Ashwood Therapy Blog


Reading is a pleasure that has been enjoyed by many for thousands of years, and these days with digital e-book devices and access to the Internet we can select from literally millions of titles and web pages without even having to leave the comfort of our armchair.  We can, for example, select volumes or sites about a distant country, and become very familiar with the customs, politics and culture of a particular place without having to travel further than the kitchen every now and then to make another cup of tea.  There are books and web sites about all things, to suit all tastes and all interests.  All you have to do is pop down to the library, or – quicker still – click on your favourite website, to be reading away in seconds.  We truly are in the midst of the ‘information age’, and have at our fingertips more knowledge than would have been imaginable only a few decades ago.

So, then - what is there left to know?

Unless you are very famous (or highly infamous!) you probably haven’t had a book written about you.  Unless you are a public figure, what is shared online about you may be for the benefit of your family and friends alone.  Even if you have had a book written about you and your life, unless it was an auto-biography it will likely contain someone else’s perception of you, and so will be of quite limited use in some ways.  In the middle of today’s information overload, I would suggest that one area often left unexamined is not to be found on Amazon.com or the BBC: the area I am referring to is, of course… you!

Sometimes, self-reflection can be confused with being selfish.  Sitting quietly, contemplating your reaction to someone or something that has happened that day can be seen as being self-indulgent.  Who has time to sit and ponder that conversation, when there is so much to be done and experienced?  I would suggest however, that such self-reflection, rather than being selfish, is essential if we are to become self-aware and so increase our self-knowledge.  There are many obstacles to engaging in such reflection (not least the buzzing of our mobile phone alerting us to yet another post we shouldn’t be missing), but the benefits of taking time out to reflect and to think through (or ‘process’) how we feel about a particular something can be valuable indeed.  We might be tempted to turn to Google for many of our answers, but one thing that the search giant can’t (yet) provide is an insight into how we feel and think about ‘that’, and maybe why. There aren’t any shortcuts, or daily email digests when it comes to self-awareness and self-knowledge.  Perhaps that might be why we might sometimes prefer logging on to switching off?

If we take time to really get to know ourselves, there is the promise of deeper, more intimate interaction with those we care about, a better understanding of why we react to particular situations in certain ways, and so more choice as to how to conduct ourselves in different settings.  Isn’t that worth taking the time to pause a while and become more of an expert on ‘us’?  Go on – open the pages of the volume that is closest to home.  I guarantee that you will find it a fascinating and illuminating read!

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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