We at the society are proud to shout about Mental Health Awareness Week and the focus of this year is STRESS.

As therapists, we do what we do because we believe in the power and relief of mental wellness. We have chosen a career which puts this as the highest priority and work towards helping others, but if we are truly honest with ourselves….

Do we play lip service to our own self care?

We know the theory. That everyday stress is a creeper, which has a crafty cumulative effect of disempowering even the ‘strongest’ of us. It overpowers by intensifying negative thoughts and emotions, hampering coping skills, changing behaviours and generally knocks us sideways when it ‘wins’.

When we look for stress in others we are in familiar territory. We can recount the signs: verbal and non-verbal clues, body ‘hotspots’ of discomfort and language, facial gestures, written communication – the list goes on.

But how good are we at looking after ourselves when we are ‘set up’ to look after others?

This question is so fundamental that it deserves its place in our Code of Ethics, where we are TOLD to look after ourselves and prioritize our needs. As stated on the Mental Health Foundation website ‘Stress Kills Communication’ and that is simply our basic tool of trade.

The NCS launched an online CPD at the beginning of this year which explores self-care for us a therapists and professional care/teaching providers.

We all can stand together as those who need help caring for ourselves, to facilitate helping others.

Because as the first line of this Self Care CPD training states: ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’….

To find this and other online CPD courses:

https://www.counsellingcpd.org.

To see more about MHAW and find more help to identify and combat stress:

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week.

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