BAThH Journal Nov 2017

Welcome to the latest issue of the Journal. It is somewhat delayed due to our involvement as a team in other projects, such as the revision of the training standards at CNHC, a new Code of Ethics and Complaints Procedure with UKCHO and most importantly we have revamped the website so look out for changes to accessibility, ease of use and improved search facility. Read about how this benefits you in this issue.

We decided to use this issue to learn from each other about how we work and the people we can help, by publishing member’s case studies. I have included one of my toughest challenges, a young man with OCD. It is good to have this opportunity to share our experiences and our triumphs as the life of a therapist can be a lonely one, this is also why our peer support meetings and training days are so important. I hope as we forge ahead with new ideas that you feel a part of the BAThH community.

You will have received some of the new BAThH leaflets through the post, these can be given to new clients or they can be used to generate business. We have set a fee of £10 for 40 leaflets to cover the print and postage costs, the initial design and print costs came out of the general funds, but we could not afford to keep an ongoing supply to members this way and provide you with other services, hence the charge. We ran our annual free training day for members earlier this year, thank you to those who came, it was lovely to see so many familiar faces there and for those of you who were unable to attend you can read about the day in this issue.

We have seen some changes to the BAThH Board at the beginning of this year with Jane Clark and Stephen Green retiring, we would like to thank them for their service. Julie Adams and Louise Matthews have been co-opted and taken on the roles of Treasurer and Secretary respectively, many thanks to both of them for stepping into these demanding roles. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Julie Murray for her ongoing Peer Support work. If anyone else wishes to get involved with the Administration of BAThH, please contact me at: zetta@headtogether.co.uk

Zetta Thomelin

BAThH AGM 2017

This year’s AGM is being held at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge on Saturday 18 November. Its a beautiful venue within the Precincts of Canterbury Cathedral.

We’ve lots of information to share with you, there’s some changes to the Board and we’ve even thrown in lunch. In the afternoon session we welcome Adrienne Ayres who will be holding a session on Mindfulness.

Canterbury Cathedral Lodge
Venue for the BAThH 2017 Annual General Meeting
BAThH Free Training Day 2017

Our free training day for members this year was held at Aylesford Priory and had two elements to it. Jonny Baker ran a workshop called “Beyond Resilience” building on his work at the AGM last year and I presented a paper called “Poetry A Doorway to Therapy”. We plan to publish this paper as a supplement to the Journal, but due to copyright issues, I am having to re-write the text leaving out the full poems which I read out on the day. This will be available to members in due course.

In his session Jonny worked with the NLP concept known as the logical level of change, leading us to a place beyond reliance. We all joined in the process of examining our core beliefs and motivations, looking at what we would change in our environment and were led towards the understanding that changing our immediate environment did not create the level of change that working with our core beliefs can do and that ultimately real change is led by our vision and purpose. If we look at the chart detailing these levels of change the greatest results are created by working from the top-down, instead of down to up, we learned this in a very effective and experiential way.

Vision/Purpose – What am I here for?
Identity – Who am I, how do I define myself?
Values and Beliefs – What is really important to me?
Capabilities – What are the skills that I have?
Behaviour – What do I want to change, how will alter my patterns?
Environment- Where am I and what am I doing?

In my poetry paper, I used four poems to illustrate how poetry can be used within therapy. We explored the idea that if the stories we use in therapy have rhythm and meter we weave patterns that soothe the mind, like a lullaby for the mind. It helps to relax and then to deliver that message, the important message that the client’s mind says, “You understand me” and you have rapport. Understanding, connecting, rapport is where it starts, where our work starts and how we weave our words, or weave in the words of others into our words, helps us make that connection, that breakthrough. We respond so much better to the subtlety of metaphors than to more direct advice and the more picturesque the journey, the deeper we seem to go. Poetry is full of metaphor, so can take us on a deep journey. For anyone interested in exploring this, the poems I used on the day were: “Funeral Blues” by W.H Auden, “Not waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith, “The Journey” by Mary Oliver and “Reflections at Dawn” by Phillis Mcginley. You may want to read these poems and see how you might use them. Participants on the day contributed ideas about poems they used, including Louise Matthews who read out “She Let Go” by John Saddique, a piece unknown to me and now a part of my poetry arsenal.

A big thank you to those attending, it makes our work feel very worthwhile.

