Never Assume

Anger management_There’s an old saying that assumption makes an ass out of you and me. Assumption is something we all do, and often we will assume that instructions are understood, particularly when these are important. This could be a deadline on an important job or simply instructions on how to get to a place.
The word diligent implies someone who is methodical, scrupulous, arduous industrious and hard-working. If you are diligent, then when you do give instructions you would check to make sure that the person receiving the instructions has made a note of them. Certainly, if they haven’t made notes, you should be concerned.
The untrained and the indifferent tend to trust their memory with almost everything. But a good note is better than the best memory.
Furthermore, if you feel that someone is not taking what you’re saying seriously enough to write down the important points this can signal problems.
Regardless of the intentions being good, in their confusion and busyness or even, self-importance your instructions can easily be forgotten. A tip to bear in mind those who are actually listening to you will often ask questions about the work Or importance of the thing you’ve asked them to do, often asking for a deadline.
An interesting example is when you’ve asked for somebody to telephone someone on your behalf, they should automatically ask you If there is a time limit and when you want a report back on what they have discussed, Furthermore, how should they report back to you. If that kind of questions is not the first thing, you hear, then trusting that person to do that particular piece of work would be an assumption which could lead you to become in quite upset.
Half-hearted is often preceded by the word “try.”
Assumption, can often lead to you becoming frustrated and angry at the person you’ve asked to do a specific task or job, giving clear instructions on what you require reduces any form of assumption; Furthermore, mis- messages or confusing instructions can often lead to misinterpreted.

Above is the kind of thing that may cause you to be angry, Eleos Counselling offer a six-session anger management course,  click the link below to find out more .

Anger Management 


Painkillers may give help to people with suicidal thoughts.

PANews BT_P-14c26646-8ab4-49bb-abc5-6a5e61e6bbdb_I1A recent article in new scientist magazine suggests research undertaken by a joint team of scientists working in America and Israel, have had some success in helping with clients overcome suicidal thoughts. The participants in the study were given painkillers (buprenorphine). The research suggests that there is some improvement in people’s thinking.

In this small study carried out in the US, by this joint team, participants were given the painkiller buprenorphine, because the low risk this carries from an overdose, also, the doses were kept low to carry less risk to the participant. Preliminary results show that people improved their mood on pain relief medication and were able to cope adequately with life.

It is thought that buprenorphine act on a number of opioid receptors in the brain, scientists of unsure which receptors exactly, but there is a promise that giving suicidal patients buprenorphine, may stave off the thoughts of taking their own life’s.

As yet GPs, psychiatrists and mental health professionals have nothing to help clients with suicidal idealization. This research may help thousands of people in the UK. The idea of a pharmaceutical which patients with suicidal thoughts could take to quell these suicidal thoughts has been asked for over 20 years by mental health professionals. Although this research is in its infancy, it certainly shows promising’s signs.

According to the phone helpline charity, the Samaritans   4,722 people in the UK took their own life in 2013, with the largest figure being in the male population at 3,684.

Suicide biggest killer of men between the age of 18 and 34, according to the Samaritans figures.


Maybe it’s time to live life like every day was our last?

eleoscounselling_making each day count

Life with purpose.

Undoubtedly, Prof Stephen Hawking has one of the most brilliant minds. He has often been compared to Albert Einstein. Unfortunately, Prof Hawkins has a degenerative disease called motor neuron disease, which is left him virtually paralysed, his famous talking computer has become his voice, and is now instantly recognisable because he is now unable to speak. Fortunately, technology has given Prof Hawkins a way of communicating his brilliant thoughts to the world. Nevertheless, before he became ill, he described his life as pointless, that’s right! Before he became ill, Prof Hawkins, one of the most brilliant minds, to have lived, called his life pointless.

It has been well documented that he drank too much and did very little work, but on discovering that he had perhaps a few years to live Prof Hawkins suddenly became focused, his life suddenly had a meaning.

The meaning of life?

Victor Frankel a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps and eminent psychotherapist, in his book man’s search for meaning says this “for the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day-to-day and from hour to-hour what matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning for a person’s life in a given moment”.

One can often lose touch with what life actually is. If we lived each day as if it was our last, the simplest things would have more meaning. We often overlook the most important things in life in pursuit of personal goals such as money in the bank, a bigger house, bigger car, and a glittering career.


