Inner Changes Psychotherapy and Counselling https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk Sun, 20 May 2018 13:00:16 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Survey finds one third of UK employees are dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/treatment-in-manchester/psychotherapy-nlp-hypnotherapy-counselling/one-third-of-uk-employees-are-dealing-with-anxiety-depression-or-stress/ Tue, 20 Feb 2018 08:58:57 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=1733648 One third of UK employees are dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress By Ellen Scott A survey of 2,000 British workers in junior and senior roles has found that 34% of us are dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress. Management consultancy firm PwC asked British people in a range of different jobs to answer questions about

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One third of UK employees are dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress

By Ellen Scott

A survey of 2,000 British workers in junior and senior roles has found that 34% of us are dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress. Management consultancy firm PwC asked British people in a range of different jobs to answer questions about their mental health, and found that one-third of us are dealing with anxiety, stress, or depression, while mental health problems affect one in six of us on a weekly basis. business-presentation-flipchart-employee-assistance-programme-manchesterResearchers believe this is down to the blurring of the line between work and home life, with smartphones increasing the pressure to reply to texts, emails, and calls while away from our desks.

This makes us feel like we’re always on call, always under pressure, and can’t escape the usual stresses of work. The stigma around mental health isn’t helping. The research found that of those who had taken time off for poor mental health, 39% had felt unable to tell their boss. That’s not even taking into account all the people who want to take time off, but feel they can’t.

Researchers note that the survey results prove that more needs to be done to help workers with their mental health, whether it’s encouraging people to take time off when they need it, ensuring everyone takes proper lunch breaks and leaves on time, or simply opening up the conversation around mental health and self-care. Clearly, we all need to be doing more if one third of us are struggling.

 

One-third of UK employees are dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress

Original article published by Metro News on the 13 Jul 2017

 

Further reading on anxiety, stress and depression at work

Nigel Magowan is UKCP and BACP registered Manchester based psychotherapist and counsellor. He offers Employee Assistance (EAP) to businesses to help their employees with work-related problems such as anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, trauma, relationship issues and confidence.

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Reasons why psychotherapy might be the right choice for you https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/treatment-in-manchester/psychotherapy/reasons-why-psychotherapy-might-be-the-right-choice-for-you/ Tue, 06 Feb 2018 16:46:10 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=743 Reasons why psychotherapy might be the right choice for you Original article posted on the American Psychological Association website. by Dr. Katherine Nordal on September 24th, 2012 1. You learn to work through your own problems. We’ve all heard the expression, “Give a man fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.” That’s

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Reasons why psychotherapy might be the right choice for you

Original article posted on the American Psychological Association website. by Dr. Katherine Nordal on September 24th, 2012

1. You learn to work through your own problems.
We’ve all heard the expression, “Give a man fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.” That’s the idea behind psychotherapy. There’s a lot that goes into the process of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy takes time and work, but as you progress along, you learn more effective ways to tackle problems and solve difficult situations. And in the end, that means you have developed skills and tools such as different ways of thinking, more effective coping mechanisms, and improved problem-solving.
Reasons why psychotherapy might be the right choice for you -  Psychotherapy in Manchester Counselling2. No one is taking a side, except to help you.
During psychotherapy, a psychotherapist listens to what you say without judgment, no matter how embarrassing, shameful or frightening your thoughts or feelings are to you. People often reveal things during psychotherapy that are scary and very personal, and the fear of how others will respond or react is normal. The role of the psychotherapist is to remain neutral, to help you cope better with the troubling situation, and to work with you to find a good solution for your concerns.
3. Your secrets are safe.
Whatever you tell a psychotherapist during psychotherapy is confidential and private. Ethics codes and licensing laws require that psychotherapists remain silent about what is discussed or shared during psychotherapy, unless you or someone else’s life is in danger. You need to give written permission even if your psychotherapist wants to discuss your case with your physician. Confidentiality is sacred!
4. Long-term value can’t be beat.
Compared to the use of medication alone, which may seem like a more cost-effective option in the short term, research has shown that the benefits of psychotherapy extend to your physical health as well, often resulting in better physical health and lowering of your overall health costs over time.
5. Psychotherapy works!
Multiple studies show that for many conditions and concerns, psychotherapy works, and it works well. People with mild-to-moderate depression begin to feel better after just a few sessions. Some countries are even requiring psychotherapy as the first line of treatment for anxiety and depression. The research is still growing, and more good news about how psychotherapy helps is expected.

Too many people avoid treatment for common conditions like depression and anxiety. They may be burdened by chronic stress that is getting in the way of good sleep, healthy eating and quality relationships. Physical well-being may also suffer. So getting help, even if only from medication, is a step. But it may not be the best first step. And it shouldn’t be the only step.
If you, or someone you know, is ready to start on the road to better health, consider psychotherapy – it’s more than a quick fix! It has staying power.  The Inner Changes Manchester psychotherapy practice could offer you a solution to many of these common conditions.

Reasons why psychotherapy might be the right choice for you

Link to original article on yourmindyourbody.org – 5 Reasons you should choose psychotherapy

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One third of UK professionals suffer from anxiety or depression https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/employee-assistance-eap/one-third-uk-professionals-suffer-anxiety-depression/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:43:25 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=2120256 A third of UK professionals suffer from anxiety or depression 15 January 2018 by Owen Gough More than a third (35.2 per cent) of the nation’s workers are suffering from mental health issues, with four in ten (42.9 per cent) admitting that their job is a key contributor to these feelings. That’s according to the

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A third of UK professionals suffer from anxiety or depression

15 January 2018
by Owen Gough

More than a third (35.2 per cent) of the nation’s workers are suffering from mental health issues, with four in ten (42.9 per cent) admitting that their job is a key contributor to these feelings. That’s according to the latest research from CV-Library.

A third of UK Professionals suffer from anxiety or depression - EAP Manchester Employee AssistanceAs the post-Christmas blues set in and the cold days continue, the survey of 1,200 workers sought to reveal how mental health affects professionals this Blue Monday. The study found that for 70.6 per cent of those that suffer, their depression or anxiety can sometimes have a negative effect on their working life, while a further 17.9 per cent say it always negatively impacts their working life.

When asked what it is about their job that makes them feel this way, professionals cited the following as the top causes:

  • Doubting their abilities – 34.6 per cent
  • Having a boring job – 26.6 per cent
  • Not getting on with their boss – 22.6 per cent
  • Working alone – 17.8 per cent
  • Working with customers/clients – 17 per cent

Furthermore, respondents revealed the negative impact that depression and anxiety has on their ability to do their job. For the majority (47.4 per cent), it makes them dread going in to work. After this, 24.2 per cent said it makes them feel tired, 8 per cent said it causes them to take time off and 7.4 per cent said it means they don’t really speak to their colleagues.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments, ‘While mental health is something we are beginning to talk more about across the UK, it’s clear that there’s still more that needs to be done to help those affected – especially in the workplace. It’s sad to learn that one in three UK professionals are suffering from depression and/or anxiety, and that this is having such a negative impact on their ability to do their job.’

Worryingly, a third (37.7 per cent) of professionals revealed that their employer does not do anything to help those that suffer from these mental health issues, and a further 38.4 per cent said that they were unsure whether their boss would help them if they needed it.

Other findings include:

  • The majority (88.4 per cent) believe that employers should be given training to help them understand mental health
  • A third (32.7 per cent) believe that organising regular one-to-one catch ups could help employers to support staff who are suffering
  • After this, 26.8 per cent believe paid mental health days (time off) could help, and 19.8 per cent said they’d appreciate professional help being offered through their employer

Biggins concludes, ‘It’s clear that professionals want more support from businesses when it comes to mental health. As an employer, it’s important that you have systems in place to help those who may be suffering. This can be a delicate issue for some, so it is vital you create a culture of trust and open communication so staff feel they can approach their managers or colleagues with any problems. This will begin to release the stigma around mental health, and help staff who may be struggling to cope with any problems, as well as their ability to do their job well.’

