Counselling can involve talking about painful feelings and difficult situations which may make people feel worse in the short term.  However, for those who attend regularly, listen and try hard the benefits can be immense.  

In this blog I intend to record things that might be of interest to clients and potential clients. The reflections are intended to provoke thought.  I hope you enjoy my entries.  


Attempts to create methods for assessing and treating mental distress existed long before the nineteenth century.  The earliest recorded approaches were a combination of religious, magical and/or medical perspectives.  In an informal sense psychotherapy has been practiced throughout the ages, as people received psychological counsel and reassurance from others.  In the West, serious mental disorders were generally treated as demonic or medical conditions that required punishment and confinement until the eighteenth century.

Amanda Jarman July 2018 

The Talking Cure was a term a patient called Bertha Pappenheim used to describe her verbal therapy with the physician Josef Breuer.  He found that her symptoms improved once she expressed her repressed trauma and related emotions.  The term talking cure was later adopted by Sigmund Freud to refer to the fundamental work of psychoanalysis.  This therapy involves exploring with the client anxieties which they find are impeding their ability to lead their lives to the full.  The words talking cure are now used by mental health professionals to mean any of a variety of talking therapies.

Amanda Jarman  August 2018  

Research suggests that the therapeutic relationship itself is more important for a good outcome than the approaches therapists may have been trained in and will use.

Amanda Jarman September 2018

Sigmund Freud felt that repressed sexuality was the most significant motivating force behind a client's neurosis but Carl G. Jung felt that Sigmund Freud overemphasized the role of sexual repression in the formation of neurosis.

Amanda Jarman October 2018

Clients often experience loss in the process of constructive change.  For example, a client who has made good progress can feel they have lost a safe place.

Amanda Jarman November 2018

Research has shown that unemployment negatively affects mental health.

Amanda Jarman December 2018

Therapists should be informed about how to respond to clients who report anomalous experiences which may include poltergeist activity, unusual healing, apparitions, spirit possession and sense of presence.  Clients may be keen to make sense of their experience and they must feel accepted, understood and listened to.

Amanda Jarman January 2019

Up to the present time there has been no consistent biological evidence from any scientific test undertaken that mental disorders have physical causes.

Amanda Jarman February 2019

Rogers outlined six conditions that he considered were sufficient and necessary to initiate 'constructive personality change' in a paper entitled 'The Necessary and Sufficient Conditions of Therapeutic Personality Change.'  One of these conditions is that two persons are in psychological contact.

Amanda Jarman March 2019

Early in Freud's career he considered that sexual abuse in childhood was responsible for the neuroses and other mental health problems of many of his patients.  He believed his patients were telling the truth.  Later, however, Freud decided to dismiss the claims of victims.

Amanda Jarman April 2019

Sigmund Freud was against religion.  He called it a "collective neurosis."  However, Carl G. Jung considered that religion was beneficial to society and was a natural expression of the collective unconscious.

Amanda Jarman May 2019

Freud believed that the easiest road to understanding the unconscious activities of the mind is through studying dreams.  Jung considered that dreams are a manifestation of the unconscious mind.

Amanda Jarman June 2019

The amount of neurological activity occurring during sleep is enormous.  This is particularly the case in REM sleep.

REM sleep is the period of sleep occurring at intervals characterized by rapid eye movements, more bodily movement and dreaming and faster pulse and breathing.

Amanda Jarman  July 2019

The best person to decide what the meaning of a dream is is the dreamer themselves.

Amanda Jarman August 2019

The Psychodynamic approach to counselling emphasizes dream work.  One of the reasons why dream work is so important is the amount of time people spend dreaming.

Amanda Jarman September 2019

The founder of Gestalt therapy (Fritz Perls) considered that dreams are projections of parts of the self that have been suppressed, rejected or ignored.

Projection is when one attributes to others feelings or aspects of the self which cannot be directly owned.  An example of this is when someone accuses someone of being angry when they are secretly feeling angry themselves.

Even inanimate objects in the dream may represent aspects of the dreamer.

Amanda Jarman October 2019

Freud considered that the unconscious mind stores physiological instincts that we cannot bring out in daily life.  Primarily, this is the sexual instinct.  Whenever dream symbols come up it is as a result of repression of those drives and the content of dreams are wish-fulfillment:  this refers to wishes that one cannot fulfill otherwise in daily life.  Because we repress our sexuality we are not able to meet particular milestones.  According to Freud, dreams happen so that we can have a chance of hitting those developmental milestones.

Amanda Jarman November 2019

Studies have indicated that physical activity can have a positive effect on mental health.  Benefits can include managing anxiety and stress, better sleep, happier moods and better self-esteem.

Amanda Jarman December 2019

Money and mental health are frequently linked.  For example, one's self-esteem and confidence can be affected if one does not have enough money and worrying about money can also have a negative effect on one's mental health.

Amanda Jarman January 2020

There is no significant link between the most common mental health problems and violent behaviour.  The proportion of people who commit a violent crime that are living with a mental health problem is extremely small.

Amanda Jarman February 2020

Mental health problems are common.  One in four people will experience poor mental health at some point in their lives.

Amanda Jarman March 2020

Mental health problems and feeling lonely are linked.  For example, one's chance of feeling lonely can increase if one has a mental health problem.

Amanda Jarman April 2020

Many people do recover from mental health problems.  It is still possible to find ways to manage one's  symptoms if one is experiencing a more serious mental health problem.

Amanda Jarman May 2020

Hope that recovery is possible can be vital.

Amanda Jarman June 2020