To be honest, I am really excited about this week ahead. I’m going back to school. But not to learn (although I suspect that I will learn loads). Instead I have been asked by my counselling tutor where I studdied, if I wanted the opportunity and experience to step into the classroom with her on the foundation counselling skills course and, until Christmas, become her assistant tutor.
At the start of a term or 1/2 term it’s natural for me to reflect over the young people I have been working with. With this term in particular I find that I consider the significance of endings as well. The year 6 students will be moving on and because of this there is a natural cut off, ending and transition that we go through in our therapeutic relationship. This inevitably leads to some questions and most notably;
Have I made a difference in these young people’s lives.
Another video today, and this time it is a fantastic video created by Alex Amelines.
Alex took 2 years to create this video in his spare time. His video is an introduction to autism that aims to raise awareness among young non-autistic audiences, to stimulate understanding and acceptance in future generations. His goal is to communicate that autistic people are neither ill nor broken and that they are ordinary people with an extraordinary way of perceiving the world.
This morning I posted a blog where I wrote about the word Saudade; a word used to describe the love remaining following loss with a repressed knowledge that our beloved will return. Little did I know that just one hour later I would find out that all I really needed in order to deal with the deep longing for my own father was eat a McDonalds Fillet-O-Fish.
Of course what I am flippently referring to is the new McDonald’s advert, that has received a lot of attention today, in which they use the experience of a young person who is grieving his father to sell their fish based burger (is that what it is?).
Before we go much further, perhaps you need to see it for yourself.
In a recent trip to Greenwich, London, Esther and I wandered into the vintage market. Always on the look out for something unique which could be up-cycled or converted into a unique gift at Christmas.
As we were looking around we discovered a small spoon that had the word “Saudade” stamped into it. I had never hear of the word before and it’s meaning is quite beautiful:
At the beginning of the week I often looking forward and consider the clients I will be seeing between now and the next weekend. I often take a wider view of the week and allow my mind to consider the other responsibilities I will have. For me this will include; school runs, meetings, sorting the house befor my mum arrives, planning a joint birthday part for my two daughters, mentoring a counselling student who is fast approaching her assessment and a whole list of smaller things of the todo list.
All of this will all have an impact on my capacity to work. Not necessarily a negative one but we all have a limit on our capacity to be productive before the quality of every thing we do drops off.
I had an amazing conversation today with someone in which I was able to expand my thoughts and thought process around my last blog post on why I hadn’t posted on here for a while. It was really helpful to consider my thoughts again, and really importantly I was able to do that out loud. Being able to tell this part of my story to someone brought it to life. In their listening and questioning it provoked my thoughts and I was able to solidify some while challenging others.
To process this I showed them a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) process I had taken myself through. This was the 5 Aspects and thought record process.
Within the 5 aspects you look at the following areas:
I’ve not written in a few weeks. I’ve been having a bit of a crisis of faith in my ability to write coherent words that seem to make sense (to me at least). More than that though, and more emotionally dangerous for me, I have been listening to those negative voices in my head that always seem to have greater control over my thoughts than the voice of self belief. This hasn’t been a conscious thing, it never is, is it! I don’t think that there has been an internal monologue of discussion and debate around my ability but a more subtle form of subversive thinking that has undermined my ability to continue to write. So in a way to exorcise these demons I’m sharing how this has happened.
If you want to skip a personal & personal reflection on my own psyche please pass along now and know that normal service will resume.
A couple of days ago the BBC showed the Program Rio Ferdinand: Being mum and dad. You can still watch it on the BBC iPlayer here. The premise was: How can a single dad come to terms with his own internal battles alongside navigating how to effectively process their grief as a family?
As I was watching it I made some comments on Facebook, as you do, and the next thing I knew I had been contacted by was was writing for the Premier Christianity Blog.