A third of UK professionals suffer from anxiety or depression

Original article written by Owen Gough and published on the smallbusiness.co.uk website.

Further reading on work related anxiety and depression

Nigel Magowan is a registered and experienced Manchester based psychotherapist and counsellor. He offers Employee Assistance (EAP) to businesses to help their employees with work-related problems such as anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, trauma, relationship issues and confidence.

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Somatic Therapy and EMDR for PTSD and Trauma https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/conditions/ptsd-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/somatic-therapy-emdr-ptsd-trauma/ Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:40:25 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=1768544 Somatic Therapy for PTSD Article by Dr Arielle Schwartz Somatic therapy facilitate resolution of trauma and PTSD responses. We can’t always think our way out of traumatic experiences. One of the biggest issues that we face as human beings is that we can feel trapped by our own physical and emotional states. These are the

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Somatic Therapy for PTSD

Article by Dr Arielle Schwartz

Somatic therapy facilitate resolution of trauma and PTSD responses. We can’t always think our way out of traumatic experiences. One of the biggest issues that we face as human beings is that we can feel trapped by our own physical and emotional states. These are the times that we feel panicky and anxious, without the ability to calm down. Other times we feel depressed and unmotivated and can’t seem to accomplish simple tasks. The brilliance of somatic interventions is the ability to directly intervene by developing new neural pathways and behaviours that provide alternative ways of responding to your environment without getting stuck in the habits of the past.

Somatic Therapy and EMDR for PTSD and Trauma - ManchesterThe synthesis of somatic psychology and EMDR Therapy is an exciting advancement in mental health. As stand alone therapies these are now considered to be two of the best trauma treatment models available. Integrating these therapies enhances the effectiveness of both.

Somatic Therapy Explained

Somatic Psychology engages body awareness as an intervention in psychotherapy. Somatic interventions address the connections between the brain, the mind, and behaviour. Therapists who emphasize “talk therapy” generally focus on the mind as influencing psychological health, however, the somatically oriented therapist uses knowledge of the basic functions of the nervous system to greatly enhance the therapeutic process.

Somatic Psychology offers key concepts that include:

  • Grounding: This concept essentially sits at the heart of all body-based psychotherapy. Introduced by Alexander Lowen, developer of bioenergetics, grounding refers to our ability to experience ourselves as embodied. Grounding involves sensing the body, feeling your feet on the earth, and calming the nervous system.
  • Cultivating Somatic Awareness: The somatic therapist promotes awareness of the body. We can then work with breath constrictions and tension patterns that are held just under our conscious awareness. Simply bringing awareness to physical sensations creates change.
  • Staying Descriptive: Whereas early somatic therapists made interpretations based upon tension or posture patterns; modern day somatic therapists become curious about the somatic experience of the client. You can try this on your own by noticing your sensations. Try using descriptive words such as hot, cold, tingly, sharp, or dull.
  • Deepening Awareness: Once we have become aware of sensations or a tension pattern we deepen the experience by gently amplifying the sensations. For example, we can focus our breath into the sensation, make a sound, or add movements. The key is to deepen at a pace that does not create overwhelm and honours your timing.
  • Resourcing: When we help clients develop resources we focus on increasing a sense of choice and safety. Identify people, times, and places that facilitate a sense of safety, calm, or peace. How do you know when you feel peaceful or relaxed? How does your body feel?
  • Titration: When we turn our attention to traumatic events our body-centered awareness helps us become conscious of our physical tension patterns. Titration refers to a process of experiencing small amounts of distress at a time with a goal to discharge the tension. Used in both Somatic Experiencing (Peter Levine) and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (Pat Ogden and Kekuni Minton), titration is achieved by “pendulating” or oscillating attention between feeling the distress and feeling safe and calm.
  • Sequencing: When somatic tension begins to discharge or release, we typically report the movement of emotion and sensations. Tension in the belly might move to chest and then becomes tightness in the throat and forehead. Sometimes we might visibly see hands or legs shake and tremble. The tension eventually releases–sometimes in the form of tears, an ability to breathe more freely, or possibly the feeling of lightness.
  • Movement and Process: Somatic therapies tap into our innate healing capacity by inviting us to listen to the story as told by the body. Our postures, gestures, and use of space provide insight into our experience. For example, a client who has an impulse to crouch, cower, or hide is invited to mindfully engage in these defensive movements. After doing so, she may notice a new impulse to push her arms and kick her legs. As she intuitively re-engages these protective movements resolution may arise with a new found sense of calm in her body.
  • Boundary Development: When we allow our somatic awareness to guide the pacing of therapy we must work in the here and now. Focusing on the present moment empowers you to stay responsive to changing needs and helps you develop clear boundaries. A boundary allows you to recognize and speak your “yes” and your “no” in a way that helps you feel protected and strong.
  • Self-Regulation: Modern somatic therapies integrate research from neuroscience about how we respond to stress and trauma. Such research emphasizes the importance of mindfully staying connected to the body in the midst of big emotions or sensations. When you develop awareness of body sensations you are better able to regulate (respond effectively) to emotional intensity. Ultimately this helps you stay connected and supported amidst the intensity of healing trauma.

Somatic Therapies Today

Somatic Psychology has evolved over time from the cathartic approaches of Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen who emphasized strong physical and emotional release. These early therapeutic modalities often involved very intense and even invasive approaches such as deep pressure massage, primal screams, and stressful positions held over time. While these therapies were effective in creating rapid change they often involved overwhelming experiences that resulted in re-traumatizing the client. As a result modern day somatic approaches incorporate mindfulness to facilitate somatic release in a safe, contained fashion.

Original source: Somatic Therapy by Arielle Schwartz, PhD http://drarielleschwartz.com/somatic-therapy/

Somatic Therapies and EMDR Related Resources

  1. Somatic Psychology’s Evolution
  2. EMDR and Somatic Psychology.
  3. EMDR Therapy in Manchester
  4. Somatic experiencing: using interoception and proprioception as core elements of trauma therapy
  5. Treatment for PTSD and Complex PTSD in Manchester
  6. Including the Body in Mainstream Psychotherapy for Traumatized Individuals

Nigel Magowan is an experienced Manchester based UKCP Registered Psychotherapist who combines psychotherapy with EMDR, somatic therapy, CBT, NLP and mindfulness when working with PTSD and trauma.

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5 Ways To Manage Anxiety In The Workplace https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/employee-assistance-eap/ways-to-manage-anxiety-in-the-workplace/ Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:57:32 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=1522669 5 Ways To Manage Anxiety In The Workplace Source: Huffington Post written by Marianne Stenger Have you ever turned down a promotion or other important career opportunity because it involved public speaking or travelling to another city? Although everyone deals with stress in the workplace, for individuals with an anxiety disorder, these daily stressors can

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5 Ways To Manage Anxiety In The Workplace

Source: Huffington Post written by Marianne Stenger

Have you ever turned down a promotion or other important career opportunity because it involved public speaking or travelling to another city?

Although everyone deals with stress in the workplace, for individuals with an anxiety disorder, these daily stressors can become debilitating if they’re not managed. According to official figures from the Office for National Statistics, nearly a fifth of adults in the UK experience anxiety, although a higher proportion of women than men suffer from it.

Anxiety can make it difficult to meet deadlines, make presentations or participate in meetings, and even social events such as office parties or staff lunches can become a source of stress.

If this sounds familiar, here are a few ways to better manage your anxiety in the workplace and prevent it from holding you back in your career.

1. Recognise the benefits of anxiety

man and woman with employee assistance counsellor - anxiety in the workplaceAs odd as this may sound, research shows that there are actually some benefits to anxiety, and recognising these benefits can help you focus on the positive and give yourself more credit for the things you do well.

