I’m talking to many people who find that September heralds in a New Year. The academic year (or football season in my neck of the woods) scores deeply into many of us who went on to Further Education, making September a time to start ‘afresh’, new pencil case in hand, with resolutions in place or new projects to pursue. A summer break – like the Christmas one – can give some much needed space for life to be thought about differently, time to be spent with family or friends and maybe even an opportunity for over-indulgence on the food/drink front. It’s harder to disguise too much Sangria in a swimsuit as against winter woollies.

Motivation to make changes in our lives can get derailed for less than obvious reasons though – sometimes it’s not just a case of ‘procrastination’ or ‘laziness’, but something more profound to do with our relationship with ourselve. Therapy may help with this enquiry as to why we may keep stalling at improving our way of being, and this often (in my experience) seems to be tied up with how self-compassionate we can be. This is a practice (it takes commitment and effort) that runs deeper than just ‘being kinder to myself’ and seems to be one of the thorniest issues in my practice – whatever the presenting issue in fact, not just New Year resolution-making.