14th September 2014
So it's official - I'm now a fully qualified humanistic counsellor! What does that mean, I hear you ask? Humanistic psychology has been called the 'Third Way' in relation to psychotherapeutic work because it does not focus on past events and unconscious processes, as in psychoanalysis or psychodynamic therapy; or on how thoughts might influence behaviour, as in CBT - cognitive-behavioural therapy; it focuses on the unique experience of each individual and is underpinned by the belief that everybody, no matter what their circumstances or stage in life, has an innate tendency towards growth and development. The humanistic counsellor aims to support clients along their personal development journey by offering a safe, non-judgemental relationship where they may explore any issues - thoughts, feelings, circumstances - that are of concern to them. Humanistic counsellors are generally non-directive and client-led, encouraging autonomy and personal choice. If you feel that you might like to find out a bit more about humanistic counselling or if you think you might like to make an exploratory appointment, please get in touch. I hope to take on a very small number of counselling clients and gradually begin to build a private practice, whilst continuing my studies to degree level over the next year. But fear not! I will also be continuing my work as a reflexologist and essential oils consultant.
Very many of you are now using my therapeutic rollerballs, especially one for sleeping. To make life easier for you, I am now able to post your products to you if you would like to order via email (which you can do directly from this website, by clicking on the words 'click here to email' at the top of any page).
8th June 2014
Back at last, having finally emerged from counselling diploma related studies! Just one month and one assignment to go ... despite the hard work, I've really enjoyed the course and made some very special friends. We've studied the Person-Centred and Gestalt approaches as well as Transactional Analysis, relationship counselling and working with children. We've also looked at human psychological development and the development of psychotherapy from Jung and the Freuds, through Klein, Winnicott, Bowlby, Maslow, Rogers et al to contemporary therapists and researchers. Another significant part of the course has been our own personal development, through journal-writing, personal counselling and experiential group work - and then of course there has been preparation for client work - including ethical guidance and legal requirements - many skills practices, 100+ hours of 1:1 client work and supervision sessions. I have also completed an additional 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course. No wonder my reflexology blog has fallen by the wayside! Once I have my diploma I will be able to see private clients for counselling although I will continue with my voluntary placements to gain more experience.
This does not mean that the reflexology and essential oil therapy will be abandoned though ... I have continued to see reflexology clients throughout and the essential oil products are selling steadily. Over the summer, I would like to look at the possibility of setting-up an online shop for some of the most popular products, although this is fraught with difficulties as each product offered for general sale has to have a compliance certificate ...
Developments are afoot here at Autumndale too - I'm hoping that I may be able to offer 'spa' sessions soon, with use of our luxurious hot tub in its beautiful and secluded setting along with a soon-to-be installed sauna. Watch this space!
16th January 2014
Personal health budgets update from the CNHC:
'In our January 2013 newsupdate we provided information about the results of the evaluation of the government’s personal health budgets pilots across England. A personal health budget is a way for patients who receive NHS continuing health care (NHS CHC) to access a personal budget so they can have greater levels of control over how their agreed care is provided.
In November 2012 the government confirmed its earlier commitment that people receiving NHS CHC in England would have the ‘right to ask’ for a personal health budget, including a direct payment, from April 2014.
In October 2013 Norman Lamb, Minister of State at the Department of Health, announced that the measures will be strengthened further by ensuring that from October 2014 those people who are entitled to a ‘right to ask’ will also be entitled to a ‘right to have’ a personal health budget.
Patients in this position will be able to request complementary therapies (such as reflexology) if they are considered as meeting a legitimate health need.
For further information about personal health budgets see the Department of Health website.'
6th January 2014
We survived the storms and returned safely from our New Year staying with friends in Cornwall on Saturday. I hope your festive season has been a happy time ... I am now looking forward to getting back to work and seeing clients, old and new in 2014. On New Year's day I received an email from Mindfulness teacher, Barbara Boxhall in which she offers this thought-provoking and timely message:
'For most people, today heralds thoughts of new beginnings, resolutions and a little reflection on how we would like to see the new year unfolding. This is often ruefully based on what happened the previous year and all the stuff we wish hadn't happened. Resolutions keep us stuck and unhappy. Resolutions hook us in to that gap between what is and how we think things should be. We get mesmerised by the gap and our resolutions whether quite simple and clear 'I've got to lose weight, so cut down on sugar!' or much more subtle and pervasive 'I've got to be a better person' - keep us striving, dissatisfied and less loving to ourselves and others.
