I was involved in Introvert Hell!

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Photo by Toni Cuenca on Pexels.com

My Son’s girlfriend, Chloe; who I love dearly, was 21. Of course, I live in a family of Extroverts and I had known for some time that the festivities would be very extroverted in nature.

Chloe, like many people, has a split family and so there were various events to navigate. The first, a smaller affair, a Sunday lunch in a local restaurant, was enjoyable.

I was flanked by my Son and Husband who, although both extroverts, both know how to help me cope. My Son dutifully engages me in low key, but interesting conversation and we enjoy guessing the personality types of the other guests. A good majority of the guests at this event seemed a little more towards introverted and so all went well.

The second meal was a little busier, but members of our family had also been invited. It was a lovely event and Chloe opened her presents at the table which provided a welcome break from chit chat. I managed that one too!

Now, for the third and scariest event… Cue scary scream!!!

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Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com

The cocktail-drinking day out!

With karaoke!

Now all of you introverts may need to sit down for this one!

I need to explain first, that because I am an INFJ, I love people and I am often mis-interpreted by others as an extrovert. My best friend, Dawn still doesn’t believe me, but luckily, she just loves me for being me, whoever I am. And I love her for that.

I am not afraid to stand and deliver a speech in front of others.

I am not afraid to take the microphone and sing a karaoke song.

I am not afraid to join in a conversation.

But…

I hate noisy crowds.

I hate not knowing where I’m going or what time I will be home.

I hate standing around talking about, well, nothing.

Cue confusion and dismay from everyone else.

Cue my husband’s kiss of death comment – guaranteed to cause a row… “Just relax and try and enjoy yourself, you’ll get into it” I think I should get away with murder in a court of law following that comment!

To cope, I had to mentally split the day into hourly slots, making sure I was armed with train timetables for getting home. I also laid off the cocktails so I could drive home – escape guaranteed. I even indulged in photos! See uncomfortable photo below!

Angel Pic

I found a table to sit in every bar we visited, often alone while others stood at the bar chatting. I was comfortable in my static position, able to see coming and going and not stuck in the middle of a crowd. Thank god for phones so I didn’t look too out of place with my face in mine.

Then came the karaoke…place? I don’t know how else to describe a corridor of padded cells with excruciatingly loud music and even louder distorted microphones. In another dimension surely this would be a method of torture?

Another screaming rendition of Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman anyone?

Luckily, I knew we only had a 2 hour slot so, again, I methodically split the time down and spent most of it hiding in the toilet or pretending to do something really important on my phone outside the padded cell.

I know most people reading this will be thinking “what is her problem?” or “how ungrateful” and that is because it is very difficult to explain to extroverts what a day like this is like for an introvert who is out of the introvert closet. I say this because there were a few other introverts in our party who were exhausting themselves by playing the extrovert game.

People often take it personally if I say no or duck out of an event early and this leaves me racked with guilt. “But you’d do it for me surely?” I try hard to be true to myself and my friends and family are gradually coming around, but it is still really difficult.

I will continue the struggle with the demon inside which is not my introversion but the guilt I feel for expressing it with others.

Sarah Terry is a School Counsellor and Author who works in Central England. Her interests include Counselling and Psychology, Personality Types, Jogging and Yoga and Meditation. To find our more about Sarah, please see below.

If you like what you see here, please hit the “follow” button, leave me a comment below or contact me directly.

You can also see what I’m up to on Twitter and Facebook and follow my books on Goodreads or Amazon

If you liked this article, here are some more you might be interested in…

52 – 48% Do the Pumpkins have it?

Fear of Failure or Success?

It’s INFJ day!

Please take a second to check out my book on Amazon now! It’s free to Amazon prime members!

Book cover

Why Introverts might love January

Phew, thank goodness that’s over for another year!!

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Photo by anna-m. weber on Pexels.com

I have an INFJ personality type.

It is said that I am the rarest personality type with less than 1% of “me’s” in the World population! I think that’s pretty cool but it does cause problems when I talk about my introversion to my amazing Extroverted friends and family.

If you want to know your type, take the test here

You see, I need to give you a little bit of geek info here for all of you personality type junkies. Although I possess introverted intuition which basically means I live my life in my head (it’s great there!), the “f” in my formation means that I also possess extroverted feelings. Again, to the laymen this means that I like to make people feel at ease and happy so I can appear extremely extroverted. I also morph into the situation I’m in.

For example, at parties, I will appear to be the life and soul but this is short lived as I quickly become exhausted and feel trapped in a World of small talk and exposure.

