Let's Talk About ... Attachment

We all have our individual attachment systems which become activated when we are under stress. when in a relationship, we tend to react to our partner's stress. One of the most common forms of attachment within a relationship is the avoidant-anxious couple where the pain of one partner draws in the other. The avoidant attached partner is drawn to how the other partner expresses how needed he or she is and carries the insecurity they both have. the avoidant partner becomes attractive because of the avoidant behaviour. they follow this pattern and avoid true intimacy because they are very insecure.

How does one handle this in a safe way? Make note of your emotional responses to stress. Be realistic and do not link stress to things that are not there. Talking therapy can help you recognise your attachment system and manage stress properly.  Your inner child can be worked on. A good Therapist can help you unlearn unhelpful patterns and replace them with positive patterns. Such work is painful but healing does take place eventually. Look at it this way... You are investing in your future relationships so you can have a happy and fulfilling intimate existence with your partner.  



Bowlby, J. 2014 John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (Makers of Modern Psychotherapy) Routledge

Gerhardt, S.  2014 Why Love Matters. Routledge

Bowlby, J. 2005 The Making and Breaking of Affectional Bonds Routledge


Self Care

Self Care is essential for a Therapist. Therapists can be affected by Compassion Fatigue (Secondary Trauma) or Vicarious Trauma. Feelings of burn out, irritability, hopelessness, feeling powerless and disillusioned can be detrimental for a Therapist. Take care of yourself. You can help your clients more when you have looked after your self. Good supervision, self care, well-being activities, networking with colleagues, stress busting activities to release endorphins could help. Let your health be your wealth.


Let's Talk About ... Autumn

Autumn is the time for renewal. It is an example of how beautiful change can be. The falling leaves, bare trees, the drop in temperature and the change of clothen.

However, after beautiful summer of positivity, autumn can feel a bit dreary and slow. If you need pick me up, be aware that good nutrition is important. This does not mean a "low calorie" diet - it means nourishing your body with natural ingredients (organic if possible) which will increase your vitality and keep you energised to generate heat in your body. Your serotonin is made in your gut so what you eat contributes to your mood - meaning, anxiety, depression and brain fogginess or being happy, feeling motivated and contented.

Also, get the remnants of the vitamin D in the sun rays as it supports hormone production which helps control your auto-immune and stress response.

Take up a hobby and include a bit of physical exercise. Do things to make you feel healthy and happy.

A few sessions of talking therapy might also help support you make sense of how your body is responding to the weather change. Take care of your self. You cannot live any where else apart from in your body. A healthy mind supports a healthy body. Let your health be your wealth!

Photo Credit: Forestry Commission Scotland


Let's Meet Dr Marilyn Allen

Marilyn Allen PhD is the director of Marilyn Allen Therapeutic Counselling. She is a Therapeutic Counsellor, as well as a Quantum Biofeedback Practioner using various Biofeedback devices in her Clinic. She is also passionate about Natural Medicine, using natural sources to affect well being holistically. She believes everyone can improve their health by relying on natural products and ingesting good healthy unadulterated food (natural is best) for instance, herbs, plant based foods and organic products. She also believes in the effects that well being activities have on the body, for instance, yoga, pilates, martial arts, meditation, exercise and being at one with nature (hiking, gardening etc). She advocates for letting your health be the most important part of your life.
Dr Marilyn runs her Clinic from North London and Central London. She can be contacted atwww.marilynallen.co.uk



Emotions and feelings are tied up with thought structures and belief systems which mould an inner working model in the individual. This is created by the care givers of the individual from infancy in the form of scripts, introjects and such like. Emotions matter. Understanding your emotions will help you understand your behaviour better, and impact on your practice of effective self-care. Love transcends all. Photo: A forest created by an Argentine farmer in memory of his wife. Love truly transcends all.

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Which Tomato Is the Healthiest? by Victor Marchione, MD


Adding tomatoes to that sandwich at lunch or to your salad at dinner is a great idea when it comes to protecting your good health. This is because tomatoes contain a rare red pigment called lycopene. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals. Studies have suggested that lycopene may have twice the cancer-fighting power of beta-carotene. And for men, lycopene seems to concentrate in the prostate, protecting this gland from cancerous tumor growth.

These days, when you go to buy tomatoes at the grocery store, you're likely to see more than just the humble red tomato. There are also yellow, tangerine and even purple varieties available for purchase. But are these colorful varieties just as nutritious as their red cousins? According to recent research, tomatoes don't have to be a deep red color to be a big source of healthful nutrients.

It turns out that the lycopene from orange- and tangerine- colored tomatoes may actually be better absorbed than the lycopene from red tomatoes. It all comes down to the fact that there are two different forms of lycopene: trans- lycopene (found in red tomatoes), and tetra-cis-lycopene (found in orange and yellow tomatoes).