Instead of a resolution to change, how about being where you are right now - with kind and open curiosity to all the failings and with all the capacities that you are in this moment? No striving, just allowing. Now that is transformation at the deepest level!'
Follow this link to visit Barbara's website, www.dailymindfulness ...
24th December 2013
Hello - on this rain-soaked and blustery Christmas Eve!
Wishing you peace and joy at Christmastime and a new year filled with the light of love and friendship, health and happiness,
With the Very Warmest of Wishes,
22nd December 2013
Essential oil products have been a new venture for me in 2013, after doing some extra training in the use of therapeutic blends as well as product-making, in 2012. The bespoke products have become more and more popular throughout the year and December has been particularly busy as many of you have been buying the products as gifts too (and I have been making lots of gifts for my own friends and family). The more I make, the more I learn as I spend time researching the essential oil blends themselves along with the base products and carrier oils, in order to write the information sheet which accompanies each product, which I know you all like to have included.
The runaway successes this year have been the Therapeutic Rollerballs at £7.50 for each 10ml bottle. I have made-up ones to combat insomnia, stress, insects, menopause symptoms, colds and 'flu, nausea, headaches, low mood and fatigue and have had a lot of positive feedback and repeat orders.
Next year, I am cautiously predicting that my Body Scrubs, also £7.50 but for a refillable 500g jar, will become bathroom essentials.
A body scrub is a popular (and often expensive) spa treatment. My scrubs may be used like ordinary bath salts, in a foot bath or as a whole body, hand or foot scrub.
They are moisturising and restorative and are exfoliating if used as a scrub applied by hand, with a flannel, loofah mitts or a shower puff.
They usually contain a mixture of Epsom Salts and Dead Sea Salt plus coconut oil and a very small quantity of essential oils - but, of course, as with any product that I make, the ingredients may be tailored to suit the individual who will be using it; for example, sugar may be substituted for the salt or sweet almond oil for the coconut oil ... the possibilities are endless and exciting!
Both of the salts are said to have beneficial effects: Epsom salts (because of its high magnesium content) on many internal processes of the body including joint function – the magnesium is absorbed through the skin during scrubbing or soaking; and Dead Sea salts on the skin, especially where there are conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Coconut oil is a rich oil to use on the skin and is wonderful to use in the bath having natural dispersant properties. It helps the skin to naturally control its oil secretions and most importantly, its application on the skin after washing with soap or shower gel helps the skin to quickly and naturally restore its pH level to 5.5 without blocking pores. It's best not to wash with soap after using the scrub as the oils will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it feeling silky soft.
5th December 2013
This Saturday, 7th December, is “Small Business Saturday” the aim of which is to encourage everyone in the UK to support small businesses, both on the day and beyond – see http://www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com for more information.
We have some fantastic small local businesses around here and maybe Christmastime provides a good reason to seek them out, to discover what they do and to try some of the excellent goods and services they provide - as gifts or to enrich our own lives in some way.
As part of this year’s Small Business Saturday event, there are two very special offers available from Autumndale Therapies, for orders placed this weekend only:
£10 discount on all gift vouchers for reflexology sessions (usual price £35.00, discounted price £25.00 – an original gift idea or treat yourself and save it up for a treatment when the Christmas rush is over ...)
Any therapeutic rollerball for £5.00 instead of £7.50 (these make good stocking fillers or Secret Santa gifts and popular rollerballs include one to aid sleep, one for relaxation, one to encourage alertness and one to combat nausea – great for travel sickness. There are many other therapeutic possibilities for rollerballs – just ask!)
