2014: On the New Year – resolutions, re-acting and relationships…

newyearHappy New Year and our best wishes to you for health and happiness in 2014.

There are many ways people support themselves towards health and happiness at the beginning of the year  – many of us start by making ‘New Year’s resolutions’.

That’s great – and it is an opportunity to see what you like about yourself and your life and to make decisions to improve the areas you would like to change.

Importantly, making New Year’s resolutions which are genuinely possible to achieve can create a feeling of well-being and increased self-esteem. It’s good to consider, carefully in the cold light of your life,  the decisions you have made to see if they are realistic, and if the time scale is actually possible. Re-negotiating a resolution could make all the difference to achieving it. That is a success, and puts you in charge of the decision you have made.

You might also need support or a ‘buddy’ to help you achieve what you want; making it public and sharing an aim can be more fun and you can enjoy the process too!

Enjoying the process is really fundamental to the continued success of what you want to achieve. It is one thing to make a change, but to feel good and substantial about that change is long-lasting and makes you feel good about yourself.

Couple with counsellorWe also have to consider whether, for those relationship changes that are important, having as ‘D-Day’ that one day at the beginning of January is a good thing. Often people find they are reassessing their lives after major celebrations or life events – Christmas, birthday, a bereavement or redundancy for example – and although these are important moments, they are also times to meditate on, and take time with, a decision. Taking that time and making space for contemplation may make for a better long-term result than the initial ‘re-acting’.

So if you are considering ending a relationship, take time to understand what that really means. Talk about it with your partner (if that is possible) so that when you come to your final decision it is well-considered, thought through and processed. At this point it can be beneficial to include professional counselling. When people do this the outcome is genuinely better emotional and mental health for themselves and for their family.

This Christmas and New Year had a particular spirit which seemed softer, and I keep hearing people talk about feeling good about 2014. My best wishes to you for yours.

Jane Gotto

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Keeping Christmas fresh and interesting…

freshchristmasOur second ‘Christmas Tip’ of the week, to ensure you come through the festive season healthily and with your relationships intact…

So today we ask the question – Has the Christmas ritual become stale, and boring?

Sometimes we just repeat what used to work, and wonder what has happened.

What can have happened is children have grown into teenagers, or left home, or formed their own relationships.  A family member may not be able to be there due to health or a bereavement.

Or perhaps it has just become ‘samey’, with any meaning drained out of it for you?

So think it through and see what would freshen it up; perhaps you could arrange a different venue? Could you think of a different mix of people, change the timing, or add in an ‘event’?

Now is the time to talk to everyone concerned, and doing that in good time means people can think about it themselves and come up with their own ideas. It doesn’t have to be more expensive – in fact it could be more meaningful to really think  about what part of the celebrations are most important to you.

When a ritual has become dead for one person it normally has for others too – naming it can be a relief and stimulate new ideas. You might be concerned about upsetting other people’s routine – but they may just be waiting for someone to take that step for them!

Perhaps it could be you?

Christmas tips for a healthy & happy festive season….

smythson-Christmas-cardsWell there is no getting away from it – the shops are full of sparkle. They are also full of expensive gifts we may not have the money for and are playing background music that grates like nails down a chalkboard. With only a few weeks left until Christmas we thought that our popular  ‘Relationship Tip of the week’ slot should morph seamlessly into a ‘Christmas Tip of the Week’. It can be a stressful and difficult time of the year for many people, of any faith or none.  Saying, bravely, “Well it’s just a few days,’ can end up having a detrimental affect on health, sleep and general well-being.

So here on  ‘let’s talk’ Jane Gotto is offering some sage advice to ensure our relationships have the resilience to last beyond the festive season. The top tip is not to agree to anything you do not want to do – it creates stress and there are usually alternatives which  create a happier event for everyone.  Talking through options now can smooth the way for a better time together.

So Christmas tip No.1 is:

Think about what you would like to do for Christmas.

If you are filled with dread, allow yourself time to think it through and come up with some alternatives. Talk to others about what would work for you, and find out how a change or re-organisation would affect other people. Do NOT allow yourself to be pulled into an arrangement which you know is not going to work for you. If you cannot say ‘No’ outright, say you would like some time to think about it and let the other party know a time when you will get back to them.

Jane Gotto. UKCP Reg. Psychotherapist

In future weeks, right up until the big day,we will be passing on some ideas to make sure the year ends with relationships unstrained and health intact. If you have any tips of your own to ensure the festive season retains its message of hope and peace, we would love to hear them.

Shaping Anger – a workshop for couples

shapeimage_3The Terrace is pleased to announce that Jill Gabriel is bringing her ‘Shaping Anger’ workshop to The Terrace in Taunton this autumn. This group has been running for many years in Bath.

Since 1983 Jill has worked and trained as a counsellor and psychotherapist in both analytical and humanistic psychotherapy. For twenty two years she has been involved with Spectrum, a humanistic and integrative psychotherapy centre in London. She has run their Working with Anger Workshop for ten years. She also has a private practice for individuals, couples, supervisees and groups. Jill is a co-founder of Relationshapes and has been training therapists since 1995 to work with couples. Her passion is to continue to understand her own truth while working with others to do the same.

In this workshop Jill will explore ways in which we organise and shape our expression of anger, both individually and as couples.  She will provide a contained space for couples to explore their patterns of conflict through dialogue and exercises. The workshop will also look at the function of this multi-faceted emotion and our responses to it.

In order to continue growing and maturing within our intimate relationships we need to find a balance between sustaining enough contact and maintaining enough distance. In this process appropriate expressions of anger help us to define ourselves and our differences. We will work with each couple’s unique ‘relationshape’ of anger.

Date: Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 November 2012

Time: 10am to 5pm

Cost: £150 per person

Venue: The Terrace, Humanistic Psychotherapy and Complementary Health Centre, 35 Staplegrove road, Taunton TA1 1 DG

To book a place on this workshop ring Jill Gabriel on 01225 318834,

or The Terrace on 01823 338968 or email post@the-terrace.co.uk