Psychotherapy and Counselling In Brighton and Hove Steffi Bednarek   MA   BA   MBACP

Counselling in a changing world

This is an article I wrote for the BACP's Journal 'Therapy Today' 
It was published in February 2016.

Steffi Bednarek sees a key role for counsellors in a time of global turmoil

Growing up, I was taught about freedom, human rights and the untouchable dignity of all people in school, whilst we all needed to hold the paradox that repression was exported to other countries. Today this dichotomy in our ethics and value system seems to have moved uncomfortably close to home.

I think about the…

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The beauty and the medicine of a broken heart

A few years back, when I had just finished reading my 4 year old daughter a bedtime story, she suddenly looked very serious, grabbed my face and said: ‘Mummy I love you sooo much. I don’t ever want to be without you… but you will die before me, won’t you?’ In this moment I felt this tug in my heart that reminded me that our love for each other and the inevitability of heartbreak are intertwined; the knowledge that if we make ourselves fully open to each other, we also make ourselves vulnerable…

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On being beautiful

Once the judgement of the first glance has realised its mistake, we can look again. What we find is often ultimately more interesting and meaningful. 

When we look beyond simple appearance and open up to the full possibility of engaging with an ‘other’, something magical seems to happen. Something in us is touched and changed by the experience of the other. Mere appearance on a skin level becomes irrelevant and we see with different eyes. Beauty becomes something we sense and feel...

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Maya Angelou on being human

'I am a human being and nothing human is alien to me'. This quotation by Terence has inspired me for a long time. Maya Angelou says it better than I ever could why this is an essential part of living life as fully as we can.

 

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Boarding School Syndrome - the emotional cost of a privileged form of education

As a child I loved reading romanticised stories about English boarding schools. It sounded exquisitely exciting to be living away from home and to be free from the scrutiny of family life. Having grown up in a different cultural context, I was completely unaware of the realities of boarding at a young age. I was also unaware of how prevalent boarding really was and still is in the UK.  

At the start of my therapeutic work in England, some clients informed me in a side comment that they...

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The benefits of boredom

Striving to be productive, being busy and achieving things seems to be the mantra we often feel we need to live by. At work, at home, at play, each moment must be filled with something productive, fending off solitude and boredom. All too often we turn time alone into a problem that needs to be remedied by doing something stimulating. This is reinforced by constant access to technology that allows us to escape our day to day interactions at the click of a button. In addition, our current...

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What you need to know about Death Cafes

When was the last time you talked about death and your own mortality with your friends over a cup of tea? We are bombarded with information about health, beauty and youth every day but where is the place to acknowledge that we all have to die? Where do we make space and time to think about the finality of our lives and the lives of people we love? Death cafes offer this opportunity.

Morbid? Actually No! The first time I attended a Death Cafe was about 6 months ago. The meeting took place at...

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Interview on Grief, Anger and Ancestors - Minnesota Men,s Conference

This 13 minute interview with the psychotherapist Francis Weller is about grief, gratitude and addictions to secondary satisfaction as a compensation for the lack of soulfulness in life.

 

 

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Suffragettes - do they still matter?

On Wednesday the film ‘Suffragettes’ premiered in London. A group of women from ‘sisters uncut’ jumped the barriers and lay on the red carpet shouting “We are suffragettes!” What they were highlighting was how the Government’s austerity cuts affect women who experience domestic violence.  

As a previous manager of a psychotherapeutic service for women, children and young people who are affected by domestic violence, I know from direct experience that finding adequate funding...

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Fear, Love and Relationships

Fear can be a trickster that comes in many different guises, sometimes dressed as anxiety, sometimes as anger, shame, obsession, self righteousness, control, depression; in fact anything that stops us being present and connected in the Here and Now.

Most fears are to do with our need to belong, like our fear of rejection, loss, shame and so on. These fears are mostly not related to any real immediate danger. They are of something that might happen, not of something that is actually...

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