Author: Chrysalis Not For Profit (page 1 of 19)

Change Begins With Choice.

Any day we wish we can discipline ourselves to change it all. Any day we wish; we can open the book: start that new project or course, that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish; we can start a new activity. Any day we wish; we can start the process of life change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year.

We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labour, entertainment over education, delusion over truth, and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause. As Shakespeare uniquely observed, “The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves.” We created our circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today. Those who are in search of the good life do not need more answers or more time to think things over to reach better conclusions. They need the truth. They need the whole truth. And they need nothing but the truth.

We cannot allow our errors in judgement, repeated every day, to lead us down the wrong path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then we must make the very choices that will bring life, happiness and joy into our daily lives.

Here is one last piece of advise I read years ago for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life – If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life – and it all begins with your very own power of choice.

Heres To Your New Journey.


One of the anxieties I often see expressed in student work is that of remembering the details of a client’s story. Who did what, when, how etc? And what was the partner’s, child’s, parent’s name?

What emerges may be a long list of events, situations, emotion, action and reaction that is difficult to hold on to. Sometimes, the story itself is not the focus.

What matters most is the feeling, the experience. The value of what is not said but profoundly expressed nonetheless.

So you forget a name or a detail. Use it to reflect on how and why it happened. Does it reflect some aspect of the relationship for the client? Does it inform you, as therapist, about your management of your own process with that particular client or that particular experience they are sharing? How might you use it to engage in that very real “here and now” moment with your client?

But even as a therapist, I am still only human. And a part of being human means that sometimes I forget.

I once used the wrong name for a client’s partner at least 3 times over the space of a couple of sessions. The client was counting. She pointed it out to me.

I acknowledged it and apologised.

And then I reflected that it wasn’t something I would usually do, certainly not repeatedly. So I shared that with the client. I reflected back to her that it felt as if I couldn’t quite place who he was for my client – who they were in relationship together.

Silence. My stomach had butterflies. This was going out on a limb.

Dropping the anger and annoyance, and with a deep sigh, she said she didn’t know him as a person anymore. He wasn’t the person he was at the start of their relationship. She didn’t know who he was. And she didn’t know how to relate to him anymore.

So then….. I brought it back to the relationship between myself and the client. I wondered (out loud) if she therefore stopped sharing herself with others, and with me, if she wasn’t sure who they were, how they feel, what they think….

The therapeutic process and relationship moved to a whole different level at that point.

A process of re-membering – putting someone back together again. Putting the relating back into relationship on all sides.

Be a therapist. But remember to stay human as well.

Bench Talk

Just outside my little house I have a wooden bench. The sun warms it through late morning and afternoon. The cat loves it. I love it. And a funny thing happens when I sit on my bench…

I face a community green with a number of other small houses, bungalows and apartments around. Whenever I sit on the bench, I can watch the comings and goings of life. And – everyone who walks past talks to me.

Sometimes, it’s a passing comment or greeting. Sometimes it’s just me and the cat. Sometimes, people join me on the bench and start talking.

I listen. We chat. We laugh. We share. We moan. We ask questions and find answers. We impart news. We come up with ideas. We share a cup of tea. We put the world to rights.

And sometimes people use me and the space as a sounding board. A confessional. A little bit of therapy.

Some of them know my profession. Many don’t.

I use listening skills. Often I use counselling skills.

And so my bench becomes a place of healing. A cathartic space. A space to off-load. A space to rest and recover. And a space to simply relax and watch the world go by.

Do I make notes? Or refer them? Do I tell them I might need to notify someone else of what they tell me? Do I tell them I’m using counselling skills, listening skills or a specific technique? Do I give them a set amount of time? ……

Well – what would you do?

The Online Certificate in Counselling includes an exercise which includes the following question:

“If you were using your counselling skills with a friend or neighbour who had been upset in his/her life, what would you say about your role and the limits of confidentiality?”

I invite you to come and sit on my bench a little while and reflect on what is essential, what is important, what is relevant.

Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in “being” a counsellor/therapist/coach/ that we overlay the everyday with stuff that doesn’t need to be there.

Just because you are trained as a counsellor, doesn’t mean that you always engage as a counsellor. Don’t over-egg it. Be real. Be human. Be you.

It simply evolves. Because that’s what happens.

Anything else is not my bench…


An Update from Chrysalis Graduate Jane Needham

Following on from my feedback on my journey after completing my studies with Chrysalis, I have found that my business has grown. I too have grown in confidence, that with each and every client, my knowledge increases too, as each client is so unique in the hypnotherapy and counselling they need.Since starting my business, and seeing clients, I have more idea on what areas I wish to specialise in, originally thinking that I would cover whatever was needed by the clients I got. I have been drawn to using hypnotherapy in helping people who have, or are going through, cancer treatments, I have used hypnotherapy to help encourage the visualisation of healing their own bodies, or in the body working alongside the radiotherapy or cancer treatment. I have used hypnotherapy to install a positive outlook on their recovery and treatments. This has proved to be really effective, and extremely helpful for the client during this very stressful time.

I have become interested in hypnotherapy for fertility, and again, have found this to be very effective. In collaboration with another therapist in a different field, out of the 3 case studies we worked on, 2 became pregnant. The longer you work as a hypnotherapist, you realise more and more the power that it has, how helpful and supportive it can be. I have become more creative in the writing of my scripts, this has been down to reading some very good books, primarily by David R Hamilton. Writing scripts that are fun and imaginative are definitely proving to be the most effective.

I am glad I chose to study over a longer period of time, to be able to choose a course that covered things so thoroughly, as this training has made me a better, more understanding, knowledgeable, hypnotherapist and counsellor. I feel my journey is just beginning as a hypnotherapist and counsellor as there is so much more to learn!

Giving makes us feel happier

When you were a child and you got a present, there was nothing better than tearing off the paper to see what was inside.  That sense of anticipation and then a big happy smile when you found that you have got just what you wanted.  Watching others open present was certainly never as much fun, more often than not you might have tried to ‘help’ or even left the room whilst it was happening.

However, when you start to get older you realise that you get just as much pleasure, if not more, by giving a gift to someone else and watching their face as they opened it.

It is not just presents either, studies have shown that those who give to other people, including giving to those less fortunate than ourselves are actually happier.  It has in fact been suggested through various studies that giving money actually makes us happier than spending it on ourselves.  One particular study carried out by Harvard Business School showed that those people who spent money on others were indeed happier than those who spent it on themselves.

We are as humans, a very social bunch and have actually survived because we do take care of each other (to a greater or lesser degree).

So if giving to others, including but not limited to money, makes us feel happier then and feeling happier can make us feel better in many different ways,  it is actually important for us to continue to find ways to give to other people.

The full study can be found at:-


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