Articles by Ann Lowe

Support for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Support for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Support for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) often describe that they experience repetitive, intrusive, unpleasant thoughts. 

The healing power of stories

The healing power of story

"I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work with them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom." Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, author, poet, spoken word artist and Jungian psychoanalyst. 

The use of story goes way back in our culture, to a time before we were literate. Story was used as a way of sharing knowledge and information, helping others, and healing. In ancient traditions, one person within the tribe or culture would be allocated the role of storyteller and it would be their job to share stories that would bring the community together to learn and bond.

I find that what is beautiful about our culture, is that now all of us have the chance to take on that role. We can all be storytellers if we wish.

Consciousness and Relaxation: brothers or mortal enemies?

Consciousness and relaxation

When you think about relaxation, how might you describe this to someone? Watching TV? Listening to music? These descriptions are actually further from relaxation than you may think. You might also think that they allow you to switch off your “conscious processes” for a while, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Whilst it is true that some kinds of music might help you to feel relaxed, if you’re watching a detective show on television or a thriller, you’re not allowing yourself to induce what is called “the relaxation response”.

This is because our bodies are releasing lots of what we call “hormones” and “neurotransmitters”. These are the chemicals our brains release. They are responsible for everything that goes on in our bodies – our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. They are also involved in the stress response – when levels of these go up we are prepared for “fight or flight”, and when they come down, we feel relaxed.

Are you looking for a cost effective space in which to host a meeting, workshop or group?

Room rental

If so, you may wish to consider The Hope Street Centre. We currently have availability for local groups and community events on a Sunday (other times may be available depending upon your requirements).

The space would lend itself well to yoga classes, book clubs, writers groups, or meetings, however please get in touch to discuss your options. 

We have 5 rooms available, all of different sizes which can be viewed by arrangement. Rooms will be charged out at £12 per hour. 

The Hope Street Centre is a tranquil building in the heart of Sandbach, close to Junction 17 off the M6. There is ample free parking close by. 

If you are interested in finding out more, please call Ann Lowe on 01270 764003.

Meeting rooms to rent in Sandbach

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.

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.

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

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.

Watching The Pocket Watch, From Misaligned Myth to Trusted Therapy, by Joanna Gibb


The traditional image of hypnotherapy is one filled with mistrust; pocket-watches swinging to-and-fro before an expectant audience, onions becoming apples in the eyes of the beholder and grandmothers aping farmyard animals before the bliss of a snap-induced amnesia. In order to understand hypnotherapy and the reasons behind its continued use one must first understand what a hypnotic state is. The hypnotic state actually occurs naturally in our day-to-day lives, “if you’ve ever really gotten into reading a book or watching a television show and the rest of the world around you has sort-of gone away. Hypnosis is very similar to that” [Katie Durchester, Stanford University] . It may be described as a meditative state in which a person reaches an enhanced sense of relaxation, however on a psychological and biological front it appears to go deeper than that.

How to tell if you are truly stressed


How do we know if we are truly stressed, or simply caught up in a series of frustrations?

An artistry of juggling family, work, and individual day-to-day commitments, Twenty-first Century life has become a veritable circus under the big-top of expectations and culture of progress that has engulfed modern society. It provokes little wonder that the number of reported stress-related ailments have increased exponentially to such an extent that 39% of all work-related illnesses and subsequent absences are associated with stress.

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.

Our Address: 10 Hope Street, SANDBACH, Cheshire, CW11 1BA
Telephone:      01270 764003 (weekday afternoons only)

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