Understanding Problem Gambling

I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to return to college last year (2022) and I have just received my certificate from University College Cork in Continuing Professional Development in Responding to Problem Gambling. It’s been a few years since I was in college so I have to say I was a bit apprehensive to do the course but excited also. I just love learning! Why a course in Problem Gambling? Over the last few years, I have seen an increase in people seeking support around their gambling and felt the training would support my work. The pandemic has impacted people's gambling: how they gamble, how often they gamble and how much with many people developing gambling problems during this period. It is now much easier to place a bet with the explosion of online gambling. Paddy Power, reported a 30% increase in revenue in the third quarter [...]

By |2023-04-26T10:53:09+00:00April 26th, 2023|My Blog|0 Comments

Returning to Normality June2020

This week I reopened my counselling practice! I am so delighted to be back at work. It almost feels normal but not the same as before if you catch my drift. I had to do a lot of preparation before I opened: creating a COVID-19 policy, rewriting my counselling contract, ensuring signs, sanitizer etc are on the premises. Basically doing what I can to ensure that myself and my clients are safe. BUT the biggest preparation I had to do was within myself. What I'm talking about is getting emotionally ready. I could have opened weeks ago but I just didn't feel ready and what I really mean is I didn't feel safe. Safety is a big thing for us humans, when we don't feel safe we feel under threat. This can activate our fight, flight or freeze responses. So, for me, it was important that I waited until I [...]

By |2020-09-01T11:36:51+00:00September 1st, 2020|My Blog|0 Comments

Hope Challenging Times- May2020

'Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness' Desmond Tutu I really love this quote. In the last few months having hope may have been very challenging for us. It's hard to stay hopeful with all the sickness and bad news we are hearing about. But, here in Ireland, the light is starting to shine through. On Monday, the restrictions we have been living with began to lift. Just some small changes but changes none the less. I love gardening and as the garden centres are open now I headed off to my local one to have a look. It was really quiet there which kinda surprised me but I guess there is still fear out there. But I'm not writing to tell you about my trip to the garden centre but more about how I was affected by it. Basically, I walked [...]

By |2020-09-01T10:12:52+00:00September 1st, 2020|My Blog|0 Comments

Surviving the Pandemic. Life with Restrictions in 2020

Surviving the Pandemic. Life with Restrictions in 2020   Its strange times, this era of covid 19. The world is scared. I’m scared and feeling uncertain of how this will pan out. Everyday people are getting sick with covid 19, people are dying. It’s a time of reflection for me, what was, what is and what will be. Every household is adjusting to massive change and mine is no different. I have to admit that I don’t like being restricted. I like my freedom, to be able to come and go as I please so I can sometimes feel claustrophobic. When this happens I know I need some time to myself. Whether it’s a quick walk, a cuppa in the garden or calling a friend it’s something I need to do to take care of myself.  I am definitely appreciating the simple things in life.   The Weekly Shop I [...]

By |2020-04-16T11:22:17+00:00April 16th, 2020|My Blog|0 Comments

Addiction, Recovery & Managing Stress.

What is stress? Stress is a physical response to a situation. When we perceive something as threatening our body goes into fight or flight mode. This causes our body to release hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol to prepare the body for action. The release of these chemicals causes different sensations in the body such as faster breathing, heart-pounding, and increased energy. This is all to prepare the body to act. If we are constantly in this stressed state problems can develop and the challenge is when our body goes into a stressed state for every event.   How can you be affected? When coping with a family members alcohol or drug use we can often be in a heightened stressed state. This can be damaging to our health and relationships as we are constantly living on the edge, waiting for the next crisis. This can result in [...]

By |2019-11-25T10:20:57+00:00November 25th, 2019|My Blog|0 Comments

Guest Blog- Why Alternative Treatment Methods are Beneficial for Recovery Survivors by Kimberly Hayes.

Getting into treatment is one of the first steps in the right direction for a recovery survivor, but when a relapse (or multiple relapses) occur and the traditional 12-step program isn’t cutting it on its own, it may be time to incorporate alternative treatment methods into an otherwise traditional agenda. Obviously, this would be a move that should be discussed with a doctor, as there may be specific underlying health issues that need to be taken into consideration. For the most part, many individuals are able to maintain sobriety when infusing one or more secondary techniques into their routines. While yoga and meditation are among the most commonly discussed options because of their stress-busting benefits, there are other methods worth discussing, too. Acupuncture This ancient Asian practice involves inserting thin needles into specific trigger points to help detoxify and reduce withdrawal symptoms and muscle aches while controlling cravings. As this [...]

By |2019-10-21T13:20:52+00:00June 10th, 2018|My Blog|0 Comments

What To Expect When You Start Counselling

Starting counselling for the first time can be really daunting so I’m writing to ease that first experience. If you have never been for counselling before you won’t know what to expect which can add to feelings of anxiety and apprehension around it. The important thing to remember is that you have decided to come for counselling for a reason so make the most of the experience for your own wellbeing. In the first session, I will complete an intake form which gathers some general information such as age, occupation, family information etc. I will also go through the verbal contact to make it safe for us to work together. To get a better indication of why you have come for counselling I will also ask questions about: How you have been feeling lately. What are the main concerns you want to talk about? Medical history. Drug and alcohol [...]