Researchers in Portugal recently compared various tomato varieties and their key bioactive components. Here's a quick summary of what they found out:

-- A cis p-coumaric acid derivative was the most abundant compound in yellow (Amarelo) and round (Batateiro) tomato varieties
-- 4-O-caffeoylquinic acid was the most abundant in long (Comprido) and heart (Coração) varieties
-- The most abundant flavonoid was quercetin-3-0- pentosyl-rutinoside found in four tomato varieties
-- Yellow tomato presented the highest levels of phenolic compounds, including phenolic acids and flavonoids

The next time you pick up some tomatoes, grab some yellow tomatoes. According to this study, they have even more health-boosting phenolic acids and flavonoids than the red variety.’


Let's Talk About ... Celery

It is an anti-oxidant
It has high dietary fibre
It is a diuretic
It reduces bloating
It is very hydrating
It helps detox the liver
It contains 3-n-butylphthalide (BuPH) which helps lower cholesterol
It helps lower inflammation
It helps manage blood pressure issues
It helps protect the lining of the digestive tract from ulcers
It helps fight infections
It may help fight cancer




Let's Talk About ... Parsley

Let's Talk About ... Parsley


It helps promote hair growth

It helps manage halitosis

It helps fight inflammation

It helps fight arthritis and promotes bone health

It is a natural anti-biotic

It detoxifies the body

It helps maintain a healthy heart

It boosts the immune system

It helps in the management of diabetes because it contains myricetin

It contains apigenin and chlorophyll so helps fight cancer

It is affordable

It is easily to obtain

It can be used in salads, smoothies, cooked foods.





Let Us Talk About ... Depression in Adolescents

Adolescents, though may not demonstrate, are sensitive to stress, for instance, environmental stress and physical stress. When the family is going through issues, relationship rupture, self esteem issues, peer issues, bereavement and loss etc, children tend to pick up the stress yet some put on a brave face so as not to cause more stress for their care givers. If this is not addressed, it could trigger depression.


Depression could be down to


- genetic causes (predisposition to depression),

- biological - physical changes in the body

- psycho-social causes - bullying, manipulation, financial issues etc


Symptoms can be


- persistent impairment: when symptoms are everyday for at least two weeks

- severity impairment: when the sufferer is immobilised by the symptoms

- functional impairment: when the sufferer is not able to carry on with day to day functions/routines


For instance:

- tummy aches

- loss of interest in most social activities

- unmotivated

- clinging

- irritability

- sadness

- inability to regulate affect e.g. irrational thoughts

- sleep issues

- detachment

- possible self sabotage e.g. self medication, self harm

- food issues

- anxiety

- self esteem issues



Unhelpful things to say


- you are being too sensitive

- this is just a phase

- get a grip

- you are over reacting

- what now?

- I know how you feel...



Some Treatments


It is important to treat depression to reduce the rate of relapse throughout adolescence and in adulthood. It might help to identify stressors so that treatment is more effective.


- biological treatments - medication

- psychological treatments - individual/group/family therapy

- cultural/social treatments - school/community/family/ friends intervening


Do you feel your child needs help? contact us for a brief chat about your child's needs www.marilynallen.co.uk


Photo Credit: Kings College/Campfire Convention



Mufson l. & K. Pollak Dorta D. Moreau, M.M. Weissman 2011 Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents, 2nd Edn Guilford PressToner J.B & C.A.B. Freeland 2006 Depression, A Teen's Guide To Survive and Thrive. Magination Press

Treisman K. 2006 Working with Relational and Developmental Trauma in Children and Adolescents. Routledge

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Food For Thought

Food for Thought?


10 quick things to do to feed your brain -


1. Water.

2. Berries.

3. Polyunsaturated fats with Omega 3 and DHA like salmon, fatty fish like trout, seeds, nuts.

4. Cut out processed foods which contain unhealthy fats, sugars and additives like preservatives.

5. Dark leafy vegetables rich in minerals, vitamins and taste delicious.

6. Foods and drinks containing Tumeric.

7. Wait for this - Dark Chocolate!

8. Eggs.

9. Oranges.

10. Drink Green Tea.

Photo Credit: YasminBin



Loss/Bereavement can evoke very deep emotions in the sufferer. Such emotions can include:


- being easily irritated

- feeling lonely or alone

- going very deep into your own thoughts and having an existential crisis

- feeling anxious

- having confused feelings

- being scared

- sometimes relief that what you have lost is finally gone

- loss or increase of appetite

- lack of focus

- feeling rejected


If you have experienced a loss and are beginning to experience some of these feelings (it can sometimes take years for these feelings to manifest), do talk to someone, a professional or ring a Charity specialising in Counselling or Psychotherapy. They can support you in making sense of your feelings.


Let's Talk About ... Cholesterol

It is important to manage cholesterol levels as a preventative measure, especially, those who are predisposed to high cholesterol. As part of your holistic regime to well being, the onus is on you to manage/cut back on your LDLs by reducing or eliminating ingredients that increase LDLs in your diet.


Managing your cholesterol can be done by introducing some ingredients into your meals. These ingredients bind cholesterol with fibre and eliminate through the digestive system. Some of these ingredients contain plant sterols and stanols which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.





Butterfield, C., 2015. Lower Cholesterol: Reduce Blood Pressure and Stress (Life) Wilkinson Pub



Photo Credit: healthack, parkseed, cookinglight, louisana green, healthline, triumph dining.