For instance, one study found that anxious people may perform better in actual crisis situations, because they use a different part of their brain to non-anxious people, which helps them detect and react to threats more effectively.

People with anxiety also tend to have higher IQs, higher empathy levels and are more attuned to other people’s state of mind. So anxiety is not all bad, and although it probably interferes with certain aspects of your job, it can help to remember that you’re also very capable in other areas.

2. Don’t try to suppress it

When we feel anxiety creeping in about a situation at work, our first instinct is usually to try and suppress these unwanted feelings, but this may end up making the anxiety worse.

Research shows that thought suppression is actually counterproductive, and when we try not to think about something, that same thought often comes back even stronger. This is why it’s generally not very helpful when someone tells us to ‘stop worrying so much,’ because the more we try to stop worrying, the more anxious we become.

So rather than trying to suppress your anxiety, start by simply acknowledging that it’s your body’s natural response to stress. Once you’ve accepted it, you’ll be in a better position to cope with the symptoms.

3. Focus on the present

Dr Elizabeth Lombardo, psychologist and author of the book Better than Perfect, notes that one of the reasons women might be more prone to anxiety is that while men tend to engage in more problem-focused coping, women are more likely to ruminate and focus on the emotional stress of a problem.

“Instead of being upset about what happened in the past or worrying about what might take place in the future, try to focus on the present,” she advises.

“Women are more likely to ruminate and play a negative scenario over and over in their minds. I call it pressing on a bruise, because it doesn’t feel good and doesn’t help with healing.”

4. Stop catastrophising

If you’re feeling anxious about a particular situation, it’s easy to blow things out of proportion and start to imagine all sorts of unlikely scenarios. When this happens, it can help to stop and put things in perspective.

“Catastrophising refers to making a huge deal about something that is not that huge,” explains Lombardo. For instance, you might be thinking ‘I will get fired if I mess up this presentation,’ when in reality, one bad presentation is unlikely to cost you your job.

Another thing that can help is focusing on positive self-talk. “If you could stick a microphone in your brain, what would you hear yourself saying about yourself?”

If you’re constantly thinking things like ‘That was so stupid,’ or ‘He thinks I am a total loser,’ you’ll only cause yourself more stress. Instead, she suggests changing these judgments to something more positive like ‘Oops, that didn’t work. I can try this instead.’

5. Don’t aim for perfection

Aiming for perfection in your work can be another big source of stress, because by setting unrealistic goals, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

“We’re a very perfectionist, all-or-nothing society: your work is either good or it is a failure,” says Lombardo. “Then many people take it a step further, thinking ‘If it’s a failure, then I am a failure,’ so this need to do things perfectly is incredibly stressful.”

Instead of perfectionism, she suggests focussing on being better than perfect. “That means you still strive for excellence, but when you do not achieve it 100% of the time, you don’t stress out about it. You learn from outcomes you didn’t want to be even better.”

Finally, remember to take care of yourself and address your stress proactively through regular exercise, restful sleep, mediation, good nutrition and spending quality time with loved ones.

If you feel you don’t have time to do these things, just remember that it doesn’t have perfect. Five minutes of meditation first thing in the morning or a short walk at lunchtime can be better than perfect.

 

5 Ways To Manage Anxiety In The Workplace by Marianne Stenger

Workplace Stress Related Resources

  1. Beat Stress, Anxiety and Depression at Work – NHS Choices
  2. EAP & Employee Assistance in Manchester
  3. Depression in the Workplace: How Employee Assistance Programs Can Help
  4. Employee assistance programme – Wikipedia

 

Employee Assistance Programme

Nigel Magowan is able to offer a range of employee assistance services to small and medium-sized businesses in the Manchester area. Employers wishing to provide help for their staff members can refer them for counselling, coaching, CBT and EMDR. Employee assistance programmes can help staff with personal problems and/or work-related problems that may be impacting on their job performance, health, mental and emotional well-being. Employee assistance is considered an employee benefit with the employer either paying for short-term therapy, or sponsoring staff members by contributing towards a percentage of their treatment fees.
Nigel is an experienced UKCP and BACP Registered Psychotherapist and counsellor, and an EMDR Therapist, and has completed additional training in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). He runs his own private counselling and psychotherapy practice in Chorlton, South Manchester, not far from Manchester City Centre, Didsbury, Stockport and Trafford.

Anxiety In The Workplace.

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Science Finds An Interesting Link Between Anxiety And Intelligence https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/treatment-in-manchester/anxiety/science-finds-interesting-link-anxiety-intelligence/ Wed, 21 Dec 2016 12:16:35 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=1323149 Science Finds An Interesting Link Between Anxiety And Intelligence People who think too much may have little reason to worry. Recent studies have shown that there is a link between anxiety and intelligence and it is a positive one. Scientists found that people who worry a lot do so because they experience “high levels of

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Science Finds An Interesting Link Between Anxiety And Intelligence

People who think too much may have little reason to worry. Recent studies have shown that there is a link between anxiety and intelligence and it is a positive one.

Scientists found that people who worry a lot do so because they experience “high levels of spontaneous activity” in the part of the brain that manages threat perception.

Fear allows you to react to a potential threat in good time. Being too happy all the time means that you don’t think about potential problems. It’s hard to anticipate something you’re not thinking about. Thus, the ultra-cheerful are at a disadvantage when they need to overcome adversity. This is especially true for rare or complex problems that are difficult to expect.

People with anxiety are sometimes responding to a threat that doesn’t exist. But, the response means that their imagination is highly active. An active imagination keeps you safe from threats that other people might not pick up on.

The study was published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences in 2015. It is one of several studies to find a strong link between anxiety and intelligence.

An Anxious Mind Is a Focused Mind
The general belief about anxiety is that it’s a negative thing. Because suffering from anxiety is not pleasant, most of the people who deal with it wish they didn’t have to. But this does not necessarily need to be the case. Science is showing that a little bit of anxiety, while uncomfortable, is a good thing.

In 2012, psychologists ran a test on 80 students at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. The students were under the impression that they were there to assess artwork on a piece of software.

Instead, the researchers rigged the program. Instead of viewing art, the students triggered a computer virus. They were then encouraged to contact IT.

Finding IT presented new challenges. As the students left the room, they were accosted by various obstacles. Some students dropped papers as they walked by. Someone also stopped them to ask the participant to complete a survey.

The test found that the participants who really wanted to reach IT to fix the virus had the highest amount of anxiety.

The students who had less anxiety got distracted. They stopped to complete the survey, pick up the papers, etc.

Essentially, the anxious students had a greater sense of the threat and what was at stake. Thus, they stopped at little to accomplish their goal. This is where the correlation between IQ comes in because when anxious people want to relieve their anxiety not just by performing a task. They want to perform it well.

So anxiety can actually gives us higher chance to succeed!

Science Finds An Interesting Link Between Anxiety And Intelligence

Original article by Michael Prywes, published on Lifehack.org

Anxiety Disorder Related Resources

  1. Recent Research Links Anxiety with Higher IQ – PsychCentral
  2. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – OCD Treatment in Manchester
  3. Help with social anxiety disorder (social phobia) | psychotherapy and CBT in Manchester

Nigel Magowan uses an integrative approach to treating anxiety disorders at his Manchester psychotherapy and counselling practice. He is a UKCP and BACP Registered Psychotherapist and counsellor, and an EMDR Therapist, and has received additional training in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). He runs his own private counselling and psychotherapy practice in Chorlton, South Manchester, not far from Didsbury, Stockport, Salford and Altrincham.

Science Finds An Interesting Link Between Anxiety And Intelligence.

