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Recurrent : An event, stimulus or condition that occurs more than once, e.g. Seasonal Affective Disorder a form of depression which is related to seasonal low light levels.  In some cases the recurrence can be more random or induced by a combination of environment and stimulus as in PTSD.

Reflecting : Understanding the client’s emotional world and mirroring this back to them with empathic responses. See also mirroring.

Relational Therapy : An approach to therapy with one or more clients experiencing difficulties in their relationships, i.e. the relations between them. Each relationship is considered to be a tangible thing and the clients are engaged in characterising it and then either improving it or ending it in a considerate way for all involved.

Self (noun) : A person’s nature.  A person referred to with respect to their whole unique individuality.

Self-awareness : A conscious awareness of our inner experience .i.e. what is ‘going on’ in our heads, how we think and feel and knowing how we are functioning emotionally. An ongoing process of gathering information and insights about ourselves (possibly recorded in a Mind Journal).

Self-compassion :  Self-compassion involves developing an emotionally positive attitude to your own self in order to counter and protect yourself from the harmful effects of self-judgement, social and self isolation and rumination (such as depression). It has three main aspects: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.

Self-kindness : Self-kindness involves being gentle, tolerant and generous towards yourself when you are in pain or failure (of whatever kind) rather than being harshly self-critical. More directly – learning to  “give yourself a break”.

Self-disclosure : A therapist or counsellor disclosing some personal information, thoughts or feelings to a client. This is done solely for the benefit of the client, not for the therapist.  It may be useful to help build a working relationship with the client

Self-esteem : Self-esteem involves a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value based on a variety of beliefs about themselves, such as the appraisal of one’s own appearance, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. It is the value we place on ourself. Low self-esteem results from associating negative values to all or part of ourselves. In some cases self esteem may be damaging as it inherently relies on being judgemental and a person perceiving themself as superior in some ways than others, thus running the risk of feeling and believing that they are continually failing or just not good enough.

Stereotyping : Presuming things about someone, putting them ‘in a box, pigeon-holing. Not making allowances for their individuality. It is often rooted in negative attitudes such as prejudice, ignorance, and irrational fears.

Stimulus : The cause of an event which is then conciously acted on or unconciously reacted to.

Stress : A state of mental or physical tension often produced by causes or forces the sufferer cannot control, they may feel unable to cope. Subjective symptoms of stress are being jittery, having difficulty concentrating and feeling chronically tired or ill.

Summarising : The process of bringing together everything that has been talked about during part or all of a session. It clarifies what has been accomplished and what still needs to be explored or done.

Supervision : Concerned with the emotional health and development of the counsellor or therapist, and with developing their skills.  Supervision combines counselling the counsellor, mentoring and tutoring. It also provides opportunities to purge ‘client related transference’ and regain perspective as a person.

Syndrome : A set of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterise a particular condition.

Therapist : Someone who provides therapy for a client or clients.

Therapeutic Alliance : A collaborative relationship between a therapist and a client, or group of clients forming a bond between them for the specific purpose of helping the client assimilate the counselling or therapy efficiently and effectively.  Also referred to as the Working Relationship.

Trait : a distinguishing characteristic or quality, especially of one’s personal nature.

Transference : The copying of emotions, especially those experienced in childhood, from one person or object to another, especially the transfer of feelings about a parent to a therapist e.g. treating them as a Mother or Father.

Traumatic : Mentally – deeply disturbing or distressing, physically – involving a wound or injury.

Trust : Faith in one’s own integrity and reliance on the integrity, ability and character of another person.

Unconditional positive regard : A non-possessive caring, sharing, valuing, prizing acceptance of the client regardless of how unpleasant the clients behaviour may be.

Unconscious : The unconscious mind (Freud) is the part which is accessible only rarely to awareness. Psychoanalysts believe that painful thoughts and memories may be repressed, so becoming unconscious. Psychoanalysis is therefore used to bring these repressed thoughts into the conscious mind. Counselling does not work with the unconscious mind, however various other therapies do, by one means or another, seek to access it and include it in therapy.

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