I can cope with it at work and as I have a job which requires me to be on the same wavelength with many different people, it works well. Also, I get to go home and veg for an hour to process my day and rest my tired brain,

You don’t have to have the same personality type as me to feel this way but many of you (almost 50% have an “I” formation don’t forget) will be identifying with some of what I’m saying.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Here are 5 signs you’re a strung-out introvert following Christmas…

  1. I feel tired all the time – mental tiredness is different from physical tiredness which we all feel at this time of year. Your brain just can’t seem to get into gear
  2. I feel upset or angry and I don’t know why – agitation with others is a sure sign that your introvert walls have been breached
  3. I feel as if everyone is getting to me – I will often describe this feeling as “fractured” like an eggshell that has been partially broken
  4. I want to be alone all the time – you’ve had enough “people time” you’ve been using your extroverted skills for the last few weeks and you’ve had enough
  5. I don’t feel like myself – you’re not serving the need inside of you to have quiet time. Often returning to work can be another stress, having to be around people and be your work persona

Luckily, there are things that you can do to help you through and soon you’ll be feeling your amazing quietly confident self again…

Own it!

Know that you are more introverted and accept that you actually need to be alone sometimes. This doesn’t mean disappearing on a Buddhist retreat for a month, it simply means accepting that it’s ok to feel as you do and understanding why.

Be Mindfully Alone

By this I mean take time to acknowledge that you are putting time aside to be alone. Even if it’s a walk, a run, a bath or shower; tell yourself “I’m taking this time for me” and enjoy it. You could even try notching up the amount of minutes you’ve taken throughout the day and indulgently look back on them at the end of the day.

Breathe

This is the best way to deal with, well, ANY situation. If you can find your breath and truly be with it, you’re onto a winner. First of all, look at the way you breathe. Stand in front of a mirror and take a deep breath in. Chances are your upper chest will rise and fall as you breathe…

WRONG!!

This is sadly the way too many of us breathe. We are only using our upper torso to breathe which means we’re missing out on essential yummy life giving oxygen.

Do a full BELLY BREATH try and bring the breath to the bottom of your belly so that it inflates when you breathe. If you don’t know what I mean, watch a baby or an animal breathe, they’re so much better at it!

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Photo by Bingo Theme on Pexels.com

Once you have the hang of this, breathe in fully for a count of 6, hold for a count of 6, breathe out for a count of 6 and hold for a count of 6.

Repeat this for around 1 and a half minutes. you’ll probably feel a bit dizzy (that’s the oxygen) but you’ll be energised and that’s another 1 and a half minutes just for you! you can do it anytime, anywhere.

Don’t be Afraid to say No

I’m rubbish at this, always have been –  and even now as I try an explain myself to my nearest an dearest I get blank looks. I choose to remember how much better I feel when I serve my self and my needs. I become the best version of me!

Hopefully, you will have found something to like about this blog. If, however, you’re reading it thinking “What is she talking about?” you’re probably one of the other amazing 50% of the World who are extroverts.

Extroverts! I salute you!

Introverts! I salute you!

Ambiverts! I salute you! (that’s a whole other story!)

Remember to be aware, but most of all, be kind, after all we are all needed to make the World go around.

If you like what you see here, please hit the “follow” button, leave me a comment below or contact me directly.

You can also see what I’m up to on Twitter and Facebook

If you liked this article, here are some more you might be interested in…

What just happened?

It’s INFJ day!

The Ultimate Four Letter Word

Why Introverts especially love a snow day – How Teenagers can survive school

The Ultimate Four Letter Word

How can four letters make such a difference? I’m talking, of course, about personality types

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Photo by meo on Pexels.com

Of all the subjects I write and talk about in my work this seems to rank up there with attracting the most attention, and rightly so.

Finding your personality type can be super interesting (of course how interested you are depends on your personality type!). It can also explain a lot about why some people get on like a house on fire and others can’t stand the site of each other.

Go on then… take the test… I know you can’t wait. Read more about your type by entering your four special letters here

So, now you’ve scratched that itch, I’d love you to let me know what your type is, you can either comment below or go to my Facebook Page (don’t forget to hit “Like”) and let me know what you are. If you’re interested, I’m an INFJ

More recently, I’ve been starting to work with personality types with my students who love to find out their type and what it means for them. It also helps them to navigate the World of school, relationships, parents, but most of all themselves.

I love to bring relief to an Introverted Intuitive about the reasons why they feel overwhelmed and like to escape school and just need time alone at the end of the day. It’s also great to see young adults sharing their type with friends and finding out each others’ types.

