Depression Part 6: suicide

Statistically, suicide is the highest cause of death in men between age 20 and 49.  The suicide statistics are shocking, and greater numbers of men take their own lives than are killed in road accidents, or by cancer and coronary heart disease.  Of the 6 233 suicides in the UK in 2013, a remarkable 78%…

Depression Part 5: Listening to Elvis

“I believe the key to happiness is: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.” – Elvis Presley 3 key changes to remember: find someone to love in our life do something we love to do every day have something we love to look forward to Someone or some thing to…

Depression Part 4: downhill or uphill?

There are simple reasons we end up depressed, getting deeper and deeper into a state of numbness or hopelessness or meaninglessness or apathy.  All of the characteristics of a depressed state are the result of going away from something.  That something could be a problem, difficulty or truth we are avoiding.  Or feelings.  Or people. …

Depression Part 3: ‘bad’ feelings, alcohol and substance misuse

The world loves to divide feelings and thoughts into ‘good’ and ‘bad’.  But feelings and emotions really aren’t good or bad in the moral sense.  When we call them ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we tend to mean pleasant or unpleasant, comfortable or uncomfortable.  Most importantly, feelings and emotions are useful information; information designed to tell us…

Depression Part 2: a well-worn path

Depression is one of the most common afflictions of human beings and one of the main reasons why people seek some form of help.  Depression has been medicalised in the last hundred years and ‘treated’ as a disease.  In some cases there are, of course, biological or other physical reasons for depression, such as chronic…

Depression Part 1: two simple steps on your road to recovery

First of all, this isn’t a ‘how to get over depression’ guide.  It’s something of a response to quite a few blog posts and articles on depression I’ve been reading lately and some concerns about what I’ve read.  Many of the blog posts I’ve been reading seem to automatically define depression in medical terms and…

The Outsider Part 4: the scapegoat, and surviving the dysfunctional group

The definition of a scapegoat is “a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency”.  The name has its origins in the Bible, whereby the scapegoat was “a goat sent into the wilderness after the Jewish chief priest had symbolically laid the sins of the people…

Passive-Aggression: an expression of inauthenticity

Passive-aggression: the Suppressed, Repressed, Dissociated Possibly one of the most pervasive features of undesireable or antisocial behaviour we find in society is passive-aggression.  Passive-aggression is aggressive or hostile energy that is undertaken to emotionally injure or insult the recipient in a way that conceals the intent of the aggressor.  It is the result of hostility,…

Considering Starting Psychotherapy or Counselling?

Where to start The psychotherapy, counselling and psychology field can be very confusing if you are unfamiliar with how it all works and have no experience of seeking such help and don’t know where to start.  Here are a few points to consider: People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. They prefer…

Groups

Groups and Families I offer opportunities to work in small, safe groups of up to four people at a time in a comfortable, informal setting, with each meeting lasting 90 minutes.  Group therapeutic work has particular benefits to participants as it provides opportunities to express oneself in a secure and confidential environment with support and…

Beyond Asylum: society’s contribution to mental distress

[updated January 12, 2019] Mental distress as the individual’s expression of societal overwhelm I’ve been a psychotherapist for nearly twenty years and the longer I practice the more I recognise the foundational cause of human distress and disturbance tends not to be an isolated failing in the individual, nor defect or deficit, not a pathology,…

The Outsider Part 2: living off-label

Whilst most of us long for kinship with others who will accept us, approve of us, validate our ideas and beliefs, some of us don’t. Many of us will adjust ourselves in order to fit in and secure such approval, or for the sake of ‘a quiet life’, even to the extent of compromising our…

Why is CBT still being promoted as a cure-all?

As a psychotherapist I continue to come across the ad nauseam promotion of CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – both within the NHS and outside of it for what seems to be any and every ailment known to man, woman and child. This is partly due to the lasting momentum of a politically-motivated campaign of…

Suffer the Little Children: abuse and its legacy for survivors

The term ‘child abuse’ opens a Pandora’s Box of definitions and meanings.  From words like neglect to domestic-, emotional-, physical- and sexual abuse; to bullying, genital mutilation, exploitation, trafficking, grooming – the list goes on.  These definitions describe the behaviours of the perpetrators: words for what ‘they’ did.  Not what ‘we’ did… But this post…

Healing Minds: what works for you?

Often we are so socialised into looking to ‘professionals’ for their expertise that we forget that, prior to the boom in professions, we did a pretty good job of taking care of ourselves and one another.  Family, neighbours, community, aunts and uncles, grandparents: all of these community bonds have been eroded by massive shifts in…

Change Your World: Self-healing and Loving Kindness

Inspired by an article I read speaking about the benefits of pets to depressed people, I wanted to write a little bit about the therapeutic value of caring for other living things both as an aid to preventing and treating mental disturbance, particularly but not exclusively depression. “The greatness of a nation and its moral…

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Self-healing: a shift from pain to compassion in five minutes

Periods of mental distress are often characterised by a hyper-focus on our own struggles to the exclusion of everything else.  In the midst of pain and suffering, loneliness and desperation we can end up so concentrated on the distressing aspects of our lives and on what is missing that we literally forget ourselves and what’s…

Existential Analysis and the differences between a psychotherapist, counsellor, psychologist, CBT therapist, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst!

This is a somewhat contentious area for many practitioners because, as with most fields of endeavour, everyone has their own territorial imperatives and personal definitions.  So with that disclaimer, here is my simple outline of the differences between each of these helping activities. Psychotherapist Psychotherapy tends to be considered a more ‘in depth’ and sometimes…

5G and Electromagnetic frequencies harmful to mental and physical health

(above) Dr Barrie Trower, Royal Navy military microwave weapons expert, consultant and researcher Sources of EMF pollution Devices which emit and receive microwave and other Electromagnetic (EMF) radiation frequencies known to be harmful to health, including mental health: SMART meters mobile phones cordless (DECT) phones wifi microwaves ovens the TETRA system (used by police, fire…

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