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Counselling and Therapy Newtownabbey. 

Professional therapy for personal healing, growth & discovery.  

    Counselling Newtownabbey, private counselling, therapy and healing. 

    Accessible affordable professional mental health support, supporting Newtownabbey, Belfast, Co. Antrim & surrounding areas.


Blog

Blog

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Time to talk.

Posted on 14 February, 2022 at 0:15 Comments comments (416)

Talking is our most accessilble copoing skill, read below the importance of talking to support mental health.

ttps://www.belfastlive.co.uk/whats-on/be/time-talk-day-tips-opening-22960788



Eat the frog.

Posted on 13 February, 2022 at 11:45 Comments comments (63)

RSVP MAGAZINE - BLUE MONDAY

Posted on 1 February, 2022 at 3:05

 

Blue Monday: Counsellor Ashleigh Duncan shares suggestions to help manage those difficult days  (Image GETTY) 

We have all difficult days, in fact, sometimes we have a difficult week but how we manage our stresses is very important and counsellor Ashleigh Duncan has given us some tips on how to stay positive

https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/whats-on/be/blue-monday-suggestions-helping-manage-22698008" target="_blank">http://https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/whats-on/be/blue-monday-suggestions-helping-manage-22698008




Are you a human being or human doing?

Posted on 16 January, 2022 at 14:05

Check out my latest published article sharing tips on how to live more presently.



Theraputic Techniques & Meditations

Posted on 3 May, 2020 at 14:20

To access regualr theraputic techniques, journalling exercises, selfcare suggestions, mediatons and breathing excercises please follow my social media pages  as these are updated regualry. 


Ashleigh's Beach

Posted on 3 May, 2020 at 14:05

A poetic piece penned by an incredibly talented client, a beautiful potrayal of their process. 
(Shared with full permisson)


d c
 

Managing Wellbeing

Posted on 27 March, 2020 at 6:50

Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (Covid 19), can be a scary and uncertain time for everyone, this can have an adverse effect on our mental health. During times like this please remember it is natural to feel worried and express concern. While it is important to stay informed, there are also many things we can do to support and manage our mental wellbeing during such times. Here are some tips I hope may to look after your mental health at a time when there is much discussion of potential threats to our physical health.

 

Try to avoid speculation, avoid social media, unhelpful threads or people. Be careful what you share online, .While it is good to raise awareness however false information can be damaging. Ask yourself is this helpful or may this raise hysteria? Be mindful of what conversations you involve yourself in online. Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about the virus can help you feel more in control. You can get up-to-date information and advice on the virus from Gov.UK or NHS.uk. – only follow reputable advise through the situation. Keep up to date with events including recovery statistics and stories from those whom have experienced it.

 

Follow hygiene advice such as washing your hands more often than usual. You should do this whenever you get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food. This will implement as form of control within. If you can’t wash your hands straightaway, use hand sanitiser and then wash them at the next opportunity. Carry hand sanitizer and tissues, this is a comfort. (You should also use tissues if you sneeze and make sure you dispose of them quickly; and stay at home if you are feeling unwell) Please be advised this informaiton is changeable adapted from WHO advice 11th March 2020). For up to date information https://www.who.int/

 

It is a good idea to stick to your daily routine, even if you do have to stay at home routine is extremely helpful where possible, spend a little time creating a schedule of activities, include some journaling in your schedule to help you offload some of those thoughts and feelings. You may also like to focus on the things you can do if you feel able to: stress management techniques, keep active.  Eat a well balanced diet, use mediation, creative activities, cooking, reading, as a form of self care. Spend a little time each morning setting out your day. it is also important to focus on gratitude during troublesome times, wrtie 3 things daily you are grateful for. 

 

Try to stay connected. At times of stress, we work better in company and with support. Try and keep in touch with your friends and family. Talk about other news than the virus. Talk to your family. Involving our family and children in our plans for good health is essential. We need be alert to and ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them, without causing them alarm. Talk about your feelings as a family work out a plan to prepare for this time.

 

Be kind, look to the good, at tough times it is natural to look at the negatives but if you look around you will see so many people reaching out and helping others. Where possible you too may wish to get involved in reaching out, call an elderly relative, text a friend to check in, pick up an extra tin for the food bank, good deeds and kindness are good for our own wellbeing as well as helping others. Always look to the good.

