Juna Brookes Counsellor & Therapist in Horsforth, Leeds

Blog. Hope

Hang in there!

Dealing with the isolation and loneliness can be a challenging time for many of us. The devastating impacts this can have on our day to day life and our mental health is all-to-real, especially in these uncertain times.

The key is to remember these periods that cause us suffering are always time related and will subsequently pass.

"The two most powerful strengths we can posses are patience & the ability to allow time its natural ability to self heal"

But there are times where self-healing isn't always achievable with just time alone.
This is where I and my services can help you... So please do not allow your time to be worthless and unnecessarily pass you by. Now is the time to get in touch and between us find a way to get you back the life you desire.

How I and my services can help.

I can help manage the over-whelming feelings that may accompany and be felt in these soul destroying and uncertain times. By talking together we can find light in the darkest of days, build strategies and put life plans in place to both strength you and your state of mind. In-turn this will enable you to positively deal with these natural anxieties and feelings more effectively going forward and allowing you to take back control of your life.

It is on us, not just you to find a way to a fulfilling life and a state of self contentment through positivity and change.


Blog. Keep Calm in the Chaos

Just checking in.

Firstly, I wanted to check in on you and see if you're ok in the times of the current Coronavirus outbreak. I know there is a lot of uncertainty and chaos there and it can leave us with all sorts of negative emotions, fears, and worries. You and your family's health are the most important thing.

But, because of all the news and advice out there, it doesn’t mean that we have to panic and let that fear rule our lives. Our immune system is the defense the body uses to keep us safe from bacteria and viruses. It is very powerful indeed as our body's immune system destroys germs and viruses quickly because it is trained to do whatever it takes to keep us from getting sick.

Anxiety is NOT a friend of the immune system, and there is some evidence that too much anxiety can actually put stress on our body and can weaken our immune system. Anxiety doesn't cause illness but when there is contact with germs and viruses, the weakened immune system would struggle to fight them back.

Therefore, I encourage you to stay calm cool and collected, tolerant and focused. Use this time to connect with your family (even if its indirectly and at a distance), use your empathy skills to show that you care, use the time at home to relax and maybe do something creative such as handmade artwork or craft.

Its springtime. We have to do our best to enjoy it. Keep safe and if you struggle don’t hesitate to contact us.


Blog. Guilt

Guilt and Shame

One of the powerful techniques I have experienced myself, many years ago is called GESTALT DIALOG.

Many of us have someone in our life we have done something to regret about or we haven’t expressed in a way we could have done. These regrets about it or even a feeling of GUILT or SHAME can live with us for a long time.

In my private practice of counselling and hypnotherapy I use the technique numerous numbers of times with wonderful results. Whilst the client is in the light hypnotic trance It can be challenging at first but powerful and liberating by the end of it. My clients know that they feel safe and looked after. If you find yourself feeling guilt, shame or sadness with unexpressed emotions this technique will change your life!


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When to Seek a Therapist

Problems always exist. Some are easy while others are not. While you don’t have to be in desperation to go to a therapy, it’s not always necessary to seek a therapist for every little problem that comes your way too. If this is the case, then how can you tell when it’s time to ask for help from a psychotherapist? Let’s find out below.

When You’re Feeling Extremely Sad or Angry
Extreme feelings of sadness or anger may be some of the signs of an issue in mental health. If these negative feelings affect your day to day living, like eating less than usual or withdrawing from friend and family, then it’s time for you to seek a therapist’s help.

When You Don’t Feel Like Yourself Anymore
While it’s natural to change a hobby, an interest, or a behaviour, a sudden change is a sign of an unhealthy mental state. It’s best to consult a counsellor for a counselling.

When You Seek for Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
If you start to use food, alcohol, or drugs as coping mechanisms to help you feel better, seek for a therapy immediately before your behaviours get worse.

When You Find It Hard to Accept Losing Someone
Without a strong support system, grief can be a very difficult process. If you constantly find it hard to accept the loss of someone from a breakup, divorce, or death, don’t think twice about asking for a little help from a therapist.

