Uncertainty and the EU referendum

In the aftermath of the referendum I was surprised to see that there was an almighty political struggle going on, why hadn’t the vote settled all the relevant questions? So I had a look at the referendum’s small print, the European Union Referendum Act 2015, and compared it with the small print for the equivalent act behind the Alternative Vote referendum we had in 2011, the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011.

What I found was that when we took part in the Alternative Vote referendum our ballots were armed and aimed at the statute books ready to change in the law, but in the EU Membership referendum that wasn’t the case, so when the trigger was pulled all that happened was a flag popped out saying “Leave!”.

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Problems with licencing counselling

In response to Adam Osborne being struck off as a psychiatrist Amanda Williamson, a campaigner for better regulation in counselling, recently Tweeted:

It’s a point that deserves a much better response than I was able to squeeze into a tweet of my own, so here it is.

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Clowns’ eggs and counselling theory

There’s a tradition of painting clowns’ faces on eggs, it started in the 1940s as a hobby of one of the founding members of Clowns International and it developed into a register. When a new clown joined an artist painted the face he performed with on an egg which was then added to the register. No two clowns we’re allowed to have the same face, so if your face resembled one already on the register you were advised on how to change it so you had your own unique face.
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Questions: open, closed and easy.

It’s worth looking closely at the advice we’re often given in counselling training to not use too many closed questions. Some closed questions encourage your client to reflect deeply, “How do would you rate your anxiety on a scale of one to ten?” may well challenge your client to look objectively and closely at his feelings; and some clients respond to closed question in much the same way as to open ones, answering the explicit enquiry and then immediately exploring the issues around their answer.
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Spear fishing and change

Imagine you’re on the shores of a lake trying to spear fish; you know that you are normally a good shot but for some reason your spears keep missing; you notice the way a bough that dips below the surface of the water looks like it’s bent and you realise that the same illusion would make the fish appear to be to in a different position to where they really are. So there you are, you have realised the world isn’t as you perceive it to be, what can you do about it?
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My head and my heart

It was when I was in deepest pain that I was most grateful for being a philosopher. Reason doesn’t shield me from pain, in fact it leads me to root around and seek it out, but it does help me see where exactly it is coming from and in doing so helps keep my feelings in synch with reality. Even when my pain was overwhelming I have been able to straighten out the snags and kinks so that it wasn’t unbearable.
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