If we were to live as each day was our last, the laughter of the child, a beautiful sunset, the company and love of friends and family or just walk in the woods, would have so much more meaning. It is often said, that the most miserable people in the world those who believe that they have an entitlement; that life owes them something. On close observation, a person like this never seems to be happy, because they never believe they are getting what they deserve.


The Dalai lama in his book the Art of Happiness makes an interesting comment saying that the “true antidote for greed is contentment”.

 Making each day count.

As we come to the close of the year, maybe it’s time to consider what things are precious to us, it is often at New Year that we re-evaluate our lives, and make resolutions for the New Year, perhaps one of those could be making each day count?


Is it time you de- stressed ?????

Christmas; a tifogme for re-evaluation, and de-stressing?

Christmas and New Year is often a time when we take a good look at what happened the previous year. Also, it’s a time when we rest, and spend time with our family. But for some this is not so.

As we fast approach the Christmas season, we thought it may be good to look at tiredness, and how there are two distinctive types.

The two types of tiredness are not too dissimilar to different types of clouds, the large clouds you see on a sunny day, or spring clouds bringing rain. The other is the type of cloud that predicts a storm front or sometimes bad weather, high winds, and all too frequent hurricane force winds.

The first type of tiredness is normal, it’s temporary and it comes after you finished a good job. Furthermore, after a time of rest, you bounce back ready to go again.

The other type of tiredness is a type of chronic fatigue, this builds up over many months, of stress and strain. Unfortunately, this type of fatigue doesn’t manifest itself as exhaustion. In fact, it is often masked by frantic activity, alongside impulsive behavior. Here are some of the signs to look out for.

Six warning signs that you’re stressed, and need to rest.



  1. If You or someone you know is finding it difficult to relax over a meal or coffee. They may be a sense that the person has to get on with something, but seems to lack direction or planning.
  2. If You or someone you know is finding themselves checking and rechecking emails, constantly looking, at their mobile phone tablet or laptop.
  3. If Your office desk, or workplace is piled high with literature, that you are about to read, designed to keep, you or someone you know one step ahead of their competitors, but it never seems to get read.
  4. If You or someone you know is not having time off, as it seems impossible to have a break or they may be constantly keep putting off having days off work.
  5. If You or someone you know may be having trouble sleeping.
  6. If You or someone you know, has spent any time “escaping” this may be drinking, eating too much mind sitting watching television.

If any of this sounds familiar? Then maybe it’s time you took some time off and re-evaluated.


Stresses is like boiling a frog


The truth is that stress is rather like boiling a frog, if a frog is put in a boiling pan water, it will jump straight out. The frog knows it’s hot and has enough sense to jump out of the boiling water. But if you put a frog lukewarm or tepid water, put it on the stove and slowly turn the gas up the frog and stay there till its boiled alive.

Stress can be quite like this, sometimes we don’t know we’ve been stressed or tired until we have a break.  Sometimes we can be poisoned by the belief that we are doing good things by working hard, but actually there is a point of diminishing odds.


Can birth order dictate your chances in life?

The idea of, your place in your family dictating your chances in life, re-emerge with several new studies, looking into the effects of birth order, in families.

sibling rivalry_eleoscounsellingFamily order nature or nurture?

Francis Galton, a half cousin of Charles Darwin, first coined the phrase “nature or nurture”. Galton, in 1874 suggested that it was only the firstborn sons that would exclusively, become England’s finest scientists. This may well in the case in Galton’s time. Indeed, firstborn sons would always be the air to any title, money or land in the 1800s. Indeed, if one had been born a first son one may have been raised with a sense of entitlement, to such things, not so today?

Family order dictates your mental health?

One such study looking at the effects of birth order looked at survival rates; one only has to look at the animal kingdom to see that birth order can often have life or death consequences. A study carried out in Norway, which looked at 600,000 people, discovered that the oldest sibling is a greater risk of committing suicide than his or her sibling, with the likelihood of suicide greater in men than in women.

Sibling ranking and IQ?

A further study carried out of 250,000 Norwegian army conscripts, found that the eldest brother in a sibling group has a 2.3 higher average IQ, compared to his younger siblings. An interesting caveat to this study, is the research carried out by Petter Khristiansen, at the University of Oslo. He looked at males whose older brother had died. He found that this affects the IQ ranking of the surviving, next in line sibling; the study’s results suggested that when one moves in sibling ranking, ones IQ rises. Khristiansen, suggests in his study, that this is something to do with University places.

