All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school. These are the things I learned:
- Share everything.
- Play fair.
- Don't hit people.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your own mess.
- Don't take things that aren't yours.
- Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
- Wash your hands before you eat.
- Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
- Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
- Take a nap every afternoon.
- When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
- Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
- Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
- And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together. [Source: "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN" by Robert Fulghum. Visit his web site
I dreamed I stood in a studio and watched the sculptors there. The clay they used was a young child's mind, and they fashioned it with care.
One was a teacher; the tools he used were books, and music, and art. One, a parent with a guiding hand, and a gentle, loving heart.
Day after day the teacher toiled, with touch that was deft and sure, While the parents laboured by his side and polished and smoothed it o'er.
And when at last their task was done, they were proud of what they had wrought. For this thing they had moulded in the child could neither be sold nor bought.
And each agreed he would have failed if he had worked alone, For behind the parent stood the school and behind the teacher, the home.--Author Unknown-
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In marriage the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
Then Almitra spoke again and said, "And what of Marriage, master?" And he answered saying: You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
May the sun bring you new energy by day, May the moon softly restore you by night, May the rain wash away your worries And the breeze blow new strength into your being, And all the days of your life may you walk Gently through the world and know its beauty.
God, grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
People who suffer from depression are likely to feel as if they are 'stuck in their unhappiness', with a sense of being helpless, worthless and hopeless. The severity of their depression can vary from mild to severe. If you suffer from depression it is probable that your appetite, sleep, routine of exercise and sport, ability to socialise and your involvement in pleasurable activities has been impacted negatively. Counselling will help you develop healthier self-talk and use strategies to gain a more positive outlook on life. It will help you to get your life moving in the direction that you choose and in the direction that is meaningful and of value to you.×
Anxiety is a condition that usually involves worry, fear and stress and that interferes with your enjoyment of life. Generalised anxiety, panic disorder and panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety and specific phobias are all categories of anxiety that can be helped by counselling. Counselling for anxiety introduces clients to a number of effective strategies to help them identify triggers that lead to anxious thoughts, apply relaxation techniques to manage bodily tension, understand and identify unhelpful and self-defeating patterns of thinking, stop the struggle against anxious feelings and to utilise helpful thoughts that promote more effective behaviour.
Hassles, deadlines and demands that often compete with one another are part of everyday life. We experience stress, emotionally and physically, as a response to situations that stretch our ability to cope to a point beyond our sphere of competence and outside our circle of comfort. Stress can be triggered from external factors such as relationship difficulties, financial pressures, life transitions at work or school or in our personal lives, and work issues. Stress can also be triggered by internal factors of worry and health problems. When we are subjected to on-going stress in our daily lives then we are likely to experience some of the following symptoms: agitation, over-sensitivity to comments from others, difficulties concentrating and remembering information, moodiness, irritability, poor judgment, unhappiness and negativity and feelings of being overwhelmed. Counselling can help you develop more effective strategies to manage stress. Counselling will encourage you to learn new strategies that help you to identify your stressors and to use skills of self-calming, time-management, prioritising, perspective taking, assertiveness and cognitive restructuring. Counselling can help you develop greater confidence, resilience and self esteem.
Anger is an emotional state that varies in its intensity from low levels of irritation and frustration through to high levels of infuriation and strong rage. Some people have a low frustration tolerance for being inconvenienced or feeling they have been 'wrongly done by' (when they perceive that they have been treated unjustly). At times they may feel that their anger is out of control and is likely to impact very negatively on their relationships. Anger management counselling can help you learn to regain a sense of control and calmness and to express your feelings in more helpful ways.×
Traumatic events, such as exposure to life threatening situations, abuse, systematic bullying, horrific events and natural disasters, often leave us feeling insecure, unsafe, vulnerable and helpless. Over time, some people may find that they do not easily return to their 'old self' of how they were like before they experienced the trauma. They may experience post traumatic stress. Trauma counselling, which is undertaken in a safe and supportive environment, can give you strategies to regain confidence and self belief and be more in control of your life. Counselling techniques can help you learn how to cope with the pain and fear from the trauma and the flashbacks. It can help you to embrace life, rather than avoid it and withdraw from situations, and it can enable you to recalibrate your emotional reactions to everyday life and to use healthy ways of coping.
