Talking Therapy May Be a More Effective Treatment…

Antidepressant Prescriptions Soar…

Psychotherapy and/or Prescription Medicines..?

Talking Therapy or Prescriptions: The number of antidepressant prescriptions in the UK has risen to an incredible 50 million per year. The rise in prescribing medication for depression can be seen as a strong indicator that people are now recognising -without stigma –  the need for help with their depression. It’s also becoming evident that people see that medication for depression works. For GP’s,  medication is a relatively cheap way of offering help to a patient struggling with depression or anxiety.

While undoubtedly antidepressants work and serve a good purpose for many people, it is questionable whether they are always the best form of treatment for depression. Antidepressants are very good at quickly alleviating overwhelming feelings, but the medication does  not tackle the underlying causes of the psychological difficulty. It is, perhaps, easy for people to become reliant on medication for depression and stay medicated for years, with out ever really tackling the underlying causes of the depression.  Dependence on antidepressants is now commonplace – where the fear of reducing the dose and stopping the medication all together, becomes problematic.

Talking Therapy

At the Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice, we believe that medication can be very useful when treating patients for depression – particularly when function is severely impaired -so when a patient struggles to get out of bed, or becomes very isolated or has suicidal thoughts – but we recommend that patients on antidepressants are also in weekly psychotherapy or counselling.  Psychotherapy and counselling helps people,  suffering with depression, understand and resolve the underlying causes of the difficulty. Greater awareness and understanding of the causes of depression help the individual move through the difficulty.  At the Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice it is our aim to support patients through their depression and help them to become self reliant and free from the need to medicate their depression.

Please see our page on psychotherapy & the benefits of talking therapy

Antidepressant Prescriptions Soar, While Talking Therapy Maybe a More Effective Treatment

Psychotherapy and/or Prescription Medicines..?

The number of antidepressant prescriptions in the UK has risen to an incredible 50 million per year. The rise in prescribing medication for depression can be seen as a strong indicator that people are now recognising -without stigma –  the need for help with their depression. It’s also becoming evident that people see that medication for depression works. For GP’s,  medication is a relatively cheap way of offering help to a patient struggling with depression or anxiety.

While undoubtedly antidepressants work and serve a good purpose for many people, it is questionable whether they are always the best form of treatment for depression. Antidepressants are very good at quickly alleviating overwhelming feelings, but the medication does  not tackle the underlying causes of the psychological difficulty. It is, perhaps, easy for people to become reliant on medication for depression and stay medicated for years, with out ever really tackling the underlying causes of the depression.  Dependence on antidepressants is now commonplace – where the fear of reducing the dose and stopping the medication all together, becomes problematic.

At the Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice, we believe that medication can be very useful when treating patients for depression – particularly when function is severely impaired -so when a patient struggles to get out of bed, or becomes very isolated or has suicidal thoughts – but we recommend that patients on antidepressants are also in weekly psychotherapy or counselling.  Psychotherapy and counselling helps people,  suffering with depression, understand and resolve the underlying causes of the difficulty. Greater awareness and understanding of the causes of depression help the individual move through the difficulty.  At the Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice it is our aim to support patients through their depression and help them to become self reliant and free from the need to medicate their depression.

Addressing Loneliness with Psychotherapy and Counselling

Doctors are now becoming aware of the detrimental effects loneliness can have on people’s well being. The busy lives that we lead and the increase in technology that makes it easier for people to live, work and entertain themselves on their own and the decrease in the more traditional family and communities all contribute to the rise in lonely people. These people, doctors are reporting, are nearly twice as likely to die prematurely as those who do not suffer feelings of isolation.

A report written by Professor John Cacioppo called ‘Rewarding Social Connections Promote Successful Ageing’ looks into the effect of satisfying relationships on the elderly.

This report found that elderly people were more able to recover from adversity if they had the support of friendships from where they gained strength. For those who did not have connections to turn to, this loneliness had a negative effect upon their health. Their feelings of isolation contributed to raised blood pressure, lower immunity, disrupted sleep, depression and an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol. All these could be countered by keeping in touch with family and friends.

Loneliness can lead to many other painful emotions, such as vulnerability, depression, worthlessness, anger and emptiness. Often the fear of rejection, of being disliked or unwanted may give an impression of being unapproachable and thereby stops people getting close to others.

