I Had A Black Dog…..


“At its worst, depression can be a frightening, debilitating condition. Millions of people around the world live with depression. Many of these individuals and their families are afraid to talk about their struggles, and don’t know where to turn for help. However, depression is largely preventable and treatable. Recognizing depression and seeking help is the first and most critical towards recovery.

In collaboration with WHO to mark World Mental Health Day, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the “black dog of depression”. More information on the book can be found here: http://matthewjohnstone.com.au/


The above content is lifted from World Health Organization’s YouTube account. Which you can subscribe to here: World Health Organization.


If, after watching this video you wish to speak to someone regarding your own depression, diagnosed or otherwise, you can contact me

here katycounsellingherts@outlook.com

Or here  arrow07950 345363

Or here arrow Contact Me





What Happens When Someone Listens?


Have you ever wondered about the impact of really being listened to? Can it actually make a difference to our lives?


I bet that most of you reading this have been told, at some stage, possibly even by the most well meaning of loved ones, to ‘get over it’ or ‘stay strong’. How many times have we collectively been told not to feel sad, not to feel angry? Society often demands that we push aside our true and genuine feelings and ‘soldier on’. So feelings become repressed, trapped inside us. This can lead to the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms. For example using drugs or alcohol to maintain the suppression of feelings.


When feelings of sadness arise, one of the most beneficial things you could do for yourself is to talk them through with someone who will truly listen, empathetically. What you require is to be heard and understood. Right there, in your sadness. In all it’s glory. By pretending to be ‘fine’, by putting on a ‘brave face’ you are giving no time and validation to the depth of your feelings. You are not honouring them as they wish to be honoured.


Suppressed feelings cannot be worked through until they are expressed. They become stagnant.


Expressed feelings, when given voice, become charged, like particles and can then move around and shape shift and change.


This can be challenging and painful. Especially if talking about feelings is a new concept for you. It can also be validating, life changing and liberating. When we talk about these things with someone, a loved one, a mentor, a therapist, and are truly listened to we are receiving human contact. We can see the impact we have on another. If that other is willing to listen, empathetically beyond judgement. Genuine human contact is essential for our survival.


‘If you are not stroked your spinal cord will shrivel up’ Eric Berne


If you are interested to see how effective talking therapy can be, find a therapist in your local area who you can talk to and one who will be prepared to listen. While the concept is a simple one; speak and be heard, it can be a very daunting step. It can also be one of the most beneficial things we can do for ourselves.

You are NOT your Thoughts.


“Sometimes the mind can be an overwhelming, intense and very challenging place. I hope this may help to give someone a little peace of mind.”




A YouTube video from Jonny Benjamin on Thoughts.


Jonny was diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder in 2007, which is a combination of Schizophrenia and Depression. He made a remarkable recovery and tirelessly works to break the silence and stigma around the disorder and mental illness in general.

You can find him here: http://www.youtube.com/user/johnjusthuman/featured

and here: https://twitter.com/MrJonnyBenjamin




Dealing with Mental Health Problems.

According to statistics, roughly a quarter of the population will experience some kind of mental health problem in any given year so chances are even if you don’t fall into that percentage yourself, someone you know will. Supporting yourself or an other through an experience like this can be overwhelming and often times people are given both conflicting and confusing information. It can be a lot to digest.




In her blog ‘Dealing with mental health problems’ Hazel Hill looks at some common causes of such health issues and also discusses some of the symptoms people can display as well as highlighting the important role psychotherapy and/or counselling can play in exploring what is going on for you. Hazel also looks at other things, such as diet and staying active, that can help to alleviate distress.

In addition to this most recent article you can find more blogs by Hazel on her website Counselling in your Community. Hazel is based in Sheffield.

If you are experiencing mental health difficulties and wish to speak in confidence with someone please contact me by email here – katycounsellingherts@outlook.com or by phone on 07950 345363. All enquiries are confidential and treated with integrity and respect.


Don’t suffer alone.



Are You OK?


I wanted to share a concept from Transactional Analysis with you. One that I have found extremely helpful in certain circumstances or situations and a theory that can be really beneficial in aiding self awareness, a prime objective of any Psychotherapy or Counselling.


The OK Corral




The diagram above is The OK Corral and is used to establish an individual’s primary position in life as well as their position in certain circumstances, in certain groups, with certain other individuals and within organisations and society as a whole. This model was designed by Franklin Ernst and works along side the underpinning principal of Transactional Analysis that ‘Every one is born OK’ and that every one has a right to be in this world and to be accepted and has the capacity to change. The OK Corral looks at the ‘life position’ that we adopt, which informs how we view ourselves, others and the world.


What dictates our life position?

Everything that we experience after birth. This includes how our parents or primary care givers treated us and how we have been treated by others.


The four basic life positions are……

1. I’m OK with me

2. I’m not OK with me

3. You’re OK with me

4. You’re not OK with me.


The diagram above (Fig 3) shows how these positions are plotted. Resulting in four quadrants.

1. I’m OK, You’re OK

2. I’m OK, You’re Not OK

3. I’m Not OK, You’re OK

4. I’m Not OK, You’re Not OK


These quadrants determine how we function socially, within this framework. For example the ideal quadrant to be coming from is the top right one – I’m OK, You’re OK, as it implies a strong sense of self esteem and worth as well as a respect for the other and their individuality, generally resulting in good, open communication.


Are You OK?


How to find a Therapist.


We live in an age of infinite options and choice. There is normally always an alternative, or several. We live in a time of high demand and constant information being thrown our way. This can be overwhelming and confusing. When looking for a Therapist most people search on the internet, which is both a wonderful tool and also a minefield of possibilities.


So what do you look for? How do you decide?



I decided to make a video to speak about the kind of therapy that I offer and the type of therapist I am. You can find information about me on my about me page, listing my training and my qualifications as well as professional memberships and insurance. This is important information for you to have, to feel secure that I have sufficient experience and credentials to offer the service that I do. It is not the full picture however. You won’t be working with my qualifications, you will be working with me. Therapy is about a human connection. Two people in a room. Talking. Sharing. Creating. Exploring. Being.

I hope you find the information in the video useful and use it as a chance to get to know me a little before you pick up the phone or send an email.



07950 345363