By |2019-10-21T13:19:10+00:00January 2nd, 2018|My Blog|0 Comments

It’s not all about Addiction.

Not everyone that drinks alcohol or uses drugs becomes dependent on them. Not everyone ends up in the gutter, isn’t that a relief. The more people I work with the clearer that’s becoming to me. What I am finding in my work is that many people are self-medicating due to something that is going on in their lives. It might be past trauma, anxiety, depression, or a combination of all. They may not have developed the skills to express themselves or to process what they are feeling. They use alcohol or drugs to cope. It’s the only way they know to deal with things. So when they go to a counsellor who tells them they have to stop they bolt. Why? Because you are taking away the only coping mechanism they have and leaving nothing in its place. Giving Space But what happens when we give someone [...]

By |2019-10-21T13:14:51+00:00October 8th, 2017|Addiction, Family Support, My Blog|2 Comments

Relapse: Friend or Foe?

Oh no you’ve had a drink/drug/bet, let’s get out a big stick and beat you with it! The dreaded relapse is something many people fear. They can look on it negatively which is a pity really because then the lesson is missed. A relapse doesn’t ‘just happen’ There is always a lead up to it and herein lies the learning. When we look on a lapse negatively we can miss on the personal learning that is in it. While that may be hard to hear at the time identifying thought patterns and behaviours leading up to the lapse can be a revelation. Plus it can also prevent future lapses. Unfortunately many people look on a lapse with distain and disappointment which can further compound the feeling of guilt and failure. So let’s look at the learning that we can take from a relapse. What do you need to [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:00:43+00:00June 22nd, 2017|My Blog|0 Comments

A reflection on my journey.

So this blog is long overdue. It’s about my own personal experience and how life has changed for me. Before I go into all that I have to speak about how unwell I got due to the effects of addiction. I’m going back over 10 years here and suffice to say I got very unwell. I was at a point where I was exhausted all the time, I wasn’t sleeping, and in fact I hadn’t had a good night sleep in years. I was so stressed that I felt like I was about to explode all the time and like I was just about able to contain myself. It felt like there was a pressure cooker inside me about to go off. Where did all this stress come from? Anyone who is worried about a family members drug or alcohol use knows what I’m talking about [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:01:37+00:00June 13th, 2017|Addiction, Family Support, My Blog|1 Comment

Festivals, Fun & Recovery

You are allowed to have fun in recovery so in this blog I wanted to write about protecting your sobriety over the summer. As there are always festivals, concerts and a whole load of social activities  it’s important that you take steps to mind your sobriety. The temptation to drink or use is always there but the risk increases when you are at an event, particularly when you are surrounded by people drinking and using. The question you have to ask yourself is ‘are you in a place in your recovery where you feel strong enough to resist and say no?’ So, if you are going to an event there are some things you can do to take care of yourself and of course enjoy every moment of it. Surround yourself with family and friends who support your recovery. Identify in your group who won’t be [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:03:31+00:00May 10th, 2017|My Blog|2 Comments

Suicide- The Carnage Afterwards.

Unfortunately suicide has become much too prevalent in Ireland. We have seen an increase in people taking their lives spanning all age groups. Now this blog isn’t going to be about trying to understand why someone takes their life, that’s a topic for another day. What I am going to write about is what happens after, what happens with the family and friend that are left. I have seen plenty of blogs, articles and papers about anxiety, depression and mental health and I have great understanding and empathy around it. We need these writings to raise awareness around suicide. We also need people to know that someone that takes their life isn’t being selfish or self-centred. They are at a really low point in their life and for reasons of their own are unable to see a way out and ask for support. With the devastation after a [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:04:42+00:00March 22nd, 2017|My Blog|0 Comments

Suicide- Interview with a Survivor

(Disclaimer: Any views or opinions in this interview are personal and belong solely to the interviewee. Please, seek professional support from your GP or counsellor if you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide or if you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition and finding it difficult to cope) Tell me what life is like for you now? Good, life is good. I feel good in myself, more comfortable in my own skin. I believe more in myself and have the skills to process things as they come up. I don’t let things build up anymore which is really important. I have surrounded myself with good friends, real friends, where we are able to talk to each other about things, life, work, and fun, just anything really. If I feel things are building up I go to my counsellor for a few sessions. I am [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:06:22+00:00March 11th, 2017|My Blog, Online Counselling|2 Comments

Teenage Kicks and Alcohol Drinks

What’s it like to be a teenager growing up today? Have you ever sat down and really thought about this question?  If you have kids or teenagers now would be a good time to sit and really think about it. I would love to hear your thoughts. I have to say I really admire and respect our young people. I love their honesty and enthusiasm for life. I love their energy and the fact they can challenge our thinking and beliefs. Even though we adults think we know it all, sometimes we need to stop, listen and learn from our young people. The Challenges. Young people are really up against it in today’s society. Everything has become so hurried, rushed and frantic. Fast Wi-Fi, phones, exams, jobs, hobbies. We have our kids rushing from one activity to another. Where’s the down time, where’s the time to [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:05:35+00:00March 10th, 2017|My Blog|0 Comments