Family order even makes a difference in your  Immune system!

Furthermore, a study carried out by Matthew Perzannowski at the University of Columbia in New York, found that children, aged between four and five, with older siblings, are less likely to go to the emergency room due to an asthma attack, it is thought that a principle called hygiene hypothesis occurs, in effect being exposed to viruses, bacteria and fungus in early childhood may increase the immune system, effectively younger siblings more exposed to pathogens, brought into the home by older brothers or sisters, thus less prone to allergies than their older family member.


Queue rage: a 21st-century anger problem?

Traffic on Upper Woburn Place in London, England

Traffic on Upper Woburn Place in London, England

Have you been in a queue of traffic, you read the signs, you get the right lane, but then there’s always somebody cutting into the lane at the last minute. Does it annoy you? You’re not alone. When you start feeling your temper becoming frayed because of someone pushing in line, this is an example of a primary instinct one of suspicion.

So what’s going on when I get angry?

Fundamentally, it taps into, what is often called the 3Rs (resources, relationships and residency) the three primary reasons for the feelings of anger, and often rage in people.

Had does someone jumping queues affect me?

Primarily, jumping queue, is seen as an assault on our resources; basically the road is our resource. This gives birth to what is often called “queue rage”. Dr Richard Larson has spent two decades studying the psychology of people waiting in a queue. Furthermore, he, and his colleagues have found that people don’t mind waiting even for prolonged times, as long as the queue is perceived as fair; first-come first-served. Feeling angry about this goes way back to childhood, remember that kid who was always jumping the queue in front of you and the teacher would not see it and  the dinner lady would certainly not.

Road rage can sometimes get out of hand!

Incidences such as, waiting in a traffic queue can often cause road rage incidences, unfortunately people have died in such rages, when things become out of hand.


The feeling of mistrust, is an automatic brain response to unfamiliar people; such is the guy who’s just jumped in front of you, after you’ve waited 20 minutes in line. The survival mechanism of the brain, the limbic system, produces feelings that have evolved over millions of years and are unlikely to go away soon. Although we like to think our brains, as modern, they’re not, they have simply not evolved to trust people, instantaneously.  All you have to think about is your front door bell ringing late at night and somebody making a collection for a not-for-profit group, your response might be is this a scam. We as humans are very adept looking at faces and deciding if we can trust the person wearing the face, although trusted is often felt as instantaneous, it is generated through a complex process that links the feeling part of the brain to the thinking part, of the brain (the limbic system to the prefrontal cortex).

Is getting angry really worth it?

So next time you’re in a queue don’t let your limbic system hijack your feelings. Patients, certainly will win out at the end of the day.

Trauma the roots of depression

trauma_eleoscounselling_the growth of depression


One only has to open up the paper to see the devastating consequences of war and the refugees spilling into northern Europe from war-torn countries. Some of these, if not all will be victims of trauma. Alas, you do not have to be a refugee to suffer trauma.

The long-term effects of trauma.

Trauma can be a devastating shock to one’s psyche. Trauma can be linked to physical, sexual, and verbal attacks, or witnessing such attacks. People who have been raped or have witnessed a rape, witnessing a murder or catastrophic accidents, and even people who have been victims to benign medical procedures, have been known to suffer the effects of trauma.

Furthermore, an incident of shaming or an emotional or verbal attack, can leave its effects.  One can also be traumatised after the breakup of a relationship, or a bereavement.

Trauma can shape people’s beliefs about themselves, or life in general. Trauma induced beliefs can be such as “I’m never safe, “no one will love me”, “Love is incredibly dangerous”, “it’s my fault”, “I’m defenceless” thoughts such as these can affect how people, feel about themselves such thoughts can cause depression.

Sometimes a person’s beliefs are based on something that was true at the moment of trauma, such as a feeling of helplessness, this can translate into a general feeling of powerlessness.

Beliefs that are formed due to the consequence of trauma are stored without contextual information. Therefore, a moment of helplessness at the point of trauma can be translated into the core belief that “I am always helpless”. If the person doesn’t get a chance to talk about the traumatic event, and express their emotions regarding this they can carry on holding this belief, for many years, if not for life.

Trauma can be linked with depression

Dramatic events, associated with trauma can turn a moment of helplessness into a person’s belief system. Therefore, it makes sense if people who suffered a traumatic event can suffer from depression, this is amplified by the feeling of powerlessness and this can be translated into the rest of their lives.