Zetta Thomelin

The New BAThH Website

www.bathh.co.ukIt has been a while in the planning, the tailoring and in the launching, but we now have a new website. The site has been set up to increase our Google ranking through the Google Search Console, with keywords on each page and as we raise our profile, we raise yours too! Here are the other benefits of the new site:

  • You can list your areas of speciality
  • You will appear on a map so people can see exactly where you are
  • You can add a blog to the site to raise your profile
  • You can upload a picture of yourself
  • We can upload Youtube clips to raise our profile
  • We can do guest blogging on other sites and link them back through to us
  • The Newsletter will be available as a pop-up, though there will be a join up button, so you will need to opt-in
  • The Facebook account is integrated into the site
  • Twitter is integrated into the site
  • Linkedin is integrated into the site

You will all get a notification that will enable you to tailor your entry on the site. We would also like to encourage you to get involved with the Facebook and Twitter accounts and join in with some blogging. Let’s get ahead of the other Luddite organisations and use the facilities available to us to be the best hypnotherapy organisation we can be and to be the ‘go-to’ place for information on hypnotherapy.

Zetta Thomelin

CNHC Core Curriculum Changes

I have been involved in a consultation process to revise the core curriculum for Hypnotherapy training standards, approved by CNHC and their accrediting organisations, the previous core curriculum was agreed in 2011. There were some glaring omissions from the previous curriculum which I am happy to say have now been addressed. BAThH will now have to ensure that any training school sending its members to join us complies to the new standards. The learning outcomes of the training are much clearer, more diverse and now include guidance for online therapy provision. Both CNHC and UKCHO have concerns about how online therapy is conducted and the risks therein which need to be addressed in training. The assessment is divided into proving knowledge and understanding as well as performance criteria and examines the overall ratio of theory and practice which currently varies from 65-80% theory and 20-35% practice. It has been re-asserted that online practitioner training does not meet the standards and training is divided into guided and directed learning, with a minimum of 120 hours face-to-face. Beyond that requires some study can be remote via electronic communication, it keeps to the original 450 overall study hours. The areas of competency required can be seen on the CNHC website or BAThH.co.uk

Case studies are now a compulsory requirement which is I think the most important and fundamental change to the curriculum, one study of one session and two, two-session studies. All written work should be assessed by the tutor and available for independent assessment by a hypnotherapist not involved in the training. An independent assessor must assess practical skills.

A table covering all the learning outcomes has to be referenced as to the achievement by the student and whether this is achieved and via what route it has been achieved, i.e via guided learning or directed learning. Anyone who has not trained to this standard but wishes to join has to go through the APEL process to apply. I am pleased to say that anyone who trained at CHTS already complied to these new training standards as we were already working at this level. The need for all training schools to meet these standards will lead to highly trained and well-grounded therapists in the UK, setting the standard for the rest of the world.

That said there still seems to be no way of policing someone who wants to call themselves a hypnotherapist having done just a weekend course, who have no insurance and no professional body. The only way to combat this seems to be for all properly trained therapists to make their qualifications, memberships and affiliations very clear on all their promotional material so that the public can make comparisons leading them to a safe choice of therapist. It is also incumbent on CNHC and UKCHO to do as much PR as possible to keep the public aware of how to choose a properly trained and monitored therapist. We have to reach a point at some time where what I see as a fraudulent representation of dangerously unqualified people can be stopped. If an unqualified person calls themselves a doctor and conducts an operation this would be a criminal offence, are not people’s minds as vulnerable as their bodies?

Zetta Thomelin


We asked members if they would like to submit their case studies for a special edition of the Journal and here are two. Perhaps you would like to send some through for future editions, it’s always really useful to read how fellow therapists managed clients and the protocols they used.

First here is one by Julie Murray. It’s about a six-year-old boy with quite a unique medical situation.

Case Study – ‘Johnny’

I had met Johnny’s mother a few times socially and she had spoken about her son’s medical problems to me. He has one kidney and needs to change his tube regularly.

He has become very distressed when this needs to happen and his parents had to hold him down in order to do this resulting in trauma for the whole family.

His doctors have said that he should be able to do this himself. Johnny was 6 and apart from this is a very happy boy enjoying life and his family. Having discussed this as a family they agreed to try Hypnotherapy as a last resort.

As a qualified social worker, I am used to working with children and approached this in a positive way.

I visited Johnny at home with his mother and sister to have a cup of tea, normalising the situation. After a while, he volunteered to show me his scar and told me about the tube. I asked him if he would like to come and visit my magic chair and he said yes. I then prepared the room to look magical and put a few soft animals around. Johnny was very excited when he came to the house and we agreed his mother would sit behind me in the room.

