December 2015

Weight Management

Weight Management Coaching
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WEIGHT MANAGEMENT COACHING

It is very difficult to lose weight, people can try countless diets and physical exercise programmes that initially help them to lose weight but then the weight becomes more difficult to lose.
Diets and fads can promise overnight miracles but in reality very few help you to lose weight and maintain that weigh loss. Most people who diet continue to try different methods but ‘Yo yo’ dieting actually increases your weight over time as it disrupts your metabolism.

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Being overweight has many disadvantages - primarily on your health but also on your self esteem. There are social connotations to being overweight, and people who are overweight are often considered negatively.
Obesity - has previously been considered a moral issue, a consequence of emotional problems. However there are many reasons why people put on weight - it maybe genetic, you maybe sleeping too much or too little (in particular if you have sleep apnea - better known as snoring). Viruses and illnesses that affect the gut bacteria can increase your weight as well as certain medications can make you put on weight. Life style issues such as living in central heated homes, having a sedentary lifestyle (working in a seated office job), and eating in front of the TV also contributes to weight gain.

Unhelpful thoughts and beliefs about hunger - for example that going without food for long periods of time will help you to lose weight! This is not true!
Going without food for long periods of time usually sets off uncontrollable cravings for high calorie foods as your blood sugar level drops and the need to replenish glucose in your blood becomes imperative. Neglecting to eat and bingeing in this way leads to mood swings and depression as well as diabetes and does not help you to lose weight, in fact at times it makes you gain weight. Starvation is often followed by inappropriate hunger, binge eating, changes in appetite for foods rich in sugar and fat and persist beyond the dieting period.

However if you have put on weight and are finding it difficult to lose the weight you may need help to understand the behaviour that contributes to your weight gain, understanding how nutrition and eating healthy foods may not only help you to lose weight but also help you to stabilise your moods ****
being unable to make changes that would help you to .
Diets often help us tools weight temporarily, this is because most diets have helped your release most of the water in your body and therefore the scales are lighter. Unfortunately dieting and losing weight like this is counterproductive although many applaud it.

How many times have you heard “you’ve lost weight - you look great” as opposed to “your looking healthier these days”?

Losing weight and being thin has taken on a status in our culture and there dieting is BIG BUSINESS.

However dieting starts to mess up your metabolic system as it senses that it is not receiving enough food! Primal alert your system and slows down your metabolic rate to digest and conserve the food you are eating more effectively. Stop starting your metabolic rate and the way you burn calories over time confuses the system and therefore losing weight becomes more difficult.

I help to people to lose weight by changing their lifestyles. I do not impose strange diets of vegetable juice and cabbage soups or strange milkshake substitutes, that tend to leave most people starving and craving for food. This is a phenomena that was noted in the post war Ancel Keys study on starvation. More recently the Bear Gryllis Island experiments also show the psychological affects of food deprivation on participants. They become clumsy, vulnerable, sleepy, aggressive etc. as their bodies and minds become starved.
If you are interested in learning more about this there is a detailed report Ancel Keys study on starvation - http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/10/hunger.aspx


Here at Hope Therapy we look to motivate, coach and inform you of better ways to manage your weight.

This is a programme that works only if you are ready to change your lifestyle. The choice of entering into treatment for weight management has to be a decision you make for yourself - not because your husband, sister, boyfriend, mother, father or anyone else demands it of you. It is your decision that will help you to lose weight.

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Help to develop Self Regulation - as it is amongst the traits that predicts emotional Health, happiness and success in life.

Long term studies by Psychologists regarding impulse control see children that are able to wait for a rewqrd as opposed to eating all the sweets often grow into balanced individuals who are less likely to engage in harmful lifestyles such as drug taking and criminality, but develop into responsible adults who succeed in their studies and go on to develop careers and relationships that are healthy and rewarding.



If you want to lose weight you must start to regulate your weight loss and apply self control over temptation. By consciously working on self regulation we hope that it becomes automatic and this will help you to sustain weight loss.

To help individuals self regulate you must have reached a turning point which will motivate you to change

If it is difficult to give up your treats DOWNSIZE!

