Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Positive habits versus negative habits

People often consider that habits are negative. This is a sign of the times, where we have tended to become slaves to learnt behaviour. However a habit is simply something that we have learned to do through repetition, and therefore repeat it further without much thought. The habit becomes a learned behaviour and a typically automatic one.

As with most things, our balance of perception tends to fall towards emphasising the negative. We tend to remember all the bad stuff that happens during the day! Likewise we tend to remember all of our "bad" habits. However there is no negative monopoly on habits!

Spend some time considering your positive and negative habits, perhaps list them. The add a further list of positive habits you would like to have. Be reasonable and realistic since only through repetition will an action become a habit.

Start to be aware and mindful of the habits you have listed as negative. When you are about to fall into that habit, think about the fact you are doing so. At that point the habit ceases to be a habit, and becomes a choice. Now you may still choose the old behaviour, but that will now be because you chose it, not because of any habit. Be honest with yourself about this, since often we blame our choices on "habit" as an excuse not to change or improve them. Move to the position of choice and then make your decision. Either stick with your negative behaviour, or exercise your right to choose a new outcome. With practice this exercise becomes easier and we let go of automatic behaviour, choosing instead to exercise freedom of choice and decision making.

As far as your positive list goes, celebrate the good habits, smile, remember and reinforce!

As far as your desired habits go, begin to implement them as choices, and repeat, repeat, repeat! Only this way can the new habits start to become ingrained and automatic.

Above all else remember - negative habits are not an excuse.... merely realising you have them gives you the beginning of the ability to change!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

MSc Complete and passed

Glad to let everyone know that this morning the Open University confirmed that I have passed the final module of the MSc Psychology, and therefore the entire Masters Degree. Officially the degree will be awarded 31st July...... quite why the wait I am not sure but anyhow, all good.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Open Day feedback

The open day at the Healthy Life Centre yesterday was a fun opportunity for people to meet, try new therapies and mingle! Although it was father's day and the opening day of the Edinburgh film festival, we still had a reasonable turnout.

It was interesting to run separate workshops for meditation, visualisation and hypnotherapy, since so often these are provided in a combined way. It was therefore a useful exercise to prise them apart and demonstrate them as stand alone entities!

Delegates attended both the 1:1 self hypnosis tuition sessions, and the three demonstration and discussion workshops, and the other programmes provided by the centre were also well attended.

This was the first time I was involved at a Health Life Centre Open day, and can heartily recommend attendance at the next one. Open Days are provided free of charge a few times a year.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Mindful Breathing

Morita teaches us that we are subject to emotions much of the time and therefore not entirely in control of them. Indeed in many situations we are not in control of them at all, for example when feeling ill, having a depression, anxiety or bipolar mood state, a feeling of OCD panic or other severe emotional response.

In these situations it is often a mistake to try to rationalise or directly combat the emotion. Methods like the over-sold NLP techniques of resource anchoring try to convince us to have a designer approach to how we feel. In practice this only works with the milder emotions, not with severe emotions such as those driven my mental health conditions.

Morita suggests that we learn acceptance instead, and operate from the position of letting the emotion be, and learning to co-exist with it. Instead of fighting it, resisting it and spending valuable energy in combat with it, allow it to be, accept it and respect it. However do so in a mindful way.

Begin by pausing, choosing a moment of peace, and breathing deeply. This is important, STOP and breathe deeply.

Next breathe into the problem, allowing your body rythms to slow as you breathe into and through the feeling.

Allowing the emotion to stay with you if necessary, continue to breathe as you continue life, not surrendering and becoming frozen, but also not entering into worthless combat. Instead learn acceptance.

The comparison that is often made is with having a bad leg so you limp, or having flu so you feel under the weather. You might take some pain killers or flu remedy, but you would not stop and rage at the condition fighting it and trying to make it "not so". You would either rest, or get on with life accepting a hindered capacity for the time being. Breathing into the problem and taking moments of peace, and exercising acceptance allow us to do the same with emotions.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Ongoing professional training update

it appears that funding for the research project at Edinburgh University is not going to be possible. At least I assume so since the answer should have been received by now and there is deathly silence :) Therefore it appears that my mental health research project, which might well have saved the NHS nationally many,many times the cost of the project is not going to be funded due to budget restraints. Not what I would consider logical, but hey, politics right?!?

Therefore plan B will continue with me completing the BA in philosophy and psychological studies which I am around half way through, and then possible a joint politics and social studies degree.

