Is individuality dead?

In a recent New Scientist Magazine, an article, posed a question is individuality dead? The author Alex Pentland, stated in the article, that a study carried out by social scientists, using a smart phone app, found some remarkable results.individuality_peer group_eleoscounselling

Using big data, the study looked at mobile phone habits, credit card purchases, and social media interaction, and came to the conclusion, that the driving force between any adoption of a new behaviour is motivated by the interaction with peers.

The article states that we learn more than we think of our peers, the study postulated that social learning pays an equally significant part in us as humans, as our genes or our IQ.

The next time you abandon instructions for a piece of flat pack furniture, or are trying to learn something complex, such as a piece of software, and instead of reading the instructions, ask your friend to show you how to do it, you are, fundamentally, relying on social learning. It makes sense if you think that learning from somebody, who has already mastered the task, can cut out the arduous chore of using instructions and getting it wrong yourself.

The case in point, how many times do you Google or YouTube something to find out how to do it? I know I do this all the time, as often instructions online is straight to the point, and therefore, show you how to get on with the task in hand. I have recently learned to use formulas within Microsoft Excel, the video instruction was clear, precise, and informative. What’s more, it enabled me to complete a complex graph quickly, I know that if I’d of sat and work through a manual, I may have lost patience, not only with myself, but also with the manual.

 

The study looked at how important individual choices are, compared to shared habits, the researchers looked at patterns of communication and found out that communication is the single most important factor in productivity and creative output. The idea of a collective intelligence is muted in the argument. I do wonder, how much of this will be integrated into the workplace, as it is often the person who shouts loudest gets listened to instead of the quiet person at the back of the room with the bright idea, how many times have you experienced this?

The conclusion of the arguments stated that it was about time we rethought our ideas of individuality, I would argue that some of the greatest individuals on this planet, have been free thinkers and consequently swam against the flow of conventional thinking, if you consider someone like Albert Einstein.

The idea of a collective consciousness is nothing new, the existential philosopher Soren Kierkegaard spoke of the herd mentality. Maybe this is what this article is trying to prove.

The silent pain miscarriage

eleos counselling_miscarriage menA recent article in the Independent paper by Julia Hartley- Brewer, highlighted, an often not talked about issue for men.

The article spoke of the impact of a couple’s miscarriage has, not only on the woman also the man. The article quotes Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg and his recent announcement that is wife is expecting a baby, but how the couple has unfortunately suffered three miscarriages.

Zuckerberg was commended for his honesty and bravery of talking about the effects of the couples, three miscarriages, has had on him, in his Facebook posting.

The article is quoted as saying that 25% of men, whose girlfriends or wife’s miscarry, never speak about the grief that they feel, often it’s the fear of upsetting their partner, which keeps them from talking. For some it is the sense of the trauma of seeing their partner bleeding, this in itself, can be overwhelming for some men. These emotions can be compounded by the man’s feeling of powerlessness unable to do anything to help the woman they love.

It is an expected convention that men, simply get over a miscarriage, and life gets on with itself. Often men report returning to work traumatised and unable to cope, therefore, even less likely to talk to colleagues and friends, because often pregnancies in early stages is not often not announced, to friends and family, so the loss becomes even more private.

Men can often put on a brave face when faced with emotional traumas using black humor, as a way of shrugging off, the personal loss.

Hartley- Brewer suggested in her article the best way for men to cope is to see a counsellor.

It’s worth remembering that no matter how rich and famous you are the tragedy of a loss, such as miscarriage, can affect everybody, even the CEO of a multi-million dollar social media network such as Mark Zuckerberg. Grieving the loss of what could have been is natural, this is where counsellor can help.

 

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 www.eleoscounselling.com

Is it time for a radical rethink, on NHS psychological treatments, waiting Lists?

depression_eleiocounsellingThis morning’s radio fours woman’s hour interviewed the health minister regarding waiting lists for psychological treatments, on the NHS. The Minister promised an improvement, should the current government be re-elected. The Minister responded to claims that there is no choice in psychological treatments and that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT ) is often offered as the only treatment.

The Minister promised that other treatments such as psychodynamic, person centered, and solution focused therapy would be offered as a choice should the present government be re-elected.

Unfortunately, people are generally waiting up to 12 weeks to see the therapist, and then offered anything from 2 to 6 sessions. Research has shown, that it takes up to 4 sessions for a client/patient  to build up a good enough relationship with the therapist.

A spokesman for the Tavistock Institute in London quoted as saying that it takes up to 12 to 20 sessions for a potential client have good enough therapy.

The longer people wait for therapy more risk they are, often people will find a private therapist, which can see them right away. Of course, with private therapy, there’s no limit to the amount of sessions, one can have, if one can afford it.

May be if the NHS were to outsource psychological treatments to the private sector and individual therapists, in private practice, using the vast amount of experienced therapists in private practice, perhaps even local health providers could pay for a proportion of the treatment? Also, the patient or client is able to make an informed choice as to what type of therapy, he or she  has. A point raised in the programme is that, currently, only 10% of therapy is offered on the IAPT scheme are non-CBT.