I gave Johnny some magic glasses to wear (ensuring eye closure), put on some magical music while he listened to a ‘story’.

I wrote a script to include his interests with visualisations of him changing his tube and a secret weapon (an anchor) to help him.
Johnny really enjoyed this and left happy. I spoke to his mother about how she approaches this and how he would pick up on her anxiety and agreed that her husband would help Johnny for a while.

She reported a huge shift in Johnny’s attitude and after one more session, he is doing this himself resulting in a much happier family.
Each child is different as well as the approach but I would say that preparation is vital.

Julie Murray

The second study is from Zetta who has been very busy on this edition and is another young man this time 15 years old with OCD.

Case Study 15-year-old boy with OCD
Zetta Thomelin

First Meeting
My first meeting with this young man was just a chat to see if he was open to having hypnotherapy. When we first met he was having difficulty sitting still and was tapping various parts of his body whilst he spoke and fidgeting. He was dominated by the fear that something terrible would happen if he did not repeat his actions and this was causing disruption at home and at school. There appeared to be some underlying bullying at school but he did not want his parents involved and was reticent to discuss it in front of them and this is why it can be so hampering having a parent present. Sometimes I suggest a different family member as it may alter the dynamics but in this case, I did not feel that it would help. I tried to find out about his interests, one of his great pleasures was playing and watching football and he enjoyed reading science fantasy books involving heroes battling evil and saving the world from disaster.

He had seen the Doctor, he was on a waiting list for counselling and he had been prescribed 10mg of Citalopram. The Father was particularly resistant to the idea of his son taking medication, worrying about addiction and side effects but I suggested that we approach this with belt and braces, he should take the medication and have 5 sessions of hypnotherapy. The parents did agree in the end to let him start the medication. I felt that as he was so troubled with so much physical movement, I would need the five sessions to win his trust and get him involved in the therapy.

Session 1
I was aware that the big challenge would be getting him to sit still long enough to get anywhere near a trance state and that initially, it would have to be brief. I had researched his favourite football team, so started by talking about their performance and players, this surprised him as he expected to be made to lie down and close his eyes, so he enjoyed talking about football and his tapping movements slowed as he was distracted by conversation. He then said he would not lie down or close his eyes. I said I did not want him to and that I wanted him to stand up and look at my bookcase, study the books there and count them, after a while he asked to be able to sit down, so with some hesitation, I said this would be ok, but he must sit upright and not close his eyes, I then began to tell a story I had prepared but in a soft quiet voice and gradually, slowly his eyes began to close, I suggested he opened them again and he tried but eventually they shut and he lay back in the chair. He was not twitching but I knew it was a limited window that I had. I created a positive resource for him using a beach as he loved the sea and told him to press his thumb and finger together every time he felt his compulsive urges. I built in some imagery about scoring a goal and general feelings of triumph. After 20 minutes he began to be restive and I brought him out of the trance.

Session 2
In the second session, we started on an update on the school football team and his role as a striker and some discussions on his favourite players. We talked about the positive resource, he had found it quite helpful and his mother said he had been better that week. He then agreed to sit back in the chair but not to close his eyes. Again, I said I did not want him to but to keep them open, as before, though he fought to keep them open they shut in the end. I reinforced the positive resource then worked on a metaphor that tied in with the science fantasy books he liked. I got him to put his fears into an object a bit like a “Horcrux” in Harry Potter, he was to give this object all of his fears, then we put the object into a trunk which was locked and buried deep into a hole in the forest. He then got into a boat on a river that was running through the forest and made his way to the sea, he then took the key and hurled it into the ocean. He was in trance for about 30 minutes in this session.

Session 3
When he arrived for this session, we had our usual football chat then I asked how he was doing and he said he was finding it easier now to use the positive resource. I explained that he was learning a new skill on how to control his mind and that we would be building on that skill in that day’s session. I explained it was like exercise, the first few press-ups were hard but each time you were able to do more, I said the control of his mind was like this and getting stronger each day. This time he sat back in the chair, grinned at me and closed his eyes straight away. I felt like cheering! I used a different heroic tale to relax him and reinforced his positive resource, I reminded him he had locked that object away and got him to visualise the sand at the bottom of the sea silted over the key and it disappearing forever and that key was gone for good. I then worked with some imagery that I use generally, but adapt for boys and young men as they like it. I described his thoughts as wild horses that would eventually run out of puff, slow down and stop, but he could speed up the process by mounting one of the wild horses and taking control of it, I used a lot of imagery here and got him controlling the horse and then leading the pack of horses where he wanted them to go. He really enjoyed this imagery. We managed 35 minutes of stillness this time.