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and eat something healthy with it!

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This will helps you to get the pleasure from what you like as well as the nutrition from something healthy -

Some of the foods we like can be harmful to us - like aspartame. Start reading the labels on foodstuff to evaluate what you are putting into your body and whether you want to take the risk?

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Teenagers are particularly susceptible to eating disorders such as anorexia, bulim.ia or binge eating self harm and depression.






Start including healthy foods in your diet - make sure that you include a portion of Calcium, Complex Carbohydrates, Fruit and Vegetables, Protein (optional) and Fat (optional) in each meal.
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Superfoods - are nutritiously dense foods - try to include them in your meals
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you can also include gala melon, calves liver,olive oil, garden peas, broccoli, papaya, blue plums, apricots




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Loss and Bereavement

Loss, Grief & Bereavement

The Grasp of his Hand
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain
but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not look for allies in life's battlefield
but to my own strength.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved
but hope for the patience to win my freedom.
Grant that I may not be a coward,
feeling Your mercy in my success alone;
But let me find the grasp of Your hand in my failure.

Rabrindrath Tagore

I trained in Bereavement and Grief counselling at the Sam Beare Hospice in Weybridge. Bereavement Loss and Grief touches all of us through life and it goes beyond the initial stages where there are friends and family to support you.

The loss seems to depend after the funeral - the business during the time leading up to the funeral distracts us from our loss. Friends and family who are initially supportive slowly start to think that you will be ok and it becomes difficult to continue to talk about your loss - they start saying things like - you should be over it by now - but you know you are not.

The emotional pain of losing someone dear is quantifiable by the amount you loved them and moving on from this is extremely difficult. Feelings can seem overwhelming and we try to stop them in any which way we can in case they swallow us up entirely.

Counselling can be very supportive during this time, having someone to share your feelings with and to continue to mourn your loss is important so that you can process your feelings and thoughts. Learning techniques to calm yourself down when you feel overwhelmed is very useful and I teach my clients breathing techniques which helps to calm. Feelings are our way of expressing our emotions and when we grieve we have a lot of emotions. When we try to avoid our emotions we often get stuck and knowing someone is there to support helps to get through this difficult time.

Many people are surprised at the intensity of their feelings and also the type of unwanted feelings they experience. I often tell my clients there are no right or wrongs about feelings as they are feelings they are not facts.

There are five stages of grief - Anyone who has been through grief will recognise the stages. My own experiences help me to relate with my clients and help them to understand that their feelings are normal.

Denial - this is the first stage of grief, it helps us to survive initially. It is a state of a shock - you may forget what has happened and try to get on with life as per normal. It is natures way of helping us to cope to pace ourselves and let the reality of the situation sink in. As you start to accept the reality of your loss you are beginning to accept and are therefore starting the healing process

Anger - most people are shocked that they feel anger. This can be directed in many ways - sometimes blaming others or at times blaming yourself . Anger is a necessary part of grieving and is a necessary part of the healing process. Let yourself feel it - talk it through with your therapist as it will help to dissipate it. Why shouldn’t you feel angry? Someone of great importance to you has been taken away? You should feel angry - you may be angry at God too. Your anger is a way of masking your pain - it is natural to feel deserted and abandoned by your loss. You may be angry at people who couldn’t save your loved one - doctors nurses ambulance men, you maybe angry that are not showing their support or didn’t attend the funeral. You maybe angry with yourself for not doing something you felt could have changed the situation - and sometimes we are angry at the person who died - for leaving. Anger is another indication of how intensely we loved the person we have lost.

Bargaining - is a way we try and change our situation and reverse what has happened. We fall into bargaining and what if’s. I often use the death of Princess Diana to try and explain this to my clients. At the time she died news papers were filled with the ‘what if’s’..... what if she hadn’t been in Paris that night?....what if she had remained married to Prince Charles.?.. what if there had been a different driver that night.?...what if she had never met Dodi?..... What they were really saying is - what if her life had been different that night - it would never have happened. She would not have died - we would not be here. We somehow want to go back in time to reverse the dreadful consequence that has brought us to the loss of our loved one. We will try to do anything to change what has happened and to stop the pain - we even try to reverse time.

