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Is our ego real? Or simply a mental construct?

Is our ego real? Or simply a mental construct?

We’ve all heard of the ego before: both Freud and Jung gave us a comprehensive introduction. However we do not need to study psychology in detail to recognise the ego - we can see it in ourselves or in others if we observe. 

The co-worker flashing his around the office, or the rich and famous flaunting their possessions are often criticised for having big egos, however the truth is that all of us have one. 

Aside from the latter- the guy who we say is 'full of himself' - the ego is often referred to as the conscious mind, the part of our identities which we consider to be the “self”. The part that in Freud’s theory mediates between the desired of the id and the super-ego. One thing we do know for sure, is that what we believe to be our real selves or “the self” ultimately dictates our whole lives.

October offers for Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy oils

October offers for Aromatherapy

The Hope Street Centre is delighted to have a new therapist on board, Cindy Lyon. 

Cindy offers aromatherapy massage, Swedish massage and other treatments. She is fully qualified and has been practising for over ten years.

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine technique which involves massage with essential oils. These oils are derived from the essence of plants, flowers, trees and berries.

The massage itself – an all-over body massage or a part body massage - allows the essential oils to carry out their therapeutic effect. 

Although modern aromatherapy originated within the last hundred years, essential oils have been used to heal since ancient civilization.

What can you expect from treatment?

What makes us conscious?

What makes us conscious?

What makes us conscious?

A special type of brain cell could give us consciousness

Wouldn’t it be amazing if our consciousness came from something as small as a brain cell?

Some scientists believe this is the case with the discovery of a special type of brain cell. Found in just two areas of the human brain, these cells are known as “Von Economo Neurons”.

Only recently discovered in the human brain, these rare types of cells have an interesting structure – one that suggests their purpose is to rapidly send information. This suggests they have a role to play in intuition, which is important as it allows us to overcome uncertainty and make quick decisions.

More fascinating perhaps is the finding that these cells reside in high numbers in just two small areas of the brain. These areas, the anterior cingulate and the anterior insula, have been linked with self-awareness, empathy, social reasoning and emotion.

Living stories

I love stories. 

 I read and re-read my favourites and watch my favourite films over and over again.

 I love being swept along in lives of my favourite characters as they make decisions and take actions. They know only what the author lets them know and are able to draw only on the character traits that the author has given them.

 Of course, once I’ve read the story I can never again not know what’s going to happen. I can never again not know what decision a character will make or what they will do.

Motivational Interviewing Programme as a Pre-Therapy


“Motivational Interviewing is a style of talking pre-therapy that can be utilised in response to an individual presenting ambivalence or resistance to Positive Change” (Moyers, 2000)

As a Consultant Academic for Lord Ashcroft’s Veterans’ Transition Review, I was asked to comment on “dual diagnosis care”, in relation to Veterans presenting symp-toms of PTSD and using self-medication as a treatment (Ashcroft et al, 2014; Meis-ler, 1996).  It is generally accepted that those with addiction/habit issues often present “ambivalent” and “resistant” behaviours that prevents positive behaviour change (Kemp, 2011, p434).  This is supported by my own experiences as a counsellor as I have experienced ambivalence and resistance in clients, and at first they are strongly motivated for positive change, but frustratingly change takes a long time to material-ise.  

Good communication isn't magic!

Picture the scene, if you will. It is Christmas at the table of the Dickensian Cratchit family. The family is sitting down to a meagre Christmas lunch, prepared by Mrs Cratchit, and appreciated with many compliments and congratulations by her family. Sisters and brothers politely help one another to the dishes of the season’s celebratory fare. There is a well-mannered and caring atmosphere as children and parents converse with respect and humour.

The changing nature of human relationships in the 21st Century

The nature of human relationships has changed so much in a relatively short space of time... and as a result how we connect with one another...

In this video, Maurice Tomkinson, owner and psychotherapist at The Hope Street Centre talks about the diversity of people he has worked with and the ways in which therapy can help with communication and enhancing relationships.

Thank you to Lyn Lowe at Whisper Creative for producing this video

A word paints a picture

There is a sub-urban pond close to where I live. It is named after the larger of the residential roads that border it and carries the designation “Pit”. It is surrounded by hedges of hawthorn, birch trees and hornbeams. For many years probably, I am ashamed to say, upward of 15 years, I avoided entering the “Pit”.

One day, for a reason I don’t remember but was probably to do with an internal voice telling me, in no uncertain terms, that I was being ridiculous and I really should be better informed about my neighbourhood, I entered the park through the kissing gate.

Welcome on board Dewi Thompson


A warm welcome to our newest therapist to join The Hope Street Centre. Dewi Thompson joined our team just two weeks ago, having gained lots of experience at North Staffs Mind and within the IAPT service. Dewi says:

"Sometimes it is difficult to talk to those close to you about things that are troubling you. You may feel embarrassed about what is bothering you, or you may feel that you will get a bad reaction if you tell someone close to you.

Counselling can give you that opportunity to talk to someone who can help you look at how you are feeling without judging you and giving you their own opinion on what you should do."

Lower Stress, Increase Productivity and Wellbeing


If you are responsible for or support individuals in your organisation then this under 4 minute video with Tianne Croshaw - one of our Mental and Emotional Resilience Coaches - is a must see.

Stress in the workplace is on the increase as are the days employees are taking off due to stress and anxiety. Also on the increase is Presenteeism, where employees aren't absent from work but are much less productive and engaged.

Tianne will share what is happening to stressed individuals on a biological level and what the simple solution is.

About us

The Hope Street Centre is an independent centre located in the attractive rural market town of Sandbach in South Cheshire, with easy access to the M6 motorway and the railway network at Crewe.  The centre is readily accessible from the neighbouring towns of Congleton, Alsager, Middlewich, Holmes Chapel, Knutsford, Crewe, Kidsgrove, Winsford, Northwich, Warrington and Stoke on Trent.

To contact one of our therapists click this link
Our Address: 10 Hope Street, SANDBACH, Cheshire, CW11 1BA
Telephone:      01270 764003 (weekday afternoons only)

Related Sites

Brightstone Clinic - a not for profit organisation operating from The Hope Street Centre premises, offering low cost counselling. Placements available to volunteers in training or recently qualified counsellors.
The Resilience Programme - resilience building programme for mindful employers looking to invest in the health and wellbeing of their workforce.

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