Psychotherapy

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Compassion costs nothing

Life can sometimes bring us some unexpected and nasty surprises. You can’t forsee them. You don’t know when they’ll happen and you don’t know how to prevent them because they haven’t happened yet! These are the “life lessons” or events that often make us stop and think, look back and use hindsight. They can be opportunities to reflect and invariably we do end up looking back and asking ourselves a whole barrage of questions – did I have this coming? How could I have prevented this? What could I have done differently? Why didn’t I… ? Why didn’t they…? We can end up going around in circles with questions that we will simply never be able to answer.

Why do we persist in tormenting ourselves? For some, it’s a matter of low self-esteem, guilt, low confidence or all of the above. Others may lack a support network of family or friends to help them through such hard and challenging times. Some people may be struggling with mental illness, substance misuse such as drug or alcohol addiction or past trauma. However, we all have a lot in common with one another when going through such difficult times – we all feel. We all have emotions. We all struggle at some point or another.

But how are you treating yourself through such hard times? How do you help or support others when you know they are struggling with personal or professional difficulties? Are you listening? Not just listening but hearing them also. Do your words offer comfort and compassion or judgement and blame? Imagine it’s you in that situation. How would you feel if you had a limited number of people to turn to? Would you want to be […]

By |April 12th, 2015|Counselling, Psychotherapy|0 Comments

Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling Summer Residential course 2014

 

It is with great pleasure, we can announce the summer dates for our next Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling course! We’ve already had several enquiries and a few places have already gone! This is going to be a fabulous experience especially as we will be hosting the course at the beautiful Nature & Nurture CIC HQ in the stunning Derbyshire countryside!

Please be aware that places are limited to a maximum of 14. Suggestions and recommendations for accommodation will also be available. (Course fee does not include accommodation)

If you would like to find our more, you can download the course brochure here and the booking form here and email me at [email protected]

You can also download the course flyer by clicking on the image below.

 

When is a Rabbit, not a Rabbit?

We’ve all grown up around the endless children’s stories, myths, legends and fables with animals as their heroes, villains, guides and companions. No matter the cultural background, animals abound. Children have an innate affinity for animals; perhaps down to Biophilia, an innate tendency or love of nature, as defined by E. O. Wilson (1984), suggesting this love, this connection is part of biology, genetic make-up and is in fact in-built. Perhaps that is why it is so easy for children, young people, adults and older people to relate to most things concerning animals – whether that be a conversation or an interaction.

What were your favourite stories with animals whilst you were growing up? I have always loved all the different animal stories as I was growing up. Stories where the animals could speak to us and we could be understood back were always a favourite and classic tales such as Brer Rabbit from Disney’s “Song of the South” have stayed with me throughout my years.

A popular “tool” though has always been the fable – Aesop’s Fables being perhaps the most well-known. Who hasn’t heard of “The Hare and the Tortoise” or “The Fox & the Crow”? Most people are familiar with them and of course there are morals and lessons to be learnt behind these wonderful stories. (If you aren’t familiar with these wonderful tales, I can highly recommend them!) Depending on how you read them you may take away one lesson or more; in “The Hare and the Tortoise” you might end up considering “more haste, less speed” or, as it was for me “slow but steady, wins the race”. There are a number of different interpretations and different people will perceive and interpret different […]

There’s no time like the present!

Well it’s been far too long since I updated the blog but the diary has been chocka block for quite a few months! Finding the time to have a bath has been challenging and I felt that the general public would approve more of an ‘abluted’ representative for HumAnima CIC rather than a frazzled one!

Where to begin though! I’ve had several meetings with a few organisations to discuss the possibility of working with them to deliver courses and therapy programmes. Finance continues to be an issue for the majority of them but there are a few who know that it is wise to invest in NEW opportunities especially in hard times like these and so 2013 will hopefully include new partnerships and collaborations with some really forward-thinking organisations!

Perhaps I should have started with our biggest achievement of 2012 though…? In November I put in an entry for HumAnima CIC for the Social Enterprise West Midlands Awards. I entered us into Prima award, which was the award for innovation. It was a very short turnaround time for shortlisting and notification but we were quickly informed that we had been shortlisted! Now to be shortlisted, was an achievement in itself as we were up against many other entries (I can’t remember the exact number. Must check!) so that put a smile on my face. Unfortunately, the date of the award ceremony clashed with a previous engagement I had to deliver a Pets As Therapy visit but thankfully I was able to rearrange that for February. On the night in question, our category had 4 entrants a few of whom I was already aware of and knew were fantastic and indeed innovative social enterprises! It was an honour […]

A Helping Paw!

Check out an article I wrote for the brand new Holistic Magazine (P56-57). This great new magazine is the brainchild of Holistic Directory Founder and magazine editor, Sophie Jewry. The Holistic Directory is one of the fastest growing directories of holistic services in the UK.

A Helping Paw

Full Steam Ahead…!!!!

Well it’s been none stop for a good few months and it’s all going swimmingly.

On the 30th August Flossie and I attended Walsall Independent Living Centre where we were invited to speak to the public, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers about the work HumAnima CIC does and the services we offer. Needless to say, Flossie received bucket loads of fuss from adults and children alike.

