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Frequently asked questions


1. What is mindfulness and how can it benefit me?

Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged with the current moment, without judgment. It offers numerous benefits, including reduced stress, enhanced emotional regulation, improved concentration, and a greater capacity for compassion and empathy.

2. How does My Mindful Counsellor incorporate mindfulness into counselling?

Mindfulness can be integrated into counselling sessions as a tool to help clients become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations in a non-judgmental way, facilitating deeper self-understanding and promoting mental health.  It is also clinically shown to be able to help with regulation.

3. What strategies do you suggest for coping with stress and anxiety?

I think each situation is so personal that we often need a variety of strategies, including mindfulness practices, self-compassion exercises, and tailored counselling techniques, to help clients navigate stress and anxiety with greater ease and resilience.  I also share knowledge in accessible form about the impact of trauma and anxiety on the brain to help you to manage the regulation process.

4. Can mindfulness help with depression?

Yes, mindfulness can be an effective approach in managing depression. It helps by breaking the cycle of negative thought patterns, fostering a state of acceptance, and encouraging a kinder, more compassionate relationship with oneself as well as enhancing awareness of positive moments.

5. How does self-compassion improve mental wellbeing?

Self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness and understanding, during difficult times of pain or failure. This practice is linked to increased emotional resilience, lower levels of anxiety and depression, and a healthier, more compassionate relationship with oneself and others which can only be good when life is a challenge.

6. How can I start practising mindfulness?

I would suggest starting with simple practices such as a 1 minute mindful breathing, body scan, or engaging in everyday activities with full awareness. The key is to approach these practices with curiosity and without judgment.  Do not expect the mind to be focussed and clear or empty. I can work with you to accept the busy mind which curiously calms it down.  The key to starting is having an attitude of non-judgement.  This is where a guide or teacher can guide the script for you helping with awareness, attentiveness and reminding you to be kind with your judgments.

7. What role does mindfulness play in relationship counselling?

In relationship counselling, mindfulness encourages individuals to respond to relational challenges with enhanced awareness, enhanced empathy, and non-reactivity, fostering healthier communication, connection, and understanding between partners.Thich Nat Harn says you have to be present yourself to know you want to love, aware of your partner's presence to be grateful for them and to enjoy them and together those two lead to understanding.  He says we need the time and commitment to achieve that.  Mindfulness is a great place to start with being fully present.

8. How can mindfulness aid in the treatment of chronic pain?

Mindfulness can alter one’s relationship with pain. Through mindfulness, individuals learn to observe pain with detachment, compassion and curiosity, rather than resistance and effort, which can reduce the intensity of their experience and improve quality of life.

9. Am I welcome?  I don't look like you, think like you or live like you? 

I value you, as you are. I know how important it is to feel be accepted.  I am neuro-atypical myself as a HSP and have struggled to find my 'tribe' who accept me as I am.   I want to acknowledge and respect our differences and a tailor counselling approaches to honour these differences openly and where we both can be truly ourselves.

10. What is the significance of neuroplasticity in mindfulness and mental health?

Neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to form new neural connections, underscores the transformative potential of mindfulness practices in promoting mental health, demonstrating that change and growth are always possible.  I have read hundreds of books about this and it is an area I am really interested in (Geek I may be).  It is wonderful how our brain adapts to what it needs, can be fixed into survival mode and return back out, with the right training and conditions.  I can work with you to explain this simply and work through the different ways you can support the brain to support you better.

11. How do you integrate self-care into your counselling approach?

Self-care is central.  The body needs us to care with great compassion to recover from stress and 'empty our bucket'.  I would go as far to say that it is a foundation of well-being. I support and engage you to develop attitudes and practices that nourish your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing, helping you to foster resilience.  It's so much easier to be positive about life when we are physically well and feeling loved - even if it's us caring and loving ourselves.

12. What impact does chronic stress have on the brain, and how can mindfulness help?

Chronic stress can negatively affect brain function, but mindfulness practices can mitigate these effects by promoting relaxation, reducing stress hormone levels, and enhancing cognitive and emotional wellbeing.  I specialise in working with stress and anxiety.

13. How do you suggest managing overwhelming emotions?

I recommend learning breathing activities which activate your 'calming nervous system', expressing and allowing 'what is' whilst being supported to feel safe and grounded maybe through EFT or in small teaspoons of mindful awareness and practices I learnt from Dr Rick Hanson who talks a lot about the science of emotional regulation.  I also recommend practicing self-compassion to navigate and soothe overwhelming feelings.  And of course, once we are able to regulate emotion, we can work at the causes of anxiety through the counselling process.

14. What advice do you give to someone new to therapeutic mindfulness and/or counselling?

Great question.  Just an open, curious attitude, patience with oneself, and the understanding that mindfulness and counselling are journeys of self-exploration and growth that unfold rather than a one off event.  This will help you to take your time and to have realistic expectations of yourself. There is no way that you need to be. We start with what you are now and work with that. 

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