Wednesday, 4 May 2016

April, 2016

Dear all,

It's been an even crazier month than I ever thought possible! Life seemed busy before, but now even moreso.

Last month was my birthday, with a special surprise organised, which you can read about in March's edition.

The last month has been about making contact with services who have clients who might need counselling, including colleagues, health organisations, pet services and grief resources. I've had calls so the business is getting off the ground, my practice being recognised as something the community needed, particularly for those with low incomes. Getting such feedback has been encouraging, now knowing that what I'm passionate about does have its place in society, and will benefit many people who are hurting from loss. My energy goes into what matters -- the clients.

This month is a feast of articles, some that are going to make readers really think about what the world condones, supports and rejects as a whole, and how freedom of speech might be set to change.

Self-Compassion: The New Self-concept model
Self-compassion therapy is a recently popular area of psychology. It could be considered a new version of self-evaluating, bursting through the ideals that therapists have held about self-concept and self-worth. The discipline delves to go against the grain, looking at self-honesty and change, based on self-love, rather than criticism, analysis or "I'd be better if only. . . " It seeks to earn clients personal comfort via internal factors, rather than outside influences.

Viewing A Pink Moon
At first inspection, Pink Moon feels like a typical drama piece where an attractive young girl is hiding a boy in her room. However, we soon find out that Ben, her boyfriend, lives two lives. What the viewer at first takes for granted is that the lifestyle being depicted is normal. Not in Pink Moon. The film aims to turn ideals of sexuality on their head, as their reality is where homosexual relationships are normal and heterosexuals, called Breeders, are not. It's a mind-altering world where all our typical beliefs of same-sex relationships are under question.

Pro-Ana Unmasked
Not only did I want to look at the sites that encourage Pro-Ana and what possible tricks they are teaching that could help unmask the eating disorder, but also the new legal environment we live in. Last year, an American teenager was put up for murder charges for coaxing a man to kill himself. Could we see the same happen for websites that promote self-harming, such as anorexia maintenance websites?

Movie Review: Starving in Suburbia
Starving in Suburbia is a film about anorexia and the websites online that promote it. Hannah, 17, is caused to think about her weight, and her friend shows her a Pro-ana (pro-anorexia) site to show her how "crazy" she isn't. However, it seems to have an alternate affect. These websites (see Pro-Ana Unmasked) give tips and motivations to people -- so powerful their natural body functions are ignored and overwritten. Pro-ana sites number in the thousands and are often a mere Google search away.

Dogs: Their Secret Lives
Mark Evans, vet and former chief of the RSPCA UK, fronts this series that aims to discover the lesser known facts of dogs' lives, and the little tricks they have in store for us. Using surveillance footage, new inventions and collaborating with dog experts, Evans focuses on cunning canines and the changes our society have instilled. Obesity, behaviour disorders, misconceptions about dog sociality, and their manipulations of humans.

Adults Who Colour In
As children, colouring is an art encouraged for learning, aiding in memory skills (ie, remembering the diagram you are colouring), developing fine motor skills in the hands and as a fun activity. The act of colouring and its caused reflection and mindfulness will aid in reducing the stress hormones in the body -- cortisol and adrenaline. The discipline is first recognised in India with Mandalas, but westerner alternatives are not specific in shape or designed for meditation or trance, however, still invoke reflection, mindfulness, and peace.

The Hunting Ground
Over the last year or two, a major movement has rapidly spread throughout America, being the Title IX activists. Rape in Universities is said to be ignored or swept under the rug, until two victims realised one of the primary human rights fell under Title IX, meaning pressure for universities to change their actions or lose funding. This movement and accompanying documentary follows the journey of two rape victims, who have fronted a modern-day revolution.

Warm Bodies: Romance In Cold
Warm Bodies came out a few years ago, but is a movie that re-invents the romance genre. It is a parody of a well-known traditional love story set with new, unusual characters. The male counterpart, R, a brain-eating zombie, meets a human, Julie. Know the reference? However, this story then develops into an apocalyptic adventure when their relationship begins to cause change within both dead and living communities. The story brings on a new twist to the zombie era, without making them into fluffy bunnies too soon. Instead it creates the idea of multiple motivations among zombie "tribes" and questions the events if a zombie was not as mindless as we thought.

I hope everyone is well and enjoying their month. Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

Until next time,
The Editor.