THE SPARK BLOG

The Spark opens new Inverness counselling centre

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...

read more
How to help a child deal with parental separation and divorce

How to help a child deal with parental separation and divorce

As a counselling and support charity, The Spark often works with couples trying to avoid parental separation. Sometimes, however, it is best for everyone involved that a relationship comes to an end. From time to time our counsellors are involved in helping couples...

read more
Shielding children from struggles can harm their resilience

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...

read more
Managing challenging behaviour in children

Managing challenging behaviour in children

Managing challenging behaviour is one of the biggest tests 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...

read more
How to detox the negative body image triggers in your life

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...

read more
Body image and social media: a toxic mix?

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...

read more
Starting secondary school – tips for young people

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...

read more
Spotting the signs of emotional distress in children

Spotting the signs of emotional distress in children

Spotting the signs of emotional distress in children and young people is not always an easy task. For parents and carers, finding out how our kids are coping with the challenges of life can be as difficult as prizing them away from their smartphones. In this short...

read more
Precious scars and the Japanese art of Kintsugi

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’...

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

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...

read more
Try making a relationship resolution this year

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...

read more
The Spark opens new Edinburgh counselling centre

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...

read more
12 plays of Christmas – part 4

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...

read more
12 plays of Christmas – part 3

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...

read more
12 plays of Christmas – part 2

12 plays of Christmas – part 2

What is the real meaning of Christmas?  In the second of our #12PlaysofChristmas series we are highlighting a couple of tracks that remind us that Christmas can be about more than consumerism and overindulgence. Band Aid, 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' For those of a...

read more
12 plays of Christmas – part 1

12 plays of Christmas – part 1

It’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas (to paraphrase the song). To help get you in the mood we’re doing a playlist of well-known festive hits. Plus one or two Christmas-related tracks that may have passed you by. If you have checked out our #SongsForSoundMinds...

read more
An attitude of gratitude at Thanksgiving

An attitude of gratitude at Thanksgiving

Cultivating an ‘attitude of gratitude’ in the era of Brexit and austerity might seem near impossible. How do we say thank you or count our blessings when the world around us seems completely chaotic? In many respects, you would be right about the challenge of being...

read more
How to Be Happy – part 4

How to Be Happy – part 4

Why does being happy – at times – feel like such hard work? Instead of an easy path to a relaxed and consistent glow of contentment, it often feels like pushing a boulder up a hill; a brief moment of satisfaction at the peak before it rolls back down the other side...

read more
Student counselling services under pressure

Student counselling services under pressure

As universities and colleges prepare for the start of the new term, one major talking point continues to dominate the headlines: mental health support for students. Prior to the summer break, research laid bare the extent of the challenges facing further education...

read more
How to Be Happy – part 3

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...

read more