Scott Langston

Counselling, Mindfulness, Writing

Online Counselling

Online counselling, sometimes referred to as teletherapy or e-therapy, is a form of mental health treatment delivered remotely, as the name suggests, online. The value of online counselling is becoming increasingly recognized as technology continues to evolve and more people seek out convenient and accessible mental health services.

One of the main benefits of online counselling is its convenience. You can receive therapy from the comfort of your own home, without the need to travel to a physical office. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who live in rural areas or who have mobility issues that make it difficult to leave their home. Additionally, online counselling allows you to schedule therapy sessions at times that are convenient for you, which can be helpful for those who have busy work or family schedules.

Another benefit is accessibility. Online counselling is often more affordable than in-person therapy, making it a more accessible option for many individuals. Additionally, online counseling can help to reduce the stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment, without the need to visit a specific location.

Online counselling is, in many cases, just as effective as in-person therapy. Research has shown that online counselling – in particular CBT –can be just as effective as in-person therapy in treating a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Online counselling can also be beneficial for students, as it allows them to access therapy services on campus and continue with their studies.

However, it is important to note that online counselling is not suitable for everyone. For example, if you are in crisis or are experiencing severe mental health issues you may require in-person therapy. Additionally, online counselling is not going to be appropriate for individuals who have difficulty technology like Zoom or Whereby, or who do not have access to a stable internet connection.

Online counselling is a valuable option for individuals seeking mental health treatment. The convenience, accessibility, and effectiveness make it an attractive option for many people. Why not find out for yourself with a free 15 consultation?

2023

Streamlining my online presence this year. I’m retiring the ExpatCounsellingNow website and migrating the essential content here. As a full time school counsellor, my capacity for running an online counselling service has clearly diminished. I’m loathe to shelve the project entirely, given three years of hard work and satisfying connections.

I’m not sure how long I’ll linger in a full time school role, and have ambitions to revisit online counselling support as a principle activity, maybe working more with International School Counsellors and Administrators.

The Christmas Cynic

I’m not sure to reconcile the way I feel about Christmas with the way I feel about Christmas.

I think maybe Tim Minchin sums it up best in ‘White Wine in the Sun’ (full lyrics here)

‘I really like Christmas
It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it
I am hardly religious
I’d rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu, to be honest’

He goes on to say he quite likes the carols, though the lyrics are dodgy. I woke up with Cliff Richard’s ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ in my head after watching a Christmas movie last night. So I fixed his lyrics for him. As I said, I’m a bit confused about how I feel about Christmas…

Mistletoe and Wine…

The child is a king, the carolers sing
BUT FOR BILLIONS OF PEOPLE, NO
Dreams of Santa, dreams of snow
WE’LL RUB THEIR FACES IN THE SEASONAL SHOW

Oh, it’s Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
COMMERCE ATTACKS WITH ITS ANNUAL CRIME
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree.
ITS A GOOD TIME TO FOCUS ON WHAT WE WANT TO SEE

A time for living, a time for believing
TO IGNORE FOR A WHILE WHAT SCIENCE IN REVEALING
Love and laughter and joy ever after
AS THE PLANET HEATS UP FASTER AND FASTER

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
CONSUMERISM OR THE DEVINE?
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
LET’S ALL JUST FOCUS ON WHAT WE WANT TO SEE

It’s a time for giving, a time for getting
WE’RE ALL JUST AIDING AND ABETTING
Christmas is love, Christmas is peace
OR JUST AN EXCUSE FOR THE PLANET TO FLEECE

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
I’M ALRIGHT JACK, WHAT’S MINE IS MINE
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
AND WE’LL ALL JUST SEE WHAT WE WANT TO SEE

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
WE’D LIKE TO CARE BUT JUST DON’T HAVE THE TIME
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
ITS TOO EASY TO FORGET THIS TRAJECTORY

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
COMMERCE ATTACKS WITH ITS ANNUAL CRIME
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to REINFORCE INEQUALITY

Christmas time (Silent night) Mistletoe and wine (Holy night)
CAPITALISM GONE MAD BY DESIGN
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to ENGAGE IN GUILT-BLIND GLUTTONY

Photo by Taisiia Shestopal on Unsplash

Never stop dreaming

Never stop dreaming

‘What if’ scheming

Never accept the limitations

Or the humiliations

Of an imperfect reality

Or passing calamity

Never stop dreaming

The silent screaming

Knocking at the door

Certain there’s more

Dare to take another step

Another single step

Sensual sips of the first coffee

Sensual sips of the first coffee

Watching the birds

My transition, my calm

A spirit floating free

Unfettered by words

Dawn’s soothing balm

Here and now content to be me

Hardly absurd

A nagging ego disarmed

Letting go grants freedom to be

My essence heard

My cloistered psalm

Giving up on the news

I was in the US during the latter end of the Clinton/Trump campaign in 2016. I recall being bemused that anyone would take Trump seriously. Despite the flawed Democrat candidature, I felt certain common sense would prevail. I think I may even have cried the day of the results.

And I got sucked into the world of news, news updates, opinions, pollsters… I had always taken a healthy interest in world events, but I think this became unhealthy. I’m British, for what that’s worth, and was more invested in US politics than the increasingly bizzare nonsense happening back home.

Disclaimer: I left the UK in 1995 and have not lived there since. I’m not allowed to vote. I’m more European that British. I’d swap my UK passport for a European-wide passport, were such a thing to exist, in a heartbeat.

Four years of increasingly incredulous nonsense in the US, with the UK desperately trying to keep up by launching it’s own brand of ridiculous, Brexit, and I’m now tired of it all. I kept it up through Biden and Harris’ campaign, victory and its aftermath. And now I’m done. Brexit’s a thing. The UK government has lost the plot. I trust Biden and co. to do the right thing. I’m over second-guessing lockdowns and vaccinations. I’m over gawping at conspiracy theorists. I’m over losing sleep about populism. I’m done with feeding my own anxiety.

Obviously, I’m not going to live in a cave. But I’ve uninstalled news apps from mobile devices. My news consumption will be deliberate and healthy. My only notifications are for messages from my currently absent wife. I’ve unfollowed news organsiations on Twitter and – sorry – accounts focussing solely on endless discussions of the same. I’ve only ever used Facebook for it’s original purpose – keeping in touch with friends. If you are not my actual friend, you won’t be a FB ‘friend’.

My social media use is now restricted to promoting my writing (and following writers’ communities), mindfulness and counselling. For the rest, I’m giving myself a brain break. I feel lighter already.

Roses

An Irish form – ‘Ae Freislighe’

Symbols of love requited
Climbing from beds of manure
Hues and fragrance delighted
Vigorous thorny splendour

A gift for my Valentine
Fated emotions arise
Bodies and lives intertwine
Floral power we summise

Here’s the really amazing thing

Here's the really amazing thing
There's nothing to lose, nothing to win
Sunday morning silence surrounds
A realisation profound

Listening to Jeff Buckley's 'Grace'
This is the time, this is the place
Coffee aroma, birdsong abounds
Releasing confusion unsound

Beauty in its simplicity
Letting go of complicity
I'm never going back underground
Life once more conspires to astound

He's now singing Brook's 'Lilac Wine'
But his melancholy isn't mine
I'm alive and on the rebound
In this moment, acceptance crowned
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