Session 4
In this session, I was able to shorten the chat time he seemed keen to get on with the hypnosis and he and his parents reported a continuing improvement. Once he was relaxed I used the Eriksonian baby motivation idea, with him seeing himself learning to crawl, stand and then walk, that though he had had many falls he had achieved it in the end and he had all the skill and determination of that baby boy, he could apply it to learning to control his thoughts and actions, I tied this in with his learning to play football and learning to control the ball and said he would be able to control his actions in the same way he controlled the football, with the same learned skill and determination. I said he would feel the triumph of that control like scoring a goal and every time he achieved this success it would feel like winning the match. I told him he would notice if he was going to do a compulsive act just as he would notice an opportunity to get the ball in the game and he could control the compulsion as he could control the ball, we spent some time on this idea and then I reintroduced controlling the horse concept too. I was looking to get different ideas around control to click into place and noticing when that loss of control was coming. He reported back that he had been seeing the horse in his mind when he felt himself getting stressed. He managed 40 minutes this time. I told him he had been relaxed in trance for 40 minutes and that at first, he had only managed 20, I congratulated him for his achievement and progress.

Session 5
He was ready almost straight away to sit back in the chair, he now seemed to enjoy the experience and his mother said he looked forward to coming now. I wanted to use this session to tie up all the work we had done. We reinforced the positive resource, I reminded him we had locked away the fear, but that if anything else happened that he need to lock away he could do so any time, he had the ability to do this now. I made him a superhero on his horse, leading the pack, which I knew he liked and I repeated the football work. He was in trance for 45 minutes. At the end we discussed him being vigilant in the future of his feelings and avoiding situations that could aggravate him, as much as he could. He was much stronger and seemed very much more in control, there were no jumpy movements in the last session. He will always be vulnerable to pressure and stress and his parents are aware of this and he is bright enough to understand his triggers, I am a safety net that is there now if the pressure mounts. I have had two single, one-off sessions, six months apart, just to keep him on track. He is now off the Citalopram. He has taken his GCSEs and has done well and started his A levels. He reports mixing more with other pupils as well as controlling the scary thoughts more and limiting the repetitive actions to almost none.

Finally another successful case study of someone with exam anxiety. Some great suggestions here.

Case Study Enhanced Learning and Exams

Zetta Thomelin

A young man came to see me who had an exam in two weeks, he was struggling to remember things and had low confidence about passing. His tutor had said he might not be ready to take the exam which accelerated his decline in confidence, but he wanted to try to take the exam which he could always retake if he failed, but he wanted to set himself the goal of trying his best to pass.

Session one
In the first session, I explained that the stress response could cloud his thinking as blood flow is diverted from the forebrain to the hindbrain so one of the keys to remembering and thinking clearly in an exam is to remain relaxed, so I gave him some relaxation exercises to do at home and we created a positive resource that would relax him before going into the exam or if he began to get stressed during the exam. I got him to visualise within trance all his doubt leaving his mind, like thought bubbles leaving his mind and going into a cloud, a cloud that the sun would burn away. I got him to visualise his success in the exam and receiving his certificate when he had passed. I also used a script I have written for breaking conditioning which involves the training of elephants in India, how they are conditioned to be controlled by humans and that it is just conditioning and asked him to challenge his conditioned response that he could not remember and expect to fail.

After the first session he reported feeling much more relaxed, he felt more in control and was remembering things better but in a mock test he had still made some mistakes. His tutor was giving him some extra coaching but was still offering him the opportunity to pull out. He was determined to take it anyway. He said the words that kept coming back to him where the story of the conditioned elephant who could have broken free, this seemed to have a powerful impact for him.

Session two
On the second session I used a script I often use for anxiety by Havens and Walters called a train trip, it looks at how different people react to a journey some with anxiety with some with enjoyment and used it to lock into the opportunity ahead of him that the exam posed, the opportunity to succeed. I build in suggestions that he would begin to remember times when he had succeeded at job interviews, exams, winning friends etc. allowing the feeling of success to bubble up to the surface like bubbles of air coming up through the water. I got him to find different ways to release his doubts and built-in some direct suggestions around things he specifically needed to remember for the exam. I reinforced the work of the first session. As he left I asked him to let me know WHEN he had passed the exam.

