Agony Aunt

Patricia Marie, MBACP qualified counsellor is a member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, practising in Harley Street, Essex and Scotland. She has many years experience of dealing with domestic violence, relationship problems, bereavement, depression, addictions, post traumatic stress and many other emotional issues. If you have a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk

Aftermath of the EU referendum

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 01 July 2016
The Prime Minister has resigned. The leader of the opposition is under threat. Over four million people have requested a second referendum. These are the tangible facts in the aftermath of the EU referendum. The campaign, followed by the voting itself and the result, have had a deep psychological effect on our society, causing intense worry and panic amongst many. Much dissention and bitter conflict has been created, particularly between young adults and those from an older generation. Results showed that a far higher percentage of those aged 18 – 24 voted in favour of Remain, compared to those in the 50+ generation. This can be very painful, particularly within families. However, we must remind ourselves that this is democracy in action, and it is healthy to be able to hold and express differences of opinion openly.

There must be many, when asked for whom they voted, who hesitate to answer for fear of being judged. Nevertheless, it's healthy and stimulating to discuss all the issues, and sometimes the best policy is to agree to disagree. That's the beauty of democratic freedom, but we also need to be respectful of those choosing to vote as they did due to their own particular legitimate concerns. Sadly, social media is currently exhibiting a post-referendum rise in xenophobic attacks, and for those looking online, my advice here is to simply switch off – you do not have to read this abuse. Racial attacks also are becoming more common, but the government is aware and is prioritising this problem as a matter of urgency.

Many, including some of those who voted to leave the EU, are feeling concerned about the future. There is inevitably going to be a period of uncertainty whilst we negotiate the terms of our exit. We do need to keep a sense of perspective, not underestimate our strength and resilience, and trust that our country has faced and triumphed over far greater crises in the past. Cameron's abrupt resignation on the result day did add greatly to the insecurity and confusion that the British people were already feeling. However, the government are doing their best to maintain good relations within Europe, stock markets are already recovering after falling in the two days following the vote, and the pound is climbing back up again. The new Prime Minister will be announced by September 9th, and we must bear in mind that there are some strong, passionate and wise contenders to replace Cameron, who are all optimistic that our nation can and will prosper with a good long term outlook.

The decision to leave the EU has been made, and the process which will remove the uncertainty surrounding this has begun. We should now focus on looking forward with positivity, and healing those relationships that may have been strained by disagreements over the issues. Overall, we must have faith that calm and stability will return.
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