Depression - our bargaining is futile and we realise the reality of our loss which brings feelings of emptiness and grief. Our feelings are very strong and overwhelming, at times it feels that it will always be like this . You cry, I prefer the term ‘weep’ as it is like an open wound. You may feel extremely depressed, unlike many depressions which may need clinical support - this depression is grief. This is what it feels like to lose someone. You cannot snap out of it - you cannot do the things you normally do, you may lose concentration and forget simple tasks. In my experience I often forgot how to cook - I would go to the supermarket and often return empty handed as I wouldn’t be a bee to remember the ingredients for a Shepherds Pie! Sometimes I would cry at most inopportune moments - sometimes in the supermarket where I just used to leave the shopping trolley and go home. Depression is a normal part of grieving, we have to grieve the loss, wonderful events and times with that person pop into our heads and then we realise that we will never experience it again. Depression is the sadness we experience when we start to accept that our lives will never the same again - life continues but has changed.

Acceptance - this is a stage of acknowledging life has to continue without the person we have lost. This does not mean we are going to forget them to that our sadness stops but that we have to find ways to continue with our lives and adapt to our new situation. Acceptance does not mean that you are ‘ok’ - or ‘all right’ as you may never feel its ok about the loss. But life has changed and we learn to accept it, even if we don’t like it. We start adapting to life’s it is now. We may learn to accept our new situation gradually, we may change our lives slowly. We may need to live in a smaller house - this is a big change and hopefully not one that needs to be made in a hurry. you may need to ask neighbours to help with domestic issues where as normally you could have depended on your partner or parent to help you. A colleague of mine really felt the loss of her husband many years after his death when she had to choose a new school for her son -she felt the only other person who would have been interested in helping her was her husband, they may have disagreed but he would have wanted the best for his son.
Our brains/minds need time to adjust - a client once old me that she struggled to change the quantity of food she bought after her husband died. For 40 years she had bought the weekly shop for two people and she struggled to change this. When the food started to perish she used to become very upset as it reminded her of her loss. Part of her acceptance was to change the amount of food she bought on a weekly basis which she gradually was achieved.

We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, have new meaningful relationships, we start to heal and grow. We change as the experience of loss is significant, we have experienced pain in n inexplicable way. We survive it and become stronger. We often start to appreciate life differently and w begin to live again - but we don’t forget. We don’t need to forget.

These stages are a process and we do not enter and leave the stages in a linear process, we can go back and forth into anger and bargaining throughout the day and throughout the proceeding months. Months after the death of my ex husband I though I spotted him in Waterloo station. It took some time for my brain to catch up with the fact that he had died - it couldn’t possibly have been him, but for a brief moment my head had denied the fact he had died as I strained my neck to see if it was him. Some people think they are going a little crazy and don’t like to talk about these stage with others - however talking to an experienced counsellor can help you to understand that many of your feelings and thought processes are a normal part of grieving.



Learn to relax and take care of yourself. Eat nutritiously. Sleep if you need to - strong emotions can drain you. Have your hair done or go for a massage. Reflexology can help to destress. Do what you can to survive for now - listen to music
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PIBMLvcAzc, or watch your favourite movie - my favourite is Pretty Woman. Sometimes choose sad ones - they will make you cry but crying is ok and you need to cry -it is healing. In the middle east the community or family tell the grieving widow sad stories to enable her to cry - sometimes in the West people become uncomfortable at the sight of others pain, it isn’t wrong to have pain or to cry. It is the most natural way of being when faced with a loss.
A hundred thousand Angels by Bliss
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQx8oHEnq5Q



There will be times when you recapture fun and joy and you may feel guilty that you are enjoying yourself, or you may feel bad when you laugh. These are just signs that you are healing and it is not disrespectful to the person you have lost, you have not forgotten them you have had a moments reprieve from your pain. Allow yourself to have this.
They would want you to continue with your life and they would want you to heal from the pain.

Contact me on 07910284089 if you would like to make an appointment
or email me on lizzyhopetherapy@gmail.com if you have questions on childhood grief.

