Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Acceptance Metaphor - ACT

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

2015 new developments

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

In December 2014I had the privilege of attending the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) & Contextual and Behavioural Science (CBS) Conference and Workshops in Dublin.

ACT (spoken as a single word not A. C. T.) is part of the third wave in Cognitive and Behavioural therapy. This is the new generation of CBT therapies.

What came out of this for me other than depth of therapy skills, was how to present this to groups of patients so that more patients can benefit from this without compromising the level of the work that I can do on a one to one basis.

In addition to one on one, I will now be offering small group workshops. Working alongside others who have similar difficulties often help patients to see that they are not alone in their suffering. It creates a “we are all in this together” camaraderie which encourages them to help each other too.

One of the strengths of this therapy model is that it is far reaching in that it can be used for people with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, stress, burnout, chronic pain, preparation for life changing events like retirement, to mention just a few.

In previous years I only offered this on a one to one basis, but this year, I will complete the initial consultations and assessments on a one to one basis and then if the patient is right for group work I will offer that to them.
I will do the teaching in the group personally.
I am hoping that this will make therapy more accessible to clients and more be helped.

I will continue to do one on one therapy too.

Bored with mash? Try this yummy option

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Cauliflower Puree

This is a nice change from Cauliflower Cheese or plain boiled cauliflower and has become a family favourite - in fact it has replaced mashed potatoes in the ‘favourites stakes’.

These quantities make 2 good servings

Half a head of a small cauliflower, separated into florets
2-3 tablespoons of cream (or plain, unflavoured yogurt if preferred)
1/4 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Salt and ground white pepper

Cook the cauliflower in lightly salted boiling water until very tender, about 12-15 minutes.
Place the cauliflower, cream (or yogurt) and mustard in a liquidizer and process until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For a different taste, substitute ground Cumin for the Dijon mustard.

Spinach Frittata

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Spinach Frittata
225g Waxy potatoes, cut into small cubes (keep skin on)
85g fresh Spinach
1 large red onion finely chopped
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (freshly grated is better)
salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil

1. Boil potatoes until just tender. Drain well.
2. Cook spinach until just wilted, squeeze out excess liquid and chop roughly
3. Beat the eggs and milk in a large bowl, then stir in spinach, potatoes and parmesan. Season to taste.
4. Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Pour in the egg mixture and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until the eggs are almost set.
5. Place the pan under a pre heated grill and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until completely set.
6. Allow to cool slightly then cut into slices and serve with (or without) a tomato salad.

This could be used as any meal.

Courgette & Humous Soup

Monday, April 29th, 2013

I make this soup often. There are not a lot of ingredients and is made in a really short time. Yet, it never ceases to impress friends.

You will need:
little bit of oil (I use olive oil)
1 small onion, chopped
3 courgettes (sliced) - about 1lb
450ml of chicken stock (veg stock if vegetarian)
175g of ready made hummous (the small tub in the supermarket)
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in pan. Fry onions until soft. Add the courgettes. Fry them a little bit, then add the stock and boil the vegetables until tender.
Remove some of the liquid (and keep) and blend/food processor the vegetables until smooth. Add the liquid back into the mixture. Stir in the tub of hummous. I normally then blend it for a further few seconds in order to incorporate the hummous with the rest of the soup.
Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Variation: Sometimes I peel the courgette and the soup changes into a very pale soup.

Serve it on its own as a starter or with some pitta bread as a meal.

Choc Pots for occasional use only !!

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Use only the best dark chocolate you can buy with at least 70% (minimum) cocoa solids.

40g (1.5 oz) plain very dark chocolate
2 tablespoons hot water
4 tablespoons fromage frais
a handful of toasted chopped nuts

Melt the chocolate over a saucepan of boiling water. Simmer the water until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the water, making a thick paste. Allow to cool.
Stir in the fromage frais

Scoop into two espresso cups and chill in refrigerator.

Toast the nuts in a heavy bottomed pan for a few minutes. Just heat up the dry pan and toss nuts in it, adding no oil at all.
When chocolate is chilled, sprinkle some nuts on top and serve.

Humous a delicious Mediterranean Dip

Monday, April 29th, 2013


1 400g (13oz) tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Cloves Garlic
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 \tablespoons soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper

Put all ingredients in food processor and blitz until smooth.
add additional pepper, soy or lemon juice to taste

As a variation you could add either 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds or 1-2 tablespoons of tahini.

Serve in a bowl with a little olive oil drizzled on top and a sprinkling of chilli powder or paprika.
Eat with crudities, spread on oatcakes, wholemeal toasts or wholemeal crackers.

Quick Salmon Dinner

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Heat oven to 180 degrees.

While this is happening, take a square of foil that will be big enough to wrap your salmon in.

In the middle of the square, lay down some veg, whatever you want, but I find thinly sliced carrots, leeks, fennel, cucumber, courgette as nice options (you don’t have to use all - vary it for different meals).
Lay your salmon on top of the veg, season it, lay a slice of lemon on top of the fish and drizzle some olive oil over the top. Then fold the two opposite ends of foil towards each other and wrap it up. Then take the other ends, fold them up and crunch them up so that any fluid won’t leak out.

By now, the oven should be warm, slide the foil parcel onto a baking tray and into the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Open the foil carefully and serve the salmon with the veg in the parcel with some more side veg, potatoes, rice.
Delicious and in less time than you can go and get a take-away!

Snapper in Banana Leaf

Monday, April 29th, 2013

This method for grilling fish uses a banana leaf to hold the fish together, steam it to perfection, while allowing the flavor to gently soak into the package. This is a great way of grilling fish that is delicate because the banana leaf holds it all together and lets you add anything you want to the packet. You can buy banana leaves from Asian or Caribbean food shops.
Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


2 pounds snapper
2 tablespoons fresh coriander root, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 large banana leaf
vegetable oil


Combine garlic, black pepper, coriander root and ginger in a blender or food processor. Mix into a paste. Add soy sauce and continue blending until well mixed. Set aside. Clean and pat dry the snapper with a paper towel. Rub mixture over the surface of the fish. Set aside for about 30 minutes. Preheat grill. Take a banana leaf large enough to wrap the fish (you can cut up the fish if you can’t find a large enough leaf) and wash it thoroughly. Blanch the banana leaf in hot water for a few seconds to soften it. With a knife or scissors remove the thick spine from the leaf and place it on a working surface shiny side down. Brush vegetable oil over the part of the leaf the will be in contact with the fish. Place the fish on the banana leaf and fold leaf to completely enclose the fish. Secure with toothpicks or skewers.
Place the package on a medium hot grill and cook on each side for about 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent the banana leaf from burning. It will blacken in parts but it shouldn’t be allowed to burn through. After about 16 minutes remove the packet from the grill to a place where you can work on it and gently open enough to test the fish for doneness. The fish should flake easy with a fork and have an opaque appearance through to the center. If the fish isn’t done, secure the package and return to the grill. When the fish is done transfer it to a serving platter and serve. It’s more dramatic if you open the banana leaf at the table

Swordfish a la Siciliana

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

Serves 6


3 ounces raisins
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, diced
10 green olives, pitted and minced
2 ounces pine nuts
1/4 cup capers
2 pounds swordfish steaks
salt and pepper to taste


Soak raisins in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or skillet over high heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in raisins, tomatoes, olives, pine nuts and capers. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes.
Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Place in a lightly oiled baking dish and cover with the cooked sauce. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until steaks are firm.