Joy Archer CounsellingPerson Centred Counsellor for Eccleshill, Calverley, Bradford and Leeds

My Blog. Library Image: Path to oak Tree

Saturday October 8th 2011

"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011

If we are true to ourselves and have the inner confidence to listen to our instincts, we all have the capacity to move forward, to grow and to achieve happiness. It isn't about ambition, as I see it. It's about integrity, honesty and congruence. It's all part of valuing yourself, and knowing that you are important, and you matter.

"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?" Albert Camus

My Blog. Library Image: Embrace the Day

Wednesday October 12th 2011

“What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly" - Carl Rogers

We so often use the world around us to judge ourselves harshly, and this can often be a self-destructive process. If we can openly be ourselves, we can be so much happier than if we put ourselves down and feel that we aren't good enough. Whose standards are we using? Are they the standards of acceptability drummed into us by parents and other family members? How many of us, looking honestly into ourselves, can become aware that we are people pleasers? If we can stop trying to please others for approval, we reach greater acceptance of ourselves and who we are.

My Blog. Library Image: Footsteps in Sand

Thursday October 13th 2011

“Man's ideal state is realized when he has fulfilled the purpose for which he is born. And what is it that reason demands of him? Something very easy—that he live in accordance with his own nature.”

An interesting thought, but often working towards this is a struggle for us, and involves many years of reflection, self doubt, and a journey towards greater awareness of self.

My Blog. Library Image: Reaching Hands

Friday October 14th 2011


“I choose to live by choice not by chance;
to make changes not excuses;
to be motivated not manipulated;
to be useful not used;
to excel not compete.
I choose self-esteem not self pity.
I choose to listen to my inner voice not the random opinion of others.”

Isabel Bauche

We can choose to tell ourselves positive things, to believe in ourselves and to move forward with our lives.

My Blog. Library Image: Face and Flower

Thursday November 3rd 2011

“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn't blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won't cheat, then you know he never will.”

John D MacDonald

That seems a healthy way to live your life: examining yourself and knowing you have an inner truth.

My Blog. Library Image: Sunflowers

Sunday November 20th 2011

"I am not what happened to me
I am what I chose to become..."

Carl Jung 1875-1961

I went to a workshop today, and was impressed by this when I heard it. All too often we find ourselves trapped in the unhappiness and bitterness of our past, which impact in turn on the here and now. If we want to make positive changes, we choose to become what we want to be.

My Blog. Library Image: Sad Woman

Tuesday December 14th 2011

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I often think I'd like to have met and known Eleanor Roosevelt, who always seems to me to have been a wise and brave lady. At this time of year I think it's natural to refect on another year almost gone and to reevaluate our work, relationships and how we feel about life in general. Also in these difficult economic times we find ourselves dwelling on such matters as our career paths and our vocational satisfaction. We may feel trapped and unhappy yet be afraid to break out and try something different. As we end one year and begin another, I take heart from Eleanor's words. We are stronger than we believe, and having been in some very low places myself I would agree with her that however desperate circumstances may seem, there is a path forward whereby we reflect on those horrors and use them to guide us to a better place.

My Blog. Library Image: Man with Headache

Saturday February 4th 2012

Tea, Coffee, Success, Failure, and People Pleasing

"I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

How often do you strive to keep everyone happy? How often do you end up feeling resentful, tired, and as if everyone's needs and desires matter apart from yours? Do you then find it difficult to voice your own needs for fear of upsetting others?

Someone said to me this week: "I don't like making a fuss - I'm not confrontational." It isn't making a fuss to stop to reflect on how much of you is given over to pleasing other people. It's all too possible to spread yourself too thinly so that nothing's left for you. Consider the "Tea or Coffee?" scenario familiar to so many of us. The usual answer? "Whatever you're having..."

Next time, if you have a preference - try expressing it. One small step towards making your needs known.

