THE SPARK BLOG

Barriers to counselling

Barriers to counselling

It is difficult to imagine going to counselling before making that first step. While we are starting to become more understanding about mental health issues and seeking professional help, there is still a lot of fear, doubt and confusion creating barriers to...

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How to support your relationship in retirement

How to support your relationship in retirement

Most couples look forward to retirement, eager to spend more quality time together. Free from the constraints and pressures of work it is a chance to relax and, especially if the nest is empty, an opportunity to embrace hobbies new and old. The reality of...

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The upside of lockdown dating

The upside of lockdown dating

For single people everywhere, the Coronavirus pandemic has created more obstacles than normal on the path to finding a new partner. In this article, Counsellor Sarah Woodcock looks at why lockdown dating could offer benefits that might lead to a stronger,...

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Using active listening to help ease our way out of lockdown

Using active listening to help ease our way out of lockdown

The easing of Coronavirus lockdown is cause for much celebration. But for some households, it may increase tension between family members. Children and Young People’s Counsellor John Kennedy looks at why active listening could help parents and carers...

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Easing lockdown: how to help children learn new rules

Easing lockdown: how to help children learn new rules

As the process of easing lockdown gathers pace, the rules we need to adhere to are becoming more complex. Younger children may struggle to understand or stick to them. Presenting parents and carers with the challenge of helping them understand and follow...

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Loss: how to help children and young people cope

Loss: how to help children and young people cope

Change is an inevitable and necessary part of growing up. With every change there is an element of loss, even when the changes are welcome. Whether it is the grief that comes with the loss of a favourite toy as a child or the death of a beloved...

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Coping with isolation

Coping with isolation

Coping with isolation and loneliness was something many of us were trying to do before Coronavirus (Covid-19) turned our reality upside down. Over 9 million people in the UK reported feelings of loneliness and isolation before this new reality emerged.From...

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Understanding anger for parents

Understanding anger for parents

Along with happiness and sadness, anger is perhaps one of the most common emotions we experience in everyday life. We all experience anger in different ways but it can often become an easy ‘go-to’ emotion for children and adolescents. By understanding...

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Coping with Coronavirus lockdown – part 2 of 2

Coping with Coronavirus lockdown – part 2 of 2

Welcome to part 2 of our series looking at ways for parents and families to maintain their mental health during Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown and social distancing measures. In the final part of this series, counsellor Shirley Meade looks at the...

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Coping with Coronavirus lockdown – part 1 of 2

Coping with Coronavirus lockdown – part 1 of 2

Coping with Coronavirus lockdown is the new normal for the vast majority of us. Combined with social distancing, it is inevitable that our mental health will be tested in the coming weeks. For parents, the challenge of keeping themselves and their children...

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Coronavirus anxiety: 4 ways to help children cope

Coronavirus anxiety: 4 ways to help children cope

With a constant stream of news updates, statistics and opinions about Coronavirus (COVID-19), it is likely the children in our lives will be struggling with some degree of coronavirus anxiety. This can be an incredibly worrying time for children. While...

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How to talk to children about Coronavirus

How to talk to children about Coronavirus

As adults attempt to make sense of the Coronavirus pandemic, take a moment to think about how difficult it is for children to get their heads around this new ‘normality’. Knowing how to talk to children about coronavirus has become an urgent and...

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What makes you happy?

What makes you happy?

If you search “what makes you happy” Google will offer you roughly 2.5bn results to consider. A similar search on Amazon will offer up over 100,000 books and DVDs on the subject of being happy.  On the basis of these two statistics alone, we can say with a degree of...

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Tackling loneliness at university

Tackling loneliness at university

One of the mental health challenges facing young people is the issue of loneliness at university. With the freedom and independence that university brings – and young people relish - also comes the risk of isolation. Feeling lonely at university is very common....

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Mental health: preparing your child for university

Mental health: preparing your child for university

The mental health of students at university has been making headlines for some time now and is a growing issue. Therefore, if you are a parent preparing your child for university, it is vital to consider how you can help them get ready for problems like isolation,...

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How to teach kids good mental health at home

How to teach kids good mental health at home

During Children’s Mental Health Week, it might be worth thinking about The World Health Organisation’s figures that “around 1 in 5 of the world's children and adolescents have a mental disorder” and that “about half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14”. In...

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Mental health counselling demand up by 26% last year

Mental health counselling demand up by 26% last year

As 2020 gets into full swing a review by The Spark Counselling shows 2019 was another difficult year for individuals, couples and families in Scotland. Across all counselling services offered by the organisation, there has been a 26% year-on-year increase in demand as...

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The Spark wins big at the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2019

The Spark wins big at the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2019

The 2019 Social Enterprise Awards Scotland was a night of celebration for The Spark as the charity collected the prestigious ‘Social Impact Award’. Hosted at the Scottish Parliament, the awards are the country’s annual celebration of social enterprise. They recognise...

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