THE SPARK BLOG

How to Be Happy – part 3

According to American pundit William Bennett, the pursuit of happiness can be thought of this way: ‘Happiness is like a cat, if you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you; it will never come.  But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you’ll...

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Starting secondary school: a guide for parents

Starting secondary school can be daunting for children and their parents. To help smooth the transition our team of Children and Young People Counsellors have put together their top tips on helping your child prepare for starting secondary school. Ask: how are you...

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Songs for Sound Minds #29 – Michael Jackson

Songs for Sound Minds #29 – ‘Man in the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson The latest choice for the #SongsForSoundMinds playlist encourages us to have a good look at ourselves and our motivations. Are we the nice, thoughtful person we imagine ourselves to be or do we spend...

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Songs for Sound Minds #28 – Dixie Chicks

Songs for Sound Minds #28 – ‘The Long Way Around’ by The Dixie Chicks Our latest Songs for Sound Minds playlist pick could have been entitled ‘the hard way around’. The Long Way Around is a soulful, honest piece of country-pop that lays bare what it means to have the...

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How FOMO is making us miss out

FOMO – fear of missing out – is a concept that could have been created for the social media age. Essentially, it captures that internal sense that other people are having a better time right now than you are. Partnered with its sibling FoBO – fear of a better option –...

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That special relationship

The term ‘special relationship’ has been bandied about more often than usual recently. Whether it is in the context of UK – USA relations, UK – EU relations or to describe some of the insta-coupling occurring on ITV’s ‘Love Island’ we are all pretty familiar with it....

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How to be happy – part 2

Picture the scene.  A teenager opens their exam results: an A in Art, two Cs in English and French and an F in Maths. The response from their parent is likely to focus on either the good bits or the not so good bits. For example, their response might be: ‘An F in...

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Songs For Sound Minds #27 – Ben E. King

Songs for Sound Minds #27 – ‘Stand by Me’ by Ben E. King Today’s #SongsforSoundMinds entry - 'Stand by Me' - is a companion piece to one of our earlier picks. In contrast to Chrissie Hynde’s assurance that, ‘I’ll Stand by You’, Ben E. King’s plea is ‘Stand by Me’. ...

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The world’s most dangerous words

Believe it or not, there are two words in every language that should be considered the most dangerous in the world. With just over 700,000 words in the English dictionary, there are plenty of potential suspects. In the era of Trump and global warming you would be...

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How to be happy – part 1

This is how to be happy according to Stacey Kramer. "Imagine if you will a gift. I’d like you to picture it in your mind. It’s not too big, about the size of a golf ball. So, envision what it looks like, all wrapped up. Before I show you what’s inside I will tell you...

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The Spark increases counselling capacity in Glasgow

The increasing pressures of modern life are resulting in a growing demand for counselling services in Scotland. The Spark – a leading provider of counselling for over 50 years – is expanding in Glasgow and Lanarkshire to help support those in need. Since the start of...

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Songs For Sound Minds #26 – Nina Simone

Songs for Sound Minds #26 – ‘I Got Life’ by Nina Simone ‘I ain't got no home, ain't got no shoes Ain't got no money, ain't got no class Ain't got no skirts, ain't got no sweater Ain't got no perfume, ain't got no bed’ Why is it that we often focus on the negative side...

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Counselling myths – part 4

We have reached the final part of our 4-part series looking at the most common counselling myths. The Spark is busting the myths and misconceptions that can end up stopping people from considering counselling as a way to overcome the challenges and difficulties of...

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Love like you’ve never been hurt

Chances are you will have heard or read the idiom “love like you’ve never been hurt before”. Similarly, the chances are you have no idea where it came from or who said it first. This particular piece of simple but deeply profound advice did not come from any of the...

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Myths about counselling – part 3

Welcome to part 3 of our 4-part look at the most common myths about counselling. At The Spark have been looking at the misconceptions that can end up discouraging people from considering counselling. We are busting the myths and highlighting the truth about how...

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Myths about counselling – part 2

We are continuing to look at the most common myths about counselling in part 2 of our series. These are the misconceptions that often discourage or prevent people from considering counselling. At The Spark, we are busting the myths to highlight the truth of...

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Myths about counselling – part 1

It is not uncommon for myths about counselling to discourage or even prevent people from trying therapy. Popular misconceptions – given credibility by people who have often never had counselling – can colour our opinions of counselling and talking therapies in...

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Stop worrying and start living

The focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness week has been ‘stress: are we coping?’  This got us thinking about books that have helped us cope with the stresses of life. One, in particular, is a recommended read for us. And it just happens to be the birthplace of...

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3 exam myths busted

Exams are on the horizon for young people up and down the country. So we decided it was time to bust a few exam myths which can create unnecessary stress and anxiety before exams. Exam myths busted #1: poor exam results will ruin your life Exams are a part of your...

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Songs For Sound Minds #25 – The Pretenders

Songs for Sound Minds #25 – ‘I’ll Stand by You’ by The Pretenders This week’s pick by The Pretenders was suggested by one of our followers on Facebook: a timeless classic about love and faithfulness in times of trouble. A song made special, not by the experiences of...

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Couples! Stop sacrificing ‘us time’

Life is busy. For couples with children life is even busier as they shuttle kids from activity to activity, keep the house running and hold down full-time jobs. It is not a surprise that when our counsellors ask couples about how much ‘ us time ’ they get, the answer...

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