Month: January 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Chrysalis Courses looks at your Five a day?

Karen Ferguson – Chrysalis Courses very own Head of Hypnotherapy looks at getting your five a day.

We are always being told we should eat five a day (fruit and veg), but do we really know why, or how much to eat?

I have done a little research on this and hope you find this useful for both yourselves and your clients.

Well to start with the basics, how much is a portion of fruit or veg – according to the NHS, each portion should be 80g. They claim there is evidence to suggest significant health benefits to each five 80g portions of fruit and veg a day.

The 5 a day campaign was actually started by the World Health Organisation who say that we should be eating 400g of fruit and veg a day to lower the risk of serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Whilst most fruits and veg count towards our 5 a day, whether they be tinned, fresh, frozen, dried or in a drink. Beans and pulses also count as one of your 5 day but because they contain less nutrients than other fruit and veg, no matter how many you eat, they still only count as one portion.

There are certain food types that don’t count as one of your 5 a day.

For examples potatoes don’t count due to their high starch content and nor does cassava. No, I hadn’t heard of it either and since I have never seen it in a supermarket I don’t think I will worry too much about it.

Frying your fruit or veg also removes it from the 5 a day list.

Unfortunately grapes in the form of wine don’t count as one of your 5 a day either, nor sadly does chocolate, despite there being many rumours stating that cocoa comes from a plant so it must be a fruit.

Enjoy :)

Chrysalis Courses fills you in on DBS checks

At Chrysalis Courses we do not simply just teach you about counselling and hypnotherapy and send you on your way. We also want to make sure you are on the right path after you have finished with regards to setting up your own business or going into employement.

Most employers will require that you have a DBS check before working with them.

DBS or Disclosure and Barring Service checks have replaced the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks.

Only employers can apply for a DBS check, however, as an individual you can apply for a basic disclosure.

You can apply both online and in writing (using a standard form). The cost is £25 and you can pay by either debit or credit card.

You will need to provide certain forms of identification (see list below), you can either send copies of these documents, or upload them.

You will need to provide a copy of one of the following:-


Driving licence, or

NI number

You will also need to supply a copy of:-

Information from a utility bill at your home address

Evidence of your address covering at least the previous 5 years

In total, you will need to provide 3 forms of identification, which between them must confirm your name, date of birth and current address.

Copies of your documentation can be emailed to, or posted to Disclosure Scotland, Basic EHU, PO Box 250, Glasgow G51 1YU.

A basic disclosure certificate shows either every conviction of the named person or states that no convictions have been registered.

Stating that you have a been DBS checked (providing you have been) can offer additional feelings of safety to any members of the public you may work with, particularly if you work with children or vulnerable people.

Although there is no expiry date on a DBS certificate, it is recommended that it is renewed every 1-3 years.

Further information on the DBS service can be found at

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

It seems that many people feel down or perhaps even depressed during the darker months of the year.  Is that all there is to it, we just crave some sunlight, or could they be suffering from SAD?

Symptoms of SAD can include:-


*          a persistent low mood

*          a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities

*          irritability

*          feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness

*          feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day

*          sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning

*          craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

Depending on the severity of their symptoms, some people that they are so badly affected that it impacts on their everyday lives.

The cause of SAD isn’t really understood, but the main theory is that lack of sunlight stops they hypothalamus working properly.  In turn, this can affect:-


  • Produce a higher rate of melatonin (the hormone that makes us feel sleepy)
  • A reduction in the production of serotonin (this hormone affects your mood, appetite and sleep)
  • Your internal body clock. Your body  uses sunlight for certain timings and lack of sunlight can cause a disruption to your system


If people believe they have SAD, then a visit to their GP should be their first step in getting help.  That help can vary, depending on the person’s needs and symptoms.  Treatment could involve:-


  • Changes to a persons lifestyle – managing stress levels, getting as much sunlight as possible and exercise
  • Light therapy – a special light box is used to stimulate exposure to sunlight
  • Talking therapies – CBT or counseling
  • Antidepressant medications such as SSRI’s

All about your New years resolutions

We talked in the December newsletter about New Year’s resolutions.  Firstly, we would love to hear from more of you if you have decided on any and how you are getting on with them.  Let us know at

Although we looked at changes, most people seem to look to change their weight, their eating habits, alcohol consumption, fitness etc.  But what about a new you – more confident, higher self esteem, belief in yourself, setting and achieving goals?  All of these and more certainly could be resolutions, resolutions to help achieve your goals, your dreams.