He emailed me on the day of the examination, he had passed, he was delighted and said not only had the two sessions helped him to pass the exam but he felt some other issues regarding his confidence and expectations of himself had been resolved.

And finally an interesting case study around bullying and anxiety

How Hypnotherapy Can Help with Anxiety – Case Study

Mark Cousens

Sally came to see me get help while on long term sick leave for anxiety and depression leave due to being bullied by a colleague after getting pregnant. She also had her own business which was not doing well.

Her home life was stable, she was happy with her partner and had three children, but this heightened state of anxiety was causing her to frequently snap at her family.

Her GP had prescribed anti-depressants and she was waiting for an appointment for a course of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

When she came to see me she was in discussions with her employer about returning to work, the thought of returning had increased her anxiety to unmanageable levels and on top of that, she found herself unable to read her business emails for fear of what news they may contain.

Sally’s expectations from therapy

Sally wanted to be able to stand up for herself and to be able to deal with things (like the email) without getting herself into a state of panic.

Session 1
I asked Sally to complete a short questionnaire (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), her score was off the scale, showing her anxiety levels to be more than severe.

My main priority was to help her deal with the bullying partly by building her confidence), but I also wanted to help her relax as much as possible and learn how to manage the panic attacks.

I started with a slow induction, followed by a deepener and then worked on helping relax even further by using a mindfulness body scan. This helped Sally into a nice relaxed state. Next, I gave her a positive resource (an anchor to recall a powerful positive emotion at will) – something she could use at any time when she felt her anxiety rising. This was followed by visualisation to help her reduce her worries and negative thoughts and some direct suggestion to help her understand that no matter how bad they might feel, panic attacks will not cause her harm. I finished the session with a control room metaphor which is designed to help her take control of her anxiety and turn it down.

Before she left I gave her some breathing exercises to do at home and asked to her try and take time out to go running – something she had previously told me she really enjoyed.

Session 2
Sally told me that she had started dealing with the business emails she had not been able to read and she was back at work. The bully had been sacked and things were generally going well. I started the second session by asking Sally to complete the same questionnaire and her score had reduced sufficiently to be within the scale but still showed some anxiety.
After inducing a trance state, I worked on helping her let go of worries using direct suggestion to explain that worrying is predicting the future with a negative outcome. I followed this with another control room metaphor and a couple of stories, all designed to give her the ability to let go of such worries and not let them bother her.

Session 3
Sally was visibly brighter and more relaxed but things had taken a downward turn at work; another colleague had taken on the role of bully.

I started the session as usual by asking Sally to complete the questionnaire, her score down again, now showing her anxiety at moderate levels.

For this session, I decided to concentrate on helping Sally become more assertive before the new bully got the better of her. I used a mix of direct suggestions, metaphorical stories and visualisations aimed at helping stand up for herself. I finished this session off with an NLP modelling technique to get her to study someone she admires for being assertive and bring the qualities that made that person assertive into herself.

Session 4
With the good progress Sally had shown over the past three weeks we thought that this would probably be the last session. She was much happier and brighter than when we first met and felt able to deal with everyday problems without unnecessary worry and fretting. Furthermore, after completing the questionnaire again her score had fallen to very mild levels of anxiety.

However, during the previous week’s conversation it had come out that she had been bullied by a number of people throughout her life and I felt that it was necessary to get her some closure on that bullying in order for her to be able to move on and for the cycle of bullying to stop.

I asked Sally if I could regress her back to the first time she was bullied, and then subsequently to times when she been bullied by other people in her life, giving her the opportunity, in trance, to tell the bullies how they had made her feel, and if she wished to then forgive them. This was not going to be easy for her but it would give her the closure she needed. Sally agreed to this and during the process she got emotional, however, this was a cathartic emotional release and an important step forward. After this, we continued the session re-affirming how she let go of worries and building her self-confidence and assertiveness.

At the end of the session, we agreed that Sally had made some great progress and she was now able to manage any worries before they escalated.

A few weeks later I got a call from Sally. She was pregnant (planned) but the pregnancy has re-ignited some of the anxiety she was feeling about work when we first met. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a time which was mutually convenient for a couple of weeks but she did come back the following month. She was as bright and happy as I had previously seen her but felt she needed a ‘top-up’.

I asked her to complete the questionnaire again and her score was actually lower than it had been before so we went through all the techniques, methods and metaphors that we had used before and revisited the ones she felt helped her the most.

