I am Robin.
I am a semi-retired chartered and registered counselling psychologist in the UK.
This website provides a large collection of safe experiments that I have gathered from my clients over decades. They have been tried out over many years. Although no experiment I offer to you always works, most things described here have worked, sometimes, for some people. I believe this website may be of use to you, my reader, as well as clients – past, present and to come.
Anyone with a natural curiosity may find it helpful to practise the safe experiments identified on this website. Over time, you can create and develop your MY-NUAL.
For those planning to visit me in person, you may be interested in my background. As I work in a partnership, you will find details relating to Dr Christina Mason. She is a psycho-therapist and my very patient wife.
You can contact either of us via the contact form, below.
If this web site is about anything, it offers a psychological form of “personalised medicine” – with at least one rather important difference: personalised medicine cannot afford to get it wrong; people can die. See my ‘letter’ to you on this topic.
By contrast, this website demonstrates that a small defeat – arising from a small, safe experiment – is an essential part of effective psychological therapy. It is not undesirable or an unwanted by-product., It is essential to the process of change in your life. I repeat myself on purpose, as I hold this to be a central point. Consider it as a game of Snakes and Ladders. You do not get to the top without sliding down a Snake, somewhere along the way.
I would not have needed to construct this website were it not for this ‘message’, in bold. There are ample self-help books telling you how to get better; mainly by telling you what is good for you. Here, I assert that things may appear worse, indeed, may need to appear worse, before anything gets better, and it may take a time to do so! There is no short cut to experiencing this, yourself, through your own efforts.
The illustration, below, seeks to identify three centres of attention when you consider change in your life. The illustration is a map to help you make a journey, it is just a map, not the journey and it is only as helpful as the way in which you to use it. Maps are a representation, a human invention. At best, they are a guide; at worst, they can deceive. If you want evidence of that possibility take a look at some of the early maps developed by the explorers of the 14th and 15th centuries. In more modern times, I understand Einstein once said the the past, present and the future are nothing more than illusion. I say use your illusions!
The journey you are considering today will NOT be an illusion once you get started; it will be a series of experiences.
There is another important consideration: I cannot do the work for you. Sometimes, a pill can make a difference, but even that pill requires your body to co-operate with it. I believe you may be a little more in charge of that body than you think.
So let’s get down to business.
If this web site says anything, it is that you can make a difference for yourself.
The information on it, and the contributions of many people, are focused on maximising this possibility.
Here, I describe some ways you might go about making that difference under your own steam.
Here is a starter: What does the picture below mean to you? If it is puzzling, take a moment to focus on it. Just notice the thoughts coming into your head – whatever comes.
Maybe write down any reactions or questions – the first 100 words that arrive. You may find it interesting if you return to these first thoughts sometime in the future.
What choices will you make to direct your new roots in a different direction today?
A couple of comments:
- The website may give the appearance that I do not have my own model to explain how therapy works. I may give the appearance of simply wanting you to ‘experiment’ and that will do it. True, I want to focus on the ‘how’ – the ‘doable’ thing – but I am a meaning-seeking person, just as you are. Therefore, I have constructed pages that point out my ‘model’. I offer several pages that explains my thinking and another that illustrates my point of view. This model of mine seeks to be ‘transtheoretical’, to use the jargon, but it is still just a theory. There is a list of four pages a little further down, below SPACE, TIME, BODY and SPIRIT.
- I have been asked about the way small, safe experiments are different from those used by conventional scientists. There are large differences – not least because the same experiment will often end up with a different result – at different times. I assert that it’s OK for that to happen! Please keep this feature in mind; do not look for ‘the same old ….‘ when designing and implementing small, safe experiments. Remain open to the variations and be curious about them.
POSSIBLE WAYS FORWARD
Have a notebook on hand – Post-Its might suffice. Recording the results of your enquiries, and the different outcomes you are about to generate, needs a record you can go back to – maybe months later.
A small safe experiment does not exist without a result that is noticed.
Take a look to the right of this page and notice the various headings. You could choose one page quite randomly. That’s a safe experiment; either the page will have some meaning to you, or it might not. Whatever happens – it’s not your fault; nor is it my fault. It’s simply the result of the action taken.
So, what do you learn when a page has some meaning for you [I call this a small victory] and, more importantly, what do you learn when a page appears confusing or without meaning [I call this a small defeat].
More importantly again, what do you do about your small victory or your small defeat. For more on the value of ‘small’, take a look at this page.
A different way forward would be to use the Search box located at the top, right of THIS page.