I am a strong believer that when working with clients you need a robust understanding of the individual, small group, social group, community, culture and society..... micro up to macro. Therefore in my estimation it is important to have a grasp of psychotherapy, psychology, sociology, philosophy and politics in order to maximise your skill as an integrative therapist. And as those who know me are already aware, I have a commitment to lifelong learning and improvement. Or cynics might say I am a study junkie!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Balance when setting goals

It is a very common phenomenum for a person to set a new goal, such as finding a new job, going to the gym more often, starting a new hobby, or spending more time with a loved one, only to find that it does not last more than the magic 6 week period. 6 weeks is the estimated "drop out" peak!

One of the key reasons for this drop out is that people do not sit down and work out the DOWN side to their new objective! Now this may seem negative, but in fact it is referring to the cost of the new goal.

Think of it like a business decision -  there should always be a cost and benefit analysis. When setting goals we quite rightly focus on the motivational benefit part. However we should not go into denial about the cost! We should not be put off by the cost, but neither should we pretend it does not exist, so that it comes round to bite us in the rear later! An easy example might be deciding to go to a new gym on a regular basis -  excellent -  more fitness, better health.... just forget that sizable new direct debit coming out of the bank! Now normally we do consider the direct debit, because we have become quite used to budgeting.... which is a form of cost benefit analysis. However we do forget other things:

- Do we need to get a few more hours of sleep the night after the gym so we can recover and our bodies get the full benefit of the work-out?

- Do we need to be careful not to skip meals and to take a look at our nutritional intake?

- Do we need to perhaps ease up on the units of alcohol in the run up to the gym session day so we can do ourselves justice?

- If we are taking time out of another activity, do we need to budget additional time elsewhere?

The same principle applies in other areas too.

More time with loved ones = potentially less time doing solo hobbies. Therefore perhaps cut wasted time elsewhere to still enjoy a few hours on the xbox, cycling, going to the pub etc

A higher paid job may mean longer hours or a more tiring day or longer commute to work. So better rest, food and play time may need to be organised.

A new hobby may mean less time with family and friends.... and therefore more careful scheduling.

Whatever the new goal or objective, still be positive, but be aware of the costs as well. By being aware, you can be thinking about what else you may need to do in order to make it work long term.

The same applies to stopping or cutting down perceived negative behaviours. When we stop going to the pub so often however, we loose out on social activities, fun, and other perceived positive experiences that are referred to as "secondary gain". The secondary gains are good feelings, experiences or outcomes we get as a result of doing something rather negative. When we decide to change therefore, we loose some of those secondary gains, and can end up feeling like a child whose parent took away the bag of sweets! And if we feel deprived, punished or otherwise feel like we lost out, there is an incentive to go back to the negative habit again!

Therefore if you are cutting down, cutting out or changing any negative habits, then be aware of why you enjoyed them in the first place. Was there a pleasure aspect, or social, or an enjoyment of personal space, or perhaps a feeling of freedom. List the different things that you enjoy about the habit rather than pretending that it is all bad. If it was all bad you neve would have bothered with it in the first place. Pretending there is no secondary gain is a form of denial! List those gains! Once you have done that work out where you will get a substitute good feeling! Choose new activities or other well loved old ones. Look for the same or very similar gains so as to provide balance and equilibrium.  This will allow positive moving forward without feeling hard done by or punished!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Grey old weather in Scotland

Many of us in Scotland, especially those of us not from here originally like myself, suffer from SAD or Seasonal Adjustment Difficulty. This is largely related to the amount of sunlight being absorbed, stimulating the piturity gland and thus the whole metabolism and hormonal system.

The effects include depression, lethargy, low metabolic rate, distorted appetite, appetite for the wrong foods, irritability and general malaise.

Another long term effect, thought to be related to the poor health record in Scotland, is low levels of vitamin D, much of which the body forms itself through a process involving sunlight.

So what can you do to offset the effects:

1. Create a sleep plan, setting hours to go to bed and get up, and try to stick fairly closely to it. If you allow yourself to sleep more, you will be encouraging the "hibernate" pattern that essentially the lack of sunlight is encouraging.

2. Get as much sunlight or daylight as possible. Even if it is overcast and cloudy, try to get out and absorb what little light there is, in breaks or lunch hours.

3. Eat healthy foods, of course have some tasty treats, but keep the fruit and veg and lean protein sources coming to prevent spiral into high sugar foods. Look for long burn carbs like brown rice.

4. Consider a vitamin D supplement. These are cheap and available from most chemists and supermarkets. Follow the instructions on the packet.

