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Windmills of the Minds

Counselling & Wellbeing Services for adults, young people and children

'When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build windmills'

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My Blog


Being my own Worst Enemy.

Posted on April 5, 2020 at 4:18 PM Comments comments (141)
I have heard these words many times in the therapy room.  'I am my own worst enemy'.  I can remember saying them to my therapist some years ago. Now it did not happen over night, I didn't necessarily force changes, it happened naturally.  I befriended myself , I do nice things for me, I work on making better decisions, I practice reassuring, comforting and lower my expectations of myself. 

We can explore how we came to this place of treating ourselves badly?
We can think about where did it all start?

We may find ourselves creating havoc in relationships, over committing, letting others down.
We may find ourselves thinking we are bad people, not worthy, choosing less than we deserve. 

Exhaustion and chronic fatigue may be physical symptoms.
Constant headaches from feeling pressured. 

It may not a specific time or place when the blaming or shaming started. When guilty feelings propelled us into giving too much. 
It is usually over a period of time,  when repeated messages are reinforced, by parents, society, cultural beliefs, religion, peers, teachers. 

Think about if you put yourself last or  find it difficult to say no? Feel constantly heavily compromised? 

I want to be clear, the way I practice is not about blaming others. Therapy allows us the time to understand, firstly what we are doing that's  badly affecting our life and secondly the reasons. We can in time learn to understand how these ways of beings are now established in our relationships, decision making and life choices. 

Imagine what it is like to have an embedded splinter, it may be painful, sore, irritating, you know its there. 
It may be slightly embedded so we can see it, or it may have got buried beneath the skin, we may need help to remove the splinter. For a while it will feel worse, it may hurt finding the splinter, it may take some time. Eventually though, it will heal, you will not be bothered by it. 

Therapy is about  considering your own responsibility and what others are responsible for. Of taking responsibility for your life, your choices and your behaviours. To consider your own needs as well as others. Therapy might free you, liberate your choices and mindset.
Or choose to live a simpler, happier, more content life.

We can learn to befriend ourselves. Therapy is not an easy journey, for some it is a difficult and emotionally turbulent.  For most, the feedback is,  that it has been worth it.

Paul Gilbert is one guru for self compassion. Check out his resources.

Sarah  May Thorpe.

Get in touch. 

Book an initial consultation by emailing [email protected]
or telephone 07727115371
Visit my website -

All work is currently remote due to the Covid 19 (Coronavirus)

If you are concerned about working therapeutically, over the telephone or video, lets talk about it, we may be able to reassure you of any fears or concerns that may be stopping you, or decide that waiting for face to face sessions is the safest option. 

Barriers to therapy -Q & A- What stops us from accessing talking therapies?

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 1:28 PM Comments comments (177)
What might stop you from accessing talking therapies?

This is what some people say and my thoughts and responses based on my experiences so far.

Talking to someone will not change the past.
We are not able to change the past, we can feel differently about what happened in the past and learn to let go of being stuck in the past.

I am a man, I don't talk about my feelings.
For some men it is difficult to overcome the belief that men don't talk about their feelings. Not all of course, there are some men who are very expressive. However, for some, it is a challenge. If you are feeling stressed and finding it hard to cope, being able to express how you feel with a counsellor can be a safe place to do so. Many men access counselling and find it helps them to feel more confident,  be able to communicate and improve relationships with others.

I am too old
Irvin Yalom a great psychotherapist is a fine example that working in therapy with older people is very beneficial. Older people are facing different life challenges such as retirement, children leaving home, bereavement, losses and changes in body and mind. Having worked well with older people and seeing the differences this makes to their well being, I feel privileged to have the opportunity.

Will I have to lay on a couch?
There are definitely no couches to lay on. We sit on sofas.

People will think I am crazy or not able to cope if I go to see a counsellor
Many people now access counselling for many reasons. People of different ages and walks of life. Seeking counselling is a sign of courage, asking for help can be incredibly difficult. Also we don't have to be mad to be in counselling. People attend counselling for many reasons such as a life changing event.

I don't know what I am meant to do when in there
In counselling sessions we will talk about how you like to work, whether it is in a structured or unstructured way, or using more creative methods if you prefer.

50 minutes seems a long time to be sat talking to someone.
If you feel anxious and think starting sessions for 30 minutes will help you, we can be flexible.

I want to access counselling but haven't the time or money
No doubt accessing counselling takes time. If you cannot find the time for yourself it may be a sign that you are not able to make space for your own needs.
Private counselling does incur a financial investment, however, there are concessions and ways of budgeting money if you feel its worth it to you.

