Inspired Counselling ServicesStephen McFarland

I have named this part of my website 'Discover' as I will be regularly updating here with my own original content. This may be a metaphor, analogy, allegory, story or anything else. My hope is that it will help you discover something about yourself in my writings. A great way to allow more of your unconscious to come into your conscious awareness, is through stories like these.

If you think of an iceberg in the ocean, we could clearly see the top of it, but there is so much more of it below the surface, that is like our unconscious. Or another way to think of it is when you meet someone you haven't seen for a lengthy time. You know their name is on the tip of your tongue, as an expression people use, because their name is actually just below the surface, in your unconscious.

Below here will be updated regularly with new content so check back often.

Discover. Kairos

Kairos Has Saved Lives

Kairos for me is a time in history which creates an opportunity for, and indeed demands, an existential decision by the human subject. A delicate, crucial MOMENT, in which you can rewrite your personal history.

How many times have you, who is reading this, had such a moment in your life, that MOMENT, when you know it is a fork in the road, but you are hurtling towards it at speed, and you need to decide in a MOMENT, which path to take?

Making that phone call, texting, or Emailing to initiate your counselling could be one such MOMENT. A time for you to rewrite your history and stop pretending you will change, life will change, patterns will change, but they haven’t and you haven’t so far. Maybe for you Kairos is now!? Maybe reading this could be your Kairos, your moment that will initiate changes?

Whatever you hope to change, or do differently, or whatever your wish is for this year, it takes work bringing it to fruition. In my experience this will not happen without a MOMENT of enlightenment, or a moment of fear, or a moment of deep melancholy. It will take Kairos to enable you to start making changes.

In counselling with me Kairos happens frequently. The right words, at the opportune time, can, and have changed a life. Without courage, intelligence and passion, from counsellor and client, the present kairos may pass. I do not always get the words in that precious MOMENT, but I am constantly aware of Kairos in a counselling session. It has saved lives.

I previously worked in a homeless hostel with very vulnerable adults, dealing with suicide on a daily basis, sometimes for many hours with someone during a night-shift. It was Kairos that enabled a person to survive the night. A few words in the right time, said in the right way, saved the person from dying. I never take it for granted, and it is an exceedingly important part of my development as a counsellor, noticing and being aware of Kairos, and using it to help precious souls.

Kairos could be described as a moment when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action, an opportune and decisive moment. It will appear and disappear quickly.

My prayer is that you and I will use Kairos for positivity. Kairos could be used for spreading a ripple of kindness, something small but the ripple spreads as people spread the kindness. That moment you walk past a homeless person, will you or won’t you give them something to eat? That moment you see a mother struggling with groceries and a small child or baby, will you help her? That moment you think about a relative or friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, will you use Kairos to call them?


Discover. Light Shining Through Closed Door


This blog post is a little different as it may come across as a little angry. You know all those copy paste and share things linked to Suicide you see all over Instagram, Facebook and other social media? They won’t work for a person who is suicidal. (only my opinion)

I have a better idea… How about we start sharing something useful, like sharing information about somebody who could actually help them work out all the crap and lies in their head? (only my opinion)

It would have to be a person that you know and trust to be able to help them, not a faceless organisation, as that won’t work either, (only my opinion).

I am one person that doesn’t sit behind an organisation, I am me, a face… a face that someone suicidal could look at and decide if they will be willing to give me a try. The picture below is what some people think of when considering getting help, a shut door with ‘someone’ behind it. This doesn’t happen with me. Everybody coming to see me knows they will see me, speak to me on the phone, have me email them as they arrange a suitable time, only me. I have spaces daytime and evening, and will see someone within a few days usually, so why are people in this area suffering so much in their heads, alone, to the point that they decide this earth is not worth staying on anymore!! (only my opinion)

In a previous job I have sat with suicidal people all night sometimes talking to them, checking on them, shining a little light, a little hope, anything to keep them here, until the deadly fog of suicidal ideations lifts from their heads!! I am not boasting as it is neither my interest or nature, I prefer the back seat, the backroom, the unseen helper, but the time has came to start shouting about suicide!! (only my opinion)

One summer when my cousin died from suicide, ptsd, depression…I had 22 days raising awareness of suicide, ptsd and depression on my Facebook page, it was a very tiny drop in the ocean, but as people opened up and talked about suicide with someone they could trust, and walk the journey with them, they were able to recover from thoughts and ideations of suicide and are living a happy life now. There is hope after feeling so low you “wish’ to die. This is something that needs to talked about everywhere, all the time, who cares about the weather it is usually crap here, talk about how many people are dying, talk about ways of helping them, talk about raising funds so people can get help, tell me more ways of how I can help!! (only my opinion)

The point here is that suicide is serious, and doesn’t just happen to others. People are dying, young people, older people, parents of children, sons, daughters, siblings…, they need to ‘see’ someone they could put their tiny strand of hope in!! (only my opinion)

I have annoyingly put ‘only my opinion’ at the end of every paragraph here, because, my opinion started when my best friend from school died by suicide all those years ago, it took me many years to figure what the heck I was going to be able to do on a big scale to help others. My opinion continued forming when I worked in a homeless hostel with suicidal people, off their face on alcohol or illegal drugs, or usually both, for 12 hours each night. My opinion continues now as I work in schools with suicidal young people with the world at their feet, and they are struggling to stay in it. My opinion continues as I have my own private practice counselling business. My opinion is getting shouted out very loudly since my cousin died. How many more need to die before we all start shouting about suicide? (only my opinion).


Discover. Lone Wolf Howling

How Small and Insignificant Are You?

Mindfulness can be practiced in so many ways and places. Just now as I was driving home from work, in the dark, on a busy road with road works, I was approaching my turn off. I noticed running at the side of the road a tiny little brown field mouse. This is through being aware in the present moment of where I am in the here and now. I am not that keen on mice, but, in this moment it was a beautiful thing to behold.