29th October 2013
We have just returned from a rejuvenating three day break in Gloucestershire - it's always good to re-charge the batteries before Winter sets in and we even timed it so that we were there when the clocks altered so we had an extra hour of relaxation time! We stayed in an idyllic country house, quintessentially English on the inside but with a hint of the Mediterranean about the outside, with its mellow terracotta-pink walls and abundant gardens, bursting with walnut, quince and fig trees. Our hosts, Melissa and Mark Hargreaves, could not have been more attentive, booking dinner tables for us, delivering delicious homemade cakes to our door and providing hot water bottles to warm our toes when we arrived home late! Highlights were excellent smoked Hebridean trout with creamy scrambled eggs for breakfast, trips to Hereford (Mappa Mundi, chained library and breath-taking stained glass in the cathedral) and Ledbury (full of fascinating independent shops), a heavenly massage from Grania Naish of Unfold Massage and a "rustic supper" (actually an intimate candlelit dinner) in front of a crackling log fire in the ballroom -we felt as if we had stepped into the set of Downton Abbey! Do take a look at the Pauntley Court website - perhaps you might be tempted to visit Melissa and Mark too ...
If you have no time for a short break away maybe you might think about fitting in a regular reflexology session to support you through the darker days ahead? Or using some immune-boosting essential oils, perhaps in the form of a Winter hand wash or shower gel - I can make these for you, especially to your requirements and of course, using only the kindest of ingredients - I look forward to seeing you soon!
2nd September 2013
September so soon ... but what a wonderful summer it's been this year. I am still looking out at sunshine and blue skies as I write (whilst listening to a grumpy husband trying to cajole our two recalcitrant lads into helping him tame an encroaching Leylandii hedge)! We managed to take a whole month off recently - never done that before ... We cleared our diaries and made a (long) list of all the things that needed doing around the house and garden. We haven't reached the end of it yet but have made good inroads and feel as good for making progress on the home front as if we had been away somewhere - probably more satisfied in fact.
I have been back working for a couple of weeks now, enjoying catching up with old clients and seeing new ones. Many regular clients take advantage of the discount offered when four sessions are paid for in advance (4 for £100) so my diary was busy straight away - although, with my flexible working hours I can usually squeeze extra appointments in without too much delay (but please note that I am not around next week because I will be having some minor surgery).
It is nearly Autumn and I was reminded of this when a friend said she was booked in for a 'flu' jab in a couple of weeks time. So I am off to boost my immune system by soaking up the last drops of summer sunshine and then having a reflexology session myself ...
5th July 2013
Time has flown since my last entry ... the end of May became quite stressful as, the day after the rugby final, my daughter was rushed into hospital with appendicitis so my restful half term holiday plans went awry - it must have been fate that led me to clear my diary for that week. There was still some outstanding college work (for my counselling diploma) to do too, the village picnic was fast approaching and I was about to start a new counselling placement - so I began to feel the pressure. I used reflexology, meditation, massage, Reiki and of course some of my own lovely essential oil blends to get me back to a more comfortable and contented place. Self-care, acceptance and patience have been key for me recently.
Going back to the essential oils, I have had some very positive results over the last month. My daughter found a roller ball containing the very feminine and healing combination of rose, ylang ylang, sweet marjoram, lemongrass and lavender incredibly comforting to use whilst she was in hospital. Later on in her recovery a lotion containing a blend especially designed to restore digestive balance seemed helpful. Her scalp became very flaky and itchy at this stage and a blend of oils designed to alleviate scalp conditions proved immediately effective when added to argan oil as a pre-wash treatment as well as to a very mild shampoo. This treatment worked well for another client too. I used the grounding, calming blend of basil, lavender, orange, roman chamomile, clary sage, ylang ylang, frankincense and sandalwood in a roller ball to help me through stressful moments and to aid sleep. Other clients are successfully using a specific blend for insomnia to great effect and I am getting plenty of repeat orders for this one as well as for a stimulating, awakening blend to use during the day - great for the car driver on long journeys!
26th May 2013
Lots to say today! Great weekend - went to Twickenham for the rugby final. Great atmosphere and exciting match - Tigers won against Saints, 34-17 - happy with that!