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Depression

Depression

In the absence of hope we must still struggle to survive, and so we do - by the skin of our teeth , - quote taken from Darkness Visible by William Styron

Key noticeable symptoms of depression are (these must be present for at least two weeks):

  • A lowering of mood
  • Tearfulness
  • Lack of interest or drive
  • Inadequacy
  • Feelings of guilt and shame
  • Loss of concentration or memory lapses, forgetfulness
  • Loss of energy, noticeable lethargy and fatigue
  • Loss or increase of appetite and weight
  • Insomnia or excess sleeping
  • Loss of self esteem and confidence
  • Self hatred
  • Worthlessness - no sense of purpose
  • Regretful thoughts
  • Loss of feelings or an inability to identify feelings
  • Joylessness
  • Negativity

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We can all at times feel low or depressed, life tends to throw us curve balls which lead to disappointments and failures which can lead to feelings of hurt, misery, loss or despair. Most people are depressed from time to time, roughly 1:10 will suffer from depression to a varying degree in their lifetime some may experience ‘situational depression’ which is a short-term form of depression that can occur in the aftermath of various traumatic changes in your normal life, including divorce, retirement, loss of a job and the death of a relative or close friend, menopause, post operative states, trauma, but can overcome depression with some support or a period on anti depressants and can become quite resilient in managing negative feelings and can get through these hard times to enjoy life again.

However some people are unable to shake off these feelings of gloom and despair, no amount of trying to’ cheer up’ or ‘shake themselves out of it' makes any difference at all. Depression does not discriminate between race, creed, age or class and can affect anyone of us at any time. People suffering from depression can start to feel disconnected from others and may want to isolate to hide that they feel different to others round them. At times it is difficult for someone with depression to talk and communicate with others, they struggle to articulate their feelings and their needs, which can isolate them further. Depression interferes with sleep causing sufferers to be fatigued and unable to motivate themselves to get on with life. Depression can feel worse in the morning and individuals may wake up dreading the day and results in them being unable to get up out of bed. Others can see this as laziness as they are unable to imagine the inner torment and the indescribable pain that accompanies depression. As they day moves on, sufferers may feel a little better only to dread fitful sleep to awaken to the same hopelessness the next day

Friends and family can become quite irritable and exasperated that their attempts to help you snap out of it - have no effect whatsover and their ability to empathise with you dissipate. They are unaware of the unimaginable emotional pain, which can be felt physically - as they have never experienced it. Women are considered to be at higher risk for depression but statistics are often thwarted as men rarely seek professional help because of the shame and stigma associated with the condition. Many people hide their problem and pretend they are ok - however keeping depression a secret does not help to resolve the problem and can have a detrimental affect on your mental health.

Depression can occur as a result of a life event that may cause depression such as a loss of a close friend or family member, a loss of a job, moving house, breakdown of a relationship, etc. But depression can also arise from other issues which may not be evident to yourself or others. Childhood attachment issues, traumas, abuse etc. may have triggered depression in childhood which may never have been addressed.

Symptoms can be accompanied by more physical features such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Measurable loss of weight
  • Early morning wakening - as depression affects the circadian rhythm
  • Tearful when awakening
  • Loss of sexual drive or libido
  • Intolerant of noise, conversations, bright lights
  • Physical slowing down of movement and speech
  • Confusion and an inability to focus

The impact of depression is highly distressing which often has physical sensation which can become unbearable. Sufferers may try to adapt their mood by using negative methods like using alcohol, drugs, overeating, eating disorders, self harm, sex or other self defeating methods can invariably make the problem worse. Alcohol is a depressant and therefore drinking to feel better is counterproductive. Drugs such as ecstasy give rush of euphoria as the serotonin in the brain is released - however this leaves the brain depleted of serotonin and therefore will be preceded by low moods until the serotonin level adjusts. The more the drug is used the more difficult it is for the body to catch up with serotonin production creating long term low mood. Using food whether overeating or under eating interferes with the blood sugar level which creates mood swings. This also interferes with serotonin production.
Rewarding yourself with substances such as these increases your dopamine levels and may make you feel better in the short term. However when you do not address the underlying problem which is causing the depression it is impossible to feel good, and the props used such as drugs, alcohol, sex and food will stop giving you the feel good factor and the depression will remain. Working through problems past and present with a therapist who can help you to process your feelings and to understand why you are feeling how you are can help you to work through your problems.

