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.

 

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.

Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice Quoted in Online Mental Health Magazine

Jessica Sinclair of The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice was recently quoted in the onine mental health magazine, ‘Mental Healthy’.

The article is concerned with the affects of sport on mental wellbeing.

‘Exercise for mental health with caution

“I have seen a growing body of evidence over the last few years to support the thinking that exercise does improve mood,” says Jessica Sinclair, a psychotherapist at London’s Cavendish Psychotherapy practice.

“Exercise releases endorphins into the body and increases the concentration of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which are good for stress improvement and managing low moods.”

Despite the clear advantages, Sinclair warns that the promotion of exercise as a means of improving mental health could have its dangers if not suitably advertised and managed.
“It should be ensured that the message is conveyed responsibly and correctly. Exercise alone may not be enough to address all mental health issues.”
“As a psychotherapist, I would not ‘prescribe’ exercise to clients seeking treatment for a mental illness. Rather, we would explore the clients’ thoughts and feelings towards exercise, so that they are able to make a decision themselves as to whether they feel it would help. It is down to the individual to decide. It is not just the mental health of people that needs to be considered when encouraging more exercise; it should be ensured that a person is physically well enough too.”
So maybe it’s not necessary for the whole of the UK to reach for the pedal pushers just yet. But we can still revel in the comfort that the subject of mental illness in sport is gathering great momentum.’

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice is based on London’s Harley Street.

Psychotherapy Support for Suicidal Older Men

Need for Psychotherapy and Counselling Support as Evidence Shows the Increase in Suicide of Older Men 

The Office for National Statistics has released data showing that the number of suicides amongst men aged over 55 has risen by 12% over the past decade, whilst suicides by men aged under 34 dropped by 30%. These statistcs are supported by the mental health charity, Calm who claim that men aged 45-54 are the most likely to consider taking their own life.

Jane Powell, the Chief Executive of Calm, also points out that there is a large difference between the number of men who take their life compared with the number of women, the higher number being men. Official Statistics show that 4,517 people in England and Wales killed themselves in 2010, of whom 75% were men.

She speculates, “If you are middle-aged just now and your job and life prospects are diminishing then this is tough. There is work to show that the impact of unemployment hits men harder, and later on in life; that it’s easier for women whose lives are not necessarily defined by work and for whom part-time or temporary work isn’t by definition bad. Our research shows that thinking about suicide is more common than we realise, and that men and women are almost equally liable to feel suicidal. What is significant is that more men actually go on to take their lives.”

Two possible reasons for this could be, “First, because men are by default supposed to be in control, in charge at all times and so therefore needing help is by definition unmanly. And second because all too often men don’t recognise what the problem is, they’ll feel out of control, angry with everything, find that their life is out of focus, not be interested in what’s happening around them, and they won’t recognise that they are depressed. And because as a man they’re supposed to be invulnerable, then suddenly the options they have of getting out of their situation start to look very slim.”

Further statistics in a YouGov survey concerned with adults who have considered suicide illustrate the importance of relationship status. The number of children in a household was also a factor, with 18% of men with one child expressing suicidal thoughts, compared with 27% with three or more children.

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans, said: “There is strong evidence to show that interventions to support people at risk of suicide make a difference”.

Depression and subsequent suicidal thoughts are not uncommon. Recognising these thoughts and feelings and seeking help are important steps to intervene in a possible downward spiral. The professional psychotherapists at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice on London’s Harley Street are experienced in working with clients struggling with painful and frightening thoughts and will work with you to understand what lies behind them and help you bear what seems unbearable.

Online Psychotherapy and Counselling

Online Psychotherapy is Thought to be Effective for Some Issues, but not a Replacement for Traditional Therapy

The use of modern technologies as part of the therapeutic process is on the increase and to mixed views.

Phone counselling has been around for many years and had been a very useful way for vulnerable people to reach out for help when it feels too difficult, either practically or emotionally, to meet someone face to face. Samaritans, for example is primarily a phone based mental health support network and has played an important part in offering support through a listening ear.