When You Suffer Trauma
If you have experienced neglect, abuse, or other forms of trauma from an illness, a crime, or any other traumatic event, a professional hypnotherapist can give you tips on how to cope from the unwanted feelings that have resulted from your past traumatic experience.

Your mental health is one of the most important aspects of your being. Take care of it and ask for help immediately as soon as severe problems arise.


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Thoughts Make Feelings

So, some kind of traumatic event happened.

It’s not what happened that is the problem. The problem is that how that interpreted at the time. What we thought of it. Thoughts generate emotions. A negative thought generates negative emotions (shame/guilt/embarrassment/anxiety/ sadness etc)

At the time the event happened we have the fight or flight response kicked in (we wanted to run away, to hide, to fight, to freeze)
Our mind then makes a decision (to behave in certain ways around similar situations, to react in similar ways) For instance that dog bit my friend, therefore, all dogs are dangerous/I don’t feel safe around dogs/therefore all dogs are dangerous, therefore, I am scared of all dogs)
Another example: A parent did not show approval and love. A child makes a decision that they are not loveable and that they need to deserve that love. A child’s emotion around it is sadness. They can, later on, compensate that feeling of being unloved by surrounding themselves with a lot of friends or by withdrawal. Some people might feel better in the role of pleasers (to get more of that unmet love) or developing the fear of rejection or abandonment.

When the feeling trapped inside of the event and it has nowhere to go, it builds a pressure inside and this generates anxiety, stress or physical symptoms and discomforts.

Some people carry those trapped emotions from childhood. So, at the time the traumatic event happened that decision being made rules the persons behaviour in certain lives situations.

Decisions made in childhood can rule the person’s life in their adult life.
In hypnotherapy, we work with that decision a child made at a time of an uncomfortable event.

There are certain steps we follow in our work (going back the time/reframing/gestalt dialogue/forgiveness work/future pacing) in order for that grown-up adult would be able to change that old pattern of reaction/behaviour and react differently ( In much calmer/relaxed or less bothered manner)

A client then comes to an understanding that at the time they did the best they could to survive. Their lack of maturity, lack of resources, skills and wisdom, perhaps lack of support or feeling overwhelmed and they were trying to make decisions not realizing that those decisions can impact them for the rest of their lives.


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There's More to Life than Food and Water

As well as our basic needs for water, food and shelter, humans have a set of other emotional needs which are not so obvious, but just as essential to emotional well-being.
When don’t meet these needs, we can suffer anxiety, depression addiction, loneliness. And because this develops over time we don't notice it straight away and when we have a problem we feel confused about where does it come from.
It is important:
1.The need to give and receive attention.
A balanced social life is the best way to meet this need.
Who do you give your attention?
2. The need for mind/body connection
People increasingly treat themselves as non-stop robots. We work too many hours, sleep too little, eat junk food, we don’t exercise. But neglecting proper nutrition and rest leads to psychological problems.
How do you take care of yourself?
3. The need for purpose and meaning and sense of achievement.
If a person is deprived of the satisfaction that comes from achieving goals or fulfilling a purpose, then there is a gap in a person’s life.
We need to be working towards something. This enables you to feel that ‘’yesssss’’ sensation of being proud of yourself.
Without a sense of progress and achievement, we can come to feel worthless, like there's no reason for our existence.
What does give you a sense of achievement?
4. The need to feel a part of the community
Anything that takes the focus off the self will achieve this, whether it's church, clubs, sport or charity work.
Do you go anywhere where you can feel as a part of the community?
5. The need for challenge and creativity
Try something new. Explore and improve an existing skill. Be creative even if it involves picking glass and shelves on the beach and sticking them creating a picture. Boredom is not a nice feeling and can make life feel flat and grey.
How do you challenge yourself and take yourself out of your comfort zone?
6. The need for intimacy
We need to feel needed. We all need at least one person with whom we can share our hopes, dreams, ambitions and ideas. Some people can fulfil this need by taking care of a pet, but most of us need a small circle of loving and supportive friends and/or family.
Maybe its time to get yourself a pet and enjoy its unconditional love?! :)
7. The need for status
It's important to feel important! Status means different things to different people and isn't just met through paid work. For some, feeling recognized for being a good grandmother/parent/child might be enough.
What do you do to make you feel important?
8. The need for safety and security
To varying degrees, we all have some need to feel safe and secure in life. And it would be a cherry on the top of our job would be something we enjoy and feel rewarded.