I work with clients in a holistic way offering them the therapy that will best suit their condition and their ways of processing. There is no quick remedy for depression and it will not disappear overnight . However regular sessions can feel supportive and offer solutions and skills to help you through the dark days. You may need to take medication and I will refer you to a doctor to help with this or to a psychiatrist if we need to determine there is an underlying issue such as asperges or personality disorders that will help our work together.

Depression is often named The Black Dog a phrase coined by Winston Churchill who suffered from depression. The World Health Organisation have published an animation by Mathew Johnstone on the Black Dog



The animation is not to trivialise the condition but is quite an ingenious way to describe depression for the sufferer as well as for family and friends to understand what it is like.

There can be many causes for depression such as a genetic predisposition, a loss or a bereavement, a disappointment that you find difficult to cope with, a breakdown in a relationship - which can instigate the low mood associated with depression.
Biochemical processes changes the balance of the brains neurotransmitters causing the brain to become depleted of chemicals such as norepinephrine and serotonin which makes it difficult to cope with the low mood and increases in the levels of cortisol increases stress and insomnia. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that stabilises mood, it is produced by nutrients consumed in food which contain tryptophan an amino acid which is converted into serotonin on the brain. Depression often lowers the appetite and sufferers lose interest in food - however regular meals including complex carbohydrates essential fatty acids and proteins are essential to maintain serotonin in the body. People who diet consistently or have eating disorder are often prone to depression due to the lack of complex carbohydrates they consume. The body struggles to transport and convert the tryptophan to the brain on low carbohydrate diet and therefore does not convert tryptophan into serotonin, therefore it is unable to uplift the mood and individuals remain depressed.

Some medications SSRI can be effective in the short term and are used for social anxiety, OCD, premenstrual tension, panic disorders and phobias. Further information can be found on
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/SSRIs-%28selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors%29/Pages/Introduction.aspx

MAOIs are used when there are atypical features evident such as heightened anxiety, increased sleep and appetite and the marked presence of anxiety.
Other medications can cause further problems with dependency or addiction.. Medications such as Valium, Ativan Alprazolam or Xanax are addictive and can have severe withdrawal symptoms.

Although Medications can help to rebalance the serotonin levels in the brain and make you feel better, they do not address any underlying problems which may have caused the depression. Problems will not miraculously disappear and therefore addressing problems with a therapist will help you to recover from depression, resolve the situation and help prevent a relapse into the former state.

There are many ways to treat depression:
Many issues can trigger depression and seeking professional help can aid recovery.
Therapy can help you to seek support and direction for your current state as well as identify possible triggers or sources that have instigated the depression. Depression like many other mental health issues affect up to 1:10 people during their lifetime.
Medication may be necessary for some people but at Hope Therapy we try different approaches such as :
  • Encouraging clients to be open and honest about the condition helps to let the depression out - Depression does not need to be a secret - acknowledging your problem will help you to start looking for solutions in a comfortable confidential environment.
  • Meditation or mindfulness can counteract stress and fatigue
  • We can direct you towards activities such as Yoga which can help you to physically de-stress the body and mind
  • Exercise can help in the production monoamines - neurotransmitters including serotonin (a mood enhancer that can decrease symptoms of depression) and increase dopamine (which is known to improve mood and long term memory and stimulates pleasurable feelings).
  • Keeping a mood and activity journal can be useful to track your depression and if there are any days in which you feel better than others. A journal will help you to identify whether you have specific triggers that make you feel better or worse.
  • Help you to identify whether work, a relationship, bullying or other issue are getting you down? we can help support you through any changes you need to make? Talking through difficult life events with a therapist can give you a different perspective on the problem and many therapists can teach you new skills to try and manage the problem.
  • Writing a gratitude list to connect with the good things you have in your life.

You are not alone remember life is full of ups and downs and although it might not feel that it will get better there are many ways that you can get through.