Sure it’s only drink, at least it’s not drugs

Let’s go for one drink? That is often the rock people perish on! One turns into two which turns into three and so on. What often starts as one drink can turn into an all-out binge. In Ireland drinking alcohol (by the gallon!) is engrained in our culture. We are a nation of binge drinkers, that’s just the way it is, we have no off button, no meter to say when enough is enough. When working will clients to reduce their alcohol consumption they are genuinely shocked when I tell them the recommended limit; 11 units per week for a woman, 17 units per week for a man. We genuinely don’t know this, it’s not that we are ignoring the information it’s just that if we don’t have any serious negative consequences (except the odd hangover!) we don’t seek out this information. Drink Vs Drugs What [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:07:30+00:00February 15th, 2017|My Blog|2 Comments

Wine A Lot: Women and their relationship with wine.

Drinking wine has now become a fashionable thing to do where a glass or two is now a daily ingrained habit for some women. While a glass of wine is no harm, research in Ireland is showing that women are drinking more, and more often than previous generations. The results of this is that increased numbers women are presenting to services with alcohol-related conditions such as liver cirrhosis, liver disease and alcohol related cancers. Now, this is not a discussion about the evils of alcohol, but we do need to have a conversation about why women are drinking the way they do. How has it come to this and how is it that women are nearly out drinking men in today’s society? In general, Ireland’s relationship with alcohol has been fraught with problems. Internationally the stereotypical view of an Irish person is a ‘falling down’ drunk person. But [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:08:25+00:00January 23rd, 2017|Addiction, Family Support, My Blog, Online Counselling|0 Comments

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year from Eileen at Inner Healing Counselling It’s that time again where we reflect on the past year and plan for the New Year. Resolutions are made and broken, often within the first hour!! 2016 has been a very busy year for me. I have been working really hard in my practice and am learning so much in the process. I am now a registered business owner which is something I am really excited about. I have launched my online counselling service, learnt how to market my practice and have to say I am enjoying the new skills I am developing. I have become pretty apt at updating my website and am constantly learning which is great. I love being challenged and my practice is definitely keeping me on my toes. Challenging Times. Last year in my new year’s blog I wrote about [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:13:36+00:00December 13th, 2016|My Blog|0 Comments

Top Tips for Staying Sober at Christmas.

My Top Tips for Staying Sober at Christmas. Are you all set for Christmas? That’s a question we are often asked in the lead up to the festive season. Me, I’m a last minute.com kinda girl, rushing around getting presents, I just love the hustle and bustle of it all. I have a few little rituals I like to do every Christmas; decorations go up early in December (some might say too early!), shopping lists are completed, Christmas cakes are baked, and I always go to town for a few hours Christmas Eve to soak up the atmosphere. These are the things I like to do every year, it’s a habit at this stage. But what if you are in recovery and the old habits at Christmas no longer support you and your recovery. How can you take care of yourself over Christmas? It’s natural for family [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:11:46+00:00December 12th, 2016|Addiction, My Blog|0 Comments

Self-Care at Christmas, a Time to Celebrate, or not?

Picture this: Its Christmas time, decorations are up, the fire in on and Christmas songs are playing in the back ground. Sounds of laughter and children playing echo through the house. This scene or something like it is the dreamy scene we conjure up when we think of a happy Christmas. For many, Christmas is a time for the family to get together, Santa Clause, children, gift giving and receiving, movies and relaxation. However, for families of substance abusers, Christmas and the lead up to it, it’s a different story. The reality can be a time of great stress, worry and anguish. The thoughts of managing someone’s substance abuse issues during the Christmas period can be overwhelming. How can families better cope with this over the Christmas period? Expectations Within these families the need for open honest communication is really important so everyone knows where they [...]

By |2017-12-13T20:31:15+00:00November 28th, 2016|Addiction, Family Support, My Blog, Online Counselling|0 Comments

Complementary Therapies in Addiction Treatment: Equine Therapy & Yoga

Traditionally addiction treatment centres in Ireland are abstinence 12 step based, using a combination of educational talks, one to one counselling and group therapy where clients are admitted for a 4 to 6-week program. However, the increasing popularity and success of complementary therapies have meant that some treatment facilities now incorporate some of these therapies into their treatment program. So what complementary therapies are being used and how does it support client’s treatment and recovery? Complementary Therapies such as equine therapy and yoga are excellent practices when recovering from an addiction. Equine Therapy Equine therapy is an effective treatment for people struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol dependence. Horses are sensitive animals who are tuned into what people are projecting and feeling. The horse will react differently depending on how the person is projecting and the horse will react by either approaching [...]

By |2019-10-21T13:35:12+00:00November 2nd, 2016|My Blog|1 Comment
Go to Top