Archive for the ‘Communication and Mental Health’ Category

paying the price

It’s not over yet for returning troops. Thanks to RoSPA for permission to publish.



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Stories connect. If we connect with the hero of a tale, we are hearing an echo of some challenging situation we may be embroiled in. Prompted by the story, we think what we would do and what we could do. We think about the solutions the hero adopts and accept or reject them. But once the human connection has been established, very, very rarely, do we not engage.


Clients may be helped by story-telling when:

  • They are being called to action by something which has just started or is about to start – a new job, a new relationship
  • They have come to the end of something – an old job, a bad relationship
  • They stand at a crossroads – facing dilemmas and choices
  • They recognise nothing is changing and they would like it to
  • They are making a decision to change – for example, to become fitter, sleeker, more confident. . .


Coaches can use story-telling to help clients:

  • Recognise and if necessary change their habitual ways of thinking. Is, for example, their preference for moving away from difficult situations and people or moving towards them and rising to the challenge?
  • Recognise what motivates them
  • Use their imagination to find answers to ‘What if?’  And ‘What next?’
  • Build a sense of ‘self’ by comparing and contrasting themselves to characters in the tale.


Stories provide memorable lessons and breathtaking clarifications.


And so – we tell stories.


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Create Arts Projects

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Hospitals are universally recognised as hotbeds of conflict. Bickering staff jeopardise patient care by reducing their own capacity for collaboration and their professional effectiveness. Stress generated by conflict shows itself in sickness absence, high staff turnover and low morale.  Conflict resolution is crucial to improved standards and doctors are at the heart of this.

In any healthcare setting, a doctor may spend 45% of his or her day in conflict or potential conflict.  The doctor-patient relationship may be good but there are other important relationships where communication skills are vital if conflict is to be avoided. (more…)

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Freelance Journalism comes in many forms. I should know. I’ve been a freelance journalist since 1985, writing for national and regional newspapers and magazines – a wide portfolio – and I can tell you, although the audience may vary, the skill set is clearly-defined. So, for some time now, I’ve been running a series of freelance journalism skills’ workshops. And, for those of you close enough to Heswall, here is a call to action for an information-packed and exhilarating Out of the Box Workshop placed firmly in that series.

The subject of this workshop – due to take place at The Conservatory, 28 Park West, Heswall, Wirral, CH60 9JF, on May 18th 1.00pm – 3.30pm (cost £25) – will be Interviewing Skills. Whatever your subject and whatever your angle, if you want to freelance, at some point you will have to interview someone. This could be a nerve-wracking experience in itself. And – even worse – the next question could be how do I survive when I’m the one being interviewed? This workshop will offer non-media savvy professionals a practical survival guide for one of the most difficult kinds of conversation you can have.

Subsequent workshops – taking place on an ad-hoc basis – will include topics such as self-publication, press releases, sourcing ideas and many more. Please see this blog for more details.

Could you let me know by May 10th(12 noon) whether or not you intend to come to Interviewing Skills. Numbers are restricted to 8 so be quick! And, even if you don’t live close enough to Heswall to join the Programme, please remember these workshops travel!  Why not contact me to book a workshop for a group near you?

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RoSPA – Stress, Management, Communication

Thanks to RoSPA for permission to publish my article on stress, managers and communication skills.

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