5. Try some full spectrum light bulbs in your home. Especially first thing in the morning, and during the day a few hours of full spectrum light copy the effects of the sun. Try to avoid last thing at night though to avoid over stimulation.

6. If you can not sleep well, consider melatonin as a sleep supplement. This is the same natural chemical the body produces to enable deep sleep. It can not be bought over the counter in the UK, but companies like Biovera sell it online. It is a naturally occurring chemical that is thought to be more healthy than taking artificial sleeping pills or soporific herbs.

7. Take regular exercise. On a dark or grey night -  get to the gym where it is brightly lit, energetic and active. Getting there requires a self applied kick to the rear, but once there you have the chance to get the old metabolism up and running.... literally!

Even though summer is nearly here.... in Scotland we are still "enjoying" grey, wet and cloudy weather. Therefore you can learn to practice some of these ideas now while it is only miserable some of the time, and when real winter comes you should have systems in place that work for you.

Also there is a condition that is essentially reverse SAD, where sunlight is such a shock that over stimulation occurs, resulting in anxiety and other issues. Learning the above methods for use on grey days can help to create balance as you ease off them on Sunny days. Part of the problem with typical and reverse SAD is simply the adjustment to change. You can use the above methods to help create a more overall balanced experience, thus reducing the difficulty of any remaining adjustment.

If you have any other emotional difficulties or trauma then SAD will cause you to find it harder to cope with stress, anger, anxiety etc. Therefore consider combining the above with some appropriate counselling support, or self help CBT.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Purpose of ongoing professional development training

I am often the subject of jokes and good humoured ribbing by colleagues and work friends in relation to the amount of university study I do. And frankly I can well understand it :)

In the previous few years I have simultaneously been studying towards a MSc Psychology, a BA Philosophy and psychological studies, and an advanced certificate of Education. Meanwhile I have continued vocational study via TODO and ongoing development updates via the British Medical Journal and the Royal Society of Medicine.

So why so much study? Well there is a simple reason actually -  as an integrative therapist there is always a major question -  what sort of qualification matters? Is it the industry accredited award that enables psychotherapy practice? Is it the vocational award that gives some kind of externally accredited award? Is it the philosophy and theology based award that reflects study of different cultures, belief systems and models of psychology? Or is it the UK university based academic award?

The bottom line is -  all of the above!  The more integrative you become, there more need there is to be clear that you are not falling into the category of "jack of all trades, mater of none". There becomes a real need to show certification, study or other awards in the range of different therapy models being used. This for example is the reason why I have completed accredited ASET vocational awards in each of the therapies: Hypnotherapy: Level 4, Psychotherapy: levels 3 & 4, Integrated counselling: level 4, NLP: level 3, Lifestyle coaching: level 3, Grief and bereavement counselling: level 3, Chi Gung: level 3, Mental health social work: Level 4, Competence in Social work: Level 4, and last but certainly not least: an NVQ in Training and Development in the context of complementary health education including coaching unit C25.

And then there is the need to explore eastern and theological / philosophical models..... leading to TODO courses of self reflection, and of course the M.Phil and D.Phil level awards from the Interfaith Seminary where I am a Senior Professor. These awards, gained for the submission of thesis in the form of entire training courses and studies, provide accreditation and recognition in Mindfulness, Holistic psychology and pastoral counselling. In particular they reflect the ability to study, master and use eastern psychology skills as well as the run of the mill western models.

And of course the industry awards - I have frankly only bothered with one such award in order to get started: a 2 and a half year diploma in psychoanalysis, counselling and hypnotherapy that launched my career back in the early 90's and required over 200 supervised client cases to complete, as well as regular training weekends, classes, meetings, supervision etc etc over that whole time period.

And of course ongoing professional updates -  essential for any serious practitioner to keep up to date with recent developments through RSM and BMJ professional courses and updates, designed for both medical personnel and allied professionals. A sound knowledge of National Occupational Standards, medical standards and NICE guidelines results enabling better complementary working with medical staff and personnel!

So why the University courses? Well many do provide an additional wealth of knowledge, such as the post graduate training I completed recently in issues of brain and behaviour, studying the neural effects of addiction and ageing. Others enable a more social psychological viewpoint regarding language, social constructivism and identity. Most importantly though, is the simple proof that you can meet a standard that everyone is familiar with!

It does not really matter to people in the general public whether you have an NVQ, ASET, Diploma or a theological award, however relevant and important the training and topic. What people still look for is a UK University degree -  it is what they understand and recognise. And if you have one, or more than one, the chances is those other qualifications you mentioned -  probably are quite good too!