My Blog. Library Image: New Growth Leaf

Monday 11th September 2012

This day got me thinking. I remember all too well what I was doing when I heard what was happening. I was in my school staffroom, marking some Year 8 essays - on "The Merchant of Venice", if I remember rightly. Most of my colleagues had gone home, but I was desperate to get the work finished. My assistant headteacher came in to tell me the news, and I remember thinking that he must be exaggerating, must have got it wrong. He left and I went on marking...I got home and watched in disbelief as the events unfolded on TV. Then I remembered my former head of department, whose daughter was employed as a translator in the building. I struggled with myself before I called him in case he had bad news. Thankfully she was fine...all because she'd stayed at home that morning to iron a different pair of work trousers at the last moment. The fact that she was running late saved her life. This had a profound effect on me. Life is too short to live an unhappy life. I left my job soon after and the process of starting my life all over again began, which eventually led me through divorce, a new career, and my counselling training. Eleven years ago I could not have imagined I'd be where I am today. The tragedy left so many families torn apart...we have one life. None of us knows how long we have to make it the best it can be.

Sunday 30th December 2012

This is a time of year when I reflect, as I'm sure many of you do. I was looking at my achievements and setbacks in 2012 today, and the important thing to remember is that we are all in a process of changing, developing and moving forward. One thing we can never do is go back. We can feel proud of the positives, yet realise the difficulties and challenges all played their part in our continuing self awareness and resilience. After all: there are no mistakes, only lessons. I seldom make New Year resolutions as such, but I feel content if the past year has caused me to reflect, learn and be stronger, as well as feel that I have seized opportunities that came my way. I hope in 2013 that if we can make positive life changes, or need a helping hand, we can reach out and achieve what we want. A very happy 2013 to you all.

My Blog. Library Image: Embrace the Day

It's come round again.

Wednesday November 20th 2013

"So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over..."

Well, it's not quite Christmas yet, but the words of John Lennon might make us stop and think. Are you stuck in the same place as you were a year ago? Are things in your life, such as relationships,work, anger or anxiety still causing you unhappiness and a feeling of not being able to live life to the full?

If so, don't wait until the new year to take action. Call me today if you want to start taking those steps forward with your life.

Remember that in order for life to change we have to make it change.

My Blog. Library Image: Embrace the Day
My Blog. Library Image: Steps in Sand (Sml)

Thursday December 18th 2014

I have been developing several aspects of my practice over the past months. I have been undertaking training in the very interesting yet demanding field of sexual abuse, and in the new year will be offering support to couples struggling with sex addiction, particularly where the internet has become a factor affecting the relationship.

I have been offering training workshops including examining what clients want from counselling and how to know when the therapeutic relationship is ready to draw to a close. My next intended project is to develop workshops in self esteem, assertiveness and health and well being in the workplace. I can offer these to individuals and to organisations.

There has been increasing demand over the past year for the interventions I offer related to career development and change management. As a career changer myself I am still learning and growing. I believe it is never too late to look at moving forward and exploring your potential.

A very Merry Christmas and Happy 2015 to all.

Friday October 23rd 2015

Change, Change and more Change

I have recently made a career move into a slightly different area involving working from different premises and coming across new people, while staying in the same company. So it's new, but not new in a way. Now the best of it is that I see different people every day, but a minor irritation is not being able to find a coffee mug! I used to have my own but I'm not going to carry it round the city...

It was more disconcerting than I thought it would be. I inadvertently used someone's "special" mug one day so I've taken to grabbing a paper cup now as I don't know which mugs are spoken for.

I found myself thinking how we are unsettled by change. Even if it's a promotion, or a new house you've longed for, or new children in the family, change can impact on our lives, relationships and well being. Moving out of your comfort zone and what you know can sometimes cause you to question your feelings. Change need not be "good" or "bad" but sometimes if we feel unsettled by it we need to recognise that and listen to ourselves.

My Blog. Library Image: Sunflowers

Friday December 30th 2016

It occurred to me that there has been much talk of 2016 being a bad year and one people want to see the back of. This led me to reflect how much we learn from and develop through difficult times. It means for me that yes: there have been difficulties and challenges, but I have also gained immeasurably from them in terms of self awareness, understanding and gratitude. I am now setting myself a goal of identifying three positives from the past year and deciding how to build on them.

The first is easy - it involves an overhaul of the site and the information about my new premises - still local and still warm and welcoming. I'm very excited about this new development. More details to follow, but in the meantime: a very happy new year and looking forward to meeting new and current clients in 2017.

New Developments

Very happy to have moved into Eccleshill where I now offer counselling and supervision. I love the area which has a real community feel. I am also in the process of reducing my working hours in the day job and will be able to offer some appointments during the day on Friday. Exciting times!

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