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ME: Myalgic Encephalopathy (formerly encephalomyelitis) This is a condition with various abnormalities in hypothalamic, autonomic and cognitive function. The symptoms are typically prolonged episodes of low stamina and rapid fatigue. This may be accompanied by chronic impairment of neurological, immune and digestive function. The onset of M.E. may be triggered by viral or other infection, vaccinations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, toxins, pesticide exposure or cognitive disorders such as severe depression.

Mentor : Someone trusted by another to provide a role model and guidance about their future, the knowledge, skills and experience they would benefit from and ways of living.

Mind : The totality of conscious and unconscious mental memories, patterns,  processes and activities. The part of us that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.

Mind Journal : A diary or notebook kept by someone for their private use. It records events, feelings, emotions, opinions and insights. Its prime value is just the act of filling each entry as this encourages self reflection and insightfulness. There is a Mindliness template for Mind Journal entries.

Mindfulness : Being  always aware, attentive and careful. In practice it is the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of our attention on our own emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment. It involves keeping an awareness of painful thoughts and feelings in perspective rather than over-identifying with them. Based on Buddhist teachings and brought to clinical practice in the UK by Dr Paul Gilbert of the Compassionate Mind Foundation. As George Harrison put it “Be here now”.

Mindliness :  Mindliness is an approach to understanding psychological problems in terms of both the physical built-in behavioural responses and learned responses (patterns) stimulated by previous internal or external events. It provides a simple unified model of events, feelings, emotions and behavioural responses that is useful for clarifying a client’s problems and selecting matching practical treatments which may be helpful and effective. The objective is for the client to achieve insight and become able to live their life in good emotional health and with compassion for themself and others.

Mood : A sustained set of emotions

Non-judgemental Attitude : Suspending your own judgements and standards and not imposing them on others. See also empathy.

Non-possessive warmth : An attitude of friendliness and openness to someone without any connotation of possessiveness, obligation or imposition. This is an important factor in forming an effective therapeutic relationship between a counsellor and client.

Obsessive, Obsession : Thinking about something or someone too much or in a way that is not normal. Sometimes concentrating on something to the exclusion of everything else.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder :  Thinking about something or someone too much or in a way that is not normal combined with a desire that is too strong to resist : impossible to stop or control.  Often involves repetitions of an activity even when unnecessary. Often referred to as OCD.

Openness : How prepared we are to reveal out genuine private thoughts to others . Letting someone else be appropriately aware of our feelings, emotions, secrets and innermost thoughts, whatever they are.

Open Questions : A style of question that invites more than a ‘yes or no’ answer. Example, rather than asking “Do you like her?” you might ask the more open version “What is it about her that you like?”. Open questions will usually help the client to reveal their own story in their own words.

Paraphrasing : This involves restating the clients words, keeping in mind separating concerns and bring out the underlying issues. It is a way for the counsellor or therapist to assure the client that they are listening carefully and confirming what has been understood. It provides an opportunity for the client to correct or add to the paraphrased version. Use of Plain English is important, in general jargon should be avoided.

Pastoral Counselling : Pastoral Counselling uses insights and principles derived from the disciplines of theology and the behavioral sciences in working with individuals, couples, families, groups and social systems toward the achievement of wholeness and health.  It can be helpful for client from a variety of faith groups or those without a specific faith but nevertheless spiritual in nature. Some workplace related counselling is now called Pastoral Counselling and involves coping with problems that occur in the workplace such as conflict related stress, job changing and redundancy.

Person Centred Approach : This concentrates on building a trusting relationship between the client and the therapist. Genuineness, warmth, honesty, unconditional positive regard and empathy are considered to be crucial aspects of this relationship.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder : An anxiety disorder where exposure to exceptional physical and/or mental stressful event(s) or situation(s) is followed by persistent re-experiencing of the event in the client’s imagination. This may recur over a period of time, and may possibly be triggered by a sight, sound, situation. Often referred to as PTSD.

Problem Solving : Helping to resolve some difficulty by working to a model, plan or process to discover a practical solution, either complete or partial.

Procrastination : putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention. Procrastination is often a choice associated with clients who are depressing (are experiencing depression).

Psychiatry : A branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders.

Psychology : The science of the mind or of mental states and processes. The sum or characteristics of the mental states and processes of person (or class of persons e.g. soldiers), or of the mental states and processes involved in a field of activity. A Psychologist is a medical practitioner specialising in psychology.

Psychoanalysis : A theoretical system of psychology based on the work of Sigmund Freud. The mind is understood to be influenced by conflicting forces – some conscious and some unconscious. The idealised development of the mind through a series of stages is used as a reference. Freud provided insight into many aspects of the mind and some ideas from psychoanalysis have been incorporated into more effective forms of therapy.

Psychodynamic : A study of human emotions as they influence behaviour. The approach recognises the role of the unconscious and assumes that behaviour is determined by past experiences, genetic endowment and current reality.

Psychotherapy : Any form of  ‘talking cure’ aimed at relieving distress. The treatment of psychological problems by using a variety of theories of personality development, cognitive models (how we think), specific techniques and therapeutic aims. A Psychotherapist use talk and thought rather than drugs and surgery.

Quiescent : Existing but currently inactive. Some conditions are quiescent but can be activated (triggered) by a stimulus e.g. a real or imagined event or situation.

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