Reading material

Mini Blogs- Childrens Counselling - When might my child need counselling?

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 11:34 AM Comments comments (66)
Childrens counselling can be useful for many difficulties or challenges they may be facing and struggling with. Bereavement. loss, parents separating, self esteem and confidence.

Whatever the reason children can benefit long term from some one to one therapeutic work. Counselling can help release feelings, understand emotions and help the child to regulate their emotions. Behavioural issues can be worked through in counselling. If you child is feeling angry having a safe space to express this anger can help them to feel calmer and less aggressive.

Parents can play an important part in their childs therapy by listening to their child when they want to talk (not asking too many questions) and by sometimes seeking help for their own needs. For e,g if you are struggling to come to terms with a bereavement then your child may be a picking up on your behaviours and emotions, 

Parents can learn to respond to their children differently by not reacting, staying calm and finding time to your self to be able to meet your own needs,

I can help both parents and children to recover from any emotional upsets and create more resilient families.

Visit to find out more

Reflections on Counselling Part 2

Posted on May 10, 2015 at 6:23 AM Comments comments (160)
In my journey of counselling we are taught to questions ourselves and what we do. What does counselling actually do?
I will answer this question from my own beliefs, training, values and perspectives. 

First of all, what counselling does not provide a quick fix for problems . Counselling is not about telling you what to do or how to do it. As a counsellor my role is not to judge you or situations you are in. My role is not to give you the answers but for you to find the answers that you have within you.

Friends and family may often give you advice, do you take it?

Advice giving is useful at practical times, for e.g such as managing debt, but in the counselling arena, this does not help you become more self assured and trust in your self.

Often the biggest conflict we have is with ourselves. We may not be supporting our own self, rejecting who we are. We may not feel good enough, strong enough, clever enough. People will say just be positive or get a grip. If only it were that easy. Like having a physical illness, when we are emotionally raw we need time and care to heal. This does not happen overnight, Patience is a virtue. Belief and trust that in time you will recover, helps the process. This can at times can be challenging in the depth of despair. We will have thoughts like..

No one cares
No one understands
What is the point?
Why me ?

These are completely normal and natural thoughts but can debilitate us and isolate us from others.

Counselling is a place where you can be understood and that these thoughts and feelings can be expressed and accepted.

We may feel embarrassed  that we are having these thoughts, this blocks our way to seeking help and moving forward.

Counsellors offer the space and time  to be there for you, they have the skills , knowledge and training to help you understand and accept your feelings and thoughts without judging your self or others.

Counsellors can support you to be able become more conscious of the unconscious.  We often are too close to the situation. or we may not realise how we ourselves are playing an important role. 

'Be the driver, not the driven'.

Here are a few links to helping you understand more about the areas discussed today.

to be continued..................

Reflections on counselling

Posted on April 30, 2015 at 5:19 PM Comments comments (0)
Talking to a trained counselling professional is different from having a chat with a friend or a family.
Counsellors are highly trained professionals in working with others therapeutically to enable the person to work through challenging times. 

My counselling training lasted over 10 years and i continue to update my learning in different aspects to increase my skills and widen my knowledge. Also keeping up to date with the changes in policies and the government.

It takes a great deal of work and commitment in this profession to maintain good standards of work. I am a member of the BACP and on their approved register. This requires working to their ethical standards and guidelines. It takes commitment to taking care of myself to enable my ability to support others.

Through the years of my  counselling journey up to now,  i have spent time learning about myself and i have attended counselling for my own personal development and when i have needed too. I highly valued the time I spent as a client. I learned to know what it feels like to sit in that chair and feel vulnerable.  It also has given me the opportunity not only to support me in challenging times but to feel comfortable in my own skin. That is priceless to me.

Whereas the principles  of counselling are similar for most fields,  every counsellor is unique, we all have our own personalities. The relationship to me with every client is unique and is the key to being able to work together effectively. if i am able to help a client feel at ease, trust me and feel confident in me, this to me,  is the stability that will provide the platform to enabling the therapeutic process to take place.

This in turn enables the person to accept themselves and therefore be able to make changes if they choose too. 
Acceptance of the human self and all our parts for me is where we grow and become more human. We learn to accept others and understand each other in much greater depth. The relationship with ourselves makes the difference to how we relate to others. If we don't like who we are, how can we be open to forging deep human connections......?

To be continued.

Sarah Thorpe 

Thank you for reading.