‘This is for everyone’ 

(Tim Berners-Lee)

 

Way back in 2015 I wrote a book.

Which was reviewed here and here.

(Free Kindle sample here. And free download of the Executive Summary and Introduction here: Lawyers-Guide-excerpt.

And scroll down this page for a list of some edited and updated extracts.)

I’d retrained in therapy and had been working for a while as a counsellor while at the same time practising law.

Winding up and winding down.

By then I’d also been a volunteer with Lawcare for a few years. LawCare is a charity which helps stressed out lawyers in the UK. I help out on their telephone helpline from time to time.

Long story short, I spoke to friends at LawCare to find out if what I had in mind might be useful to lawyers.

They thought it would.

I pitched the idea to Ark, the publisher, with the help of a juggling ball and within 9 months a book was born.

The book was written with lawyers in mind – lawyers everywhere.

But the feedback I’ve had from non-lawyers has been that the life lessons have been helpful generally.

So, with the generous agreement of my publisher, I’m updating and blogging short extracts from the book which I think might be specially helpful to people – particularly at the moment.

In the words of Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web, “This is for everyone”. 

Not just lawyers.

The book is a pick and mix of theory and ideas and hacks which my clients tell me they’ve found useful. And which I’ve been helped by too.

It’s structured around the idea of ‘Open Mynd’.

Open: for those who find that new opportunities in life seem closed, or a sense of optimism lost. Helping us to think about ourselves, our communities and our potential in new, creative and imaginative ways.

And to be open to the possibilities and challenges of change.

Mynd: which stands for Me, You and Do.

(Yup, I know, the ‘n is a bit cheesy, but it fits).

ME– being mindful. Thinking about how to cope better with stress and things that hold us back from realising our potential.

YOU– mind-mindedness and interpersonal relationships.

DO– being aware of stuff that has happened, including changes, losses and difficulties in the past that may have led to where we are now.

And what we can do to change things.

The ideas are fleshed out by three fictional volunteers: Andrew, Beth and Chris. Their experiences illustrate some troublesome (and remediable) aspects of life.

There’s a lot going on at the moment which will require new ways of thinking about seemingly intractable social and institutional problems.

Here goes …

 

SO WHAT?

Wicked problems

Legal un-wellbeing

A little more on un-wellbeing

Starting to tackle wicked problems

Tattoo and taboo

Psychodynamics

 

STRESS HAS HAD A BAD PRESS

Some roots of stress 

Juggling with stress

Some fruits of stress

 

PREHAB

What on earth is prehabilitation?

Reversing the therapy

 

ARCHETYPES

Archetypes – this one’s mainly for lawyers 

Archetypes – this is for everyone

 

BRAINS & BODIES

Rumpling jerkins

The high road, the low road and the bears

Brainy hands

 

RESILIENCE

Bouncing back

Building for bounceback

5 resilience markers

 

PRACTICAL MENTALISING

Alice in Wonderland

Mentalising

Mindfulness

 

MIND-MINDEDNESS

Attaching

Securing the base

Thinking feelings and feeling thinkings

Mindblindness

Transactions

Give

 

TEAMS

Group interactions

Basic assumptions

Social intelligence

 

STUFF HAPPENS

Secondary trauma

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

 

LOOKING AFTER NUMBER ONE

Five Ways to Wellbeing

Snowed under

8 ways to cope

PRESS PAUSE: 5 minute focus

PRESS PAUSE: 5 minute ‘time’ focus

PRESS PAUSE: Just a minute

To sleep, perchance …

Kanbanning

 

WORKING WITH OTHERS

Psychological first aid – breaking the ice

Dealing with difficult people

PRESS PAUSE: Mindreading

PRESS PAUSE: 5 minute TA

Thinking hats

 

WHAT NOW?

What lessons can we learn from the creation of the UK welfare state?  

How do we even begin to think about how to tackle hugely complex problems?

What can the medical profession teach us about managing change?

What’s the missing metric?