Nearly at the end of my first year of counselling training. Have been awarded a certificate of fitness to practice in supervised placements. It's been hard work and emotionally intense at times but also enjoyable and really worthwhile. Just one more written assignment to do then I can spend the summer getting going on my placement work and catching-up on reading - oh and perhaps finding time for a holiday too!
Essential oil products are proving popular - I can include the therapeutic oils in a number of products: roller balls, bath salts, creams, lotions, shower gel, shampoo, hand wash, massage oil. A roller ball for insomnia seems to be helping several clients at the moment. This is an effective and convenient way of delivering the therapeutic benefits of the oils. Other essential oil combinations that might be particularly helpful at this time of the year are an insect repellent and a hay fever relief.
Finally, if you live in Rake or nearby - don't forget the Rake Village Picnic next Sunday 2nd June, from 12.30pm at the village hall. Bring your own picnic (and tennis shoes - court will be open for play); bar by Flying Bull team; ice cream from Dylan's Ice Cream; tea and cakes (all home baked contributions gratefully received!); information and trade stands (including Autumndale Therapies); raffle and tombola. All proceeds to fund essential maintenance of village hall - FREE ENTRY! ALL WELCOME ...
25th April 2013
Consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, Sovra Whitcroft, from The Surrey Park Clinic in Guildford was quoted in The Telegraph, in relation to alleviating the symptoms of the menopause. She said, "Complementary treatments such as reflexology and acupuncture can help many women ..." To read the full article follow this link
22nd April 2013
A PhD study carried out by Dr Carol Samuel at Portsmouth University has indicated that reflexology decreases perception of pain and may be as effective as painkillers (wrote Ben Mitchell in The Independent newspaper on Tuesday 9th April 2013). The small study showed that pain was judged to be reduced by around 40% by participants. Dr Samuel said that the results indicated that reflexology could be used to complement conventional drug therapy in the treatment of conditions associated with pain such as osteoarthritis, backache and cancers.
22nd March 2013
The wonders of technology - this week I've been able to watch, participate in and learn from a seminar on fertilty issues and reflexology, run by the Association of Reflexologists and broadcast via the web. This was really useful revsion for me as well as giving me some fresh skills and approaches; and all from the comfort of my armchair!
18th March 2013
There is to be what sounds like a really intersting and worthwhile Open Day at The Centre of Complementary Medicine at 20, Lavant Street, Petersfield next Saturday 23rd March 2013 between 9.30am - 2.30pm. Tel 01730 231655 for further details.
Taster Sessions will be on offer (max 15 mins each) in:
Acupuncture(Caroline Somp and Tamara Kircher)
FDM Therapy(Renate Gallei)
Facial Rejuvination(Jacky Milner-Walker)
and Alexander Technique(Grazia Campolmi).
There will also be some talks and workshops:
On homeopathy with Emma McGuire (Homeopath)at 10.15 am;
Herbal Tea Tasting workshop with Tamara Kircher (Acupuncturist & Herbalist) at 11.15 am;
On acupuncture by Caroline Somp (Acupuncturist)at 12.15 pm;
And a 5-Minute Meditations workshop with Gerry Milner-Walker (Reiki Master/teacher) at 1.15pm
Maybe see you there ...
15th February 2013
Facebook is working! A number of clients have already taken advantage of the 4 sessions for £100 offer:
"Recession biting ........ stress levels rising! Relax and save money by booking four quarterly maintenance sessions for just £100, saving 17%"
Appointments need not be quarterly - the discount will be applied to any four follow-up sessions booked and paid for in advance - but of course, pre-booked quarterly sessions would give you a whole year of wonderful reflexology support to look forward to ...........
29th January 2013
Almost February, the days are starting to get longer, the snowdrops and hellebores are coming into bloom - and Autumndale Therapies has just launched on Facebook! Have a look, "like" the page (or something from this website) and maybe even add a comment?
Are you in need of some support with your New Year resolutions? What better way than to book in for a motivational reflexology massage? And to encourage you just a little bit more I'm offering £5 discount on all treatments in February.
Finally, if you're looking for an original gift for Valentine's Day why not choose an Autumndale Therapies gift voucher - it may not seem to be as beautiful as a bouquet of roses or as delectable as a bottle of wine but the prospect of a peaceful, pampering, restoring hour might just be perfect ...........