And thus to the heart of the matter! I know that my theological based masters degrees and doctorates were hard earned, meaningful and very relevant -  but the average client does not!  I know that ASET awards are QCA (qualification curriculum authority) approved -  but this has to be explained to the client. I know that my initial industry diploma and my NVQ both assessed my actual ability to do the job to a high standard, but clients often do not grasp this..... what they do grasp is a good old fashioned academic degree! They look for that and professional registrations, and anything else is a bonus. What is noticeable is that if you have the UK university degrees, they then trust that other qualifications are probably worthwhile too, because if you did a BSc, BA or MSc then why would you waste your time doing something useless??? and Of course this does have a ring of sense to it!

So as I wait for the confirmation of MSc result which is due in 2 weeks, and prepare for the next module of my BA, and result on which parts of my existing BSc are relevant to my work, and wonder if I will get funding from Edinburgh University for my research MSc and PhD, I remind myself that the most important part of training sometimes is very simply -  credibility!! Fellowship of Royal Societies, UK University Degrees and professional registrations give you credibility and the client reassurance! And sometimes credibility and reassurance are the most important factors of all!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Buying chinese herbs for own personal use

For some time I have benefited from the herbal combinations sold by local Chinese herbalists. The problem is that they pressure you to buy ever increasingly large volumes of pills, potions, massages, acupuncture and other forms of healthcare that run into many hundreds of pounds! If you are simply looking for some effective herbs to sort out sinus problems for example, you can look at various cheaper alternatives.

1. Online chinese herbalists providing complete remedies in tablet form
2. Buy the herbs yourself and brew tea. With this route it is entirely at your own risk, although frankly if you stick to the safer herbs and read the safety warnings about pregnancy etc you should not have too many problems. You also need to stew the tea for a long time for potency - keeping the liquid hot using a tea light candle under the tea pot is one way, for about half an hour. You can even mix in prepared chinese herbs and dissolving remedies from local chinese supermarkets. Do not expect a nice taste though!

Herbs can be googled from the names on the side of bought packets and their various latin, chinese and common names then searched on ebay and via herb stores like baldwins.

Open Day at The Healthy Life Centre the programme June 19th

Self-defence for women 10-3.30pm Find out about Shiatsu
10.30 Self-defence for women 10-3.30pm Yoga with Isabel Find out about Shiatsu
11.15 Self-defence for women 10-3.30pm Chi Gung with Frank Seated Shiatsu taster
class and information
about training
12pm Self-defence for women 10-3.30pm Belly dance with Iraya 11.45 Shiatsu hand
massage with Gabi
1pm Self-defence for women 10-3.30pm Pilates with Emilia
12.30 Shiatsu foot
massage with Gabi
1.30 Self-defence for women 10-3.30pm Pilates with Emilia
10 min 1:2:1 sessions
with Stuart Morgan- Ayrs
2.45 Self-defence for women 10-3.30pm Meditation techniques with Stuart Find out about Shiatsu
3.30 3.45 Nia experiential dance with Lin Hypnotherapy techniques with Stuart Seated Shiatsu taster
class and information
about training
4.15 4.30 Laughter yoga with Jo Visualisation with Stuart Find out about Shiatsu training
5pm Movement meditation with
Seated Shiatsu taster class and information about training
PLUS Free Shiatsu taster
sessions all day
11-12 HypnoBirthing 1-3pm Acupuncture
and Oriental Herb

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


One of today's little projects is to try to get bitcoin working so we can accept payments at Scotlandtherapy and the SHTC using this alternative currency. The idea of bitcoin is a great one - a currency without any government interference or taxation, accepted by members and valued by it's members.

Any feedback or advice gratefully received!

I will keep the website, fb and blog posted as and when we get the system up and running!

Setting goals - Morita principle

A few more ideas from Morita training to consider when planning a goal, or avoiding procrastination!

1. The difference between intention and action
Beware of the trap of thinking about doing things! Sometimes we overthink so effectively that we convince ourselves that we have actually DONE something, when all we did was think!

2. What leads to action?
Try to shorten the road between idea and action! This is one way of reducing overthinking! When you remember something that needs doing, GET UP and move towards that thing, BEGIN the process of DOING. Once you have made a movement towards something it actually requires a decision to avoid it, but until movement is present, you can procrastinate forever!