Books - Willian Styron. - Darkness Visible
- Sally Brampton - Shoot the Damn Dog
- Spike Milligan & Anthony Storr - Depression and How to Survive it


If you are feeling suicidal please contact your GP immediately or contact The Samaritans
www.samaritans.org . You can contact me to make an appointment to start managing your depression lizzyhopetherapy@gmail.com or call me on 07910284089 or landline 01932 85859.






Anger Management

Anger Management
Anybody can become angry - But to be angry..... at the right time and for the right purpose is not within everybody’s power.
- Aristotle

Anger is a natural reaction - it is normal to feel angry at times and we feel anger as a part of the stress response. Imagine if someone has just stolen from you - your wallet or your handbag, you may have missed your train and you feel angry at yourself, or you may be angry if it is raining on the day you have planned to do something outside. They are reactions to situations beyond our control. Anger can be triggered by not achieving a goal, invasion of privacy, defending ourselves or loved ones or to mask feelings such as shame, guilt or embarrassment.
Anger helps us to define values and boundaries and manage disputes.

Anger is part of the “Fight or Flight Stress Response” defined by Cannon (1920). Canon discovered that we have an intrinsic reaction when we feel at risk, threatened or stressed. Anger is The Fight Response - where we deem the need to fight our corner. As a response to this we have several bodily responses alerted by one of our five senses. We may hear see feel smell or taste something that alerts us and makes us angry. messages from our senses are relayed to the brain where adrenalin is released into our body, This raises our heart beat and pushes the blood around our bodies quicker to oxygenate our muscles which tense. Insulin releases glucose to energise the body (which is why angry stressed people are susceptible to diabetes) Eyes widen to ensure yo observe details in your environment.

So where does it go wrong?
Children are often told not to be angry and learn to squash down their feelings of anger and pretend everything is ok. Alternatively adults who have grown up in families where there was a lot of shouting or uncontrolled anger also suppress their anger as they do not want to lose control of their anger as they fear their own anger - lest it becomes out of control. It can be very frightening for a child witnessing adult anger and at times they resolve never to behave in the same way. As a result people try to contain their anger and smother it or suppress it so as not to be like their parents or caregivers. But the more they try to contain or suppress their anger the more likely they are to have outbursts of rage. Confirming they are just like their parent /parents/ caregivers. Containing anger is similar to a pressure cooker which gets hotter and hotter until the steam bursts out, for example - ‘road rage’ or losing control at petty situations, shouting at cold callers. These are often a result of suppressed anger whereby anger is directed at the wrong person at the wrong time which happens as a result of not addressing issues as they arise.
Suppressing anger can also result in behaviours such as passive aggressiveness, vengefulness, sarcasm, cheating, spite and violence. Passive aggression is masked anger when we avoid managing the issue that is upsetting - whilst avoiding direct conflict but using spiteful, sarcastic, vengeful or aggressive behaviours towards others instead. Revenge is a behaviour where we want to hurt the other person as much as they have hurt us. To justify our own behaviour - we consider our opinion as being right and want justice when we feel wronged.

Anger is often a reaction to a more painful feeling that gets masked by anger. Anger is a more powerful reaction to feeling unpleasant feelings. Anger can manifest itself when we are disappointed, scared, embarrassed, ashamed, rejected or feeling guilty.

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Anger management helps you to break down your aggressive behaviours and reflect on the consequences of past behaviours. This helps you to reevaluate your behaviour and assess whether the consequences of anger creates. Create a pros and cons list - how does it help you to be angry - what does it cost you? Anger can take from you the trust of others, people may fear you, it contributes to breakdowns in relationships. You may have lost of jobs/work, contracts or work colleagues, because you have not managed your anger.




Therapy helps you to understand your anger - to get to know how it works and what helps you to remain calm. Learn to address issues before they become out of control and become more assertive instead of being angry. Resilience training also helps to be able to bound back after incidents that make you angry instead of ruminating on the event and plotting revenge. Anger is human given - we all experience it - but at times we need help to manage it.

Good Reading - Beating Anger
The Eight point plan for Beating Rage by Mike Fisher