Holding Space for Oneself

Holding space means to be with someone without judgment. To donate your ears and heart without wanting anything back. To practice empathy and compassion. To accept someone's truth, no matter what they are. To allow and accept. Embrace with two hands instead of pointing with one finger. To come in neutral. Open. For them. Not you. Holding space means to put your needs and opinions aside and allow someone to just be. Her. Self.

John Kim LMFT The Angry Therapist

Last Saturday was World Mental Health Day and the premise behind dedicating a day is to raise awareness. Maintaining a healthy relationship with the mind is important, as it influences how we think, feel, and behave in daily life. In the same way we go through lengths to upkeep our physical bodies, our minds beg for the same care and attention. Please do take time to explore the Mental Health Foundation website as it contains incredible resources.

I remember the first time I sought out therapy in 2010 and it was with the help of my then PhD supervisor; I am forever indebted to her for encouraging me to take that step. In 2013, right after I submitted my Phd dissertation, I took the decision to seek a therapist on a regular basis. I used the Counselling Directory website to search for the type of therapy I felt suited my needs. One important thing to note, the process of finding the right therapist for you can take time.  Think of your first visit as an opportunity to see whether there's chemistry or if the therapist you chose is actually the right fit for you in person. If for one reason or another that experience didn't go well, don't be discouraged and look for someone else in the directory. It also helps when you explain what you are after in the preliminary email communication with any therapist you get in touch with.

If you feel that you are not yet ready, I would suggest perhaps taking some time to do some mindfulness exercises. I found HeadSpace to be great for any person new to meditating if you find the process a bit daunting, and my colleague Lauren recommends Calm. There is also Be Mindful, the only digital Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy course that is NHS approved.

Last and certainly not least, Mind and Samaritans offer incredible support and services for those who are grappling with their mental health. They would appreciate our support too and if you are able to donate or volunteer, why not do so here and here.

In our first podcast episode, my guest Nina of Recess Living talks about the ways in which she supports her wellbeing. I highly encourage you to check her work and have a listen.

Till next time, take care of YOU.


October 16, 2020 — Wasma Mansour