Amongst very large machines, cars and road works, this brave little mouse is still going about his or her daily life, among all the hustle and bustle, usually unnoticed. How much can we feel like this mouse at times… I don’t know what this mouse was doing, but he could have been making a huge difference in his little world, feeding his family, going to the mouse shop for a treat for his wife, after she had a hard day with the baby mice, rushing to help another mouse have the confidence to cross the road home to his safe house…

Humour, but, when we feel small and insignificant, mindfulness can allow you the space, time, and kindness, for yourself to slow everything down, and allow the feelings of compassion and significance to come back, which you deserve for what you have done today. For example, if you smiled at one person today as you passed them by, that has the power to change their worldview today from being negative to hopeful.

I also changed my route home tonight just so I could drive quietly and slowly over a dark mountain and see the bright stars from the darkness of that mountain road. It was calming and peaceful. How many people could have travelled that way and not stopped and noticed the creation all around us?


Discover. Deep Dark Well

Stuck In A Well!

Depression is a killer. Let us not candy coat it, depression has killed a lot of people who could have been helped. If you suffer from depression I hope this post will help you become more aware, and reflect on what your own depression is? Or if you do not have depression, then I hope it may enlighten you to what someone you know is going through daily with depression.

My picture of depression is someone stuck down a deep, dark well, and cannot get out on their own. This person needs help. This person can hear people living life, having fun, going about their daily business, but this depressed person can’t, as they only see the deep, dark well of depression they are stuck in.

This depressed person is too far down in the well of depression for someone to come along and lift them out. It will take a few small, careful, trained steps, to aid this depressed person out. The key statement here is aiding the depressed person. No-one can help if the depressed person is not ready for the help.

A counsellor can walk the journey alongside the depressed person, in small, calculated, trained steps, to help the depressed person adjust to the light, as they are coming out of the deep well of depression.

I as a counsellor do not lift a person out of the depression well. I walk the journey with them, allowing the depressed person to gain skills to aid themselves to stop getting stuck in the well of depression in the future, or to look in it next time, stand beside it, but not fall into the well and become trapped in their own black despair of depression. This is what I am passionate about, being able to help my clients to help themselves, therefore limiting the danger for them in the future of regressing.

Some people look at depression as a black cloud, or a black dog. It maybe something else for you? If you are depressed, please be brave and take the first few steps to get help. Once the first few steps have been taken it will be easier for you, as you will know you are being understood and supported. If you know someone who is depressed, gently, try to help them to get help. It is life threatening.

The words below are not mine (composer unknown) but go along with my thoughts of depression.

“One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!”

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Discover. Be Who You Want To Be

Your Inner Child Is Calling You

When was the last time you just went with your inner child and what they wanted you to do? We have times in life when we need to be serious and very aware of what we are doing, but we also have times where we could let ourselves go and actually have some fun. It is exceedingly beneficial to your mental and physical health to let everything go now and again and just do something you enjoy.

The greatest poem ever known
Is one all poets have outgrown:
The poetry, innate, untold,
Of being only four years old.

Still young enough to be a part
Of Nature’s great impulsive heart,
Born comrade of bird, beast, and tree
And unselfconscious as the bee-

And yet with lovely reason skilled
Each day new paradise to build;
Elate explorer of each sense,
Without dismay, without pretense!

In your unstained transparent eyes
There is no conscience, no surprise:
Life’s queer conundrums you accept,
Your strange divinity still kept.

Being, that now absorbs you, all
Harmonious, unit, integral,
Will shred into perplexing bits,-
Oh, contradictions of the wits!

And Life, that sets all things in rhyme,
may make you poet, too, in time-
But there were days, O tender elf,
When you were Poetry itself!

This poem was written by Christopher Morley.

I can connect with this poem. Think of when you were a child. You didn’t care what people thought you ‘should be’ you were just you. The person you were born as. What was something you really enjoyed doing as a child, something you could get lost doing for hours? Life, people, family, circumstances, many things have changed us, and over time we could forget what we actually enjoyed doing. It is good to have a day, or part of a day, to just be you.

Connect inwardly to your Soul, Spirit and Body. Listen and feel what they are trying to tell you.

Ways of doing this could be a walk in a forest, park or beach, just listening to your inner child. Your body, spirit and soul are all trying to communicate with us. They tell us what we need, what would benefit us. However if we are constantly connected to others, internet, music, t.v, or books, we cannot hear the small voice inside speaking to us. I am as guilty as anyone else as I love being connected by wi-fi, and constantly listen to music, but I also know the truly sincere benefit of sitting or walking on my own in the fresh air and listening to what I need from my body, spirit and soul. Mindfulness is of great benefit to us in this modern era of constant entertainment, noise, people, busyness.

Sometimes I can’t just stop and listen… so I put on some music first, which could be rock n’ roll, worship, country, blues or whatever it is that helps me get the toxic thoughts out of my system, then I can stop! Listen! Learn!

Motorcycles may not be suitable for you, but I like to strap my helmet on and go for a fast motorbike ride, which empties my mind of the toxic thoughts. Then I will stop somewhere peaceful and scenic and listen to what is happening inside my mind and body. Sometimes my Bride may tell me to get my helmet on and go for a ride, as she knows I will come back peaceful and happy again.

Find whatever it is that allows you to get rid of the bad thoughts, and be in a place of calm that you can then hear what you need to hear. It could be going with our inner child and just playing, doing something silly. Jump in the puddles. Climb a tree. Colour in with crayons. Learning Mindfulness. Pet a furry creature, but, preferably one that likes being petted, and not a biting furry creature… 🙂

Discover. Discover

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