I plan to continue my work with young adults in helping them use this tool to help them along their way a little bit and to help them develop empathy for others purely by understanding that we are all different.

Look out for some real life stories from young adults who have shared this journey.

I’d love to hear your views on this so please leave a comment below or contact me via Facebook  (please “like” my page) or Twitter (please follow me)

It’s Always the Quiet ones…

Focus on what’s NOT being said by teenagers

During my first aid training (many years ago!), the first thing we learned was that if faced with multiple casualties; we check the quiet ones first. They are the ones who may not be breathing or conscious. If someone can shout, they’re alive.

I was inspired to write this blog by my nail technician (she’s also a friend and a very amazing businesswoman! as well as being an ESFJ). Her son is due to start high school next September and like many parents, she’s worried. Will he suddenly morph from her blue eyed angel into a dirty, drug addicted, self harming, bully?

Of course, nothing is guaranteed in life, but we can take an educated guess. His parents are both business people and both accomplished in their chosen fields BUT, their overriding mantra above all else is FAMILY COMES FIRST! both of their children are taught that hard work pays off but that love and support underpin everything that can make a person successful. Sounds like the perfect combination…but

As parents you should always be vigilant of what your child is NOT telling you. Tales of dramatic events in school, like in life; always make the headlines. Thankfully, the reason for this is that they are rare. So, stories about so and so telling a teacher to f**k off or someone self harming because their boyfriend cheated on them do not define a school or, indeed, a high school experience.

What can define these experiences are hurtful comments made by others, a broken friendship, a bad relationship with a teacher or even the child’s personality type.

For example, if my friend’s son is an extrovert like her, the chances are he will enjoy the busy hustle and bustle of school more so than if he is an introvert which could leave him exhausted at the end of the day and in need of some alone time to re-charge.

So, what do we do as parents then? the only thing we can do…

Trust – in ourselves that we have done the best job we could

Trust – in our children and let them have the space to learn and make mistakes like we did

Listen – to ourselves. We are the best judge of how our child is doing. Look for changes in behaviour which are outside the realms of stroppy teenage angst.

Listen – to our children. Follow these tips

  1. Don’t judge – you were there once
  2. Don’t interrogate – try doing an activity together or talk in the car to avoid intense eye contact, they’ll just switch off
  3. Ask them what they want you to do. It may be nothing, they may just want to talk. If you let them, they’ll do it again.
  4. Respect their wishes – this is one of the biggest complaints from teenagers. they are human and deserve respect just like we do

Hang in there! You can do it! And so can they!

For more info or advice please contact me

Why Introverts especially love a snow day – How Teenagers can survive school

pexels-photo-834976.jpegAs most of the teenagers around the country enjoy a snow day or two this week thanks to “The Beast from the East” and “Storm Emma”, the time away from the school environment may be especially valuable to more introverted types. I work with many teenagers for who the school day is a painful toil which leaves them limping along throughout the day just waiting to get home and have some alone time.

What is an Introvert?

Many young adults will answer this question by saying, someone who doesn’t like being with people, is shy, a bit weird and doesn’t have any friends. As an introvert myself, I would hope that my closest friends and family would disagree with this statement. you see, it’s all a matter of degrees. Let me explain.

Whether one is an introvert or an extrovert is not black and white. I like to see it as a sliding scale. If the most introverted person was at point 0 and the most extroverted at 100 you can see that there are all the points in between and that hovering around the 40-60 mark are where many of us sit.

pexels-photo-196652.jpegTo help us understand which category we fall into, we have to explore what makes someone introverted rather than extroverted. The main difference is in the way they process information from the World. An extrovert processes information from external sources and communicate in this way also. They will enjoy talking to lots of people for prolonged periods of time and will thrive on the interaction they get. The more time they spend with others, the more energised they become because they are communicating in their preferred way. For example, an extrovert will always be the one who complains that the party ended too soon as they were only just warming up.

pexels-photo-268013.jpegThe introvert, on the other hand, processes their World internally. Information is taken in and stays in the head whist it is being processed which can take a while. Whilst these processes are going on the head of the introvert, they will be busy but this may not necessarily be apparent to the extrovert. The introvert may be quiet and not as sociable. they may become irritated by noise or extra interaction. once this point is reached, the introvert will indeed need time to refresh their batteries. This is done by having time alone and withdrawing from the World for a while. (Yummy!)

Myths include…

Introverts don’t like being around people – wrong! Introverts love people but also love time alone

Extroverts never need a break from people – wrong! even the most extroverted person needs some down time, it’s just that it’s for a shorter period of time.

Introverts are boring – I’m not even going to dignify that with an answer!!!

