Category: Uncategorized

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy alleviates pain

Changing thoughts about chronic ailments can provide relief Chronic pain, generally defined as lasting more than 3-6 months, is widespread and debilitating. In a recent large telephone survey of 15 European countries, a huge 1 in 5 of respondents over 18 years old reported suffering with significant pain for more than 6 consecutive months. Understandably,… Read more »

How to be an Existentialist

  How to be an Existentialist: or How to Get Real, Get a Grip and Stop Making Excuses by Gary Cox Continuum, 2009 This is a great introduction for anyone interested in studying the philosophy of existentialism, and as a ‘handbook’, it highlights the importance of personal freedoms, responsibility and the importance of making, and… Read more »

Overcoming problem drinking

The advantages of psychological therapy over 12 Step Programs Problematic drinking is a touchy issue. Unlike the clear distinctions between ‘dependent’ and ‘sober’ that illegal substances such as heroin and methamphetamine can allow us to draw, alcohol is a part of most people’s lives in the UK on a daily basis, in the form of… Read more »

CBT ~ Not what I was expecting!

A surprise might do you good It’s hardly surprising that if you go into therapy with a genuine hope of a positive result, you’re more likely to emerge with exactly that — and the opposite is also true. So a negative or pessimistic outlook is more likely in clients whose outcomes are poorer. But a… Read more »

Risky business ~ Problem Gambling

When a little flutter becomes a lot of bother If you are looking for a precise description, gambling can be defined as ‘placing something of value at risk in the hopes of gaining something of greater value’. Throughout history, we have evolved this into a number of legal and socially acceptable activities such as betting… Read more »

The evolutionary origins of depression

The biological basis of depression In evolutionary terms, depression is said to be ‘adaptive’, that is, it has some sort of biological purpose in order to enable us to function more effectively in the longer term, either as individuals or as part of a social group. The discussion has given rise to a number of… Read more »

Antidepressants ~ chemical intervention or placebo?

The accidental birth of a billion dollar industry In 1952, scientists isolated a drug called reserpine from the dried Indian snakeroot plant (which had been used for centuries in India for the treatment of fever and snakebites). It was found to reduce levels of the monoamines in the body (serotonin, dopamine and noradrenalin) and to… Read more »

Wasted ~ Coming back from an addiction to starvation

Wasted: Coming back from an addiction to starvation by Marya Hornbacher Flamingo, 1999 Plenty of books give a personal account of the author’s struggle — there are whole shelves in the bookstores devoted to ‘misery lit’ embracing fact and fiction. But very few are as raw, painful, deeply honest and overall intelligent as this one…. Read more »

‘In The Face of Fear’ report

Mental health in a scared — and scary — world The MHF’s own national fear survey carried out in 2007 reveals a growing perception that the world is a frightening place, and that individuals respond, not surprisingly, by being scared of many aspects of it. The thrust of the report is that these two phenomena… Read more »

Solution Focused Therapy

Exploring a possible future Can you imagine life free of emotional issues, without the concerns and problems that made you think of therapy as a way of tackling them? What would show you your life was different? What would you be doing instead of your current everyday activities? What would you be thinking about, or… Read more »