Version 2.0

Out With The Old ~ In With The New?

As you may expect with me being an online counsellor, I have a keen interest in technology and enjoy keeping up with developments in the technological world.  Indeed, as well as regularly flicking through therapy journals I am an avid reader of the ‘tech-press’, and follow developments with new products and services closely.  Today I purchased a new tablet computer, and so will be getting more familiar with its capabilities and new features over the coming days.  It sometimes seems as if a new product or product line is launched every few weeks, with the latest version of ‘x’ promising more than the model it supersedes.  From flatter-screen televisions to ‘smart’ appliances, the pace of change in the world of technology only seems to be accelerating.

Version 2.0

You may be wondering, if I take such an interest in new devices and applications, is my counselling office full of the latest gadgets and gizmos?  The answer – which may come as a surprise to some reading this article – is ‘no’.  Although the technology I use is fully up-to-date with the most current security releases and the latest data encryption methods, some of the devices I use have been providing me with good service for several years now.  Why, you might ask, do I not upgrade and swap the old version for the latest model?  The answer is simple, and comes down to two things; reliability and refinement.  We can be easily tempted to rush out and buy the latest ‘version 2’ of a particular product, egged on as we are by a glossy advertising campaign and the promise of dazzling new features, yet what is sometimes forgotten is that version 1.9 of that product has received many updates to fix problems, iron out bugs and improve the user experience.  The problems that arrive with the second major revision of the device are initially undiscovered and un-addressed.  It will take time for slight adjustments to be made to the software and firmware, and it may be some weeks or even many months before version 2 is as stable as version 1.9.  When this happens – yes, you guessed it – it will be called ‘version 2.9’.

Unconscious Expert

I have often thought that the way we go about living our lives is like this, in that as we follow our daily routine we are constantly (and often unconsciously) refining the way we do things.  From adopting a smoother way of changing gear in our car, to finding the most efficient route around the supermarket, we often constantly adapt in order to find the optimum way of getting the job done.  We can, at times, lose sight of the fact that we are the experts on our own lives.

Evolutionary Changes

Sometimes a client will make contact with Ashwood Therapy seeking therapeutic support, yet may expect me as the counselling ‘expert’ to find the best way through their current difficulties for them.  The client may expect there to be a breakthrough answer to their issues which has so far proved elusive, that I may be able to shed light upon immediately.  Perhaps they are looking for a ‘self 2.0’ instead of the old ‘self v1’ that they are unhappy with.  More often than not, in working with a client to shore up their own sense of who they are, and to increase their confidence in knowing what feels right for them, they are surprised to find that they are the ones who can best provide the answers to the questions that they have been asking all this time.  Instead of the revolutionary changes that they may have attempted in order to ‘be someone different’, when a client accepts that smaller, evolutionary changes are more sustainable and manageable then resolving long-standing problems can seem more do-able.  Issues that were once number one priorities can sometimes be laid to rest with a shrug of the shoulders, if acceptance of how something really is proves to be a better solution than trying to change the unchangeable.

Out With The Old?

It may seem at times that nothing is working right or that everything needs fixing.  In my clinical experience I have found that when a client’s situation is examined within the safety of an accepting and supportive relationship, strengths can be rediscovered and progress and expertise recognised.  Do we really need to upgrade and throw out all of the old, when with a little attention and care we can appreciate that there may be a lot to like about what we currently have and do?


~ Rob Oglesby MBACP B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy

[Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at]


Life Experience

Date : April 10, 2016Comments : 1

Battle of Mind Liebster blog award nomination

Please forgive this blog post that is a little off the usual topics, I never expected for this blog to ever be nominated for an award but one of BoM’s guest bloggers, Annie Omar, has very kindly nominated Battle of mind to receive this honor and this is my response to her questions. It may be quite insightful for those who read my blog posts to discover a bit more about the founder of Battle of Mind.

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Depression,Life Experience

Date : April 9, 2016Comments : 0

8 – “Some days it hits you like a ton of water” – ‘Til The Sun Goes Down – Boyzone

In the past, the only time my demons have been silenced at all is when we have been in Scotland. There’s something about the pace of life in the towns, the lack of people and the massive open spaces of mountains that just makes me feel calm and able to breathe. To say I had been looking forward to this latest break would be a massive understatement. I didn’t stop to think that the demons would pack their suitcases and come on holiday too.
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Date : April 5, 2016Comments : 2

Want to know how amazing you are!?? Well for a start you are a part of THIS!

We are all victims of it, we all have moments of insignificance, we are shown pictures of people with amazing abs on Instagram, celebrities with all the wealth and possessions money could buy and our ability to even achieve a small amount of comfort that these people have made for themselves seems but a distant dream but did you realise just how amazing you actually are regardless what you have in your bank or what social status you currently hold in your community?!?

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Healing,Life Experience,Relationships

Date : April 3, 2016Comments : 0

Isolation: Are You On Your Own?

The English poet John Donne famously coined the phrase “no man is an island” in a work entitled Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, published in 1624.  Referring to the idea that as humans we are social beings, relying on interconnection with others to flourish, it is an often quoted saying when speaking about the subject of being on our own.

The Natural World

On television recently I caught a programme following a team of wildlife experts who happened to be engaged in the rescuing of two swans.  They had flown into a building site which had two large pools of water, and unfortunately had each ended up on their own (one in each pool).  They could hear each other but could not see each other, as the pools were separated by high sides.  Swans will usually mate for life, forming a long-lasting bond, and it was thought that this pair’s separation was distressing for them both.  Eventually the wildlife team managed to catch the pair and they were reunited in a safer environment.  The welcome outcome re-established the connection between the couple, and so the intervention was deemed a success.

Social Isolation

The Office for National Statistics published a report in 2015 stating that 59% of all people aged 85 and over in the U.K. live alone.  With this being the case, it is perhaps unsurprising that the charity Age UK reports that for over half of older people, television is their main source of “company”.  If we were to agree that no man is an island – or that no man should be an island – then the problem posed by social isolation becomes clear.  If a swan ‘misses’ a partner when the two are separated, how much more would separation from a partner, family or friends affect a person?

Social Inclusion

Some of the clients I see in my professional practice are experiencing low mood in part because of a lack of interaction with others.  This is exacerbated by the fact that mental wellbeing issues can sometimes make it difficult to mix socially, especially if the client finds that they are not accepted as they would like to be, perhaps through stigma or others’ ignorance.  Working on strategies to promote social inclusion, be the client young or old, can often bear fruit over time.  It strikes me that isolation from others can be experienced by anyone.  An accepting, respectful relationship with a trusted other can be a sound base from which to work on cultivating the healthy social bonds necessary for successful interaction.

If you find yourself in a place where isolation is not currently a problem for you, how would you feel about reaching out to a neighbour in your street or the flat next-door?  Can you think of somebody you know in your life for whom a short conversation or even a text message today might mean the difference between them connecting with someone else, or not?


~ Rob Oglesby MBACP B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy

[Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at]


10 celebs that were bullied and how bullying experiences can end up being positive

You may not realise but many successful people are often victims of bullying or ridicule at a  young age and sometimes, into adulthood. People that get bullied tend to stand out from others for having different interests, a unique look or be special in some way and become easy targets for those who prefer to blend in and “be part of the in crowd” rather than following their own passions and interests for fear of being on the end of the cruel words, beatings and constant teasing.

In this blog post we explore how bullying feels for those who are experiencing it, how it can have detrimental effects on people’s lives and mental health but also, how once you get over the painful emotions, a bullied person can take the experience and make it a motivation and power to change their lives into a more positive life than any of their bullies may have thought possible for them.

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