Personal Development Overview

Nicky Forsythe offers one to one therapy and personal development workshops in an open, easy-to-understand and flexible way.

More information about these options can be found by clicking the links below.

You can also find out more about the principles of therapy and some of the steps you can take for yourself by clicking on the links on the right.

More About Therapy

There are more than 400 different kinds of therapy, many of them with radically different ideas about why people suffer distress and what to do about it. Research has shown that whatever the type, established therapies do work on the whole – and they tend to work equally well.

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The evidence suggests that different types of therapy or therapist may be beneficial for different people at different times.

However, a percentage of people get worse in therapy, and some therapists have been shown consistently to make their clients worse.

In order to get therapy that works, the most critical thing for you as a consumer is to make sure you ‘click’ with your therapist – that you feel they understand and care about you, and what they say makes sense to you. This is known in therapy-speak as “a good therapeutic alliance” and is the most important predictor of a good therapy result.

You don’t have to suffer a great deal in therapy in order to get better. In fact, research has shown that if you are going to feel better, that process should normally have started in the first few sessions. So if you have been in therapy for months, are not feeling better, and don’t like your therapist – you should consider leaving.

Read Nicky’s presentation on ‘Everything you need to know about therapy’ here.

DIY Therapy

There are many things that have been shown to be effective in improving mood.

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Walk in nature, or do any exercise you like, for 30 minutes a day, three times a week

Being in nature has been shown to have a particularly lifting effect on mood, comparable to antidepressants.

Have confidantes

Sharing your real feelings with someone who listens empathically has a big effect in lifting mood . Experiment with a regular session of ‘co-listening’ with one of your confidantes. Once a week you listen to each other for 20 minutes. The listener should not offer advice but simply demonstrate they have heard and understood.

Make your life meaningful

What inspires you and gives you a sense of meaning in life?  Whatever it is, spend more time doing it – whether that’s through reading, doing courses, taking action or through your work.

Perform acts of kindness

Anything. Phone someone who might be struggling; babysit for harassed parents; tell someone what you like about them. Marty Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, showed that you will be happier if you do something altruistic than if you buy yourself a new pair of shoes.

Set yourself a challenge and accomplish it

A learning challenge is a good one. Do the photography, dancing, boxing, psychology course (whether a one day introduction or a PhD) that you’ve thought about but never done. It’s important to choose something that is challenging and exciting but attainable.

Take a moment to focus on the good stuff

At the end of every day, write down three things you feel grateful for or proud of. Even if you’re grumpy or depressed, if you search through your day there will be something. Writing them down has a lifting effect on your state of mind. If you do it every evening, you should find that in three months your mood will feel noticeably better.

Cultivate a sense of perspective

This is the ability to stand back from your own thoughts and moods, rather than being overwhelmed by them. There are ancient ways of doing this – mindfulness meditation is an excellent one. Online, you could try Bemindfulonline.  Many people find that the Arts help cultivate a sense of perspective.