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15 Ways to Help You Sleep | Sleep Counsellor in Manchester https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/location/manchester/medication-free-ways-to-help-you-sleep-imsomnia-counsellor-manchester/ Sun, 18 Sep 2016 11:36:08 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=398356 15 Ways to Help You Sleep | Sleep Counsellor In the short-term medication can be an appropriate choice to help you get to sleep.  Particularly if you just need to get through a short but difficult time. However using medication to help you sleep in the long-term can potentially make things much worse.  Depending on the

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15 Ways to Help You Sleep | Sleep Counsellor

In the short-term medication can be an appropriate choice to help you get to sleep.  Particularly if you just need to get through a short but difficult time.

Woman Sleeping on train tiredness insomnia sleep manchester sleep counsellorHowever using medication to help you sleep in the long-term can potentially make things much worse.  Depending on the type of medication used, you may become physically or psychologically dependent on it.

It is usually more helpful and healthier to try these simple behavioural changes first to help improve your sleep habits:

  1. Avoid caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant which stays in your body for many hours. If you drink beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks, try to set a mid-afternoon cut off point. This will allow time for the caffeine to leave your body before bedtime.  Caffeine can disrupt your sleep patterns leading to unrefreshing sleep.
  2. Avoid alcohol: Alcohol may initially appear to be helpful, as it can help you relax and feel sleepy.   However as it is processed by the body it disrupts the natural sleep patterns, causing restless sleep.
  3. Check your environment: Make sure your bed is comfortable, and ensure the bedroom is quiet, dark, at a comfortable temperature, and free from potential night time disturbances.  Close the curtains, ensure you are not too hot or cold, put pets in another room, turn off TVs and mobile phones, and wear ear plugs if noises disturb you.
  4. Establish a bedtime routine: Sleep can be very habitual.  Therefore for the last hour before bed, develop and then follow a similar bedtime routine every night.
  5. Stop clock watching: Clock watching can lead to frustration, which leads to insomnia. Turn off clocks or put them somewhere were they can’t be seen.
  6. Try to go to bed and get up at the similar times each day: Your body and mind get used to going to bed and getting up at similar times each day.  With repetition your body will begin to naturally feel sleepy at your regular bedtime.
  7. Don’t nap too late, or too long: If you must nap during the daytime, try to do it earlier in the day, and keep it relatively short, ideally less than 30 minutes. If you nap for longer than this, it may leave you feeling even groggier, and it can disrupt your night time sleep patterns.
  8. Get some morning sunshine: Light regulates your circadian rhythms. Exposing yourself to natural sunlight (or bright lights) in the morning helps tell your body it is the start of the day and to wake up.
  9. Dim the lights in the evening: The opposite of the previous point. Bright lights at night can confuse your body into thinking it is still daytime and that you should be awake. Turning off or dimming the lights for an hour or two before bedtime helps tell your body to slow down and prepare for sleep.
  10. Avoid using smartphones at bedtime:  Minimise your use of smartphones or tablets before bedtime, as the blue-ish light given off by these devices can fool your body into thinking it is still daytime.
  11. Eat early: Eating a large meal close to bedtime can delay the onset of sleep.  As your body processes a large meal, the digestion process itself can disturb the quality of the sleep you get.  Ideally try to leave 3 to 4 hours between eating a large meal and going to bed.
  12. Exercise early: Exercising close to bedtime can also delay the onset of sleep, as well as disturb the sleep you do get.  Try to exercise in the morning or early afternoon if possible.  Ideally try to leave at least 3 to 4 hours between exercising and bedtime.
  13. Quiet your mind: Both worrying and exciting thoughts activate the sympathetic nervous system, which wakes you, prepares you for action, and increases alertness. Obviously this is not a good state to be in when trying to go to sleep.  This can also develop into a vicious circle if you worry about not sleeping.  Taking action on your worries during the daytime often helps, as well as learning to accept and let go of worries that are outside your control. Remember that problems can sometimes seem a thousand times bigger in the middle of the night.  So learn methods to still your mind, such as meditation, self hypnosis, mindfulness, or try recalling relaxing memories.  Also examine your worrying thoughts, particularly if they are about sleep. Then either stop or challenge them, and replace them with more realistic or positive thoughts.   If you are struggling to examine or manage your thoughts and emotions, a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist should be able to help you.
  14. Relax your body: To sleep you ideally need a quiet mind and a relaxed body.  Do or learn techniques to deeply relax the muscles in your body at will.   A warm bath, a massage, some deep slow breathing exercises, listening to a guided relaxation, or doing a body scan exercise are examples of some things that may be helpful before bedtime.  Luckily the mind and body are interlinked, if you relax one the other will tend to relax.
  15. Your bed should only be associated with sleeping: The only thing that should happen in bed, and ideally the bedroom itself, is sleeping.  If you do something in bed, make sure it is something relaxing.    Do not watch TV, use smartphones or tablets, play games, work, or do anything that is even remotely mentally stimulating.

15 Ways to Help You Sleep | Sleep Counsellor in Manchester

 

Websites Related to Sleep and Insomnia:

  1. National Sleep Foundation – Sleep Research and Education
  2. NHS Choices – Insomnia Treatment
  3. Sleep Manchester
  4. Anxiety Manchester

About Inner Changes

Inner Changes is the website of Manchester based UKCP and BACP Registered Psychotherapist & Counsellor, Nigel Magowan.  Nigel is a professional and experienced Manchester Counsellor and Psychotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner, Life Coach, and Ericksonian Hypno-Psychotherapist  He has been in full-time private practice as a psychological therapist for over 14 years, and uses a flexible brief integrative approach which combines all his training, skills and experience to produce a treatment that is tailored to your specific needs.  As a sleep counsellor he regularly helps people with insomnia and other sleep related issues.

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Large Study Finds Talk Therapy, Not Medication Best for Social Anxiety Disorder – Inner Changes Counselling and Psychotherapy Manchester https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/anxiety-disorders/social-anxiety/large-study-finds-talk-therapy-not-medication-best-for-social-anxiety-disorder-inner-changes-counselling-and-psychotherapy-manchester/ Sat, 27 Aug 2016 11:56:00 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=1111688 Large Study Finds Talk Therapy, Not Medication Best for Social Anxiety Disorder While antidepressants are the most commonly used treatment for social anxiety disorder, new research suggests that talking therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are more effective and, unlike medication, can have lasting effects long after treatment has stopped. Social anxiety disorder is a

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Large Study Finds Talk Therapy, Not Medication Best for Social Anxiety Disorder

While antidepressants are the most commonly used treatment for social anxiety disorder, new research suggests that talking therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are more effective and, unlike medication, can have lasting effects long after treatment has stopped.

Social anxiety disorder is a condition characterised by intense fear and avoidance of social situations and affects up to 13 percent of Americans and Europeans. Most people never receive treatment for the disorder. For those who do, medication is the more accessible treatment because there is a shortage of trained psychotherapists.

The findings of the study, a network meta-analysis that collected and analysed data from 101 clinical trials comparing multiple types of medication and talk therapy, are published online Sept. 26 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Social anxiety is more than just shyness,” says study leader Evan Mayo-Wilson, DPhil, a research scientist in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “People with this disorder can experience severe impairment, from shunning friendships to turning down promotions at work that would require increased social interaction. The good news from our study is that social anxiety is treatable. Now that we know what works best, we need to improve access to psychotherapy for those who are suffering.”

Talk therapy not medication best for social anxiety, large study finds | social anxiety disorder manchester | social anxiety altrincham | stockport

The research was a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Oxford University and University College London, where Mayo-Wilson formerly worked.

For the study, Mayo-Wilson and his colleagues analysed data from 13,164 participants in 101 clinical trials. The participants all had severe and longstanding social anxiety. Approximately 9,000 received medication or a placebo pill, and more than 4,000 received a psychological intervention. Few of the trials looked at combining medication with talk therapy, and there was no evidence that combined therapy was better than talk therapy alone.