A 2010 report commissioned by The Mental Health Foundation quotes research that suggests lonely people often share certain characteristics: these include more of a history of loss or trauma and a childhood spent with negative, critical and harsh parenting.

Speaking to a trained psychotherapist or counsellor can help with understanding what psychological fears and experiences may lie behind social isolation and the consequent feelings of loneliness and thereby build a confidence to grow a supportive and satisfying social network.

The psychotherapists at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice have many years experience of helping people who suffer loneliness and isolation.

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice is found at 121 Harley Street in London.

 

Post Natal Depression – Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice Offers Specialist Help

Post natal depression once again hit the headlines this week  with the tragic story of  a young mother,  so depressed and sleep deprived,  that she killed her five week old baby.

The woman  had visited her GP and had been offered anti-depressants but no talking therapy, it was reported in a serious case review last week.   The woman was left completely unsupported and took only one of the anti-depressants because she felt ashamed of her depression. The case highlights the need for more open discussion about Post Natal Depression – it’s a condition that effects 10 per cent of all new mothers and yet remains stigmatized and shrouded in shame.

New mothers often feel alone with their depression. The pressure to be a perfect mother – happy and fully functioning – can be overwhelming when the reality, for many women,  is that new motherhood is difficult and clouded by depression. It is vital that new mothers, suffering with depression, are listened to and supported. At the Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice we offer private counselling and psychotherapy for post natal depression. Getting support on the NHS seems to becoming increasingly difficult but it’s important that women do explore what might be available to them. Health visitors, midwives and GP’s should be the first to be contacted – they should have information and options to help support new mothers suffering with depression.

Symptoms of PND include:

Hopelessness

Anger

Sadness

Disappointment

Insomnia

 

Ways of coping:

Call GP

Share your feelings with a friend or your partner

Take small steps – try to get out of the house once a day

Speak to your health visitor

Think about joining Mum’s groups and finding other new mothers who may be feeling the way you do.

Remember  you are not alone in suffering with PND – 70,000 women per year are diagnosed.

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice offers weekly, individual  psychotherapy and counselling for new mothers. The therapists at the Cavendish practice are all highly experienced in working with Post Natal Depression.  Sharing your experiences and sadness with a trained psychotherapist can reduce your depression and help you find the clarity to move forward into healthy motherhood.

 

 

 

 

 

Eating disorders discussed on Radio 4 tonight

Doctor Mark Porter on Anorexia…

… on Radio 4 tonight at 9pm, when he talks about the possible issues behind the eating disorder on the weekly Insde Health programme discussing and de-bunking common misapprehensions on health issues. On the trailer heard today, he stated that the causes were often assumed to be obsession with weight and image but – as we see on our website page, newly updated last month on our website (see our page on eating disorders & anorexia) – there are often many other reasons behind the issue.

Of course we don’t know what he’ll be discussing and/or concluding but we’re sure it’ll be interesting listening.

For more details about the Inside Health programme, click here and explore.

Men are Less likely to Seek Psychotherapy or Counselling than Women

Men are More Reluctant to Seek Psychotherapy and Counselling help than Women

In a recent article published in the BACP’s monthly magazine, ‘Therapy today’, Colin Penning writes, “Many people think men’s emotional literacy and ability to articulate their feelings is less than that of women. The question then is, do these assumptions about men reflect a stereotype or a reality? This was the question that Relate and the Men’s Health Forum set out to explore in their new report Try to See it My Way.

We know that men are more reluctant than women to seek support and advice when relationships run into difficulties. Far fewer men use telephone advice and helpline services. We also know that men are less likely to access counselling services generally. Men make up just 36 per cent of referrals to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. They are also under-represented in relationship support services: just 44 per cent of Relate’s clients are men.

So why can’t (or won’t) men seek help for emotional problems? The first and most obvious answer is that men are socialised not to admit to vulnerability, which is a prerequisite of securing help. The second is that maybe we aren’t offering the kind of support that men can relate to and that they find helpful.

The report suggests work is a key factor. Men’s tendency to work longer hours can cause relationship problems and conflicts around the life–work balance; financial difficulties can increase pressure on the man, who is often still the primary breadwinner in the family.