3. Steps
Nature moves slowly - we see it in evolution, nature, the seasons, the course of the day. Nothing is instant. However we WANT things instantly. You want a new skill, you want it NOW, you want more money or a better job -  NOW please! This goes against nature. Learn to break down the end goal into steps and then take action! Do not be frozen by the size of the goal, the idea of it being too far away, too much hassle, break it down and get started! Little steps like move to the phone, make the call and ask for the application forms for a job or course.... do not get into contemplating and overthinking the entire course!!!

4. Have a clear purpose
Be clear in your mind WHY you want to do something, and do not let the habit of overthinking cloud that thought or suppress it! Overthinking is a form of distraction, taking focus away from what is needed. Keep the clear goal in mind and keep reminding yourself of WHY you are bothering to make that effort!

5. Show up
Sometimes getting yourself moving towards the right place is the key to getting the action underway. Do not worry about whether you really feel like the gym today -  just throw on the clothes and get there.... then see what happens! It takes far more dedicated procrastination to avoid doing something when you are in the right place at the right time! Get moving, and worry about the details later!

In Morita we often use the Kaizen concept of making small changes very often. This is a concept borrowed from industry. It can be easily understood if you consider having a whole house to tidy. If you consider the whole house then the task is pretty big and easy to run screaming from. If you consider tidying a small area, but doing this every day, then after a few days a real difference starts to occur, but without the need for overwhelming effort. Do not scare yourself into inaction, do a little each day, be it study, exercise, housework, job seeking, meditation.......

Monday, 6 June 2011

Morita and Naikan, combatting procrastination

According to Greg Krech, a leading author in Japanese psychology at the TODO Institute (highly recommended), there are seven steps to challenging procrastination and putting off decision making:

1. First step -  acceptance
Rather than being in denial of your situation and distracting yourself from looking at the problem, learn to accept the state of inaction you are in. Embrace it, and get used to it. From there you can be honest about the need to change.

2. Feeling state
Do not distract your emotional state from any negative feelings. If you feel anxious or angry about the fact you have not done something, do not try to be happy instead.... this is another means of distraction. If your inaction means you are anxious or angry, feel it and accept it, distracting yourself from it is supressing the problem.

3. Focus on your goal and purpose
Sometimes the thought of moving forward brings anxieties, fears and thoughts of low self confidence. It is easy to get all caught up in such emotions and thought processes. When we allow ourselves to start processing these, we loose track of what we set out to do. Stay focused on the task at hand and the positives it holds!

4. What trouble do we cause for others by not moving forward?
Procrastination causes inaction, stasis, and negative emotions. These usually do not only effect you, but also effect those around you. Have a think about what you lack of action is doing to others!

5. Small steps
Do not accept the false huge picture of all the task put together in a giant leap. If you pile enough molehills one on top of another you will create a mountain. Break the task down into winnable battles -  or chunks as they are often referred to in NLP and coaching.

6. Appointments
Set appointments! Make a time table and work towards it. If you have an appointment in your diary, or your electronic calender, you actually have to find something else to do, which is harder than simply forgetting to get around to something!

7. Give up
If you have tried all six previous steps, then frankly either get on with it or face the fact you really did not want to do it in the first place! There is one thing being stuck in a rut, quite another to be fooling yourself into thinking you are going to embark on a great dream! If the last six stages failed to kick you into gear than get real, wake up, smell the coffee and make a decision!

With thanks to the TODO institute and Gregg for the great information.

Misguided BBC interview on hypnotherapy

Dr Peter Naish of the RSM has given an interview suggesting that GP's should be trained to use hypnosis. He also suggested that it was a very simple procedure to use.

Although I respect Dr Naish as a fellow member of the Royal Society of Medicine, he is completely wrong and misguided in his comments.

Hypnosis is indeed very simple, anyone can do it. However HYPNOTHERAPY is the combination of hypnosis with suggestion, analysis, visualisation or other forms of psychotherapy. It is certainly NOT simple and easy to do well!

GP's have no psychotherapy training and are therefore absolutely not a sensible choice for hypnosis training, unless it is simply going to be for basic relaxation purposes, in which case the patient might as well buy a book or off the shelf CD / DVD.

GP's do not have the time to be providing hypnotherapy sessions, which if they are going to be effective need to be at least 20 minutes long, probably nearer 40 minutes. With informed consent information and guidance the session is normally around an hour. GP's already complain about the demands on their time, and expecting them to have 1 hour slots for patients rather than giving a referral or prescription is totally nuts! It is simply not going to happen, nor should it!

