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30Mar

We have thousands of thoughts per day, and most of them are negative. The question is...do we listen to them? do we have to listen to them? The answer is "NO"

We need to challenge those negative narratives, we need to examine them and decide if they are useful or hindering our lives. For years I struggled with health/death anxiety where every little bump, pain, ache or bruise was cancer, or a heart attack, something that would surely kill me, this crippling narrative had been with me from the age of thirteen, it took a lot of work to remove those thoughts as they creeped into my mind daily for forty years. These intrusive thoughts don't have to be that severe, it could be something as simple as "I'm not going out with my friends tonight I feel unattractive", or "I hate going into work, as I know my boss hates me" or lying in bed at night with a million things you should have or need to do. Every single one of these thoughts can be challenged, Cognitive behavioural therapy is an evidence based therapy that has proven to be most effective with negative narratives. If your negative thoughts are ruling your life then think about CBT and challenging them, distance the person that is you from those unwanted thoughts..."You are not your thoughts"


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01Apr

Right now more that ever we need to find out what makes us happy and comforted, that will look different for everyone. It could be a walk in the park, or curled up with a good book. For me it's a few different things, I like to grab a blanket on a fine evening and sit out beside the firepit and watch the flames dance. Sometimes I just like to look up at the stars. I'm also partial to a fancy bar of chocolate and a Netflix series or movie, but the blanket is there too...in fact even when I am on zoom calls with clients the blanket is there, placed over my knees. I guess it brings a kind of comfort, like a kiddie with their blankie. Whatever it is that makes you happy, even for a fleeting moment, do it., and do it more often. 

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When we first went into "lockdown" in Ireland there was a sense of community, that this is just for a few weeks, "the weather is great, lets get cracking on the house/garden" now it's Novemember and here we are again, just as we were starting to feel somewhat human again, we are bck in lockdown. This time though it's different, the weather is dull and cold, the evenings are dark and we are feeling vunerable, isolated, our future is unsure and we are finding it hard to hold on to the resilliance we had in the spring.

We are anxious, nervous about human interaction, yet this is something that we as humans thrive on, indeed it is our very nature. How can we find the inner strengths to get through this lockdown. Yes we can exercise, cook, watch Christmas movies (maybe that's just me!), read a good book or zoom a friend (yes we are all zoom savvy these days) all nice bits of advice but we need something stronger and I'm not talking about alcohol, we need to find a deeper, more meaningful solution. So where do we find it?

Within....we are made of very strong stuff, we just have to tap into those resources that we all have. We do that by re-structuring our thought processes. We are the product of our thoughts, we take meaning, we think, we feel, we behave and in that order. The meaning we extract from our surroundings, our interactions, our lack of interaction is directly linked to what we think about our world. Those thoughts make us feel deeply, our feelings are strong and the stronger the feeling the more intense the behaviour that comes from these feelings. So how can all this cause and effect help us right now in lockdown? 

What does lockdown mean to you....that's where you start.


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Why I use Dream Thrapy in my practice

"Unlock your dreams & set yourself free"


Welcome to Willow Avenue Therapy, my name is Kathleen and I have a passion for dreams, yes those movie like scenarios that visit us when we are in our most restful state. People have been asking my advice on what their dreams could mean for over a quarter of a century, even before my academic studies. Now of course I realise that I can't do the analysing, they are your dreams from your subconscious and only you can unlock them, however, I can help you do that with the right tools. What are dreams trying to tell us? Do they mean anything at all? Well actually they do and psychologists from Freud to Adler believed so too. When we are not in a waking state our brains are processing all sorts of things. So how can this help in a psychotherapeutic setting?
Dreams can be a reflection of what we’re feeling at the subconscious level, for those who find it difficult to talk about their feelings, dream therapy can help unblock emotions buried deep inside. Creative people find dream therapy very beneficial and in my man years of working in the music industry, I have found that creative people have very vivid and sometimes recurring dreams.
One of the major benefits of dream therapy is the positive self care aspect, keeping a dream journal is one of the key tools in this therapy. By allowing five to ten minutes a day for journaling, you give yourself permission to focus exclusively on you. 
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