Christmas, Carols & Counselling
- Counselling; A time to end and a time to begin1st March 2017
- Counselling and the art of giving back1st February 2017
- And this year I will…..1st January 2017
- Social Anxiety, Counselling and Christmas1st December 2016
- Couple Counselling – and just when is a discussion an argument1st November 2016
- Therapy, Mobiles and the Challenge of Choice1st October 2016
- Counselling, September and an Ellison’s Orange 1st September 2016
- Counselling – A room with a view1st August 2016
- Counselling: Choices and Decisions1st July 2016
- Counselling, Musee d’Art et d’Histoire and the Inevitability of Change1st June 2016
- Counselling and the art of Ambiguity. 1st May 2016
- Repetition; Normality or Folly. A Counselling Perspective1st April 2016
- Lions, Lambs and Therapy3rd March 2016
- Valentines Day, Counselling and the Great Unknown1st February 2016
- Janus Faced? The New Year, Counselling and Psychotherapy1st January 2016
- So which road do we travel this Christmas...1st December 2015
- Counselling, Guy Fawkes and Scapegoating1st November 2015
- Counselling Work and Narrative Therapy1st October 2015
- Counselling, Therapy and the end of Summer1st September 2015
- Wheat, Rye and Counselling1st August 2015
- Counselling and a break away3rd July 2015
- Counselling and the unexpected1st June 2015
- Counselling, Elections and our opportunity to choose1st May 2015
- Therapy, an April fool and the art of lost memory1st April 2015
- A Spring Clean Therapy and Counselling1st March 2015
- Couple Counselling & Valentines Day1st February 2015
- Nothing changes if nothing changes but this year can be different!1st January 2015
- Social Anxiety Disorder A Christmas Concern1st December 2014
- SAD & those dark Winter nights1st November 2014
- Existential Counselling A useful approach or pretentious jargon?1st October 2014
- Counselling, Therapy and a return to work1st September 2014
- Holidays, Counselling and your Shadow1st August 2014
- Couple Counselling and Choice1st July 2014
- Counselling, Jules Rimet and you A therapeutic perspective1st June 2014
- Counselling and Mayday A different take on a familiar story?1st May 2014
- Useful Therapy and not an April Fool1st April 2014
- Counselling, Floods and Pandoras Box1st March 2014
- Counselling and the art of being normal1st February 2014
- The New Year and a time for change?1st January 2014
- Christmas & Counselling The first Noel1st December 2013
- Counselling, Broomsticks & Halloween1st November 2013
- Couple Counselling and just what is a successful relationship?1st October 2013
- Counselling An issue of choice?1st September 2013
- Existential Counselling From Yalom to Basingstoke1st August 2013
- Counselling and the art of reframing1st July 2013
- Counselling - Change or Conformity?1st June 2013
- May Day Counselling - Celebration or Conflagration ?1st May 2013
- Summer Time & the Counselling Room1st April 2013
- Depression a useful diagnosis or an unhelpful label?1st March 2013
- An Emotional Timeline3rd February 2013
- Resolution, Revolution & Counselling1st January 2013
- Christmas, Carols & Counselling2nd December 2012
- Seasonal Affective Disorder and the SAD Season4th November 2012
- Psychotherapy & Counselling A Stoic Perspective17th October 2012
- 10th October 2012 - World Mental Health Day5th October 2012
- A First Meeting Explanation or Exploration?5th September 2012
- CBT, Mental Filtering and the Olympics19th August 2012
- I am not an angry man 14th July 2012
- Art, Counselling & Interpretation26th June 2012
- Murder Mysteries and Psychotherapy25th May 2012
- The importance of choice in therapy29th April 2012
- Reflections on Spontaneity6th April 2012
- A personal trainer for the mind 12th March 2012
For many people Christmas seems to dominate the month of December. It can be a magical time of the year but also a potentially poignant one. It can provide occasions for fun, love and laughter but also create opportunities for argument, despair and disillusionment.
Perhaps that confusion is not surprising. For a few chaotic days families are thrown together with high expectations which cannot always be met. The rituals of Christmas demand much from our emotional as well as financial resources and sometimes those demands can be overwhelming. If copious amounts of alcohol are then added to this combustible mixture there is a volatile situation just waiting for a spark. What should be a peaceful and exciting time becomes fraught with a potentially explosive spark likely to emanate from any number of sources.
Perhaps one such source is the sense of regression which can particularly beset those who return to the family fold after time away. Sibling rivalry is played out by adults who re-enact childhood squabbles but with grown up guile, whilst parents who are grandparents regress to playing mind games left over from Christmases barely remembered from many years before. Those ghosts that Dickens once created to haunt Scrooge, can take on many different forms in contemporary life.
These challenges can be intensified within families who have become divided by divorce or separation and where children may be confused in finding Father Christmas living into two different houses. There can also be very difficult emotional demands placed upon families who have experienced loss during the year. This loss will be exacerbated by that first Christmas dinner with the very real sense of someone who has been so important to family life, clearly missing from his or her usual place around the table.
Whatever the cause it is certainly true that the festive season can create challenges but these can be issues to be worked on. Maybe some of those concerns will subsequently surface in counselling rooms in the following months. It may be that discussions and disagreements will be replayed during some individual therapy work or couple counselling, or perhaps in a session of a logical rational based therapy such as CBT.
Yet despite all this potential angst, the Christmas period still retains a wonderful potential for magical fun. Presumably that is why we spend so long preparing and planning for that one day. Of course there will be arguments but so long as these can be safely contained, maybe those harmless squabbles can be seen to have a humorous side and actually contribute to the unique nature of this one remarkable day.
The carol tells us that the ‘hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight’. Perhaps that line resonates with the importance we place on this single day. Carols of course celebrate a religious story and we may all have a very different take on the religiosity of Christmas Day. Nevertheless it must be a very hard heart which is not moved by all that childish excitement evident on Christmas Eve – even if some of that excitement actually comes from the adults!
So eat, drink and be merry. Enjoy the break – and if some of those difficult relationship issues should stay around for a little too long after the last cracker has been pulled, then you can always arrange to talk in January with a counsellor in Basingstoke, Hampshire or wherever.
Seasons greetings from the world of therapy – and for these special few days, may the force be with you, whatever you wish that force to be!
added on 2nd December 2012
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