Follow Autumndale Therapies on:
1st December 2012
Hurrah - a beautiful bright day to welcome the start of the festive season! My other half is off planting fruit trees at the village hall as part of The Rake Community Orchard Project and I am contemplating making a wreath for the front door ......... It can be a very magical time of the year but it may also be stressful, hectic, poignant or lonely so now might be a good time to think about giving yourself a little pre-Christmas gift to help carry you happily through the next month or so - perhaps a reflexology session might fit the bill? If so, do get in touch soon to arrange your appointment - it's hectic here at Autumndale Therapies too! (Remember that gift vouchers are available too so, if you can't bear the guilt of treating yourself, why not treat someone else or better still get them to treat you!)
21st October 2012
Went to an inspiring talk on Mindfulness this morning, at Cowdray Hall near Midhurst. It was given by Professor Mark Williams from The Oxford Mindfulness Centre, a leading exponent on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) which is now frequently used for the treatment of recurrent depression, instead of medication.
The UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment for prevention of relapse. Research has shown that people who have been clinically depressed 3 or more times (sometimes for twenty years or more) find that learning MBCT skills helps to reduce considerably their chances that depression will return.
Prof. Williams is co-author of the book, "Mindfulness - Finding Peace in a Frantic World". I often suggest looking at this book to clients who find it difficult to "switch-off" or who feel pressurised by the many demands of modern daily life.
Research shows that the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques are enormously empowering for patients with chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as for psychological problems such as anxiety and panic.
The book explains mindfulness clearly and intelligently without being patronising and shows how the practice of mindful living can be easily integrated into daily life. It comes with a CD of mindfulness meditations to practice, guided by Prof. Williams.
Follow this link to see a video clip on Mindfulness .......
September 30th 2012
It really feels like Autumn has arrived now with that distinctive chill in the early mornings and late in the day too. GP surgeries have begun to run their annual 'flu vaccination clinics which always reminds me that it's also a good time to think about some regular reflexology treatments to support my immune system as Winter approaches, as well as to hold onto that surge of wellbeing that summer sunshine and long, lazy days have instilled over the last few weeks.
I am beginning a new and exciting phase in my life as I return to college to study for a level 5 advanced professional diploma in humanistic counselling as well as beginning some voluntary work with The Bereavement Counselling Charity, supporting bereaved children.
The next few weeks look like being hectic and challenging but I am really looking forward to the change of emphasis now that my own children are more independent and I have more time to focus on my career and interests. I am also intrigued to see how I may be able to make useful links between the reflexology, the mindfulness, the counselling and the voluntary work.
20th August 2012
Busy weekend! On Saturday, went to a talk at the lovely Cowdray Hall about mindfulness-based stress reduction, given by Barbara Boxhall. This is a brilliant self-help method for coping with stress and depression as well as for improving well-being that I encourage many of my clients to investigate and try. Do visit Barbara's informative website for more information on this subject. Then on Sunday I attended a product-making course so that I will be able to create bespoke therapy creams, using essential oils, tailored to the needs of individual clients, to enhance the benefits of their reflexology sessions. All very exciting ........
11th July 2012
School summer holidays have arrived once more and I'm looking forward to a more relaxed start to the day for the next few weeks! We set off to visit friends in Cornwall after my bereavement counselling course session yesterday evening but on the way, we stopped off at Stonehenge to see the Fire Garden installation there - which is part of the London 2012 Festival. We arrived at about 11pm to find the stones eerily illuminated by hundreds of flaming fire pots, flickering candles and fiery machines - which cast dancing shadows all around. Strange and beautiful music was being played in the background and we were able to wander amongst the stones, just as I remember doing as a child, touching them and leaning against the cool rock. It was one of the most extraordinarily magical and special experiences of my life.
17th June 2012
Took a stand, to promote Autumndale Therapies, at the Milland Rural Fair along with my colleague Jane Mitchell, who is an Amatsu Therapist. It was a beautiful sunny day (!) and the atmosphere was lively and happy. We enjoyed being able to share information about our therapies with so many people - and also learning from those we met.