Mid-Life at 30? A Psychotherapist’s View

Are we Hitting Mid-Life Crisis a Decade Earlier?

The midlife crisis is hitting early, with new figures published by Relate suggesting that it’s in our thirties, not our forties or fifties, when we can take a step into crisis and depression.  Those surveyed said that it was work and relationship pressures that contribute to them feeling lonely and isolated and 21 per cent reported feeling depressed because of bad relationships at home or at work.

Traditionally in our third decade, we are settling down, starting families and becoming more settled in careers and relationships. With the relentless economic pressure however, this generation of thirty-somethings are struggling to maintain a good work life balance. More hours in the office, spent trying to hold on to jobs and achieve more, mean fewer hours at home to spend with friends and family. This imbalance creates stress both at home and at work with relationships suffering.

“We have seen an increase in younger people, overwhelmed by stress, seeking therapy.’ says Jessica Sinclair from The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice. “People respond to stress in different ways but relationships always suffer.”

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice helps individuals explore difficult and overwhelming feelings. Therapy can help unwind stress and depression by getting to the root cause of the problem, exploring the feelings and building new ways of relating.

Credit Crunch Stress

Stress and Your Job

Although a certain amount of stress is important in our daily lives, it helps us get up in the morning and partake in activities and helps us feel alive, too much can cause ‘dis-stress’. Stress can also have a knock on effect on our physical health such as heightening the possibility of high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke. It can also affect our relationships, making us feel anxious, fearful, distrustful or angry.

A recent article stated that, “one in four workers have had their Sundays ruined by anxiety about the working week since the recession started”. The article goes on to say that, “one in ten has seen their GP about their mental health since the crunch…One in fourteen workers has started to take anti-depressants for stress as a ‘direct result’ of the crisis” (The Metro). According to mental health charity, ‘Mind’, last year saw the biggest rise in the number of such prescriptions”. 39.1 million were issued in 2009 compared to 2010 where just 35.9 million were prescribed.

A job is often more that just something a person does to make some money. It can be a part of a person’s identity and the threat of the loss of our job can effect us deeply. One of the first questions we ask a new acquaintance is ‘What do you do for a living’, and how we feel about our job, and consequently, ourselves, dictates our answer. Often we answer the question with ‘I am a…(vet, social worker, bus driver, teacher etc), not ‘I drive a bus’ or ‘I teach children’. We identify ourselves to others through our work. Therefore, work is an integral part of who we are and when that part is threatened, such as in the present credit climate, we have to reassess who we are and maybe think about ourselves in a different way.

Cavendish Psychotherapy and counselling allows you the space to explore these changes and the fears and anxieties that they provoke so that you are better able to take control and look to the future with a better understanding of yourself. 

Men and Postnatal Depression

Parents and Depression

It was reported on the front page of the Telegraph yesterday (7th September 2010) that men as well as women can suffer from postnatal depression. A team at the Medical Research Council found that by the time a child was 12, four in 10 mothers had suffered symptoms of depression and one in five fathers had suffered symptoms of depression. 

The article  highlighted an important point, that the impact of depression and other mental health problems, affects the sufferer (father or mother in this case) as well as having a powerful impact on the children.

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice in Harley Street works with sufferers of depression and postnatal depression. By trying to make sense of what we are feeling with the help of an experienced therapist, we can begin to feel better, and at the same time enable the relationship with our childrent to improve.

Psychotherapy and Postnatal Depression

Facing Post Natal Depression

Gwyneth Paltrow, talking about her “painfully debilitating” postnatal depression after the birth of her son Moses, says that she found her way out of it by facing what she was feeling, rather than shutting her feelings out. 

Attempting to face what we are feeling, although very difficult at times, is key. Trying to make sense of confusing and negative thoughts and feelings, with the help of an experienced therapist, really can start to make meaning of such confusion.

Bryce Dallas Howard (American film actress and daughter of Ron Howard), when recounting her experience of postnatal depression, has recently described how she fell into a black hole. Moreover, she realises then, whilst in the middle of it, that she actually couldn’t even begin to express her true feelings.  She says, “if I had been able to convey my ordeal with postnatal depression truthfully… I would most likely have said no words at all.”

In those moments after giving birth Howard says she felt nothing, she felt she was suffering emotional amnesia. She says she couldn’t genuinely cry, or laugh, or be moved by anything. And yet, in private uncontrollable sobs would flow. She describes how she saw a therapist who diagnosed her with postnatal depression and little by little began to feel better.

Feeling emotionally overwhelmed, anxious, isolated, deeply sad, or just simply nothing because there is too much to feel, are all symptoms of postnatal depression. These feelings are similar to other forms of (clinical) depression and can be eased with the outlet of emotional support and verbal expression.

Depression following the birth of a child is undoubtedly very difficult to understand, particularly, as such darkness and aloneness seem to accompany what is seen as a celebratory, almost euphoric time. Consequently, this pressure, along with our own, mostly unconscious histories of our experience of being parented, are thrown into the mix and it can be simply too much to make sense of alone.

Brooke Shields wrote her account of postpartum depression in her book Down came the Rain. Following the birth of her daughter, Rowan, she describes feeling as though rain came pouring down. She describes postpartum depression as the most frightening and devastating challenge in her life. As a consequence of feeling so isolated and debilitated, Shields vocally speaks out about her experience. She is keen to encourage the importance of talking about feelings with a professional.

