This resonated with me today

I’m being brave and aligning myself with a particular individual’s approach to helping others by sharing this short video. This is something I try to avoid doing, as I sincerely believe that when it comes to helping one another professionally and personally, we learn most from listening to what works best from those in distress, as opposed to handing out tried and tested ‘models’.

This video is narrated by Brene Brown, a psychologist and I would say, philanthropist, whose vision for encouraging empathy and bravery in all of us is, I believe, extremely relevant in today’s chaotic times. Her take on empathy here certainly resonates with me.

On a practical level, I would sincerely advise leaning in towards those that offer true empathy and taking its counterpart, sympathy, with a pinch of salt, particularly when it often hits far wide of the mark in terms of helping you recover and feel better about yourself.

I’ve commented before about what I believe to be the key component of any healthy healing process, be that a conversation with a friend or a course of therapy treatment, and that is the honesty and integrity of the relationship. The irony is that we all know what it is to feel shame, fear, rage, and heartbreak for example, yet somehow struggle to use this to our combined benefit. To do so is to share and step even closer to one another in a much deeper sense than simply showing concern and offering an ear. Stepping into someone else’s’ shoes, as sincerely and often as uncomfortable as it can be, and walking the line with them through the storm, hail and seemingly endless wilderness, is what it really takes for us to feel loved, worthy and most importantly, to come out the other side in one piece.

I hope this clip is helpful to others. Just a reminder that I am not here promoting any particular individual’s therapeutic model, such as Brene Brown’s; in fact, I think a lot of what psychology has to say, we all already know on a deeply human level, simply struggle to believe in and practice for fear of ‘getting it wrong’.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about this, her website can be found here


How to be a really good listener

Haven’t been here for a while, but keen to get back into the swing of all things blogging! The link above takes you to a a great article on just that … how to be a really good listener. Whilst there are sadly many psychological practitioners out there who would greatly benefit their clients by taking this advice, this is most certainly relevant to all.

The greatest ally someone can have, no matter what challenges they may be facing (from a bad day at work to life and death deliberations), is a freind, colleague, family member, or a good samaritan who genuinely wants to listen.

With things being as they are, in terms of restricted funding in the NHS and long waiting lists to access psychological support, it isĀ you who holds the key to helping your fellow humans. Even where people are already receiving psychological support in some form or another, please, please do not assume that they are in any way ‘home and dry’ in terms of overcoming their own personal challenges. Just as a hairdresser can disappoint with a shoddy haircut or colour, so too can a psychologist or mental health nurse (they are only human after all).

It is a fact that many, many people have been brought back from the brink of suicide by a non-professional and a great deal of those who go on to take their own lives were not receiving any support whatsoever, or it is seen to be ineffective at that point in time.