 

Before You

Posted on 12 January, 2020 at 3:35 Comments comments (2254)

"AN OPEN LETTER FROM A CLIENT AND THEIR EXPEREINCE OF THE THERAPUTIC PROCESS"

Shared with Full permisson.


Before you I had seen 4 different therapists throughout different stages of my life, then I found you.

I hated going to therapy, making every excuse not to go, if I did get there I hid myself. Telling the others what they wanted to hear, I figured I would get out of there sooner if we ticked all the boxes, that's what I felt I was to them, a tick box.

They would ask me questions, I wouldn't engage. Responding with "I don't know . I did not know. I didn't want to disclose. Plastering a fake smile on my face. "I've had a good week actually". I did not have a good experience, so I stopped therapy for good. I felt alone. Questioned why this wasn't working for me. Was it me? Was it them? Before you, I wasn't ready for therapy. You told me this. Graciously. It would have been easy for you to bask in the glory that your colleagues weren't as good as you. You worked gently with me to begin, building our trust week by week, strengthening our relationship until I was ready. I started to actually look forward to our sessions. You gave me the gift of patience choosing your moments carefully, waiting until I was ready, no boxes ticked. We joke of your sorcery, one minute we would be talking about a TV series the next an unresolved trauma from my past, that I had buried deep. You just have that way. Before you I wasn't ready. With you I was. Ready to be vulnerable, ready to be real. The time you give me each week has changed my life for the better. Before you, I was closed off, I was fake. With you I allowed my feelings to surface, to sit with all the pain and really get to know myself. Before you, I was so angry at everyone, using my trauma as an excuse for my behaviour. You didn't allow that, you validated my feelings, yet called me out on my bulls*t. No one had dared called me out before. I remember projecting that anger to you, utterly seething with you. Who did you think you were? The audacity of you to hold me accountable for my actions. I was never going back. Another one bites the dust. I then remembered you had warned me this might happen at the time I shrugged it off not fully understanding. Then something happen. A strange feeling enveloped me. I needed that. I needed accountability. The following week I reluctantly went back, I feIt somewhat lighter, yet slightly awkward and embarrassed at my rage towards you. I couldn't look you in the eye. You were firm yet gentle with me. Making mention of the previous week, explaining the process, allowing time to explore my feelings. With you, I was comfortable enough to communicate how I felt, making sense of my thoughts and feelings. Before you I had spent so much energy on being angry and avoiding my truth. Living the blame game, a victim of my circumstances. You changed that. I'm now a survivor of them. You told me I could let my tragedy define me or determine me. You told me I had the power, the choice. Questioning if I wanted to stay bitter or get better. I felt that. To say you are my saving grace doesn't cut it. You say that it's all on me because I'm doing the all work, but that's not true. I want you to know the reason I want to do the work is because of you, your kindness, your compassion. Your acceptance. Your passion, grace and empathetic nature exudes through every word you say, every smile, look and face you pull. My other therapists were stone faced, sounding boards, box tickers. They showed me no emotion. You show it all. You wear your heart on your sleeve. Literally, one of the first things I noticed about you was the small heart tattoo on your wrist, ironic. A lotus flower on the other, when I questioned what those meant you didn't hide, you didn't hesitate to answer, explaining the lotus as symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. It's characteristics are a perfect analogy for the human condition, we come through the dirtiest of waters growing into beauty, I too have been through the mud", you smiled. You showed me you are human, real, showing me humanity. One person to another. I relaxed. I knew I was ready to bloom. Before you, I was different. You've shown me how to put myself first how to fully love myself, grow through murky waters, scars and all. Before you, I felt alone. Now I know when I need someone you'll be there, present in my week, whatever I need that hour you'll give to me. You have cried with me. You have laughed with me, but most of all, you have heard me. For so much of my life, I just needed someone to hear me, to be with me. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to others, I know I am not the only one who feels this way. I see it. I see you greet others with a hug or put gentle hand on their shoulder as you part ways - silently saying "I am here with you". I see the few moments you take to compose yourself after holding the heartbreak of another client before you begin with me. Now fully present with me. I see the love that you hold for us all. The light that you give. Thank you. For being incredible at your job. For your job being more than a job. For being authentic. Thank you for being you.


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