We at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice in Harley Street, London, are also keen to emphasise the importance of being able to ask for help and to receive supportive, professional help.  To begin to make sense of such unbearable feelings can enable us to start to feel connected to ourselves and to ensure a healthy attachment with our children and families.

Why a Therapist?

Why choose to see a psychotherapist?

Seeking help from a complete stranger seems to have been something that the British society has frowned upon for a long time. We have been expected to deal with our own problems, or ask family and friends for help. Too much ‘navel gazing’ has often not been considered productive or even healthy in certain circles.

Some people may fear that they would be considered weak, or not to have any friends or a good enough relationship with their family in order to turn to them for help. So making contact with a therapist can feel like flying in the face of all this.

Realising a need for support is a strength, not a weakness and therapy is a completely different relationship to that of family and friends.

Everyone has their own problems and when we need help sometimes it is hard to ask for it from people we are close to. It may be that we do not want to add to their worries. It may mean revealing feelings that we would rather keep hidden, but that need addressing such as anger or resentment or sadness that we feel could harm a relationship. It may mean looking at how we feel about ourselves and we do not want our close family and friends to know these thoughts and feelings, or it may be that we simply do not understand why we feel the way we do and therefore we do not think they will understand, however much they care.

Therefore, seeking the support of an experienced, non judgemental psychotherapist is a way of revealing and looking into all the difficult feelings and thoughts and emotions that may seem unacceptable to those close to us and attempting to make sense of them all.

A good therapist can bear our anger, sadness, bitterness, hurt and resentment and help work through it with you. They will not judge you or accuse you, get angry or upset with you or point a finger at you. They are there to support you and help you through what you are suffering.

These are the kind of therapists you will find at the London based Cavendish Psychotherapy in London. 

“More acceptable to talk about emotional problems than it was in the past”

Major Shift in Attitudes Towards Therapy and Psychotherapy Counselling

An article in the Guardian quoting results from the  British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), discusses a serious relaxation of the man and woman in the street’s view towards therapy/psychotherapy.

“The current survey found that 94% of people now consider it acceptable to have counselling and psychotherapy for anxiety and depression, compared with just 67% in 2004. Similarly, public acceptability of therapy for divorce or relationship breakdown has risen from 52% to 85% over the past six years”. That is a major change in such a relatively short time.

Interestingly, the Guardian goes on “The survey found that 88% of people believe that counselling and psychotherapy should be available to all on the NHS, compared with 68% who share similar views towards IVF treatment. More than nine out of 10 believe that it is more acceptable to talk about emotional problems than it was in the past”.

Although the BACP suggests that the number of people who experience or see other people experience the need for some therapy is the reason for the change in attitudes towards effective treatment, it’s possible to wonder if that’s the only reason.  Has the way that the arts and the media is dealing with these issues affected this remarkable and quick shift in opinions?

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice Stress Counselling Clinic

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice has set up a stress counselling clinic

 The clinic offers a series of six, one hour, sessions of stress counselling where clients are able to talk through their current difficulties, explore their feelings, gain clarity and move forward in their lives.

“A short course of stress counselling can often be good way for someone who generally functions well in their life but who finds themselves overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. The stress could be caused by work pressure, a difficult relationship, a loss or disappointment.” says Rebecca Barrie, a therapist at the Cavendish.  “We work with people to help them identify the root cause of the stress and help them manage the difficult feelings.”

The stress counselling clinic offers individuals a safe and discreet place to talk and to express their feelings. Rebecca Barrie says;   “Increasingly we are finding people coming to stress counselling who feel quite isolated in their distress. For some, encountering a particularly stressful situation can become debilitating and have a negative impact on all areas of their lives.”

To book a series of six stress counselling sessions, please call 0207 371 3940

Or email Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice

Professional, Qualified, Psychotherapists

For a client to come into counselling or psychotherapy can be a very daunting prospect

While opening up difficult feelings and thoughts with a stranger, it maybe important for you to know that the therapist you have chosen is properly qualified and is registered with a governing body.

The Cavendish Psychotherapy psychotherapists/counsellors have all undertaken five years of academic and clinical training and are all registered with the UKCP, The UK Council for Psychotherapists.

To be registered with the UKCP, practitioners are required to have taken a five year training, need a minimum of 450 client hours before being registered to practice, and are insured, supervised and are bound by a professional code of ethics.

Cavendish Psychotherapy professional therapists, based in Harley Street, Central London, provide their clients with a safe, professional and discreet service.

Our Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice  therapist-counsellors are fully accredited and registered pychotherapists with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy: UKCP

Stress at Work: How Psychotherapy Can Help

A Psychotherapy Approach To Stress and Recession

Mind, the mental health charity has just released figures that suggest that some 7% of workers have sought help for stress and related mental health problems since the start of the recession.

The economic climate is increasing pressure on workers to perform better and to work longer hours, in order to hold onto jobs, amid a culture of redundancy and budget cuts.

Stress can manifest in several different ways; symptoms can include anger, crying, sleeplessness, a sense of panic and a loss of perspective. Physical symptoms can include headaches, skin irritations and weight loss.

Increasing numbers of workers are seeking counselling and psychotherapy to help cope with the pressures in the work place. Talking through symptoms and concerns with a professional therapist can help alleviate symptoms, regain clarity and find a positive way forward.

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice, based in the Doctorcall building in Harley Street, has introduced a Stress Counselling Clinic where individuals take a series of six therapy sessions over six weeks to help them through a particularly stressful period of their lives.  See Stress at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice.