Hello! And thank you, if you’re still following this blog, because I’ve let it languish in recent months. Since I last posted I have experienced a fair few major life events: having a baby, moving house, moving jobs, and also… writing a new book!
The book is aiming to share ideas from the therapy room which I think can help any of us day to day. It’s called A Year To Change Your Mind and it uses the framework of the twelve months to introduce different psychology concepts. Some of the ideas in it were first experimented with on this blog. I’ve mixed in some amalgamated examples from the therapy room and some of my own life experiences. You can read it or listen to me read it to you, as there’s an audio version as well, all available here and in your local bookshops. It feels really good to have it out in the world, although it’s always a bit scary the night before it comes out! If you do read it I’d love to know what you think. Amazon reviews etc make a really big difference, but feel free just to let me know too.
I’ve been thinking of this month and its particular challenges… I don’t know how you feel about Christmas but for me it always feels a bit mixed. I wrote something about how ideas from psychology can be helpful at Christmas – it’s free to read here if you’re feeling the toll of the festive season.
One more thing of mine to share – there’s a lot in the news about NHS staff at the moment, who with chronic underfunding have seen their pay and their work environments depleted to bare bones. This free to access research article is about some focus groups I ran with NHS staff working on mental health wards for teenagers, and the main finding was that the things they thought were important for compassionate care for patients were the same things they needed for themselves to be able to provide that care. There were 6 elements: emotional connection, a sense of being valued, attention to the whole person, understanding, good communication, and practical help/resources. Resources and a sense of being valued are very related to the current reasons for strikes. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the government will start engaging with the unions soon.
I’d also like to recommend a book I’ve been reading (in amongst various illnesses which have been striking our household down) – Claudia Hammond’s The Keys of Kindness. It’s a masterclass in writing and full of interesting studies and personal examples of kindness. I’d recommend.
I am wishing you all a calm and enjoyable festive season. I’m looking forward to a Christmas lasagne on the day itself. I’ve a few events related to the new book coming up in the New Year if you happen to be in Bristol, Cheltenham or London, dates are below. I’ve also started writing a very occasional newsletter which you can sign up for on my website.
11.1 Bristol Book Launch at Bookhaus
8.2 Cheltenham Alternative Book Club
26.2 London The Sunday Papers Live