More recently, the use of computer technology has come to the fore as a way to achieve a therapeutic relationship outside the therapy room and has gained some supporters. Some research suggests that online, real-time therapy is more effective because the patient is in a familiar environment and therefore feels more at ease and less intimidated than they otherwise may feel in the therapy room.

Practically, online therapy is also useful in the international world in which we live. Expats may wish to see a therapist from their own country and culture who speaks their language or feels more familiar. For disabled people or those living in remote parts of the country, or those who have to be away for business, all who may struggle to get to a therapist, can also benefit.

Research by G.S. Stofle (2001) suggests that those patients functioning at a moderate to high level would benefit from online therapy. However, those with more severe mental health issues such as suicidal ideation, self harming or psychotic episodes would be better off seeing someone face to face.

A study produced by Kerr and Cohen (2011) found that students who sought therapeutic treatment for anxiety disorders online benefited equally with those who pursued face to face therapy.

However, although many of those within the ‘therapy world’ have embraced modern technologies as a way of reaching their patients, it seems to be the providers of psychotherapy who are more critical of them.

Some practitioners have claimed that online therapy cannot be considered psychotherapy. They feel that something is lost in the interaction between therapist and patient when the medium of technology is used. Although with systems such as Skype, some of the patients body language can been seen, which a therapist often observes in order to help understand what is going on for the patient, the underlying feelings and subtle messages that pass between people when they meet are gone.  An awareness of this human connection is invaluable to a therapist trying to help a patient  understand difficult, painful and sometimes unconscious emotions.

It would appear, therefore that within the therapeutic community, there is support for the use of technologies as a tool to reach inaccessible patients and for very cognitive therapies such as CBT. However, for more long term, in depth therapy, the support is still for traditional face to face psychotherapy where the proximity of the people involved and the subtle communications that pass between them are felt to be necessary for deeper understanding and development.

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice at 121 Harley Street, London, supports the use of modern technology as a way of maintaining contact with patients when it is not possible to meet in the consulting room. They use both Skype and phone for this end. However, this is a suppliment to the therapy they offer, not a replacement.

Social Networking – A good way of making friends or a new addiction?

Social networking – twitter, facebook, blogs etc. are a phenomenon that allow people to connect, relatively anonymously, to friends and strangers. While this new way of communicating can be valuable in remaining in contact with friends, and building new relationships, it can also lead to a state of ‘immersion’ and addiction. The individual, comfortable in the relative anonymity of the social networking arena, can get lost in it. Addicted to the highs of making new contacts and  finding  a new ‘confidence’ in expressing feelings or thoughts, in the safety of a ‘virtual’ relationship, the individual may avoid real intimacy and meaning with those who are closest to them.  The individual might become immersed in social networking because it offers an audience who can affirm and make him or her feel acknowledged and valued. Social networking sites allow people to invent new identities for themselves. Someone who is shy can hide their lack of confidence behind a new more confident persona.  The individual can become dependent on the highs that the affirmation social networks offer and moods may rise and fall in accordance to what’s going on on Facebook or Twitter. Overuse or immersion in the social networking world can lead to a sense of alienation, emptiness and shallowness and a loss of connection to the real relationships with family and friends. When the individual is distracted by the ‘twitter feed’ or facebook status, he or she is not fully present for him or herself, or those around them. Tweeting or updating a social networking site is often a compulsion – something funny happens in the street and rather than enjoy that moment, be present in that moment, the pre-occupation is to Tweet that moment. This puts a distance between the individual and the event and stops the individual from connecting to the event and experiencing it – this is what leads to a loss of connection to the self. Losing connection to your own reality can lead to real difficulty, including depression and anxiety.

If you are struggling with social networking addiction or a lack of connection to those closest to you, psychotherapy and counselling can help. By talking your difficulties through with a psychotherapist or counsellor, you will experience relief, clarity and find a healthy way forward. The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice offers psychotherapy and counselling in Central London. The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice is at 121 Harley Street, Central London.