A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. The strangest of dreams. I was in a fine art competition with four other entrants. We each had to chose an object of fine art and suggest how it might be enhanced. This felt weird because I'm not at all artistic. Yet, I remember feeling really enthusiastic and … Continue reading The Competition
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. James' house "James! It's so lovely to see you. I've been looking forward to meeting up for weeks." "Well, don't just stand there, come on in." "And I love Rye. I'm so jealous that you live here." "Yes, Rye is nice." "So, how long has it been, almost … Continue reading A Weekend in Rye
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. What you see, is not what there is: what there is, is is not what you see. The Vice-Chancellor clearly has a problem with being questioned. Well, tough shit! Four people are dead and they were all found on the Cambridge campus. "Okay, just so we're clear, you're … Continue reading The Darkest of Matters
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. Every child's dream "This really is a lovely house, Georgian of course, full of character, and full of history too. It has so many stories to tell. In the nineteenth century for example, Robert Louis Stevenson was a regular visitor. His close friend lived here in Shepherds Bush … Continue reading The Shepherds Bush Treasure
By Brian Robinson. Social Phobia Flow Chart.
By Brian Robinson. Gin with a Twist I could see the pain etched into her face, the sadness, the sense of betrayal. She had begged me to leave this alone. It’s too dangerous she’d said, but I wasn’t going to be told. Anita was my best friend. And I was determined. I could understand why … Continue reading Gin with a Twist
By Brian Robinson. If you've read parts 1, 2 and 3 you're probably wondering when we're going to get to the heart of the matter. You may also be wondering why Exposure Therapy doesn't seem to work with social phobia. For example, a man with a supermarket phobia simply has to visit the supermarket repeatedly, … Continue reading Anxiety: Blushing Part 4: The Problem of Self
By Brian Robinson. A new test for us all. People suffering with health anxiety will be finding life difficult enough without the added complication of the Coronavirus. On the other hand, I recently heard a doctor say that we should all be acting like someone with Contamination OCD. So, should we all be feeling anxious; … Continue reading Anxiety: The Coronavirus
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. Spacetime I noticed that the clock on my bathroom wall had stopped precisely at one minute to three. The second hand had managed the downward descent fine, but when it reached the number nine on the upward ascent, it began to falter in a pulsating time loop. I … Continue reading Twenty Seven
By Brian Robinson. My it's hot in here. If you've read part 2, you will have met with the idea that it makes sense to at least take a brief look at what practical steps may be taken to tackle the problem of blushing. Even if that turns out to be a dead end, it … Continue reading Anxiety: Blushing Part 3: The Practical Pathway
By Brian Robinson. Our face always has a lot to say. But it doesn't always speak for us. If you've read Blushing Part 1, you will have met with the idea that blushing is a strategy designed to help keep us safe. Basically, it is one of a number of non-threatening signals we can send … Continue reading Anxiety: Blushing Part 2: The Therapist’s Problem.
By Brian Robinson. Why do we blush? There are several reasons why we blush. For example, we may get caught in a lie; it might be a sign of guilt or embarrassment; or indeed we sometimes blush when we are attracted to someone. But here, we are only concerned with blushing in social situations; where … Continue reading Anxiety: The Problem With Blushing. Part 1
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. Stonehenge Wiltshire There are things you have to do in life but never quite get around to. That's how it was with Stonehenge. I'm not a religious person, and I'm certainly not into mysticism, but none the less, Stonehenge has always held a deep fascination for me. My … Continue reading Stonehenge: A Guided Tour
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. Crescent shaped buildings at Bath As I boarded the train from Bath to Paddington, serious doubts began to creep in. I was a country boy, born on a farm in Somerset. And I knew that moving to London would be like moving to another planet. Nonetheless, I had … Continue reading Escape From Bath
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. The natural world. "Good morning Mr Pool. Please take a seat. Would you like to tell me a bit about your symptoms." "Over the past few years I seem to have become more and more allergic. My nose gets clogged up; my eyes are gritty; and I'm continually … Continue reading Allergy
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. "Bloody hell! This place is rammed. Is it okay if I sit here? I'll just put my coat on the chair while I get a coffee. Are you sure you don't mind?" "Be my guest, but I'm not in the best of moods though. I'm having a bad … Continue reading The Devil’s Advocate
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. The Milky Way. I was awakened by a massive jolt. I jumped out of bed instinctively. It was exactly 3 am. An earthquake? Someone had dropped a bomb? It felt that bad. I headed straight to my front door. I knew I might have to make a rapid … Continue reading Shift
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. A mask is never enough: it's what lies behind the mask that counts. I had been worried about my husband for ages. There were times when it felt like I was living with a stranger. All I wanted was to be close again to the man I married. … Continue reading A Man of Many Parts
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. My wife insisted I get a Dream Catcher: that's when the nightmare started. I had been having some very bad dreams of late. They always involve running, trying to escape from something terrifying. God knows where these nightmares come from or why they happen? I guess I … Continue reading My Worst Nightmare (Part 1)
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. “Yes, but what should I tell her?” “Right, this won’t fail to get her attention. Tell her I muttered something about ‘the money’. Say ‘you know where it is’. Tell her I said ‘it’s buried in Peter's grave’". “That’s it?” “That’s it. That's enough. If … Continue reading My Worst Nightmare (Part 2)
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. Dr Ellis's waiting room. "You know why we're here Dr Ellis." "Yes, it's about the disappearance of my patient Mr Pool." "He had an appointment with you on Monday of this week and he hasn't been seen since. We believe you were the last person he had contact … Continue reading A Step Too Far: A Step Too Soon?
