Dropping assumptions with Byron Katie

I first discovered Byron Katie while on retreat in Greece with Serenity Retreat . Or rather I should say that Byron Katie found me. I noticed a book sitting beside me …

Facing fears and challenging assumptions

Years ago, I went on a group trip to Austria. Everyone decided to go paragliding but I was locked in fear. ‘I can’t do it,’ I kept saying. ‘Oh, but …

Finding boundaries via Tantra

I’ve been the ultimate people-pleaser all my life, always trying to fit in, always being the good girl, the nice girl, the ‘Yes’ girl. Yet I recently discovered my ‘No’ …

Family constellations – healing inter-generational trauma

I’m watching the most extraordinary scene. My own family dynamic is being played out in front of me, with strangers representing my parents, my grandparents, even myself. I watch, with …

Holotropic breathwork – making the psyche whole

I’m lying on a padded mattress, surrounded by cushions and I’m breathing fast. The music is loud, deep, rhythmic, insistent. My body starts to curl and I have the strangest …

Finnish Sauna – baring everything

I’m sitting in a sauna, in Finland, by the edge of a lake. I’m stark naked and feeling painfully self-conscious. I seriously wish I had four pairs of arms, like …

Choosing to end suffering with the Penninghame Process

I had sunk so low I was barely functioning. Staring blankly at the screen, distracting myself with television, numbing myself with food, sometimes with alcohol too. Pretty lost again. I’d …

Past lives, present solutions?

Have we lived before? Have we walked, talked, loved and lost in other times, in other places, in other bodies? Reincarnation is a beguiling philosophy and it is small wonder …

Goodbye good girl – on the benefits of being “bad”

I wrote this feature, based on a book, a long time back.  When I recently re-read it, I thought it was hopelessly dated.  Surely women don’t need to be told …

Rage – a healing emotion for women?

Anger and rage are emotions from which most of us instinctively shy away. It’s hardly surprising: rage sums up images of violence and aggression; of wrecked houses, battered wives and …

5 Ways to Get your Own Way

Nobody likes to admit it, but we all secretly want to get our own way. Whether we’re arguing with someone at work or choosing where to take the family holiday, …

Ten dramatic ways to reduce overload overnight

Does life seem like one long, tough, tiring obstacle course? Do you always say ‘yes’ when you’re crying out to say ‘no’? Are you multi-tasking your life away? Join the …

Ho’oponopono – the power of forgiveness

Years ago I had a particularly difficult boss and, rather than waste my energy loathing her, I used to blast her with unconditional love. It worked too – after each …

Depression – unraveling the mysteries of the black dog

Why should one person sail through life while another gets beaten down? When does a low mood become a clinical illness? And are drugs the only answer? These are questions …

Do you have an addictive personality?

‘We live in an addictive society,’ says Deirdre Boyd, editor of Addiction Today and author of Addictions & Recovery. One in 13 people in the UK are dependent on alcohol and …

Finding happiness with real moments

Are you happy? Really happy? Not just content or getting by or doing okay but really really happy? Fat chance. True happiness nowadays seems more elusive than a simultaneous orgasm; …

Banish the winter blues

Few people would claim that winter is their favourite season. The days are short, there is less light and the weather is often miserable – shrouding fog, endless rain, beautiful …

Lifetime goals for your best year yet

When you look at your New Year resolutions is there a horrible sense of deja vu? Are you still trying to stop smoking or start dieting; to move house or …

The 7 keys to change resilience

What happens when you’re faced with a crisis? Do you crumple in a heap or do you really come into your own and thrive? Research has shown that when faced …

ACHILLES SYNDROME – do you feel a fraud?

Are you successful yet still feel like a failure? Do you worry that friends and colleagues think you are a fraud? Do you have that sinking feeling that, no matter …

The 4 Core Values – clear honest communication

Just over a month ago, I returned from the week-long Penninghame Process in Scotland. It was one heck of an extraordinary ride and I find it very hard to explain …

Agony Answers: Should I settle for less than true love?

Q: I am forty and never been married or had children. I have been seeing a man for six months who is lovely but I don’t feel the spark I …

Biodynamic Therapy – rediscovering your ‘true self’

How many of us simply muddle through life as best we can? There’s the job that stifles us, the family who drive us mad, the relationships that grate. Over the …

Unnatural motherhood? There’s more than one way to be a parent.

Let me confess. Before I had James I had never bathed a baby. I had never fed a baby. I had certainly never changed a baby. I had held one …

Floatation meets shamanism

As a journalist and author of books on health and wellbeing I’ve tried pretty much every technique and treatment going. All were interesting but there were only some I fell …

Autogenic Training – ‘mental circuit training’ to control stress

NOTE: I wrote this feature some years back, before mindfulness was such a buzzword.  If you can’t seem to get on with mindfulness – or meditation – then this might …

Art therapy – painting the unconscious mind

When we were children we used to paint and draw with pleasure and delight. For a few short blissful years we could do no wrong with our paints and crayons …

Modern Exorcism – the work of Dr Francesca Rossetti

“Are there any demons? Dark angels? An angel of death? Elementals of earth, water, fire, air or wood? Any negative animals? Birds, insects, reptiles or vermin?” The young woman lying …

How fit is your relationship? Take the Love MOT Quiz

If your relationship were a body would it be fit and toned, in the peak of health; or would it be fat and flabby, barely able to run for the …

Vitamin D – the health and happiness vitamin. Are you getting enough?

