Author: Tiina Sormus

Addiction EMDR, CBT and Mindfulness

Using EMDR, CBT and Mindfulness to Beat Your Addiction

Addiction takes many forms and has a range of underlying causes. Drug and drink addiction is both psychological and biological in their hold on people. Gambling addiction is damaging in other ways, not least the pressure it puts on relationships and the huge amounts of debt that is often involved.

At our Positive Mind Practice in London, we know that coping with addiction is hugely challenging for the individual concerned. The good news is that a range of approaches can be used and have been proven to be highly effective in treating different forms of addiction.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a complex problem which is characterised by persistent behaviours that are repeated despite the individual understanding the damage that is being done. While we mostly associate this with substance abuse (alcohol or drugs), it is a much broader social problem in today’s society than many of us realise.

People can become addicted to food, gambling, sex, video games and the internet to name just a few things.

Addiction becomes a problem when someone is unable to function without their fix. A drug addict, for example, may be so focused on their habit that they are willing to steal to feed it. A gambler may take money from friends and family. Someone who is addicted to gaming may be unable to hold down a job.

Addiction doesn’t have to be life-changing, however. Many people live with addiction and can function quite adequately. That includes people who are addicted to cigarettes or individuals that have an unhealthy relationship with food.

CBT and Addiction: Does it Work?

CBT is a therapeutic approach that looks at ingrained thoughts and behaviours and finds practical ways to change them. Negative thoughts can act as a barrier to anyone wanting to shake off an addiction.

  • Also known as talking therapy, CBT can help individuals develop more positive approaches to their addiction, interrupting negative thought processes that can get in the way.
  • Some negative thoughts stem from childhood events or memories, especially in problems such as drug or alcohol addiction.
  • Other problems come from a mistaken belief that an individual doesn’t possess the right coping skills to deal with the world sober.

Many beliefs that we have in respect of addiction are wrong, and the role of the CBT therapist is to help identify these and discover new approaches.

While CBT acknowledges that the past might have a significant role to play in someone’s addiction, it’s a practical process that is always looking to the future. It isn’t merely sitting down with a therapist and talking things through. Action needs to be taken, and individuals will be given ‘homework’ to do that helps them further understand their behaviour and help find new ways to change the status quo.

A lot will depend on the extent of a person’s addiction; it’s root cause and how they approach their therapy sessions. Undertaken with the right focus, however, it can have remarkable results. Research, for example, has shown that CBT is a highly effective treatment for problem gambling, whether it’s delivered on a one to one basis or in a group.

EMDR and Addiction

EMDR or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing is another therapeutic approach that can also help with conditions such as addiction. It was developed back in the late 1980s and has proved particularly effective in treating PTSD and anxiety disorders.

In this respect, it may help with an addiction if there is an underlying trauma from the past involved. For example, if someone drinks or takes drugs because they were abused in childhood, using EMDR to explore this trauma can help someone come to terms with their addiction.

EMDR uses a bilateral stimulus to help the brain process traumatic experiences better. On the surface, this can look quite simple. For example, as an individual recalls the pain of a traumatic experience, the therapist gets them to follow a simple light movement from side to side. This can also be achieved with a sound cue alternately appearing in one ear and then the other.

What this does is help reduce the impact of the traumatic memory while it is being recalled, enabling the individual to process things more clearly. It’s thought that this approach gives people the tools they need to develop strategies that then enable them to recover from their addiction.

This approach does not suit everyone, but it is often used in conjunction with CBT and mindfulness when a past traumatic event is indicated.

Using Mindfulness to Cope with Addiction

Anyone who has suffered from an addiction, even a relatively simple one such as smoking, will understand the power that cravings can have on the individual.

Learning to cope with those moments when you are at most risk of falling off the wagon, retaking drugs or placing that bet is probably one of the biggest challenges addicts face.

One method that has proven to help many people is using a mindfulness approach. This is a meditative therapy that helps reshape your thoughts and feelings in more positive ways. It is about focusing on the present moment and observing our fears and emotions in a non-judgemental. Done properly, we can look at cravings and understand them for what they are. We can disassociate from them and better cope when those feelings start to get too much for us.

Like any meditative practice, mindfulness can take a while to learn. Over time, however, you will have a more compassionate view of your addiction and have the tools to bypass negative thoughts and attitudes.

Finding an Addiction Therapist in London

Any addiction is a challenge, and it takes a lot of effort to overcome one. Therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive behaviour therapy have proven effective. It’s essential, however, to work with a qualified therapist who will be able to support you in finding the approach that works for you.

At Positive Mind Practice in London, we are experienced in a number of different therapeutic treatments designed to help with addiction. If you would like to find out how we can help, book an appointment today.