Search for any word of interest to you. You could do that now. When you type in your chosen word, and press the search button, a number of pages will be listed containing your chosen word, if it’s anywhere on this website. I’d avoid ‘and’ or ‘but‘!!
Most pages suggest an additional small, safe experiment that is available to you; but you choose. Maybe you’ll even tweek my suggestions and that is not only fine, but desirable.
For example, what about starting with a visit to: https://your-nudge.com/exploring-what-i-might-do-differently/
Alternatively, chose another page to explore in greater detail and see if that says anything to you at all!
What word would you choose to search? Have you tried it already?
A final way forward I would suggestion would be to head for the page headed ‘What is a nudge‘. This provides my own first thoughts on ‘nudging’. There, I start to explain about ‘safe experimenting’, and offer some examples. It is an introduction to nudging yourself into making changes in your life when you want to do that! I’d ask you to use all my material to nudge yourself, not other people.
There is at least one other choice you have at hand: not to do any of the things I have suggested. It’s just another visit to another web-site. There’s a lot of them, eh?
Let me know if you hit a snag navigating my web site. You can do this by adding a comment to the form – found at the bottom of this page.
Many pages have been written and re-written as a result of your feedback. You may have noticed how, over several years now, additional pages have appeared. These were often stimulated by questions I have been asked, or from observations made by visitors.
For clients and ex-clients, it will help me if you post a comment on my contribution to the practice of psychological therapy. This will keep me on the ball!
You need not read this website page by page.
You may need to left-click or right click (to obtain a new window), when using hyper-links. By the nature of the Internet, hyper-links can come and go. Do let me know when one particular link no longer works. I’ll look out an alternative.
I do not want you to follow the nudges included here simply because I recommend them.
Why is that? This website is now very substantial so it does now contain many opinions; where that is so, I’d want you to recognise it as just one man’s opinion. Where there is a description of something that can be done, please see that as something that has been tried by others. The action has worked for some-one, somewhere.
There a lot of nudges on offer. Some will be relevant to you; others will not. The timing for one nudge may not be quite right today; another time, the same nudge may hit the nail on the head.
I want my information to help you recognise a nudge for what it is. Your own prompt to action. When you design your own steps it can lead to an improved ability to build on successes or adapt to unexpected/unwanted results. Often adaptations are forced on us, as we are discovering in the current public health crisis of 2020/2021.
Those changes do not mean there are still no choices open to us, even if it feels like that sometimes.
I will use personal example from time to time to see if that adds some richness to the learning of others. I do not want this to appear self-indulgent; I believe my own illustrations may appear more genuine if I tell you how the material applies to me.
The material you are about to generate can provide a tool for your own personal development. However, some of it may have an emotional impact on you. Therefore, you may want to work on your personal development with a consultant. If you need some leads to follow up, then let me know. The important things is to find some-one reliable and discreet outside your immediate circle of friends or family.
For some outcomes or challenges, you may conclude that the support of a well-qualified therapeutic practitioner is necessary.
When I designed this web site, I wanted to use an organised approach. I went with the dimensions of SPACE, TIME, BODY and SPIRIT. These four categories shaped me into who I am today and they are general categories you and I share. If you are interested in the key influences on my thinking and actions, consider these pages:
Each element of space, time, body and spirit will play a part in determining who we are – shaping the problems that are presented to us, defining the way we face them, and what milestones we achieve (or not) as we develop and grow.
Each category offers to provide a whole range of safe experiments. The categories are still there, if rather ‘lost’ in the size of this web site.
What ‘divisions’ would you devise – to work for you? All I would emphasise at this time is that It’s difficult to learn or adapt without identifying and respecting the results of your own actions; your own safe experiments
Over time, I have created links to other websites of interest as well as to other pages on this website. All this is intended to help with your research into how you might design your own small, safe experiment. I have been offered no inducement to provide these hyperlinks. They worked for me when I completed my research for this site; that’s it.
A note on Advertising: you should find no advertisements on this web site. I’d ask advertisers, sellers and recruiters not to get in touch. Any such feedback will be left unanswered.
Genuine questions and comments using the form at the very bottom of this page is most welcome.
As said above, you can find out more about me on: About the Author page. You can find out more about my own view of therapy here. I doubt it’s the best place to start, but that’s for you to decide. A profile of my wife and partner, Dr Christina Mason – a psychotherapist by training – is available. We can be contacted via the contact form, below:
Here’s a small sample of some pages on this website that might be of interest to you:
Here is a way to make direct contact with Christina Mason or myself.
….. and, finally, for now, after you have done a few safe experiments, consider:
…… and how will you end some work?