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The Many Part of a Person

I hear very often my clients say: ‘’This part of me thinks it will be good for me but another part of me tells me that it is stupid or not appropriate… Or one part of me wants this and another something completely different… Or I know I am a kind-hearted person but there is another voice inside of me which tells me horrible nasty things’’.
In psychology, we call it ‘’ a conflict in between subpersonalities’’
Our Personality is made up of many different aspects selves or sub-personalities. It begins at birth. At the point, we learn to interact with the world to have our needs met. As we grow we learn which behaviours are accepted by those around us and which are not. It becomes a pattern which shapes which behaviour we put forward and which we suppress.
There are a huge amount of subpersonalities, perhaps hundreds. Some of them we use very often when others can be hidden in our subconscious mind. We can jump from subpersonality to another very fast.
Here are some that are most commonly known/used by many people:
Pleaser- a part that pleases other people as it makes them feel appreciated and loved
Inner critic –that voice we hear in our head that criticizing us and remind us things we have done in the past which have embarrassed us
Rule maker- the one which keeps to the rules of society, culture, religion etc
The rational mind is another one
A rebel or stubborn part
A Pusher who keeps a person on a go
An anger
A clown, a joy, an inner child, wise you
And lots of others
Which subpersonality is a forefront of your psyche quite often?
Which subpersonalities are in conflict with each other?
What can we do to make them work for us rather than against us?
By accepting our subpersonalities, and expressing them in a safe setting, giving them a voice then the conflicts between them can begin to dissolve.
We have to take the broken pieces gently in our hands before we can begin to glue them together.
Allow the therapist to gently assist you on the journey of knowing self, decreasing the sound of the unhealthy subpersonalities to become weaker and the wise parts of your psyche to become stronger so you can have a happier healthier relationship with yourself and with others. We have to take the broken pieces gently in our hands before we can begin to glue them together.


Starting Therapy

You feel like you need a change, to talk to a person who will understand and not judge you, a person who you can explore anything which troubles you. But for many of us, it is not an easy step to start counselling. Many questions can cross your mind. Where do I start? How can I trust a person who I have never seen in my life? What if I want to cry and will not be able to stop? What will she think about me? What if it is too painful?

These and other questions I had in my mind when I visited my therapist a while ago. I can reassure you that I have been there too. It’s scary and daunting and well done for trying to make these first steps and coming to counselling over your fears and insecurities. Wait a minute I have got mine. I am not a super person who can give you directions and advice. We will start and continue this route together. We both will share our thoughts opinions, we will look at different things together. I might explain you some psychological moments or offer you suggestions and show you the different sides of the coin. I might stop you and point out at something which you can’t notice. I might ask you questions which will lead you to the thing to a degree level. I might ask you to play with pebbles, crayons, sand and figures, clay and beads since it is a well-known fact that our subconscious mind clicks and turns on when we explore using craft materials. Or in a different case, I might offer you to write your thoughts and we will work cognitively.

I also can offer you different techniques which help a lot of my clients and me personally. I will only offer when I feel you are comfortable with me when you are ready to make another deeper step towards your well being.

As long as we have built a strong therapeutic relationship the healing power will take place and will bring a positive change.

Therapy is about looking at yourself from observer position and valuing what you like about yourself and finding ways to change those parts of your life which you don’t like.


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