Toni Jackson

8 Brilliant Tips For Surviving Family Christmas Anxiety

Christmas can be an incredibly stressful time for many people.

If you struggle with anxiety or overwhelm during family Christmas, here are 8 effective ways to take care of yourself.

1. Check in with yourself.

Periodically throughout the day, stop for a minute or two.
• Sit quietly and notice your breathing. What quality does it have? Is it short, fast and shallow, or long, slow and deep?
• Experiment with deepening and slowing your breath. Do you feel the same or different after doing this?
• Feel the floor beneath your feet.
• Then say something like this to yourself: “Hi. How are you?”
• Spend a moment checking out exactly how you do feel right now.
• For example, you might be stressed, overwhelmed, busy, sad, agitated, angry, tense, confused, happy, satisfied, or resentful.
• Now ask yourself what you need.
• For example, maybe you need to communicate something, or go for a walk around the block, or delegate some tasks, or make some tea. Maybe what you need is to carve out some time for yourself later, by deciding to it now.
• Check with yourself. What feels true and right for you? Read More

Expert Tips on Accepting Weight Gain in Eating Disorder Recovery

When in recovery from an eating disorder, the fear of gaining weight can feel overwhelming.

Part of you may really want to recover and another part of you is trapped in feeling incredibly critical and scared of your changing body.

For many of my clients, this aspect of recovery is immensely confronting.

Some of the comments I have heard in my therapy room about accepting weight gain are:

“I worry my body will never stop growing.”

“These pants used to be too big and now they’re too tight.”

“I’ve used being skinny as a way to feel good about myself for so long, that I don’t know how to feel good in this body.”

“It feels scary to not be in control of my body size.”

“I believe in body positivity and HAES, but I still feel gross in this growing body.”

“I believe in body positivity and HAES, but the rest of society doesn’t and I don’t want to be stigmatised.”

Following are a number of articles and books that address the fear of gaining weight in eating disorder recovery. Read More

How Weekly Counselling Sessions can make a Difference to your Therapy

If you are considering counselling or psychotherapy, or you’re already seeing a therapist, you may have wondered how often you really need to go.

This is a question most new clients ask me.

The answer is weekly is usually best.

Due to financial considerations, I do have clients who see me fortnightly, however, there are distinct differences in the amount of therapeutic progress made and in how easily we reach the roots of their pain.

Soul-centred Psychotherapist, Counsellor & Eating Disorder Specialist, Jodie Gale, interviewed counsellors and psychotherapists from around the world, to get their views on weekly sessions.

Some of the reasons weekly counselling works so well are:
• Weekly sessions help to build and maintain the ever-important relationship between client and therapist – a factor well-known to be the most significant in terms of therapy effectiveness.
• Weekly means half the session isn’t being used for ‘catch up’ each time.
• There is a sense of being held and cared for – a feeling of safety – which then leads to ‘diving deep’ and unearthing the root causes of pain, in a gentle and supported way. Read More