 

At Eleos counselling, we offer a reduced rate counselling. The clients who are on family tax credit, income support can access psychological treatments at a reduced rate We feel, that this is the way of plugging the gap between the private sector and the therapies that are available, under the NHS scheme. One of the ethos  of Eleos counselling is to offer affordable therapy for anyone who needs it.

 

ELEOS COUNSELLING WEB SITE LINK 

Loneliness in the UK

loneliness_eloscounselingA subject often not talked about has suddenly become popular “loneliness”. A recent report from the National office of statistic claims that Great Britain is the loneliest place in Europe. Statistically, the British, are less likely to bond and make lasting friendships or even know their neighbors.

It’s often quoted that loneliness is an issue for the old, but actually is becoming more and  more an issue for the young, married up with statistics say that the biggest killer of men between the ages of 18 and 34 suicides, the evidence speaks for itself. A statistic from the charity the Samaritans, quoted that one in four men who call the service mentioned loneliness and isolation.

A recent article on radio 4 stated that objects which are plugged into the Internet becoming increasingly popular, stay connected to the cyber world is becoming a paramount importance. This says a lot, that we want to communicate with others however impersonal.

What can the young do to fight loneliness, of the social media can be a boon or very problematic inasmuch that people don’t really say what’s on their mind but rather skirt round the peripheral issues. Maybe one of the services that can be offered through cyberspace is online chat rooms which effectively become group therapy; of course, how one maintains confidentiality and security would have to be looked into what the problem is not insurmountable.

 

Eleos Counseling would be very interested in hearing comments regarding online therapy, or online forums which help support people who are lonely. Please feel free to comment.

 

Anger in children and young adults : knowing anger

angry teenager_Eleos counselling

 

It would be right to say that most adults have angry feelings, these are normal reactions to when things which frustrate us when things go wrong, or people feel an injustice has been done to them. Children, young people express these feelings in different ways.

In a young toddler or young child, frustration and anger is often expressed by  tantrums, when they don’t get what they feel they should or get their own way. They can hit, scream, throw things and often destroy possessions. This is their way of saying they don’t like the emotions or feelings they have, and struggling to express these words. Consequently, their behaviours express their anger and frustration.

In teenagers anger can be expressed by being defiant and refusing to keep house rules. A teenager will often push against boundaries to increase their own independence or sense of self.

Young adults and children can often convey their anger by shouting, refusing to do what they’re told. Furthermore,  a disturbing behaviour, Parents often witnessed or objects of is  when a child starts to hit them or hurt them, often using spiteful words, which  often cuts to the quick.

Young person or child could have many reasons for express their anger inappropriately, including the following:

  • Struggling to come to terms with hormonal changes during puberty.
  • Divorce or separation in parents.
  • Sibling rivalry or jealousy towards a brother or sister.
  • The feeling of rejection by parents or close family.
  • Witnessing domestic violence.
  • Being  accepted into  a friendship group or having problems, relationship  difficulties within that group.
  • Feeling powerless through being bullied or hurt.
  • Struggling to cope with schoolwork, academic workload.
  • Having to be a carer will look after parents or relatives.
  • Breakup in a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend

Anger is a normal part of being human, but for some children, or young adult’s  anger is often expressed inappropriately.  Parents, grandparents, or adults close to the  young people, young adults, often feel walking on egg shells and will often placate behaviours, rather than deal with them head-on.

At Eleos counselling is   developing an anger management program for young people. Unlike most programs  the Eleos counselling program is educational and fun for the young person to engage with. This course will be run groups, and rather seeing this as a punishment the young person, see this as an opportunity to find out how to express his or her anger. If you would like to know more, please go is the homepage and from there you will find our contact details,or click the link below annual be taken to the Eleos counselling website

ELEOS   COUNSELLING LINK

 

Survey Reveals Families do not spend enough time together

A recent survey conducted, suggests that In the UK, the average family spends only half an hour of quality time together, during the week. On the weekend, the time spent together goes up to about an hour and 20 minutes, on both Saturday and Sunday.

family life

Family life

56% of the people surveyed said that they book a holiday for no other reason than to spend time with their family.

The reason we are not spending so much time together various from “the kids are at an age that they don’t really want to spend time with us.” To working anti social hours” what this means is that families are not contacting. Humans, by our very nature are gregarious, we long for social connection. The rise of Facebook and other social media’s would tell us people want to talk and be listened to by other’s chance to tell their story. Obviously lots of things can distract us our I Pad’s, our emails, parents working and after-school activities. The downside of this is that many families struggle to connect and spend time together and enjoy each other.

With reference to the survey, 50% of those asked admitted the only real time they spend together is when they’re away on holiday.  Often holidays can be a time of great stress for people and it could be that we don’t see ourselves in the best light, particularly when we have to deal with airport queues, et cetera.

Could it be that we switch off the television, and simply eat together as often these times when families feel really connected to each other.

 

If your family is going through a crisis, then Eleos counselling can help, you can book an assessment appointment by clicking the link below

Eleos web site