She also told me that she never took the CBT appointment she was offered as she no longer felt it necessary.

A huge Thank You to all our contributors

Local Community Projects – Speakup CIC

I have got involved with a local charity called SpeakupCIC who work in my community to support those living with depression, anxiety and stress. I devised a new course which I detail below, it is so rewarding to put something back into the local community but it can also be a great way to build your profile too.

Taming the Mind – An eight-week course to help manage Depression and Anxiety
We all approach depression and anxiety from a different place, our life experience, learned behaviour and genetic factors will all contribute so there is no one pathway out, not a one size fits all cure-all. With that in mind, I have created an eight-week course that examines a variety of different approaches to the management of depression so that hopefully there is something within the course for everyone. We will be looking at CBT triggers, anchors and resource states; Meditation, mindfulness, breathwork, visualisation, intent focus and chant; NLP re-framing, perceptions, logical levels of change and modelling; Poetry as a doorway to therapy; Diary keeping and the healing nature of sound. It is not compulsory for people attending to explore all the elements of the course, if there is something that does not appeal to them they can leave that bit out, they can dip in and out, like choosing from the menu and find what will be right for them or dive in and try a bit of everything.

In India, they compare the mind to racing horses and it can feel like that sometimes, that the mind is out of control, either through anxious thoughts that completely hijack the mind and takeover or dark mood states that become overwhelming. The approaches we will be examining on this course, aim to empower you to begin to tame those racing horses, to take the control back and to divert that powerful mind down new pathways. I hope that people will leave the course with a tool kit of resources that will help them in the future. Some of the resources will be provided in an audio format that can be listened to later to continue to develop the new practice.

Zetta Thomelin

To help us understand our work with clients suffering from depression, we are including here an honest heartfelt first-hand description, of living with long term clinical depression.

Living with Depression – Embrace the Beast

“Is it the perpetual fear that I have of the unknown force that lurks just under the floor? I never cease to feel that I have to step very lightly on this volcano.” This is how the American author Virginia Woolf describes her life with depression in a letter to a friend. This is how many of us feel about their everyday life with this illness, always anxious not to wake up the beast sleeping within our souls.

When I had to admit that my depression was not a unique episode but a recurring chronic threat for my mental health, I reacted defiantly which is typical for me. I refused to accept that I had to live with this limitation, this handicap. Afterwards, immense anger rose in me, I struggled with my fate and asked: “Why me?” At any price, I tried to be the person I was before I suffered this illness. I wanted to feel safe again without this nameless dread that “lurks directly under the floor”. I started therapy, tried to appease my depression even negotiated with it, “If you (depression) allow me to be the person I was before I became ill, I am willing to work on myself”.

But nothing helped, I again collapsed despite my hard struggle and efforts. I suffered from a paralysing despondency. Nothing seemed to make sense, nothing could help me, no therapy, no relentless fight against the opponent, no strictly followed regime. Everything seemed to be senseless, a life with this illness felt like one not worth living, the whole world grey and joyless. Only very gradually this condition merged into something I would describe as a hesitant acceptance. I somehow began to understand, that my depression was a part of me, which would accompany me, that I would have to take into consideration and that I would have to integrate it into my life. It doesn’t help to pretend I am healthy, because every excessive demand, too much pressure or every change in my life if ignored, could lead to a fall into the depth of depression. My behaviour has to take into consideration my vulnerability. Although my problem is invisible, I have to take it into account for my everyday life.

In real terms this means that I have to take care of myself, avoid stress and excessive demands, organise some help when major changes are on the horizon (ask friends to accompany me, have some close booked therapy sessions), take antidepressants regularly and specifically for me it also means to accept that at the moment, I am not able to cope with every day working life.

I have to respect and be aware of my lower ability/capacity to cope with pressure. As Virginia Woolf said ” tread very cautiously on this volcano”, I refer to this as “embrace the beast”. No one can expect me to love my Depression but I have to find a way to live with it. This may sound easy when written down on this paper but in reality, it means to experience once and again the cycle of anger, despair and apathy before I’m able to help myself and start a new attempt to live with my illness.

Susanne Meyer

We hope you enjoyed reading this and if you did please let us know.
If you would like to contribute to further Journals we’d love to hear from you.
We work to do a lot of work behind the scenes and really welcome input from our members, it keeps us going so thank you. Please send any items and comments to lesley_barker@hotmail.com

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