THE SPARK BLOG

Barriers to counselling

Barriers to counselling

It is difficult to imagine going to counselling before making that first step. While we are starting to become more understanding about mental health issues and seeking professional help, there is still a lot of fear, doubt and confusion creating barriers to...

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How to cope with the winter blues – part 3

How to cope with the winter blues – part 3

In the final part of The Spark's 'How to cope with the winter blues' series, we're offering a few more tips on keeping your mood up when the sun is going down. You can catch up with part 1 and part 2 where we looked at how a 'sexy raincoat', not being Gordon Gekko and...

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How to cope with the winter blues – part 2

How to cope with the winter blues – part 2

Welcome to part 2 of The Spark's 'How to cope with the winter blues' series offering our tips on ways to defeat the winter blues. Catch up on part 1 of 'How to cope with the winter blues' where we looked at how embracing the winter season, taking up a new indoor...

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How to cope with the winter blues – part 1

How to cope with the winter blues – part 1

When the days start getting shorter and the nights longer, many people start to feel their mood drop. Unlike Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a form of clinical depression – the ‘winter blues’ is a general term for the feelings of sadness and lethargy we can all...

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How to support your relationship in retirement

How to support your relationship in retirement

Most couples look forward to retirement, eager to spend more quality time together. Free from the constraints and pressures of work it is a chance to relax and, especially if the nest is empty, an opportunity to embrace hobbies new and old.The reality of...

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The challenge of learning to trust others

The challenge of learning to trust others

The Oxford Dictionary defines trust as “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something”. Right now, you probably have a list of names that come to mind of people you trust and, perhaps, people you don’t.But what...

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The upside of lockdown dating

The upside of lockdown dating

For single people everywhere, the Coronavirus pandemic has created more obstacles than normal on the path to finding a new partner. In this article, Counsellor Sarah Woodcock looks at why lockdown dating could offer benefits that might lead to a stronger,...

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Easing lockdown: how to help children learn new rules

Easing lockdown: how to help children learn new rules

As the process of easing lockdown gathers pace, the rules we need to adhere to are becoming more complex. Younger children may struggle to understand or stick to them. Presenting parents and carers with the challenge of helping them understand and follow...

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Loss: how to help children and young people cope

Loss: how to help children and young people cope

Change is an inevitable and necessary part of growing up. With every change there is an element of loss, even when the changes are welcome. Whether it is the grief that comes with the loss of a favourite toy as a child or the death of a beloved...

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Coping with isolation

Coping with isolation

Coping with isolation and loneliness was something many of us were trying to do before Coronavirus (Covid-19) turned our reality upside down. Over 9 million people in the UK reported feelings of loneliness and isolation before this new reality emerged.From...

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Understanding anger for parents

Understanding anger for parents

Along with happiness and sadness, anger is perhaps one of the most common emotions we experience in everyday life. We all experience anger in different ways but it can often become an easy ‘go-to’ emotion for children and adolescents. By understanding...

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Coping with Coronavirus lockdown – part 2 of 2

Coping with Coronavirus lockdown – part 2 of 2

Welcome to part 2 of our series looking at ways for parents and families to maintain their mental health during Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown and social distancing measures. In the final part of this series, counsellor Shirley Meade looks at the...

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Coping with Coronavirus lockdown – part 1 of 2

Coping with Coronavirus lockdown – part 1 of 2

Coping with Coronavirus lockdown is the new normal for the vast majority of us. Combined with social distancing, it is inevitable that our mental health will be tested in the coming weeks. For parents, the challenge of keeping themselves and their children...

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Coronavirus anxiety: 4 ways to help children cope

Coronavirus anxiety: 4 ways to help children cope

With a constant stream of news updates, statistics and opinions about Coronavirus (COVID-19), it is likely the children in our lives will be struggling with some degree of coronavirus anxiety. This can be an incredibly worrying time for children. While...

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How to talk to children about Coronavirus

How to talk to children about Coronavirus

As adults attempt to make sense of the Coronavirus pandemic, take a moment to think about how difficult it is for children to get their heads around this new ‘normality’. Knowing how to talk to children about coronavirus has become an urgent and...

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Turning bad exam stress into good exam stress

Turning bad exam stress into good exam stress

Is there such a thing as good exam stress? If you are in fourth or fifth year at high school, you may be experiencing exams for the first time. You will have had tests – and plenty of them – in the past, but this is different. Instead of sitting in a classroom...

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What makes you happy?

What makes you happy?

If you search “what makes you happy” Google will offer you roughly 2.5bn results to consider. A similar search on Amazon will offer up over 100,000 books and DVDs on the subject of being happy.  On the basis of these two statistics alone, we can say with a degree of...

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