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A phrase much used at the moment in the media and in politics is “fake news”.  While it has been mainly used by public figures to argue that the reporting of certain news organisations is only telling half of the story, the rise of social media as a source of news has also led to some people being misled by wildly inaccurate headlines posted with no care for the facts.  Indeed, the BBC here in the U.K. has started a regular slot in its news broadcasting to ‘reality check’ what is being touted as the ‘truth’ by some.


You might agree that a story’s headline only gives a partial picture of what’s going on.  In order to find out the real scoop, perhaps we have to look a little more closely and weigh things up.  If we take the time to do that, the black and white headline might become a little more grey.  Grey, of course, does not necessarily sell newspapers.


Have you ever heard the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’?  When it comes to people, we all might be tempted to do this at times, though getting to know someone over time, and with an open mind, can be much more revealing than initial impressions.  Sometimes we may be surprised by just how much the person we have heard about differs from the popular opinion of them.  Perhaps you have been on the receiving end of someone else’s stereotyping or incorrect assumptions?  How did you react?  Did you play up to your ‘image’ or did you ‘set the record straight’?


As a person-centred counsellor, I firmly believe that the best authority on who we really are is - ourselves!  Sometimes, however, people can get so caught up with who they are ‘supposed to be’, that they can end up believing the ‘fake news’ about themselves, and become quite out of touch with who they really are, how they really feel and what they really think.


One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is when a client learns that actually, they are the authority on themselves.  While we might in the past have bent round to suit a loved one’s agenda, a partner’s demands or a parent’s priorities, discovering just who we really are, and then learning that it’s OK to be that person, can be a revelation.


So, how would it be to not believe everything you read in the paper, or everything that’s posted on your timeline, but instead to think, quietly, about what lies behind the headline?  The real story might be quite different to what you first thought!


Rob Oglesby MBACP (Accred) 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 www.ashwoodtherapy.com


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