Both hypnotherapy and counselling can help you achieve these.

You could for example use hypnotherapy to look at what has stopped you from achieving in the past and then it could help you to move forwards with new beliefs, new goals.

Counselling could give you the right person to talk to, to help you realise what your goals and dreams are.

Don’t underestimate the benefits of having someone neutral, someone skilled in their subject on your side.  Many people don’t dedicate enough time to themselves.  Many people don’t realise that giving to themselves is actually really important.  Nothing in your life is more important than you.  Why?  Well firstly, it is your life and it is up to you to give yourself every opportunity to have the life you want.  Also, we forget that by giving to ourselves, we have more to give others.  Remember ‘put your own oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs’!

Having someone to talk to, someone unbiased really can be the difference between having the life you want or not.

So perhaps your first new years resolution could be to find yourself a good hypnotherapist or counselling and work out what you really want and how to go about achieving it.

Good luck, please let us know how you get on.

Chrysalis looks at mental health issues in young people

In recent years it is fair to say that Chrysalis has noticed a huge shift in the way that mental health is talked about and portrayed in the media. People are more accepting and committed to talking about and auctioning change in the stereotype that surrounds people with mental health issues.

Charities such as Mind and Time to Change as well as high profile celebrities who have been very open about struggles they have faced have played a huge role in helping others to talk about their own struggles and creating their own campaigns which have gone viral such as The Semi Colon Project and Medicated and Mighty. Finally it feels like huge steps forward are being taken, however that doesn’t mean it is time to relax. We still have a long way to go.

Mental health among teenagers and children is struggling to lose its taboo status. One in ten children experience mental health issues between the ages of 5 and 16. A sad statistic we saw said that 26% of young people who experience mental health issues have wanted to give up on life because of the stigma that is attached with it. This is a massive issue and one that needs drastic action as soon as possible.

With the pressures of the internet, social media, school and everyday lives young people face a daily challenge. This is aside from the already huge change teenagers go through such as puberty and sudden growth spurts, which alone can be a trauma. In the old days children could go home from school and they could relax, now there is the internet with picture perfect celebrities, cyber bullies and undesirable places on the internet which is causing a great deal of stress to an already anxious teenager. This makes them particularly vulnerable to any other changes in life which may occur such as a family breakdown.

Social media as a description should be a ‘social’ place to keep in contact with friends and family etc. However the pressure to get likes, comments, retweets and friending can have a huge impact on a young people. Not getting likes etc. although it may seem like a small thing to some, can feel like a massive rejection to others. It has been shown that an ‘unfriend’ on Facebook registers in the brain in exactly the same way as a physical injury.

Teens need to understand that it’s okay to have this huge mess of emotions, and they must be shown ways to deal with it: being equipped with proper tools will help prevent trauma leaving its mark and becoming anxiety or worse.

A positive step that is being taken is to set up safe place in schools where young people can go and speak to someone. Mindfulness programs are being set up which are devoted to the awareness of emotions, how they arise and in what forms and, importantly, how to manage those emotions.

A child with an awareness of what is going on with their emotions, helpful and unhelpful, develops an ability to accept and embrace emotions, and not to allow them to grow to overwhelm. A mindfulness programme instils the fact that everyone — other kids, teachers, parents — has exactly the same abilities to think and to feel and react. In the same way as you feel grumpy, angry, irritable, or happy, the lesson goes, so does everyone else. The programme develops compassion in its truest sense: understanding and forgiving of both self and others. Again, interpersonal relationships can become more considered and deliberate.

There are certain charities, such as Place2b work with school and offers a flexible menu of services, tailored to meet schools’ needs. The typical model is based on a team of five or more Place2Be personnel (both clinical staff and highly skilled volunteers) delivering a range of services in a school.

Chrysalis has recently been lucky enough to work together with Place2b to allow our students to volunteer with them. Every year Place2b needs volunteers to help with the growing demand they face. So if working with children is something you feel passionate about, speak to your tutor today about getting a placement with Place2b in your third year and visit our Placements page for other placements we have available.

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