If trauma occurs in childhood, such as witnessing a parent being abused by another parent; often the case of domestic violence. A person can be often be left with the feeling of hopelessness, and lack of power, which they had as a child, watching a parent being abused.

So painful are these memories that the person can often develop coping strategies, which become part of their belief system.

Beliefs such as, “I’m a weakling” can become part of the person’s core beliefs, living with this can be difficult, especially for a man, as societal and individual family cultures may say that men have to be stronger than women.

How trauma can define your life.

Returning again to the child who has watched mother being abused by her partner. This child may develop the core belief that they are a coward. Such a child may start picking fights and engaging in risky behaviour at school. Such behaviours will give them a euphoric feeling of control and self-confidence, furthermore, give them a form of relief from the pain of the feeling of their core belief that he or she is weak. Such euphoric feelings can be gratifying and help, he or she’s, desire to avoid any form of shame, therefore they carry on taking risks and engaging in risky behaviours.

In taking such risks he or she starts to form a new identity about themselves, risky behaviour will often get a child in trouble, when they come up against the rules, especially in the education system. This means that kids, such as themselves, are inevitably being pulled into each other’s orbit. Therefore, this makes them hard to do well at school, developing an identity as the tough girl or boy, who is not to be messed with. Often this will lead to, brushes with authority, such as the police, social services and probation.

Beliefs formed at that moment of trauma can come to shape the decisions the victim will make, in later life, such as who he or she will date, what employment, he or she goes into, where eventually they live, and ultimately what company they keep; who their friends are.

The point of realisation: how psychotherapy/counselling can help.

At some point the trauma victim may realise that he or she is depressed, perhaps when a close friend dies from an overdose, or a man or woman they love leaves them, when their behaviour becomes unacceptable, or it could be when they, themselves, overdose, and end up in a hospital A&E.

It is at this point, in the victim’s life that the causes of depression, may be uncovered, this is often when the victim is persuaded to enter psychotherapy/counselling, sometimes this is not the case and the cycle is repeated many times over. In unravelling the victim story, they may become, angry, not only with themselves but also the perpetrator of the trauma. Sometimes this anger is inward turned, and self-hatred can develop over the years, sometimes the anger is at themselves through, taking risks over many years, despite the consequences. Ultimately, their depression began when they watched their mother being abused. When, that trauma is resolved, only then can extricate themselves from responsibility,  realise it was never their fault, coming to the conclusion that they were a child and at that moment freezing was the only thing they could do.

Freedom to redefining oneself after therapy.


At this moment, this moment the victim often has the liberty to redefine themselves, and who they are. Knowing deeply that they were not at fault, as complex of these scenarios are there are many more examples of trauma, but ultimately talking about how you feel, with a trained professional, can help the victim move on, with their life’s.


Do get angry:it can be good for you!

Anger, is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored, than to anything on which it is poured.”
― Mark Twain


Do get angry:it can be good for you!







What are the benefits of getting angry?

Scientists at Harvard University have recently published research, citing the benefits of anger. In principle they agree with Mark Twain in as much as there are definitely negative effects of anger, but conversely, there are also positives attribute gained from getting angry.

The Harvard university study, that gathered information on emotions of almost 1000 people, nine days after the 9/11 terrorist attack, and came to the conclusion that those interviewed who felt outrage and angered, by the terrorist attack, felt more optimistic about the future, than those who expressed fear of more terrorism. In this context, anger is seen as a positive, inasmuch as, it unites people under a common cause in this case feeling outraged at the terrorist attack. Male participants of the study were shown to have more anger than women, but again were generally found to be more optimistic.

The research found that media coverage of the terrorist attack was reported from a standpoint that would make people angry, and thus less afraid of being hurt by another terrorist attack.

How anger affects   your well-being

Psychologist working at the University of California, Berkeley Dr Brett Ford, whilst studying anger responses in the laboratory found that if research participant was made angry, rather than stress and anxious, they showed a lower biological response, in terms of blood pressure and levels of stress hormones. Ford’s research was added to by Dr Maya Tamir, at the University of Jerusalem. Her findings found that people who tend to feel angry rather than happy, when confronting, someone in a stressful situation, tend to have a higher well-being.

Tamir’s, research revealed that participants who got angry, generally had a higher emotional intelligence; this is counterintuitive to what one would naturally think.

How getting angry  can activate change.

