Sue Lewis Counselling, Psychotherapy and Supervision near Oxford and Banbury

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Pandora Newsletter. BTC me

Welcome to October 2017's Pandora newsletter

Welcome to my monthly newsletter. I'd love any feedback and comments. If you'd like it emailed to your inbox each month, you can subscribe at the bottom of the page.

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Unexpected things

A favourite leather bag of mine has broken its strap, and I have been keeping an eye out for a place to get it repaired – the local cobblers won’t do it for some reason. When I was at the farmers’ market the other day, I came across a stall that hadn’t been there before – a saddelry where a skilled woman who worked with leather to repair shoes, watch straps and yes – handbags. I was delighted and told her that as I hadn’t seen her there before, would she be there next month for me to bring my bag to her. She looked at me oddly and said she’d been coming to that market for 7 years. I was so stunned that I nearly told her that she was wrong – I managed to stop myself in time! Clearly I just hadn’t seen her before when I was doing my usual shopping because I hadn’t been looking for someone to mend my bag.

I’ve been very struck by this – the way we only see things we are looking for, or are expecting to see. It makes sense doesn’t it, to filter out what we don’t need to take notice of in everyday life otherwise we would spend lots of time and energy on unnecessary things. Then our minds being the amazing things they are, when we do need something then it pops into our consciousness for the first time and we see it. In fact we know that our brains develop physical neural pathways that our thoughts go down that reflect our thinking patterns, so that makes it harder to break free from them. Luckily the brain is also pretty plastic and adaptable so we can, with effort, learn new ways of thinking.

The downside to this evolutionary trick, of course, is that we can get stuck in a rut in seeing the world only one way. Someone said to me the other day – “People always dismiss me”, although looked at another way his life was full of people paying him attention (admittedly not always in the way he wanted, but they weren’t dismissing him). It was hard for him to see this, as he was used to seeing the world through his eyes. We all go around looking for information to confirm our way of seeing things and justify our beliefs about the world, other people and ourselves, and accepting new contradictory information can be quite hard.

So the good news I have somewhere to repair my bag, and a few of my neural pathways have adjusted a bit….

For previous blogs, or to comment on this one, click here. alternatively you can comment on the blog on my Facebook page here.

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Interesting Reading

This is a good radio programme by Stephen Fry on the language we use to discuss mental health and how it’s changing over the years… You can find it here. You'll need to be quick though as there are only a few days left!

New Personal Breakthrough days (using Pesso Boyden)

The next Pesso Boyden day in Oxford on Oct 7th is now fully booked, but I am running another with a colleague in Oxford on Nov 11th. Deb Clarke is a life coach, qualified and experienced in Pesso Boyden, so that will make for a great day, I’m sure. Contact me for more information, or find some details here.

Quote of the Month

"I don't like planning, because it robs me of freedom, so I'd like a 24 hours that was full of surprises."

Marc Warren

This Month's Cartoon

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Counsellors' Corner

I don’t know about you, but I have seen an increase in people coming to see me who are struggling with anxiety over the past few years. Maybe it’s a coincidence…anyway it seems good that there’s some local CPD on working with anxiety. More details here.

Why Pandora?

Pandora was, in myth, the first woman created by the gods out of clay. She had life breathed into her, and was given a box full of wonderful gifts from each of the gods and goddesses, which she was told never to open. But the King of the Gods, Zeus, also gave her curiosity, and after a while, her curiosity got the better of her – she opened the box. To her horror, all the lovely gifts that had been placed in the box turned to terrible things – Poverty, Disease, Unhappiness…they all flew out, despite her slamming the lid down again. The final one to come out was Hope and with a nod, Hope flew out into the world, a world which now held Envy, Crime, Hate – and Hope.

Counselling, psychotherapy and supervision

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