Spring has sprung – time for a personal spring clean?

After a couple of chilly false starts, and with the Easter holidays on the horizon, it finally looks like spring is really here.

Whilst the daffodils and crocuses might have made an early appearance, it can take longer for us humans to get into the optimistic mindset of spring. The long, dark and cold early months of the year can seem endless, and for many of there is an undeniable link between the seasons and our moods (read our earlier blog on Seasonal Affective Disorder here).

But at last the longer days and increasing temperatures can help lighten our moods and maybe help motivate us to make some changes in our lives. Whether that’s a traditional spring clean of the house, or a more metaphorical spring clean of our lives, there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of spring’s optimism.

CCBT’s Director, our own Avy Joseph suggests that spring is the ideal time for self-reflection, helping to deal with your past and to focus on the future. It seems many of us get stuck in a feeling of unhappiness, especially through the winter months. Avy explains “You have to challenge those feelings by working out what is holding you back (such as feeling a failure after a divorce, or realising your job is not as rewarding as it once was) and then accepting it without judging yourself. Understand that whatever happened is an event fixed in time and that life, like the seasons, moves on. Accept yourself as a valuable person who has imperfections.”

Dealing with the bad or unhelpful things that have gone before and addressing them helps cleanse our minds, ready for whatever the spring and summer months have in store for us, a new start if you will.

Freshen up your goals

It’s natural for our lives to acquire unhelpful habits, either in actions or beliefs, so taking the time to cast an objective eye over the general state of our lives then getting out the ‘feather duster of change’ from time to time keeps us mentally and emotionally fresh and helps keep our lives on track, whatever our goals may be.

We’ve written about setting realistic and personally valuable goals here, and now is the ideal time to revisit yours. Whether it’s getting back into a healthier lifestyle, reinvigorating your social life or dusting off your CV and achieving new professional heights, throw open the windows and let the warm breeze of change in!

And if you are looking to grow professionally, don’t forget we can take you from novice to fully accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist with our specially designed courses in REBT (Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy). Learn all about our CBT training here.

A spring clean of your life could make a massive difference to someone else’s too!

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How’s that ‘New You’ working out? Self-acceptance and setting healthy goals

Out with the old, in with the new! That’s what they say around December / January every year, isn’t it?

But now, in the cold light of the new year, as perhaps our motivation starts to wane, maybe it’s time to take a look at why we choose our goals and what we can do to really help achieve them.

So often, we look around and feel our lives would be improved if only we could achieve some (often) random goal. Lose weight? Get a new job? Become fluent in German? So many things we are ‘supposed’ to do to improve ourselves, so many things that if only we could master them would make our lives so much better.

There’s an old saying: No matter where you go, there you are. I like to think that it means regardless of what you do or where you go, you will still always be yourself. So if you are going to be your own most constant companion, doesn’t it make sense to know, accept and make sensible choices for yourself?

Unconditional self-acceptance: a revolutionary resolution

An incredibly useful thing you can do to make the coming year and beyond more fruitful and emotionally well-balanced it to understand and begin to practice unconditional self-acceptance.

We’ve written about self-acceptance before, and it’s such a useful thing to learn for everyone. Accepting ourselves for who we truly are, both good and bad, can be the key to identifying and making improvements that really matter, rather than what we think we ‘should’ make.

Just because Instagram or the latest magazines tell us we should be stick thin and be earning huge amounts of money, if we know and understand and accept who we are, we might see that these things are not so important to us. Or that if we really do want to make changes, we can accept that are starting from a place not of failure, shame or envy, but from one of acceptance and a desire to change for all the right reasons.

Motivation is key to maintaining change, and coming from a positive place (I would like to lose weight / get a new job / speak German, but understand I don’t have to, and if I don’t achieve this straight away that doesn’t mean I’m a failure), will be much more useful than berating oneself as no good and a let-down right from the start. That will only lead to resentment, low frustration tolerance (I can’t stand this!) and ultimately avoidance / giving up.

Whose goals?

Once we begin to accept ourselves for who we really are, the good, bad and indifferent, we can then start to make healthier, more rational choices about what we want to achieve.

Are we trying to achieve something for ourselves, or to please others? Are we doing something because we really want to, or because we feel we ‘should’? Interrogate your motivations and make sure your plans really are going to deliver what you really want. You might already feel good about how you look, what you earn and what languages you can speak!

And if you do decide to go ahead and achieve something new, that’s great too. To help you get started, we have a whole series of blogs on confidence and success, covering everything from setting goals to making plans and seeing them through.

And we’ve even got you covered for when things go wrong: Why accepting you might fail won’t make you a failure.

So remember, as the New Year becomes slightly less new: change is possible, change is good, but change is very seldom compulsory!

Nick Jones
REBT / CBT Therapist

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Time to make that change? The benefits of retraining as a CBT therapist

It’s that time of year, as calendars get replaced and our thoughts turn to the year ahead. What will it bring, and where will we be at the end of it?

With so much uncertainty about these days, plus the global situations perhaps leading us to take stock and reassess what’s important, now could be the perfect time to take control and make a positive change.

Whilst there are lots of things you could do (get a tattoo, go trekking in South America), there’s one thing we here at CCBT could definitely help you with: starting a new career or retraining as a fully accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapy practitioner. Here at CCBT, our once-a-month weekend courses can take you from complete novice to fully qualified in just a few years, gaining academic and practical experience along the way.

A CCBT graduate’s experience

We spoke to one of our recent graduates, Nick Jones, to hear about his experiences.

“I came to the College as one of those people with zero counselling or therapy experience. My background was in the arts and digital communications. Whilst my comms roles were interesting and enjoyable, like a lot of people I felt there was something more outside of the purely commercial world where I could make a difference.

“After speaking to Avy Joseph from CCBT, I enrolled on the Counselling Skills & Ethics course (for absolute beginners), then quickly moved on to complete the Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Integrative CBT / REBT (REBT, or Rational Emotional Behavioural Therapy is the type of CBT taught at the College).

“Although it was a lot to learn, the tutors were excellent, as was the overall support given both by the College and my fellow students. I was lucky enough to get my placement in the counselling service at the University where I was already working. This not only gave me the experience needed to progress, but just as importantly, it helped me feel like I was making a wider, and perhaps more important contribution to both my place of work and the students that went there.

Personal and professional benefits

“I can see both personal and professional benefits from this change in career direction for me. Personally, learning about and practicing REBT has helped me with my own emotional literacy and helped me better understand, manage and change the issues in my life that trouble me from time to time, just like in everyone’s.

“Professionally, I now have a completely new skillset, and am able to apply this in my place of work and with private clients. This not only provides a little extra income from time to time, but also gives me greater job security and confidence about my future. And perhaps most of all, I’m able to work with people who need a bit of help and guidance, hopefully improving their lives and allowing me to know that in some small way, I’m making a positive difference.”

If you think it’s time for a change and would like to experience and make a difference, please get in touch with us here and we’ll be happy to help.

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