The BBC should have reflected on the fact that hypnotherapy is now subject to voluntary regulation via the CNHC, a project supported and funded by the NHS. This is the official way forward with proper training standards, qualification standards, matching to National Occupational Standards, and a guaranteed level of competence by a properly trained hypnotherapist. This is the safe way forward, not crash courses in basic hypnosis for overworked GP's! The BBC article even suggested other NHS personnel with even less relevance might be trained in this crash course manner -  total nonsense!

Using Reiki in Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy

From time to time I get asked what connection there is between Reiki, which is an energy healing model, and talking based therapies like psychotherapy and hypnotherapy.

In brief -  Reiki enables the practitioner to practice self care, and therefore in the first place it helps the therapist to be more stable and with better wellbeing.

Secondly practicing Reiki or Chi Gung exercises in the therapy space prior to talking therapies grounds not only the therapist, but also the space itself. This is especially true in bare foot practice spaces like the Salisbury Centre and The Health Life Centre -  my two practice bases in Edinburgh.

Thirdly when using a hypnotic process, you should as a professional therapist be monitoring the client carefully, monitoring body tension, skin colour, breathing rate etc. While doing so, and maintaining either the relaxation process, or the suggestion process, it is quite straight forward to send positive Reiki energy into the space, and to the client.

Finally (for now) whenever you think about a client, email them, call them, note them in the diary, senda reminder or just think about planning a session, you have the perfect opportunity to send healing Reiki energy.

availability Glasgow: crystal healing, kinesiology, psychotherapy, counselling, coaching, counselling

We will be available for the forseeable future alternate fridays in Glasgow.

Denise will be available providing crystal healing, colour therapy, energy kinesiology, chakra healing, Reiki, female issue counselling and coaching.

I will be around providing counselling, psychotherapy, eastern psychology, hypnotherapy and coaching.

Open Day, the Healthy Life Centre 19th June

The Healthy Life Centre in Central Edinburgh will be having an open day on Sunday 19th June.

I will be there doing the following:

1.30-2.30 1:2:1 10 min sessions in treatment room
2.45 - 3.15 meditation techniques
3.30-4 hypnotherapy techniques Stuart Morgan-Ayrs
4.15-4.45 visualisation techniques Stuart Morgan-Ayrs

The 10 min sessions will be one to one basic relaxation, and then the other sessions will be group sessions using different ways of relaxing, meditation, hypnosis and visualisation.

The day is free although the centre appreciates donations.

Hope to see plenty of people there!


Sunday, 5 June 2011

Naikan for perceptual change

Naikan is a form of Japanese Zen psychology that is derived from a set of basic questions first used in monastery retreats. Since then however it has developed into a power tool in psychotherapy. One of it's great strengths lies in changing the balance of our perception. By being mindful of the positives around us during the day, and practicing the "art of gratitude", we can re balance our perception of day to day life.

Naikan is not about viewing life through rose tinted spectacles and pretending everything is peachy! Instead it recognises that we tend to notice the negatives in life in a disproportionate way, remembering them at the end of the day, and carrying anger, guilt and resentment around with us. Conversely we tend not to even notice some of the little positive things that happen, like simply nice interactions with people. By deliberately noticing and being mindful of these little but nice events, we can move towards a balanced view of the day, week, month, year we have had, not being dragged down by negative events, but seeing the "bigger picture".

Naikan fits with with mindfulness training, CBT, counselling and most other forms of psychotherapy.

Naikan is practiced using a combination of journal keeping, meditation and day to day exercises that build new habits, and new balanced perceptions.

More Morita Life Coaching

For the next 30 days I (Stuart) will be updating my skills with additional Morita Japanese Zen life coaching training via the TODO Institute. I already use a range of Japanese Zen therapy methods and psychology models in my clinical practice, but the TODO courses enable me to "practice what I preach" and also of course to update my skills and stay up to date with the latest teachings.

It should be great fun to apply more Morita to myself for the next month, and it makes a nice change of pace from academic post graduate study, which has been my continuous professional development for a while now.

If previous TODO courses are anything to go on, the skills and experience will be useful not just to me, but to my clients too :)

New clinic Launched

Scotlandtherapy has now expanded into the Healthy Life Centre in Bread Street, Edinburgh. This custom designed and decorated therapy centre matches our holistic approach perfectly since it houses a range of other holistic therapies and therapists.

We are now working at the Health Life Centre mainly on Wednesdays, with the Salisbury Centre in Edinburgh mainly on Saturdays, and the Embody Clinic in Glasgow alternate Fridays.

Additional appointments are available during the week subject to availability both of our diaries and the space at the clinics :)