One of the key findings of the report is that men and women have very different approaches to communication. Insights generated by two focus groups of Relate counsellors found that men have a tendency to want to ‘solve problems’ while women want to discuss change and understand why things have happened. So men are coming to counselling with unrealistic expectations.

But the Relate counsellors told us that men may have become more open to the idea of relationship counselling in recent years. And they told us there may be things we can do to reach out to and engage men in taking better care of their own emotional health.

Our report makes a series of recommendations. Some are to national Government around raising men’s awareness of the importance of emotional health and making personal, social and health education a statutory requirement in schools. ”

Admitting to finding things difficult and seeking help is not a weakness. The therapists at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice have many years experience working through issues presented by male patients in order to discover what lies at the root of their difficulties.

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice is found at 121 Harley Street, London.

Psychotherapy In Harley Street & In London

How Many Psychotherapists Are There…?

According to the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) there are over 7000 registered psychotherapists practitioners in the UK and with non-registered psychotherapists who might or might not be practising, who know how many there are in total in the UK.

We know from a piece of research we did a year or two ago that there were over 200 pyschotherapists within a mile of Harley Street at the heart of Central London´s famous centre for private medical excellence. And it wouldn’t surprise us to know that anything up to half of the 7000 practising therapists are in the M25 area in and around London.

So with so many therapist counsellors, how do you choose the right therapist for you?

This is a good question especially if you know that you need or want therapy and may not have any idea of the various types of therapy available*. When you are in this situation, you may want help with understanding different approaches. And of course this will depend on the  issue or issues about which you are concerned. Given that psychotherapy is talking therapy, maybe the best way is to telephone therapists that you may have seen in searches (or better when you have heard about through word of mouth) and have an initial chat about any issues that you want to touch on. Then make your mind up after that chat. Part of any therapy that follows will depend on your trust in your therapist who should be sypmathetic  but objective.  Always choose a reputable and qualifed therapist to talk to. UKCP psychotherapists have five years training and over 450 hours of client consultation before they can register.

Harley Street has a world-wide reputation for the quality of it’s medical excellence. Read More about Harley Street.

* Please see our Choosing the right psychotherapy counselling page

Talking Therapy Beats Drugs in Tackling Depression

Bristol University says cognative therapy & drugs are better than drugs alone

So says says a new report, as released from Reuters yesterday and published in The Lancet.

In the first large-scale trial to test the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, alongside medication for depression, scientists said they found that the combination works where drug treatment alone fails

The study compared those diagnosed with depression split into two trial groups, one just with drugs and one with drugs and with cognative therapy (or CT). Improved symptoms were found to be in 22% versus 46% respectively, showing a distinct benefit to those having talking therapy in addition to anti-depressant drugs.

The report concludes that these therapies should be more widely available. It did not state whether the CT should be used to reduce drug use.

This is obviously a popular story with the same report being reproduced all around the world. WHO estimates say that major deprerssion may one day rival heart disease as the #1 health concern. Over 20% of world populations are estimated to suffer at least once in their lifetimes.

Within the family of Cognative Therapy,  you may find CBT (cognative behavoural therapy) and CAT (cognative analytic therapy) which differs because CAT is rooted in cultural and social process whereas CBT can be seen as a one-size-fits-all (a monadic) model. Cognative analytic therapy emphasises the patient’s circumstance – place and meaning –  putting into perspective the symptoms, mood, behaviour and relationship with their own values and understanding.

Therapies will vary and your therapist will help guide you after an initial discussion. Please see our main website for more details – the right therapy.

Ed Miliband Talks of the Need for Better Psychological and Psychotherapy Support

The Leader of the Opposition Calls for an Attitude Change to Mental Health and Supports Psychological and Psychotherapy Change in the NHS

In a speech to the Royal College of Psychiatrists on Monday, Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, likened attacks on people suffering mental health problems to the fight against sexism, racism and homophobia.

He expressed his desire that people suffering from mental health issues would be able to access psychotherapy and counselling therapies and drug treatments in the NHS to the same levels as the physically ill can. At the moment he claims that the cost to the NHS is around £10bn and £20bn to businesses and although the change to the NHS constitution that he proposes would be expensive, ultimately the cost would be less due to early intervention.

He also criticised the attitude in society to these issues, calling them, ‘lazy caricatures’ and attacking celebrities such as Janet Street-Porter and Jeremy Clarkson for making light of the sufferers struggles.