Anger can be looked as a positive force if one considers people such as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. A good example of this is Rosa Parks, who was ordered to give up her seat in a coloured section of the bus she was riding on  in Montgomery, Alabama, by the bus driver, in order to give it to a white person, because a segregated seating on the bus in the white area was full. Refusing to obey the driver she was arrested. Thus giving birth to the Montgomery bus boycott, which became a symbol of the modern human rights movement. If Rosa Parks had not become angry this may not have happened.




When your anger gets the better of you.

blog picture_angry farmer_eleoscounselling_ anger managementAnger can be a difficult thing to control, recently at Eleos counselling we are developing an anger management course for young people. We feel this is very important as teaching young people how to control their anger now will reduce the amount of angry incidences, not only in school, now, but later in life, when they have to interact with others, with authority, and form relationships with others.

It’s a fact, the more heated the disagreement, the more our inner pressure gauge goes up this can build up to breaking point, is at this point anger and rage can rear its ugly head.

This reminds me of a short story, I once read, about very religious and God-fearing Quaker farmer who owned a disagreeable cow. Every time he went to milk her it would be a battle of wills.

Early one morning, at milking time, the cow was unusually short-tempered, but the farmer was unwavering in his attitude to ensure the milking session, went, without so much as a bad attitude. As the farmer started to milk, the cow trod on the farmer’s foot with all her bulk. He winced silently, but mumbled under his breath freeing his foot, and then sat back on his stool to milk. The cow, then squished her tail in his face like a long fibrous whip. The farmer just merely leaned away so to avoid the cow’s tail, next she kicked over the milking bucket, by then half full with milk. The farmer started to mutter a few words to himself; but never lost his temper. Once finished with the ordeal of milking this cow the farmer inhaled a sigh of relief, picked up his bucket and stool and as he was leaving, the cow lets off a kick, kicking the farmer against the barn wall, catapulting him 12 to 15 feet. That, unfortunately, did it, the farmer, raised to his full height, walked in front of the cow stared at her big brown eyes and then he shook his long scrawny finger at the face, of the dairy cow, and he shouted, you know I’m a Quaker, but I can sell you to an unbeliever.

It’s not at getting angry, that’s the problem, it’s how we express that anger. Sometimes, that can be inappropriate, telling the boss where to stick his job might cause some relief, temporary, but when you have no paycheck at the end of the month, to pay the bills that may cause you a problem.

If you would like to know more about anger management, then please go to our website at

Eye contact: eyes really are the windows of the soul.

eleoscounselling, West Sussex_eye contact_blogJust recently we were sent a short video on Facebook, nothing unusual you might say, but this video was quite profound inasmuch as it commented on the very media it was posted on, social media. In the short video, it spoke of how people are becoming increasingly isolated, as we use technology to interact with friends.

One thing that struck us about this video is often people do not give eye contact. Recently we have been looking into creating an anger management program for young people, as part of that study we found how important eye contact actually is.

If a child is denied eye contact it can become socially isolated, and angry. The part of the brain that governs emotions, the limbic system and particularly the amygdala needs input from faces to judge whether something is a threat. Studies have shown that averting your eyes can be a form of silent treatment; basically you’re saying you’re not worth looking at.

Now think how many times you pick up that phone during the day, to look at emails, your head is pointed down and away from people, and people who are trying to make contact with you. You’re saying that this text message or email is far more important than you are or what you are saying, or what you’re showing me.

How many times have you been annoyed with someone who picks up a smart phone and starts texting, whilst at the dinner table?

Fundamentally, the lack of eye contact can make one suspicious and ultimately angry.

Conversely, averting your gaze from someone to look at your smart phone or tablet can actually have a negative effect on you. When you’re looking down at your smart phone you increase the chance of losing the respect and trust because you’re essentially you  are not communicating those attributes to others.


The next point we would like to raises is what are we telling  our children, albeit silently. A study carried out in the Netherlands suggests that an infant’s brain is rapidly forming connections and new pathways linking the ancient limbic system to the neural cortex and prefrontal cortex, laying down circuitry which becomes arterial roads for emotion. This delicate and vital infrastructure result in how we interpret social interactions. If part of that interaction is missing, because I contact is not made or given, we do not receive the right information and thus cannot communicate effectively.

Our brains compare the incoming data with memories of past experiences and ultimately facial expressions effectively this is our own trust mistrust gauge or scale. If the infant hasn’t built up suitable knowledge, the default will be to see things as a threat, and thus become angry.