Maria Bellis
Counselling and Psychotherapy

Finding a Way Recent. Orange flowers

Finding a Way Blog

Welcome to My Finding a Way Blog.
I want to share more about some of the ideas we have in counselling and psychotherapy that underpin how we work. I call it 'Finding a Way' because often this is the basis of therapy and counselling.
There is no one size fits all or a magic wand giving instant success. Basically we explore, we reflect, and we try out different things until something seems to make sense. But in the end it is about each person finding their own way. I hope you find these pages useful.

2nd August 2018- Resilience- How do we build it.
See past blog page for previous blogs.

02/08/2018 Resilience – How do we build it?

When times get difficult how we cope depends on our resilience to take care of ourselves and manage the situation. How we learn about resilience is usually from our upbringing which hopefully gives us a good grounding and various techniques. We continue to develop our ability to deal with difficulties as we mature and grow older.
Information about resilience.

Resilience is not something we consciously learn as it is a combination of skills, knowledge and experiences we build up individually. But it is something we get to think about when times feel tough and we struggle to manage how we feel, to understand what has happened and to find a way through. Difficult times often lead us to self- question and reflect about our lives which can be positive and add to our learning experience.

Having helpful thought processes, self-care practices and supportive networks can be key to managing difficulties. But at challenging times we can sometimes be prone to self-criticism, neglect ourselves and not make use of available support. Switching off can be a stress response in itself as we try to cope with our emotions. Or maybe how we normally support ourselves is not enough.

There are some basic things to help:

  • Relaxation- we need to practice this regularly in order to achieve it. Even if we can bring the tension down a few notches it helps us to feel a little more in control and able to cope better.
  • Distraction - Find something worthwhile to do even if for a short while. This doesn’t have to be complex- it can be stroking the cat, going for a walk, calling a friend, doing some cleaning or cooking, watching a positive film. The idea is to take your mind in another direction and feel better. Put your efforts into things you can control and help you feel better even if only for a little while.
  • Is there potential for positivity in the challenge?- Health problems may mean taking better care of yourself, relationship issues may mean trying to communicate better. Again this can help us to feel we can get back a measure of control if we can do something to help ourselves.
  • Learning- Even if things don’t resolve as hoped, what can you learn from this experience that will help you in the future?
  • Keep it in context-Even if you feel you have done something badly, don’t label everything in your life as wrong or everything you are as bad. It is human to make mistakes- keep hold of the whole you, and see yourself in the wider context of all the good things you do as well.
  • Commit to keep going with all your relationships – don’t give up on them all if one or two relationships have difficulties.
  • See bad events as just temporary- You do still have to get through them but eventually it will pass into memory.

    Resilience is a lifelong learning and we all get tested at times. Recognising that there are things you can do to support yourself and get through the hard times is key to how you manage the situation. At the core of all this is how you look after yourself and support yourself. At difficult times we can learn to do this a little better and build our resilience further.

    If you would like to check out your own resilience bwp have an online questionnaire and some guidance:
    The Samaritans do an online course for young people around building resilience but this can be useful for anyone. Samaritans

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