He said, “There are still people who abuse the privilege of their celebrity to insult, demean and belittle others, such as when Janet Street-Porter says that depression is ‘the latest must-have accessory’ promoted by the ‘misery movement’.

“Jeremy Clarkson at least acknowledges the tragedy of people who end their own life but then goes on to dismisses them as ‘Johnny Suicides’ whose bodies should be left on train tracks rather than delay journeys.

“Just as we joined the fight against racism, against sexism and against homophobia, so we should join the fight against this form of intolerance. It is not acceptable, it costs Britain dear, and it has to change.”

He goes on to say, “One in four of us will have a mental illness at some point in our lifetime. It is the biggest unaddressed health challenge of our age. There are so many people in Britain today who could be treated but who are intimidated from seeking help. And so many people who need support but who believe that no one will care.

“For far too long our leading politicians have been far too silent about mental health, part of a taboo running across our society which infects both our culture and our politics.

“It is a taboo which not only blights the lives of millions but also puts severe strain on the funding of our NHS and threatens Britain’s ability to pay our way in the world. It is a taboo which must be broken if we are to rebuild Britain as one nation.

“In fact, everybody has a part to play. Only a nation acting together can overcome the challenge we face”.

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practise, which comprises three female, professional psychotherapists can be found at 121, Harley Street, London.

Boredom can be Explored with Psychotherapy and Counselling

Self Destructive Behaviour can be the Result of Boredom and can be Explored with Psychotherapy and Counselling

Dr John Eastwood, a psychologist at York University, Toronto and joint author of ‘The Unengaged Mind’, a major new paper on the theory of boredom believes that boredom, although common, is neither trivial nor benign.

Boredom, he points out, has been associated with increased drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, depression and anxiety, and an increased risk of making mistakes. Although mistakes at work may not have dire consequences for most of us, for people with jobs such as air controllers or pilots, boredom leading to the lack of concentration can be very serious.

In his report, Eastwood states boredom to be “the aversive experience of wanting, but being unable, to engage in satisfying activity.” He further states, “All instances of boredom involve a failure of attention, and attention is what you are using now to blot out the plethora of stimuli around you while you focus awareness on a given topic.”

Attention involves three functions:

1. One has to be suitably aroused so as not to fall asleep

2. We have an orientation system that can cut in. e.g. you can still respond to movement in the corner of your eye if a car approaches as you cross the road

3. We have an executive system that oversees our mental activity so that we can stay engaged even if the task is not interesting

Boredom occurs when any of these functions break down.

As an innevitable experience, boredom can be seen as positive. Dr Esther Priyadharshini a senior lecturer in education at the University of East Anglia, says “We can’t avoid boredom. It’s an inevitable human emotion. We have to accept it as legitimate and find ways it can be harnessed. We all need downtime, away from the constant bombardment of stimulation. There’s no need to be in a frenzy of activity at all times.” She claims that it can stimulate creativity as a signal for change.

However, for some it may not have such positive outcomes. Those who have suffered extreme trauma are more likely to complain of boredom than others. It is thought that this is because the person emotionally shuts down, thereby finding it harder to work out what they need. They may be left with free-floating desire, without knowing what to pin it on. This lack of emotional awareness is known as alexithymia and can affect anyone.

Frustrated dreamers who have not realised their goals can expend all their emotional energy on hating themselves or the world, and find they have no attention left for anything else. Bungee jumpers and thrill-seekers may also be particularly susceptible to boredom, as they feel the world is not moving fast enough for them. They constantly need to top up their high levels of arousal and are always searching for stimulation from their environment.

Eastwood states that, “Boredom isn’t a nice feeling, so we have an urge to eradicate it and cope with it in a counterproductive way. This may be what drives people to destructive behaviours such as gambling, overeating, alcohol and drug abuse, though research is needed to tease out whether there’s a direct causal link”.

“The problem is we’ve become passive recipients of stimulation. “We say, ‘I’m bored, so I’ll put on the TV or go to a loud movie.’ But boredom is like quicksand: the more we thrash around, the quicker we’ll sink.”

Psychotherapy and Counselling is a useful way to explore self destructive behaviour patterns that could be the result of boredom. The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice, comprising three female therapists can be found at 121 Harley Street, London.