The data compared several different types of talk therapy and found individual CBT was the most effective. CBT is a form of treatment that focuses on relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It helps people challenge irrational fears and overcome their avoidance of social situations, Mayo-Wilson says.

For people who don’t want talk therapy, or who lack access to it, the most commonly used antidepressants SSRIs are effective, the researchers found. But they caution that medication can be associated with serious adverse events, that it doesn’t work at all for many people and that improvements in symptoms do not last after people stop taking the pills.

The researchers acknowledge that medication remains important but say it should be used as a second-line therapy for people who do not respond to or do not want psychological therapy. The group’s analysis has already led to new treatment guidelines guidance in the United Kingdom and, Mayo-Wilson says, it could have a significant impact on policymaking and the organisation of care.

Social anxiety disorder typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood, and it can severely impair a person’s daily functioning by impeding the formation of relationships, by negatively affecting performance at work or school and by reducing overall quality of life. Because it strikes people at critical times in their social and educational development, social anxiety disorder can have important and lasting consequences.

Large Study Finds Talk Therapy, Not Medication Best for Social Anxiety Disorder

“Psychological and Pharmacological Interventions for Social Anxiety Disorder in Adults: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis,” was written by Evan Mayo-Wilson, Sofia Dias, Ifigeneia Mavranezouli, Kayleigh Kew, David M. Clark, AE Ades, and Stephen Pilling.

The study was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England and Wales.

Source: Talk Therapy – Not Medication – Best for Social Anxiety Disorder, Large Study Finds – 2104 – News Releases – News – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Social Anxiety Disorder Related Resources

  1. Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) – NHS Choices
  2. Social Anxiety Disorder – Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
  3. Help with social anxiety disorder (social phobia) | psychotherapy and CBT in Manchester

Nigel Magowan uses an integrative approach to treating social anxiety disorder at his Manchester psychotherapy and counselling practice. He is a UKCP and BACP Registered Psychotherapist and counsellor, and has received additional training in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). He runs his own private psychotherapy and counselling practice in Chorlton, South Manchester, not far from Didsbury, Stockport, Stretford and Altrincham.

Large Study Finds Talk Therapy, Not Medication Best for Social Anxiety Disorder.

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Coping with Grief and Loss: The Five Stages https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/treatment-in-manchester/grief-and-bereavement-counselling/coping-grief-loss-five-stages/ Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:28:30 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=1010524 Coping with Grief and Loss: The Five Stages by PsychCentral | July 3, 2016 The stages of mourning and grief are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life. Mourning occurs in response to an individual’s own terminal illness, the loss of a close relationship, or to the death of a valued

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Coping with Grief and Loss: The Five Stages

by PsychCentral | July 3, 2016

The stages of mourning and grief are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life. Mourning occurs in response to an individual’s own terminal illness, the loss of a close relationship, or to the death of a valued being, human or animal. There are five stages of normal grief that were first proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying.”

In our bereavement, we spend different lengths of time working through each step and express each stage with different levels of intensity. The five stages do not necessarily occur in any specific order. We often move between stages before achieving a more peaceful acceptance of death. Many of us are not afforded the luxury of time required to achieve this final stage of grief.

Coping with Grief and Loss: The Five Stages | grief and bereavement counselling manchester | bereavement counselling altrincham | grief counselling stockport

The death of your loved one might inspire you to evaluate your own feelings of mortality. Throughout each stage, a common thread of hope emerges: As long as there is life, there is hope. As long as there is hope, there is life.

Many people do not experience the stages in the order listed below, which is okay. The key to understanding the stages is not to feel like you must go through every one of them, in precise order. Instead, it’s more helpful to look at them as guides in the grieving process — it helps you understand and put into context where you are.

Also, keep in mind — all people grieve differently. Some people will wear their emotions on their sleeve and be outwardly emotional. Others will experience their grief more internally, and may not cry. You should try and not judge how a person experiences their grief, as each person will experience it differently.

1. Denial and Isolation

The first reaction to learning of terminal illness or death of a cherished loved one is to deny the reality of the situation. It is a normal reaction to rationalize overwhelming emotions. It is a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock. We block out the words and hide from the facts. This is a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain.

2. Anger

As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to wear, reality and its pain re-emerge. We are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected from our vulnerable core, redirected and expressed instead as anger. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or family. Anger may be directed at our dying or deceased loved one. Rationally, we know the person is not to be blamed. Emotionally, however, we may resent the person for causing us pain or for leaving us. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us more angry.
Remember, grieving is a personal process that has no time limit, nor one “right” way to do it.

The doctor who diagnosed the illness and was unable to cure the disease might become a convenient target. Health professionals deal with death and dying every day. That does not make them immune to the suffering of their patients or to those who grieve for them.

Do not hesitate to ask your doctor to give you extra time or to explain just once more the details of your loved one’s illness. Arrange a special appointment or ask that he telephone you at the end of his day. Ask for clear answers to your questions regarding medical diagnosis and treatment. Understand the options available to you. Take your time.

3. Bargaining

The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control–

  • If only we had sought medical attention sooner…
  • If only we got a second opinion from another doctor…
  • If only we had tried to be a better person toward them…

Secretly, we may make a deal with God or our higher power in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. This is a weaker line of defense to protect us from the painful reality.

4. Depression

Two types of depression are associated with mourning. The first one is a reaction to practical implications relating to the loss. Sadness and regret predominate this type of depression. We worry about the costs and burial. We worry that, in our grief, we have spent less time with others that depend on us. This phase may be eased by simple clarification and reassurance. We may need a bit of helpful cooperation and a few kind words.

The second type of depression is more subtle and, in a sense, perhaps more private. It is our quiet preparation to separate and to bid our loved one farewell. Sometimes all we really need is a hug.

5. Acceptance

Reaching this stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. Death may be sudden and unexpected or we may never see beyond our anger or denial. It is not necessarily a mark of bravery to resist the inevitable and to deny ourselves the opportunity to make our peace. This phase is marked by withdrawal and calm. This is not a period of happiness and must be distinguished from depression.

Loved ones that are terminally ill or aging appear to go through a final period of withdrawal. This is by no means a suggestion that they are aware of their own impending death or such, only that physical decline may be sufficient to produce a similar response. Their behavior implies that it is natural to reach a stage at which social interaction is limited. The dignity and grace shown by our dying loved ones may well be their last gift to us.

Coping with loss is ultimately a deeply personal and singular experience — nobody can help you go through it more easily or understand all the emotions that you’re going through. But others can be there for you and help comfort you through this process. The best thing you can do is to allow yourself to feel the grief as it comes over you. Resisting it only will prolong the natural process of healing.

This guest article originally appeared on PsychCentral.com:The 5 Stages of Loss & Grief by Julie Axelrod

Grief and Bereavement Related Resources

  1. Coping with bereavement – Live Well – NHS Choices
  2. Coping if you have been recently or suddenly bereaved | BPS
  3. Help with complex bereavement and grief | Manchester
  4. Cruse Bereavement Care – Somewhere to turn when someone dies

Nigel Magowan uses an integrative approach to grief and bereavement counselling in Manchester. He is a UKCP and BACP Registered Psychotherapist and counsellor, who runs his own private counselling and psychotherapy practice in Chorlton, South Manchester, not far from Didsbury, Stockport, Salford and Altrincham.

Coping with Grief and Loss: The Five Stages

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Women and people under the age of 35 at greatest risk of anxiety https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/anxiety-disorders/women-and-people-under-the-age-of-35-at-greatest-risk-of-anxiety-manchester/ Tue, 07 Jun 2016 16:02:53 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=956824 Women are almost twice as likely to experience anxiety as men, according to a review of existing scientific literature, led by the University of Cambridge. The study also found that people from Western Europe and North America are more likely to suffer from anxiety than people from other cultures. The review, published today in the

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Women are almost twice as likely to experience anxiety as men, according to a review of existing scientific literature, led by the University of Cambridge. The study also found that people from Western Europe and North America are more likely to suffer from anxiety than people from other cultures.

The review, published today in the journal Brain and Behavior, also highlighted how anxiety disorders often provide a double burden on people experiencing other health-related problems, such as heart disease, cancer and even pregnancy.

Anxiety disorders, which often manifest as excessive worry, fear and a tendency to avoid potentially stressful situations including social gatherings, are some of the most common mental health problems in the Western world. The annual cost related to the disorders in the United States is estimated to be $42.3 million. In the European Union, over 60 million people are affected by anxiety disorders in a given year.

Women and people under the age of 35 at greatest risk of anxiety | anxiety manchester | anxiety altrincham | anxiety didsbury

There have been many studies looking at the number of people affected by anxiety disorders and the groups that are at highest risk, and in an attempt to synthesise the various studies, researchers from the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Public Health carried out a global review of systematic reviews. Out of over 1,200 reviews, the researchers identified 48 reviews that matched their criteria for inclusion. The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

Between 1990 and 2010, the overall proportion of people affected remained largely unchanged, with around four out of every 100 experiencing anxiety. The highest proportion of people with anxiety is in North America, where almost eight out of every 100 people are affected; the proportion is lowest in East Asia, where less than three in 100 people have this mental health problem.

Women are almost twice as likely to be affected as men, and young individuals — both male and female — under 35 years of age are disproportionately affected.

The researchers also found that people with other health conditions are often far more likely to also experience anxiety disorders. For example, around one in ten adults (10.9%) with cardiovascular disease and living in Western countries are affected by generalised anxiety disorder, with women showing higher anxiety levels than men. People living with multiple sclerosis are most affected — as many as one in three patients (32%) also have an anxiety disorder.

According to first author Olivia Remes from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge: “Anxiety disorders can make life extremely difficult for some people and it is important for our health services to understand how common they are and which groups of people are at greatest risk.

“By collecting all these data together, we see that these disorders are common across all groups, but women and young people are disproportionately affected. Also, people who have a chronic health condition are at a particular risk, adding a double burden on their lives.”

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) — which is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions — was found to be a problem in pregnant women and in the period immediately after birth. In the general population, only one in a hundred people are affected by OCD, but the proportion with the disorder was double in pregnant women and slightly higher in post-partum women.

However, the analysis also showed that data on some populations was lacking or of poor quality. This was particularly true for marginalised communities, such as indigenous cultures in North America, Australia and New Zealand, and drug users, street youth and sex workers. Anxiety disorders also represent an important issue among people identifying as lesbian, gay, and bisexual; however, there are not enough studies in these populations, and those that have looked at it are of variable quality

Dr Louise Lafortune, Senior Research Associate at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, explains: “Anxiety disorders affect a lot of people and can lead to impairment, disability, and risk of suicide. Although many groups have examined this important topic, significant gaps in research remain.”

Professor Carol Brayne, Director of the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, adds: “Even with a reasonably large number of studies of anxiety disorder, data about marginalised groups is hard to find, and these are people who are likely to be at an even greater risk than the general population. We hope that, by identifying these gaps, future research can be directed towards these groups and include greater understanding of how such evidence can help reduce individual and population burdens.”

Source: Women and people under the age of 35 at greatest risk of anxiety — ScienceDaily
 
Anxiety Related Resources

  1. Helpguide.com – Anxiety Attacks and Anxiety Disorders
  2. Patient.info – Anxiety Disorders. Symptoms of Severe Anxiety. Treatment for Anxiety
  3. Anxiety Treatment in Manchester

 

Reduce anxiety by challenging the assumptions behind your anxious thoughts

Nigel Magowan is a UKCP and BACP Registered Psychotherapist and counsellor, who runs his own private therapy practice in Chorlton, South Manchester, not far from Didsbury, Stockport, Salford and Altrincham.  He uses an integrative approach to the treatment of the various anxiety disorders, such as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), public speaking anxiety, and health anxiety.

 

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Rising numbers of anxious students need counselling and support for mental health problems https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/psychotherapy-and-counselling-news/rising-numbers-of-anxious-students-need-counselling-and-support-for-mental-health-problems-counselling/ Thu, 01 Oct 2015 17:50:08 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=627599 Rising numbers of anxious students need counselling and support for mental health problems By Sean Coughlan – 30 September 2015 – BBC News Record numbers of students are beginning university this term, making the big emotional step of a new independent life, with many living away from home for the first time. But there are warnings

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Rising numbers of anxious students need counselling and support for mental health problems

By Sean Coughlan – 30 September 2015 – BBC News

Record numbers of students are beginning university this term, making the big emotional step of a new independent life, with many living away from home for the first time.

But there are warnings of rising numbers of students struggling to cope with life on campus, with sharp rises in the demand for student counselling services.

And there are questions about whether universities are providing enough support for emotional and mental health problems.
Ruth Caleb, chair of Universities UK’s mental well-being working group, says counselling services are facing an annual rise in demand of about 10%.

She estimates the use of counselling usually ranges between 5% and 10% of students, depending on the university, which would suggest at least 115,000 students are seeking help.

Sir Anthony Seldon, vice chancellor of Buckingham University, says this is a “massive problem” and universities have been “negligent” in accepting their pastoral responsibilities.

“Universities are not always honest about admitting the extent of the problems they have. They need to change, they need to take their responsibilities to students far more carefully.”

A report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, using anonymised data, found a rapid increase in demand for counselling, with one institution seeing an annual increase of more than 50%.

This analysis, published before the new term, showed mental health problems on campus had “increased dramatically” in recent years, rising from about 8,000 to 18,000 in the four years to 2012-13.

The study also warned students want help with more serious problems. Instead of homesickness or relationships, they are increasingly suffering from “anxiety, depression or low mood. Additionally, increasing numbers of students are at high risk of harming themselves”.

Anxiety culture

student counselling manchester chorlton fallowfield rusholmeThe University of Reading says there has been a 20% year-on-year increase in students wanting help from counsellors.

The university’s head of well-being, Alicia Pena Bizama, says students feel under more pressure.

As well as perennial problems of loneliness and relationships, she says there are worries about the rising cost of studying, fear of failing to live up to expectations and uncertainties about job prospects.

“There is a cultural change in being a student,” says Dr Caleb, who is head of counselling at Brunel University.

Instead of a stereotype of student life being about long lazy days, she says increasing numbers experience anxiety and stress, beyond the “transitional” problems of leaving home.

Student life is also affected by wider social changes. Dr Caleb says there is a pattern of parents splitting up when their child goes to university and sometimes selling the family home, which can leave young people feeling vulnerable and unsupported.

‘It can save people’s lives’

Universities are getting better at responding to mental health problems and making it easier to access counselling services. But Dr Caleb says there needs to be more consistency in the quality of services available.

She says that at her university, “we will knock on a door at night if there are concerns. It can save people’s lives”.

But what is so different now about young people’s lives? Is there really such a culture of anxiety?

Meredith Leston, a student at St Anne’s College, Oxford, suffered from anorexia and depression in her first year.

“People talk about ‘snapping’ and that is what happened to me. I just couldn’t take the pressure and the whole new realm of expectations.”

She says part of the problem is the ever-present role of social media, fuelling a culture of constant comparison and a sense of inadequacy.

“As well as being a first class student, you have to be a first class person, you have to be performing socially, academically. It’s a nightmare. You’re constantly on.”

‘Suffering in silence’

Ms Leston says she received help from her university, but she is worried about the patchy provision for some students.

“I do worry that a lot of students are suffering in silence at the moment.”

“I think there is a very strong stigma still surrounding mental health issues, but even in the few years I’ve been at university, I’ve seen a slow change, people are beginning to talk about it.”

Following her own experiences, she is supporting a mental health charity, Student Minds, and has founded her own campaign, Meeting of Minds.

Sir Anthony Seldon recently became a university head after working as a head teacher in the independent school sector.

And he says universities have much catching up to do on student well-being.

Sir Anthony warns some universities might see their status in terms of research and league tables, with the danger they view undergraduates as an “inconvenience”.

But he says they cannot ignore the rising incidence of problems such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

“Universities, with some exceptions, haven’t been fully owning up to the extent of the malaise among young people. Or understanding what can be done to ameliorate these problems.”

“I don’t think universities mean to be negligent. But if not deliberately, they are being negligent, they are not accepting their responsibility for these young people. And needless avoidable problems are occurring all the way up to suicide.”

‘Sink or swim’

The increase in tuition fees has also changed students’ expectations.

Universities are now competing on the quality of their services as well as academic prowess. And students expect to have support for emotional problems.

Three student protests and occupations this year have called for better counselling services.

At the University of Reading student welfare has been made a priority, including a long-term project to monitor well-being.

Marina Della Giusta, responsible for the research, says students are “definitely feeling more stressed”.

“The factors that really drive it are financial stress, university education has become more expensive. And job prospects are more uncertain, so they’re not sure whether it’s going to pay off.”

The other constant thorn is the expectation to be seen to be having a good time, with social media turning social lives into a place of competition rather than relaxation.

But the increase in using counselling services also reflected a greater willingness to ask for help – and Dr Della Giusta says universities are moving away from a “sink or swim” attitude.

“There’s no point turning out students who have a first if they are going to be unhappy and unable to function as human beings out there in the workplace or in their personal life.”

Universities UK says it issued guidance this year to all universities on how to support students with mental health problems.

“Universities take student mental health very seriously. For some students, an unfamiliar higher education environment can be stressful, particularly for those who already have an underlying illness,” says chief executive Nicola Dandridge.

“Some students are reluctant to disclose their difficulties, which can also present a challenge for universities seeking to support them. However, the development of policies and anti-stigma campaigns is now beginning to address both these issues.”

Read the original article by Sean Coughlan here: BBC News – Rising numbers of stressed students seek help

 

Related Student Counselling Resources

  1. Helpguide.com – Anxiety Attacks and Anxiety Disorders
  2. Patient.info – Anxiety Disorders. Symptoms of Severe Anxiety. Treatment for Anxiety
  3. Counselling Service – The University of Manchester
  4. Counselling Service – Manchester Metropolitan University
  5. Inner Changes Private Counselling and Psychotherapy Service

Rising numbers of anxious students need counselling and support for mental health problems

Inner Changes offers private counselling and psychotherapy services in the South Manchester area.

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Reduce anxiety by challenging the assumptions behind your anxious thoughts https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/anxiety-disorders/reduce-anxiety-by-challenging-assumptions-behind-anxious-thoughts-manchester-stockport-altrincham-didsbury/ Tue, 09 Jun 2015 15:50:53 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=4461 Reduce anxiety by challenging the assumptions behind your anxious thoughts There are a number of helpful ways to change how you think about anxiety provoking situations. One of the ways is to think of the anxious thoughts as incorrect predictions or assumptions about future events which are based upon unhelpful evidence from your past experiences.  Approaches

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Reduce anxiety by challenging the assumptions behind your anxious thoughts

There are a number of helpful ways to change how you think about anxiety provoking situations. One of the ways is to think of the anxious thoughts as incorrect predictions or assumptions about future events which are based upon unhelpful evidence from your past experiences.  Approaches similar to this are often used in a number of cognitive therapies, such as CBT and NLP.

Reduce anxiety by challenging the assumptions behind your anxious thoughts | anxiety manchester | anxiety altrincham | anxiety stockport

As you go through life your mind will automatically creates assumptions based on your experiences. These assumptions then help you to make sense of the world around you by providing meaning, and helping you predict what might happen in future situations.  This can aid you in avoiding potentially difficult or threatening future situations, keeping you safe and comfortable.  Whilst the vast majority of the assumptions your mind creates work very well, some of the ones responsible for intense anxieties can be so unrealistic, out of proportion, or simply out of date, that they end up restricting your life more than they help.

The aim of the simple exercise below is to help loosen up, rebalance, and change these anxiety provoking assumptions by reminding yourself about all the other times in the past when that part of your mind simply got the prediction completely wrong.

Do the preparation step a) for each of your anxious thoughts.  You don’t always have to do the preparation stage, but it will certainly help you to have more positive evidence quickly to hand for step b) should you need it.  Do step b) each time you find yourself worrying about a future situation.  Each time you make it through a situation you previously worried about, do step c).  Repetition of this exercise is very important, the more often you challenge your anxious thoughts with positive counter-evidence the better.

Note: If you are suffering from very severe anxiety then this process may not be comprehensive enough by itself, and it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a properly qualified and registered psychotherapist, CBT practitioner, or counsellor.  They can guide you and help you to thoroughly explore and work through your anxiety in much more depth.

a)      Preparation

  1. Consider the anxiety you want to work on. (e.g. lifts, public speaking, interviews)
  2. Focus on what exactly your mind is predicting will happen whenever you feel anxious. (e.g. The lift will stop and I won’t ever be able to get out)
  3. Think of as many specific times in the past as you can when you’ve had similar anxious thoughts but they didn’t actually come true.  If you can’t think of times when it turned out completely okay, instead try looking for situations where it wasn’t as bad as your anxiety predicted it would be.
  4. Write down whatever memories come up in step 3 so you can refer to them in the next stage.

b)     Each time the anxious thoughts occurs

  1. Notice that you are feeling anxious or worrying about a future situation.
  2. Focus on what exactly your mind is predicting will happen.
  3. Tell yourself the anxiety is an incorrect assumption about the future. That a part of your mind has somehow got the prediction wrong.  For example think “The part of my mind that is responsible for this worry is making an incorrect prediction about the future.”
  4. Provide the evidence for the incorrect predictions by reminding yourself of as many past situations in which you had similar anxious thoughts and your mind had just got it completely wrong or even partially wrong.  For example “I know this because in the past I worried about it here, here, here and here, and it didn’t actually happen, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

e.g.  “The part of my mind that is responsible for this anxiety is making an incorrect prediction about the future.  I know this because in the past I have worried about getting stuck in a lift, and yet I have been in a lift many times and never got stuck.  I worried about it at the station, and it didn’t happen, and I worried about it at the hotel and nothing happened, and I worried about it at the flat and it didn’t happen either, and I also worried about it at the airport and it was perfectly okay.”

c) When you make it through a worrying situation and it wasn’t as bad as you expected

Remind yourself that the part of your mind responsible for generating the worry has got it wrong again, because what it predicted didn’t actually happen. Or at the very least it wasn’t quite as bad as you thought it would be.

Related Anxiety Resources

  1. Helpguide.com – Anxiety Attacks and Anxiety Disorders
  2. Patient.info – Anxiety Disorders. Symptoms of Severe Anxiety. Treatment for Anxiety
  3. Social Anxiety Treatment in Manchester
  4. Fear of Public Speaking Manchester

 

Reduce anxiety by challenging the assumptions behind your anxious thoughts

Nigel Magowan is a UKCP and BACP Registered Psychotherapist and counsellor, who runs his own private therapy practice in Chorlton, South Manchester, not far from Didsbury, Stockport, Salford and Altrincham.  He uses an integrative approach to the treatment of the various anxiety disorders, such as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), public speaking anxiety, and health anxiety.

 

 

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Study finds that talking therapy is better than pills for treating social anxiety https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/treatment-in-manchester/anxiety/social-anxiety-talking-therapy-is-better-than-drugs/ Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:42:09 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=54213 Study finds that talking therapy is better than pills for treating social anxiety disorder (SAD) Talking therapy is more effective than pills in treating social anxiety disorder, a study has found. Social phobia/anxiety is a persistent fear of social situations.  It is one of the most common anxiety disorders. A review of 101 clinical trials

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Study finds that talking therapy is better than pills for treating social anxiety disorder (SAD)

Talking therapy is more effective than pills in treating social anxiety disorder, a study has found.

Social phobia/anxiety is a persistent fear of social situations.  It is one of the most common anxiety disorders.

Social Anxiety  | Social Phobia | Talking Therapy | Counsellor | Psychotherapist | ManchesterA review of 101 clinical trials found talking therapies were more effective and more long lasting than medication.

Medication should be used only when psychological treatments are turned down, said the UK/US team behind the study in The Lancet Psychiatry.

“Social anxiety is more than just shyness,” said Dr Evan Mayo-Wilson, of the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a co-researcher on the study.

“The good news from our study is that social anxiety is treatable. Now that we know what works best, we need to improve access to psychotherapy for those who are suffering.”

The study, involving more than 13,000 participants, compared different types of psychological therapy with medications such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines….

Read the rest of the BBC article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29367062

 

Study finds that talking therapy is better than pills for treating social anxiety

Article originally posted on BBC News Health – 26 September 2014 00:49

Websites Related to Social Anxiety and Social Phobia:

  1. Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) – NHS Choices
  2. Shyness and Social Anxiety – Moodjuice Self-help Guide
  3. Social Phobia/Anxiety Treatment in Manchester
  4. Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS – SR) – Liebowitz Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) Test

 

About Inner Changes Psychotherapy and Counselling

Inner Changes is the website of Manchester based UKCP Registered Psychotherapist, Nigel Magowan.  Nigel is a professional and experienced Manchester Counsellor / Psychotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner, and Life Coach. He has been in full-time private practice for over 12 years and uses a flexible brief integrative approach which combines all his training, skills and experience to produce a treatment that is tailored to your specific needs.

Original article: Published on the BBC News website.  Accessed 26 September 2014.  Study finds that talking therapy is better than pills for treating social anxiety.

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Sleep’s memory role discovered – Psychotherapy and Counselling News https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/conditions/insomnia-and-sleep-disorders/sleeps-memory-role-discovered-insomnia-manchester-psychotherapist/ Fri, 06 Jun 2014 13:00:26 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=4855 Sleep’s memory role discovered The mechanism by which a good night’s sleep improves learning and memory has been discovered by scientists. The team in China and the US used advanced microscopy to witness new connections between brain cells – synapses – forming during sleep. Their study, published in the journal Science, showed even intense training could

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Sleep’s memory role discovered

The mechanism by which a good night’s sleep improves learning and memory has been discovered by scientists.

The team in China and the US used advanced microscopy to witness new connections between brain cells – synapses – forming during sleep.

Their study, published in the journal Science, showed even intense training could not make up for lost sleep.

Experts said it was an elegant and significant study, which uncovered the mechanisms of memory.image man asleep closeup manchester counsellor

It is well known that sleep plays an important role in memory and learning. But what actually happens inside the brain has been a source of considerable debate.

Researchers at New York University School of Medicine and Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School trained mice in a new skill – walking on top of a rotating rod.

They then looked inside the living brain with a microscope to see what happened when the animals were either sleeping or sleep deprived.

Their study showed that sleeping mice formed significantly more new connections between neurons – they were learning more.

And by disrupting specific phases of sleep, the research group showed deep or slow-wave sleep was necessary for memory formation.

During this stage, the brain was “replaying” the activity from earlier in the day.

Prof Wen-Biao Gan, from New York University, told the BBC: “Finding out sleep promotes new connections between neurons is new, nobody knew this before.

“We thought sleep helped, but it could have been other causes, and we show it really helps to make connections and that in sleep the brain is not quiet, it is replaying what happened during the day and it seems quite important for making the connections.”

Read the full original BBC article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-27695144

Sleep’s memory role discovered

Article by ublished on the BBC News website at 00:44 GMT, Friday, 6 June 2014

 

Websites Related to Sleep and Insomnia:

  1. National Sleep Foundation – Sleep Research and Education
  2. NHS Choices – Insomnia Treatment
  3. Sleep Manchester
  4. Anxiety Manchester

 

About Inner Changes

Inner Changes is the website of Manchester based UKCP Registered Psychotherapist, Nigel Magowan.  Nigel is a professional and experienced Manchester Psychotherapist / Counsellor, NLP Master Practitioner, Life Coach, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. He has been in full-time private practice for over 12 years and uses a flexible brief integrative approach which combines all his training, skills and experience to produce a treatment that is tailored to your specific needs.

Original article: Published on the BBC News website.  Accessed 6 June 2014.  Sleep’s memory role discovered.

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Smartphone blue light may cause sleep problems https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/conditions/insomnia-and-sleep-disorders/smartphone-light-may-make-young-people-lose-sleep-manchester-counsellor/ Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:30:11 +0000 https://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/?p=4734 Smartphone blue light may cause sleep problems. BBC Newsbeat More than nine out of 10 young people expose themselves to the blue light from smartphones and tablets, before bed, causing problems with sleep. A new survey also shows more than 28m people in the UK regularly get no more than seven hours sleep a night. Prof

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Smartphone blue light may cause sleep problems.

BBC Newsbeat

More than nine out of 10 young people expose themselves to the blue light from smartphones and tablets, before bed, causing problems with sleep.

A new survey also shows more than 28m people in the UK regularly get no more than seven hours sleep a night. Prof Richard Wiseman, who commissioned the YouGov poll described the findings as “extremely worrying“. Of the 2,149 adults questioned, 78% said they used electronic devices before going to bed. This rose to 91% among the 18 to 24-year-olds questioned in the survey.

Sleep Manchester - Blue light from iphones and smartphones may cause insomnia and sleep problems

“The blue light from these devices suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, so it’s important to avoid them before bed time,”
said Prof Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire.

Everyone needs different amounts of sleep, but adults are generally thought to require a minimum of seven to eight hours a night. Teenagers are recommended to get more, about nine hours. The proportion of people thought to be getting too little sleep had risen by a fifth since a “bedroom poll” conducted last year by the National Sleep Foundation.

“This is a huge rise, and the results are extremely worrying because getting less than seven hours sleep a night is below the recommended guidelines, and is associated with a range of problems, including an increased risk of weight gain, heart attacks, diabetes and cancer,”

Prof Wiseman said.

The people surveyed were asked if they used a computer, tablet or smartphone in the two hours before bed.  They were also asked about dreams and just one in ten agreed with the statement: “I would describe my dreams as pleasant.”

Last week it was revealed opticians were warning that overuse of smartphones may be increasing people’s risk of eye damage.  Optician Andy Hepworth said: “Blue violet light is potentially hazardous and toxic to the back of your eyes. ”  So over a long period of time it can potentially damage your eyes.  “When you’re looking at a smart phone, the light peaking out of that is blue violet.”…read the full article here

 

Smartphone light may make most young people lose sleep

Original article published on the BBC News website at 11:00 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2014 12:00 UK
Read the original here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/26886133

 

Websites Related to Sleep and Insomnia:

  1. National Sleep Foundation – Sleep Research and Education
  2. NHS Choices – Insomnia Treatment
  3. Sleep Manchester
  4. Anxiety Manchester

 

About Inner Changes

Inner Changes is the website of Manchester based UKCP Registered Psychotherapist, Nigel Magowan.  Nigel is a professional and experienced Integrative Psychotherapist / Counsellor, NLP Master Practitioner, Life Coach, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. He has been in full-time private practice for over 12 years and uses a flexible brief integrative approach which combines all his training, skills and experience to produce a treatment that is tailored to your specific needs.

Original article: Published on the BBC Newsbeat website. Accessed 6 April 2014.  Smartphone light may make most young people lose sleep.

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