THE SPARK BLOG

Helping children with emetophobia

Emetophobia is the fear of vomiting. We all have some degree of fear about vomiting or being in close proximity to someone who is. It isn’t the most pleasant experience for anyone after all! However, there are individuals panic-stricken by even the thought...

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How to make a comfort box for an anxious child

Anxiety is a very unpleasant experience for your child and for you as their parent. Finding tools and techniques to help them combat anxiety is something every parent seeks to do. In this short article Children and Young People counsellor, Linda Smith...

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High school leavers and workplace relationships

Starting work straight out of school is an exciting but nerve-wracking next step for many young people. On the one hand, earning your first pay packet and escaping school is a big attraction. On the other hand, it can be hard to imagine how you will fit in and build...

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University guide: feeling isolated

Moving to a new area and starting at university is a hugely exciting step for young people. Finding a new social circle, sharing halls or living with new flatmates creates wonderful opportunities to enjoy new experiences and make lasting friendships. Many students...

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Tips for first years transitioning to university

In February, UCAS reported that a record-breaking number of young people started university last September and this year is likely to be no different. Scotland is home to a total of 19 universities, welcoming students from around the world.Every university offers its...

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The Spark opens new Inverness counselling centre

The Spark has supported the people of Scotland for over 50 years through counselling and support services and we are gearing up for the next 50 with plans for expansion. As Scotland's leading counselling service, we are proud to be opening our newest location in the...

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Shielding children from struggles can harm their resilience

When humans become parents they develop many natural instincts. One of which is shielding children from struggles. In the earliest weeks and months of life, it is a purely physical function to protect from hunger, a lack of companionship and the cold. As the child...

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Managing challenging behaviour in children

Managing challenging behaviour is one of the biggest challenges any parent will face. From toddler tantrums to pre-teen arguments over clothes and mobile phones, no parent or carer ever gets a free pass. Maintaining safe boundaries for your child while instilling...

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How to detox the negative body image triggers in your life

Negative body image triggers are seemingly inescapable. Beautiful bodies that are sculpted to perfection invade our smartphones, TV screens, magazines and more every hour of every day. This can leave many of us feeling oversized, inadequate and unhappy in our own...

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Body image and social media: a toxic mix?

Imagine for a moment a smartphone app. The capabilities of this app are astonishing. After using it for a few weeks it has the power to give you body image issues. Would you download it? Probably not. What if I told you this app is so effective that it can convince...

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Starting secondary school – tips for young people

Starting secondary school is a big step for young people. The transition from primary school to high school can be a breeze for some, a challenge for others and somewhere in between for most pre-teens. As thoughts turn to Primary 7’s beginning the move to high school...

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Precious scars and the Japanese art of Kintsugi

This will probably be a familiar refrain to many of you: ‘Everything will be okay as long as I smile, think positively and forgive people who have done me wrong.’ Life can be very unfair and, when it is, suggestions to simply walk ‘on the sunny side of the street’...

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Music and mental ill-health: how influential is a song?

We are what we eat. That is the simple truth that has launched a thousand cookbooks. Eat unhealthily, expect to be unhealthy. Slowly we are starting to realise that the same applies to our minds and mental ill-health. We are what we consume and what we consume...

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Try making a relationship resolution this year

Here’s a question that came to mind on Hogmanay: why do we rarely make New Year resolutions about our relationships? Typically we opt for an act of self-improvement like eating better, exercising more, quitting smoking or spending more time reading books that will...

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The Spark opens new Edinburgh counselling centre

To meet a growing demand for counselling services in Edinburgh, The Spark is set to open a new location in the city this month. Complementing their 13 locations across Scotland, the country's leading counselling provider will open The Spark Counselling Edinburgh this...

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12 plays of Christmas – part 4

It’s the fourth and final part of our Christmas playlist, ‘The Twelve Plays of Christmas’. Christmas is only days away, Santa is readying his sleigh and lists of presents (demands?) are being ticked off. Which means it is a good time to remember that Christmas can be...

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12 plays of Christmas – part 3

Welcome to the 3rd part of our series exploring the lessons that can be learned from well-known (and some not-so-well-known) Christmas tracks.  Today we are looking at relationships during the festive period and ways to keep them in good shape.  Shane McGowan and...

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