The icing on the cake though was definitely the beautiful bouquet of flowers AND dog treats we received as a thank you for attending! 🙂 Flossie thoroughly enjoyed her treats and I even made sure she had them all to herself rather than having to share them with her son, Dinky!

We were officially welcomed into the arms of Social Enterprise West Midlands (SEWM) earlier in September and affirmed our new collaboration with a guest blog entry on their website. This has been well received and traffic to the website and blog has been gradually growing.

In the last few weeks though development on the app idea has exploded to FULL STEAM AHEAD! I am now working with Development Keys, Innovista and Coventry University’s Serious Games Institute on our new app. I am hoping to reveal all in the coming weeks as we will be presenting a blueprint, demo and design manual to potential investors at next weeks Social Enterprise West Midlands, Social Finance Fair. Everybody I have spoken to, with regards to the potential of the app has given it the thumbs up so it’s all looking very promising.

What I can say is that HumAnima CIC’s new app will act as a social catalyst and will bring dog owners and dog lovers together. With our app, users can enjoy each others and their […]

A Dream come True

This famous song just about sums up the magic of recent developments. Jiminy Cricket, the famous Pinochio’s conscience, sang this song whilst gazing up at the stars. Whilst, as a child I found the film quite scary (the fear of being lost, not to mention mislead or being swallowed up by a giant whale…) there were elements of it that I always remembered. Jiminy’s song being one of them.

I have always been a believer in the possibility of making dreams a reality. I came to the conclusion many years ago, that I could not rely on other people to make my dreams come true; nobody knew as well as I do what my dreams actually are. Only I could do that. Hence the years of research, persistence, determination, passion and focus. Yes my goals have moulded and morphed over the years a little but the main premise remains – to enhance people’s relationships with animals, to research that relationship and to make it as positive as possible for everyone involved including the animals!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is this that has been driving me on for months now and continues to fuel my determination to make HumAnima CIC a success. And slowly but surely things are happening. Good things.

HumAnima CIC is now a proud Member of Social Enterprise West Midlands (SEWM). 

We will be receiving our members certification at the beginning of September and Flossie will be attending too!

Flossie will be joining me at Walsall Independent Living Centre on the 30th September 2012. We will be presenting to both staff and service users at a Children & Family Day about Animal Assisted Therapy and the work that HumAnima CIC is developing.

Recently, I have been interviewed by Nitya of Udo and these interviews have been […]

Plan, Propose, Prepare, Prevent!

On of the biggest issues affecting the take-up of Animal Assisted Therapy here in the UK is the red tape and emphasis on health and safety. It is easy to understand why we need to keep H&S in mind, but at what point is cautious, too cautious?

Richard Louv in his book “Last Child in the Woods” (2010) coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder” and since that time we have come across increasing news articles noting the rise in allergies, aggression and behavioural problems in children. The link has now been made between these problems and a lack of access to greenspace, nature and an increase in urban, technologically oriented society.

Some of you may have come across the recent news (except that this is old news!) confirming that children who have/ interact with animals have fewer allergies. This makes sense on so many levels – children from a young age, interacting with animals, get a chance to build up their immune system making them more resistant to conditions like allergies and making their health stronger on the whole. This is why I struggle to understand the obsessive cleanliness of some parents who by keeping their children “too” clean contribute towards the development of allergies.

It is understandable that in institutions and establishments such as hospital wards, residential homes and schools that particular care must be taken due to the increased vulnerability of this population and their weaker/ weakened immune systems. However, you can be over-cautious and in being so completely miss out on the fact that the benefits outweigh the risks!

Older people in residential homes and hospitals suffer greatly from loneliness and it is such a problem that
there is a Campaign to End Loneliness. PAT dogs and […]

NEW DATE: “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course – 6th October 2012

Following the success of our first course, the next “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course will be taking place on the 6th October 2012 at Keele Sustainability Hub, Keele University, Staffordshire.

For more details or to book a place, please email Kathryn at info(at)humanima.co.uk

Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling course flyer

Success WILL come if you work hard enough!

It’s been a VERY busy month with lots happening. On the 18th May I presented to a group of people interested or already involved in Care Farming at a small care farm in Shopshire. The location was stunning and whilst the weather wasn’t fantastic, it was good enough for us to go for  a brief tour after lunch to see some of the animals on the farm. The course looked at “Animal Assisted Therapy in Care Farming” and addressed the history of Animal Assisted Therapy, the background to Care Farming, AAT’s potential role in Care Farming, possible techniques and of course, the all essential Health & Safety! The day went very well and feedback was more than encouraging and gave me the little “oomph” I needed to prepare for the “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course.

Here is one of the feedback comments:

      ” I thought what a lovely lass she was. All the content and information was there, and it was in informative bite sized chunks. I really enjoyed it. When I saw how she relaxed with the animals I almost wished we had done things the other way around, as she positively shone from then on.”

Well that was all the encouragement I needed to get myself into gear and prepare for the upcoming “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course. The course took place on the 9th June at Keele Sustainability Hub at Keele University, Staffordshire. It was very well attended on the day with a comfortable group size and no sooner did the click hit 9:30am than people started coming through the door. Delegates were welcomed enthusiastically by Flossie, who went up to each person, sniffed and wagged and waited for a fuss. […]