Are you getting outside and getting your vitamin D?  If not, why not? Vitamin D affects a vast array of organs in the body. It also plays a vital role …

Agony answers: What is a beach-ready bikini body, really?

Q: I dread summer. I’m overweight and every time I look in the mirror I feel sick. The idea of wearing shorts or – shudder – a bikini fills me …

Is massage the new psychotherapy? Bodywork and the mind connection

Might the massage table take over from the psychoanalyst’s couch? Just imagine if all your painful memories and old hurts could be simply massaged or pressed away? It’s not just …

Agony Answers: I can’t say no

Q: I can’t seem to say no to people and often make myself stressed because I have too much going on. I feel as if my generosity isn’t reciprocated by …

5 ways to help with GCSEs, A levels and, well, anything really

It’s a tricky thing, parenting at exam-time.  How can you best encourage without pushing?  What is the most useful stance to take?  Well…as my son does his GCSEs, this is …

Abstainer or Moderator? The One Square of Chocolate a Day Test

According to a book I read lately for research, we all tend to fall into one of two camps – we’re abstainers or moderators. Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before: …

Tazeka Aromatherapy – a dose of optimism, balance and motivation in shiny pretty bottles!

Remember, all those years back, when I talked about flirting?  Not about how people flirt (well, not necessarily) but how things can flirt with you?  Well, that’s what happened with …

The 36 questions you need to ask to fall in love

According to a report in the New York Times, you can fall in love with absolutely anyone.  All you have to do is ask the person 36 specific questions.  Why these?  Apparently it’s all …

Esalen massage with John Orum – Let go and relax, damnit!

So I was lying on a massage table at the Emelisse Art Hotel in Greece, giving a little sigh of pleasure because truly there is little in life I like more than …

Watsu – water shiatsu that takes you back to childhood

Watsu is a deep, powerful and curious form of bodywork.  A long, intense, intimate session of massage and manipulation techniques, carried out while you float in (or even under) a …

Trager – maximum effortlessness and freedom from pain

Trager ® or Trager Psychophysical Integration (to give it its full name) is a gentle system of bodywork whose predominant goal is to make life easier, more comfortable, more pleasurable.  …

Simple ways to gain confidence

Confidence is the greatest gift under the sun.  When your confidence is high you can conquer the world.  You can take control of your life in every way: work goes …

Mindfulness – the key to less stressful living?

Could mindfulness provide the key to less stressful living?  The simple form of meditation, based on Buddhist principles, is fast gaining acceptance as a powerful way of bringing peace to …

Dream healing – a Greek pilgrimage

Several years back I went to The Spirit of Life Centre, based on the Peloponnese in mainland Greece.  They do a ton of yoga retreats and walking holidays, and ‘just …

Brene Brown on the Power of Vulnerability

Have you heard that TED talk by Brené Brown?  The one entitled The power of vulnerability? I’d never heard of her and I don’t usually like watching clips of speakers …

Dr Doug Bremner on Accutane, psychosis, Big Pharma & your health

Remember Accutane (Roaccutane), the treatment for acne? In 2001 it was selling in its billions. It seemed like a miracle cure. But not for everyone. The father of a young …

ECT is barbaric and should be banned. Right?

ECT is barbaric and should be banned. Right?  It’s a no-brainer (to coin a black humour pun), isn’t it?  ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) involves putting an electric shock through someone’s head to trigger an …

Brain gym – simple exercises for a better mind and body

A simple series of exercises could help your brain function better, making you sharper, smarter – and far more confident.  Brain Gym comprises very easy body movements which have been designed …

Breaking the Silence on mental illness

Breaking the Silence is important.  It’s different in that it isn’t written by one person, and it doesn’t have gorgeous artwork or stunning pictures, but it really needs to be read. …

Zero Balancing = zero stress

Good bodywork can soothe away the strains of modern life. It can unravel taut muscles, banish back ache and even soften emotional stress and psychological pain.  Yet many people flinch …

Do women dream differently to men?

Research shows that women and men dream very differently. Women dream more of relationships and seem to use their sleeping life to work out problems. Dreams can also give powerful (and sometimes life-saving) clues to our health and emotional wellbeing.

Post-natal depression – healing the baby blues

Post-natal illness can affect as many as one in four women and research shows that their babies may also suffer long-term effects from this much misunderstood illness. Yet still a vast number of cases go undiagnosed while women – and their families – suffer in silence.

Downshifting – the key to a stress-free life?

Everyone’s talking about downshifting and many yearn to move to the countryside. Is it the answer? An honest account of one writer’s search for the Good Life and how it backfired.

Perfectionism – the curse of the modern woman

Are you a perfectionist – and is it ruining your life? Attention to detail is fine but when it starts to take over your life, perfectionism becomes the enemy. How to judge if your perfectionism is going too far and what to do about it. Plus ‘how to spot a perfectionist’ and their typical excuses.

EMDR – farewell to phobias?

EMDR is an exciting technique which can help banish fears and phobias. Pioneered in the US it is now spreading around the world and is an invaluable new tool which offers freedom from anything from mild anxiety to full-blown life-restricting phobias.