By Brian Robinson. The old system. The scene: a high level meeting at Google headquarters "Sir, we have a problem...a real big problem." "Okay, hit me with it. But don't get too hi-tech. And remember, yours is a tiny part of our operation, so I know very little about it." "Well, my team and I … Continue reading The Quantum Error
By Brian Robinson. Cracks never come out of nowhere: there is always a reason. "We have to do something about these cracks. They're everywhere, creeping up in the corners of the rooms; hiding behind the wardrobes; cracking the concrete under our feet. This house is falling apart." "What do you suggest dear?" "I suppose it … Continue reading Cracks
By Brian Robinson. In the early hours of a winter's morning, a most horrendous crash is heard. Two people sit bolt upright in bed. "Oh my God! What on earth was that?" "It sounds like a car crashing into our house. But it came from the back so it can't be. You wait here. I'll … Continue reading Frozen
By Brian Robinson. A whisper: innocent enough. "Have you heard the latest, they've found the body of that poor missing boy? "Oh my God no! Do they know what happened?" "Well...murdered obviously. They're not sure if there was a sexual motive yet." "Have you heard, the murdered boy, the attack was sexual. There's a paedophile … Continue reading Chinese Whispers
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. This may sound like a confession but it’s not. I have a child that lives with me, but nobody knows about her. This may sound like a form of abuse, but it really isn't. She lives down three flights of stairs deep in our underground cellar. … Continue reading My Child
By Brian Robinson. The tax adviser My accountant died just recently. Actually, he didn’t just die: he was murdered. Fourteen stab wounds in a vicious and frenzied attack. He must have made a miscalculation somewhere along the line? I’ve always been fascinated by numbers. They have a deeper meaning for me. Two plus … Continue reading The Tax Adviser
By Brian Robinson. Feet on the ground: but where is your head? 'Grounding' is a strategy which aims to shift our focus from our internal world to the external physical world. It is a technique which helps us reconnect with a safe place which offers no threat. This is particularly useful when used in connection … Continue reading Grounding for Anxiety and Panic
By Brian Robinson. Zeros and ones: is that what we are? The dining hall at Cambridge University “Whose turn is it to buy coffee, yours or mine?” “Mine I think.” “Right, well you’d better make yours a large double espresso. You’re going to need it. Can we find a spot in a corner? … Continue reading Newton’s Secret Code
A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson. Some people like to know what the future holds. Much to Troy’s annoyance, Anna stopped abruptly outside the antique shop. Her gaze locked onto a table displayed in the window. It had a deep blue velvet top over three bobbin-turned and ebonised legs. “Let’s go inside,” Anna … Continue reading The Gypsy’s Table
By Brian Robinson. "Look, I need to know what's going on. My husband's been missing for three weeks. He was last seen going into his laboratory in your university. I don't know if he's dead or alive. All I've been told is he's missing. This is your university. You're responsible. And you need to tell … Continue reading Space Odyssey
By Brian Robinson. The anxiety genie, out of the bottle. How do you get the anxiety genie back in the bottle, ten tips: Try and see anxiety as a disorder caused by high tension levels. If you are relaxed you cannot be anxious. Ask yourself throughout the day: is what I'm doing producing tension or … Continue reading Anxiety: 10 Tips to Help Recover
Brian Robinson. The internal network. It can be quite useful to try and come up with a definition for anxiety. I say this because once you have a sound definition, you automatically open up a recovery pathway. So, we might ask, can anxiety be defined as an emotional disorder; is it a tension disorder; is … Continue reading Anxiety: Communication Therapy
By Brian Robinson. Anxiety: a spur to action We know that people react to anxiety in a variety of ways. Some people fly into panic mode. While others tend to sit quiet and ride the panic out. In many instances, how we react to panic can reinforce the idea that we are in danger. Our … Continue reading Anxiety: The Problem With Reactions
By Brian Robinson. A blurred word with blurred meaning. When you attempt to describe a complicated thing, or a number of different things in a single word, it is bound to lead to misunderstandings. For example, when we use the word anxiety what exactly do we mean? What is it we are trying to describe? … Continue reading Anxiety in a Word
By Brian Robinson. Many people who suffer from general anxiety also develop worries about their health. The tendency for this to emerge is a common characteristic of GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) and panic. When this happens, this could be no more than raised health concerns. Or, it could be that the person has developed a … Continue reading Health Phobia
By Brian Robinson. Punching makes sense when there is something to punch. There is nothing more natural than to resist the things we dislike or fear. That's the way we're wired. And most of the time it works. Resistance is our friend: it's not our enemy. But what if the things we are trying to … Continue reading Anxiety: The Problem With Resistance.
By Brian Robinson. Blurred vision Anxiety sufferers can experience a host of troublesome symptoms. This is a characteristic which often makes it a difficult condition to manage. Generally speaking, however, symptoms only arise due to high levels of stress or the fight or flight response having been activated. However, as anxiety sufferers we may believe … Continue reading Anxiety Symptoms: Depersonalisation: Derealisation
By Brian Robinson. The power of pictures If there was no such thing as language, would there be such a thing as OCD? I ask this question, because apart from a few cases where the the intrusive thoughts take the form of images, the vast majority of OCD intrusions come in the form of words … Continue reading OCD: The Power of Pictures
By Brian Robinson. Almost always OCD has two main characteristics i.e. compulsions and intrusive thoughts. Compulsions are what they say on the tin: you have to do them. Intrusive thoughts are difficult too, not only because they are troublesome and uncompromising, but because the sufferer may believe the thoughts represent the absolute truth. The absolute … Continue reading Understanding OCD
By Brian Robinson. Colours: reflections: thoughts. Visualisation can take a thousand forms and can be used towards a variety of ends. When it is used to help with anxiety, it serves as a means of escape to a safe place; as a distraction from troublesome thoughts; and a means to relax the mind. Visualisations work … Continue reading Shamanic Cave: Relaxation and Visualisation Exercise.