Grief & Loss
Grief is a common reaction to loss, which can be experienced in a wide variety of circumstances. Such circumstances include the experiences of loss of a relationship, death of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of one's feeling of safety, loss of one's health or even loss of one's strongly held dreams and beliefs. The emotional experience of grief is unique for each individual and may involve deep emotional pain that is often mixed with some elements of anger, shock and even guilt. Grief counselling can enable people to feel supported and less isolated. It can also help people develop a greater understanding and acceptance of the 'grieving process' and to explore healthy ways of coping.×
Counselling for everyday problems often enables clients to gain a new perspective about their difficulties and the context in which they occur. Clients are encouraged to consider options for resolving their problems. This work is conducted privately and confidentially with a psychologist who has specialist qualifications and experience in counselling. Counselling uses a wide variety of techniques that are tailored to meet each client's needs. Some of the benefits available from counselling include:
- Strengthening your self-esteem and gaining self-confidence
- Achieving practical and sensible outcomes in a relatively short time
- Receiving encouragement and support to handle stressful life circumstances
- Improving your skills of communication so you can express your feelings in more constructive ways
- Learning effective ways to deal with intense emotions
- Recognising the triggers for stressful, anxious, angry and distressing feelings
- Identifying and examining unhelpful and self-defeating patterns of thinking
- Managing anger, anxiety stress, depression and other emotional pressures
- Resolving relationship issues and discovering new ways to enhance your relationship
- Obtaining help to actively pursue goals that are important and meaningful to you
- Developing relaxation and self-calming skills
Relationship problems can cause frustration, confusion and pain which then may lead to anger, conflict, resentment and distrust. Following is a list of difficulties that are commonly experienced by couples who decide to seek counselling.
- Communication problems (arguing, criticising, being defensive, showing contempt, stonewalling)
- Poor problem-solving skills, with difficulty in compromising
- Differences in values and expectations held by the partners
- Lack of partner support (with feelings of invalidation)
- Lack of affection and intimacy from one of the partners
- Loss of love
- Distrust through one of the partners being unfaithful (affairs)
- Unequal division of responsibilities within the relationship
Couples counselling can help clients rebuild or create a healthier, more satisfying and meaningful relationship. Relationship counselling occurs in a non-judgmental and safe environment with a psychologist who will bring objectivity to the process. Clients will be encouraged to communicate effectively in an open and honest manner.×
Family and Parenting Practises
Not all children are easy to parent. Parenting can be very challenging, particularly with a demanding child. Parenting is often something that is learnt through trial and error and so counselling can help parents gain confidence and support in their parenting ability. Seeking help from an educational and developmental psychologist can provide parents with extra knowledge and strategies to enable them to deal more effectively with their child's difficult behaviour. It most likely will allay their fears and help them gain greater understanding about their own feelings and reactions to parenting. Parenting counselling can help parents deal with child developmental issues and behaviour management. Some of the more common childhood problems for which parents seek counselling are listed below:
- Angry defiant outbursts and tantrums
- Anxiety and panic
- Fears and excessive worrying
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Eating issues
- Obsessive-compulsive behaviours
- Peer relationship issues
Psychologists, specialising in child psychology, work to enhance the emotional health and wellbeing of children. They help children to understand themselves better and to cope with problems that they may experience within their family, school or peer group. They use a variety of techniques that are child focused and selected to meet the specific emotional and behavioural needs of their clients. Counselling can help children to explore and manage their feelings and to develop their resilience and coping skills. Counselling helps children and adolescents who may present with one or more of the following common difficulties:
- Anxiety (with ongoing worries and fears) and shyness
- Angry, aggressive behaviour and defiance
- Family issues (separation, divorce, sibling rivalry)
- Depressed mood
- Poor sleep patterns
- Friendship issues
- Lacking concentration, focus with school work or motivation
- Learning and memory difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Poor eating habits and diet
- Coping with trauma, grief and loss.
Child psychologists also have expertise in cognitive assessments that identify student strengths and weaknesses and develop learning and behavioural plans to improve their learning outcomes at school.×
Change is a normal part of life Life transitions occur when we experience major changes in our lives. They occur when we enter new phases in our lives (phases such as starting secondary school or tertiary education, adolescence, marriage, having children, changing jobs, retirement, empty nesting). Changes such as a death of a loved one, the breaking-up of a relationship, personal illness or being made redundant at work can cause considerable stress, particularly if such changes are unexpected and negative. Transition counselling will help clients learn skills to manage their emotional reactions and build an identity based on confident and healthy self-esteem.×