Extroverts are annoying – Wrong! they just love being with people and this comes across when they get the chance to interact.

You can find out lots more about Introverts and Extroverts here…

www.quietrev.com

Introvert or Extrovert Test

The difference between Introverts and Extroverts

Tips for Introverts in an Extroverted environment

  • Don’t be afraid to talk to friends and family about how you feel
  • Take the test with friends – it’s fun but can also help you to understand each other, you’ll be surprised at how many others are introverted
  • Be mindful of your alone time – be conscious that you are having some time alone to recharge and don’t be tempted to give it up
  • Seek out a quiet place at school – often schools will offer quiet rooms or libraries where you can go at lunchtime or break
  • Don’t assume that because you are introverted you will always feel that school is too much, make time to enjoy it too and join clubs or groups which interest you as this will help too

Enjoy your snow day!!

Mindfulness – What is it?

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One of my best friends (I only have two, I’m an INFJ personality type remember!) asked me recently to do a turn at one of her charity events which she has based around wellbeing to raise money for her village hall and surrounding playing fields.

“Can you do some of your Mindfulness stuff and guide visitors through a meditation? Oh and by the way, just tell them what mindfulness actually is!”

It occurred to me that, although this word gets a lot of attention, people don’t really understand what it is. So here you go…a little bit of info.

The mindfulness movement has gained popularity in the last couple of years as a popular self help tool and one which can be of use to many people, especially young adults who’s brains are like little sponges and are quicker to adapt.

That doesn’t mean us over 16’s shouldn’t bother though, it just might take us a bit longer to get into it, but believe me, it’s well worth the effort.

Mindfulness has roots in some ancient Eastern meditation traditions – don’t worry! it doesn’t require us to train for years in a monastery and take a vow of silence. Mindfulness is indeed easily adapted into modern living, hence it’s popularity.

So, what is it? I found this the easiest definition courtesy of Gina Beigel, MA, LMFT who designed and developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Teens program which I have studied and use often in my role as a school counsellor.

“Mindfulness is noticing your thoughts feelings and physical sensations in the present moment”

So, basically it’s about taking a moment to just, well, be in the moment. Often mindfulness practice for beginners can include mindful eating or mindfully taking a shower. this would include using all 5 of your senses to undertake these tasks. These practices work well because they take everyday occurrences that we tend to move through on autopilot and encourage us to experience them as a whole.

So why bother? I already know how to eat and how to shower!

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This is the bit that fascinates me (I know! I’m a geek!). Recent research featured on the BeMindful website tells us that mindfulness practice has shown itself to be as effective if not more so than standard treatments such as anti-depressants. Great news for our amazing grey matter which once again seems to outdo even the cleverest medical innovations! And its free! And there are no side effects!

Actually, there are side effects which include, better ability to sleep, increased sense of well being, reduction in stress or anxiety levels.

It seems that slowing down our thinking and concentrating on a a visual cue, a sound or our breathing; is a bit like when we exercise our muscles at the gym and the more we do it, the fitter we get. Now that sounds like my kind of exercise!

So why not give it a try, next time you are having a shower, try this…

  1. What can you see?
  2. What can you hear?
  3. What can you smell?
  4. What can you taste?
  5. What can you touch?

Try it with other everyday activities like walking the dog or eating your lunch. See it as special time with your most important companion…your Brain!

 

Counselling and Coaching

As well as my role working with teenagers in schools, I also work privately. I have a few clients who have continued their journey with me after they leave school but mostly, I’m proud to say that I work on recommendation.

I provide a bespoke service which is dependant on the need of the young adult in question. Sometimes, one visit is enough to talk through a problem but more often than not, anxiety or low mood can be hiding a deeper hang up which needs to be addressed.

I pride myself on being able to work intuitively with my clients and I feel that I offer the service they need. This may be a little coaching and some strategies to overcome exam stress, or it may be longer term work which can also be done with consecutive sessions or with a session when needed.

Another service that I offer is to work in the young adult’s home (dependant on location) where many feel more at ease and more willing to talk.

In addition, I offer Skype sessions (I don’t love Skype as I feel the sticking and buffering can get in the way!) or emails.

My Counselling and Coaching work is entirely confidential except for times when I feel a young adult might be in danger in which case I talk to the young adult to help them understand and we may refer them to a parent or other medical professional.

Prices:

One to one counselling / coaching session in the home within 5 mile radius of Lichfield, Staffordshire or via Skype

£40.00 per hour

Email response per query (one Email reply including advice and signposting)

£10

I accept cash, Paypal or direct bank transfer.

 

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