In Dialogue blog

Cognitive analytic therapy values working collaboratively with people, understanding their story and how it fits with how one sees themselves in the present world. We all have past stories that describe who we are and where we come from, stories that we want people to know or ones that we would rather forget, shake off.

This blog shares articles and stories that may resonate with you and how you see yourself in the world, in relation to others and may help you see yourself and others in a different way.

Therapy in doing

I have been struck this week by how many people find their own way of coping through activity and hobbies or their own mindfulness in things they enjoy. I was listening to a pod cast about the famous writer, Marian Keyes, who has a long episode of depression and found baking helped her get through the day. Then I was reading this post in planthunter and noted that being in nature, such as gardening, is something that can still the mind as well as reflect on things.

This article made me consider how engaging in things that are mysteriously beautiful, like the garden,  can help us be ok with not knowing and not having to fix, and thus, perhaps have a break from our anxieties.

Finding the words

One of the ways in which therapy fosters healing and change is by putting into words our experiences – the fleeting thoughts, the felt emotions – which prior to this often hovered under our awareness but impacted us none-the-less.  We love the idea behind this, to expand our repertoire of describing our experiences by looking beyond our own language and culture.

Raising a parent

One of the commonly identified roles of a parent is that of a teacher; raising your little one to play nice, know the alphabet, and a never ending list of other skills, information and customs.  This letter from a mother to her young son is a lovely reminder that, as with all relationships, they are not one way.  Our children can be a clear (sometimes confronting) reflection of our own strengths and weaknesses.  This recognition of ourselves in another can be a powerful experience that not only shapes who we are as parents, but who we are as people.

Embracing mediocrity

We can be bombarded by advice about what we “should” be doing do make us happier, better, more successful.  We at In Dialogue often advocate for less doing, and more being, through reflecting on ourselves, our unique mix of traits and preferences we can choose a path that suits us.  In this lovely piece the writer takes us on her own journey of recognition of what is sustaining for her.

Recovering from perfectionism

This is a lovely post at Ramona where a “recovering perfectionist” talks about first accepting imperfection in the world and moving on to accepting imperfection in themselves.

The Life of a Recovering Perfectionist

Some tips on how to argue effectively

Some of us bottle up feelings until we feel like a shaken lemonade bottle, ready to explode. At these times we can let off steam but then feel guilty as we have felt we have gone over the top in our blame of the other. It can be useful to notice what we are fearful of when we go to bottle up feelings – perhaps we are worried someone will leave us or see a side of us that we worry they wont like. perhaps reject? However, hiding our true feelings can lead to more explosions and then the reactions we fear, such as someone getting emotionally hurt that is hard to recover from.

Here are some good tips to argue effectively. We think they are useful in staying respectful of yourself and the one you are arguing with.

Our inner dialogue

I agree with this article, that our inner speech has been influenced by the voices we grow up with. In therapy we can start to be aware of this inner speech and either add a voice that is more moderate or helpful or by just being aware of our inner dialogue can allow us some space to perhaps not believe it all! Cognitive Analytic Therapy is a great model to think about the origins of our own dialogue in a empathic way.

The poetry of therapy

Of course we at In Dialogue are sold on the power and poetry of words – how putting words to experiences, feelings, thoughts with someone else can be liberating, and of course, at times frustrating and painful. It is in relationship we find the words to be able to express ourselves. Cognitive Analytic Therapy provides a framework for people to choose their own words and be heard. This is an interesting article on the poetry of therapy.

A self compassion exercise from the School of Life

Lets listen to the good and loving voices we have heard. We all need a break from self criticism. Check out this clip from the school of life on a self compassion exercise.

Tips for when you find you are in the role of caring

It’s hard to know the right term as “carer” can seem like one is doing all the caring for someone who is not able to give back, but we all take on the caring role of loved ones. These are some good tips if you do feel like you are in this caring role a lot of the time for someone. Read the article from Sane here.

Talking mental health at work

Reading this in The Guardian highlights how hard it is for people to disclose mental health issues affecting work. I hope there are more employers out there like this one – one who is genuine and doesn’t get it all perfect from the beginning but isn’t scared to try. Read The Guardian article here.

More on self compassion – can we ever have too much?

I am interested in how we can start to notice the self critic without getting back into criticising ourselves for it. This is an interesting look at how we can be bullies to ourselves from headspace

Are you your own bully?

Mindfulness for children

Mindfulness is good for anyone and the sooner you start I assume the easier it is to incorporate it into your life. Kidsmatter is a great resource for schools, professionals and families. Read more here.


Book resource for the transgender community

A great book I borrowed from the library – “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves. A Resource for the Transgender Community” Edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth. Read more about this book on their website.

What is spirituality?

Its easy to think of religion as spirituality. This is a good page from ReachOut that defines both.