 

Panic Attacks CBT, EMDR and Mindfulness

Panic Attacks: What Therapies Are Available?

Anyone who has suffered from a panic attack knows how frightening and debilitating it can be. Out of the blue, you find your heart beating rapidly, your breath getting shorter, you start trembling and sweating, and it’s difficult to control your emotions.

The fact that it can happen at any time and anywhere is also very challenging.

Everyone is likely to experience some level of anxiety at times in their life. That anxiety may even spill over into panic in severe circumstances.

For those with a panic disorder, however, these kinds of events occur regularly and have a significant impact on their life, their confidence and their ability to function normally.

The cause of panic attacks is very well understood, and they are often associated with major life transitions. These can include getting married, having a baby or even moving to a new job. In some cases, they may be influenced by past traumatic events that impact on how we view certain situations.

The best treatment for panic disorder and panic attacks involves therapeutic approaches, including CBT or EMDR. Medication is only really used when the symptoms are too severe, and the effect potentially life-threatening.

  • A typical attack will reach its peak in about 10 minutes and can last as long as to an hour.
  • Once that first panic attack has occurred, many people live in fear of it happening again.
  • Panic attacks may act as precursors of other mental health problems such as agoraphobia which can make individuals avoid certain situations such as crowds or even stepping outdoors.

CBT and Panic Attacks

The most common approach to helping someone tackle and come to terms with their panic attacks is cognitive behaviour therapy or CBT. It regularly outperforms other methods including control through medication which is generally seen as a last resort (and not very effective in the long term).

CBT is also called talking therapy, and it involves exploring the cause of panic attacks and the thoughts and feelings that go with this kind of behaviour. CBT then looks for ways to ‘rephrase’ the individual’s approach to the panic attacks and find coping mechanisms and solutions that work for them.

This is done with help from a qualified therapist over 1-3 sessions. Ways that can help include:

  • Using relaxation: Training in this area gives the individual the tools they need to reduce anxiety levels that often precede a panic attack.
  • Cognitive restructuring: The patient and therapist work together to identify negative thoughts or behaviours that contribute to their panic attacks and find ways to restructure these, so they are more favourable.
  • Exposure treatment: In some cases, continued exposure to panic attacks or the elements that lead to them can help reduce the impact. This needs to be done under controlled conditions with the therapist.

No one person is the same when it comes to mental health. A qualified CBT therapist has to work with the individual closely to explore the issues that are causing their attacks, hopefully finding the right approach and practical solutions that help to reverse things.

Can EMDR Help Combat a Panic Attack?

EMDR or eye movement desensitisation reprocessing was developed in the late 80s and has proven useful in treating psychological conditions such as PTSD, panic attacks, phobias, fears and self-esteem. It uses eye movements, audio stimulation or hand tapping to help unblock and remove intense emotional responses. It, therefore, makes sense that it is an effective therapy for panic attacks.

  • The individual is guided through their memories, recalling a traumatic event such as the first panic attack.
  • The person recalls that particular event and how it made them feel both physically and emotionally.
  • The therapist will typically get the individual to move their eyes from side to side, often in response to a stimulus such as light
  • Additionally could be used alternate audio sounds in the right and left ear or tapping on the right and then left hands in a complicated

EMDR allows the individual to break the association between their feelings, thoughts and sensations when it comes to a panic attack and lessen the impact. Over time, this helps them have more control. This kind of treatment is often used in conjunction with CBT and mindfulness.

You can find out more about how EMDR works on our blog.

Using Mindfulness to Cope with Panic Attacks

Mindfulness is another therapeutic approach that enables the individual who suffers from panic attacks to take greater control. Mindful approaches are all about changing our relationship with the world around us.

For instance, it can help us step back and look at our behaviour, feelings and sensations in a non-judgemental way. We often rush through life without paying enough attention to what is happening. Mindfulness is all about being in the moment, noticing it and then making the best decisions on one’s life.

Recent research has undoubtedly shown that greater mindfulness has the potential to reduce feelings of anxiety. It’s a process that anyone can learn and which can have immediate effects on the individual. Thoughts aren’t facts, and we can reframe how we feel about a situation at any given moment.

For example, if a person is feeling overly anxious, something that acts as a precursor to a panic attack, they can use a mindfulness approach to question their reaction. They can then use techniques such as breathing exercises to reduce anxiety and feel more centred. This, in turn, makes having a panic attack less likely.

While this technique can be challenging to learn, with the help of a qualified therapist, individuals can quickly make it a part of their daily routine. In conjunction with other therapeutic approaches, it has the potential to have a huge impact on how difficult situations and triggers are better managed.

Finding a Therapist in London

Panic attacks are more common than many of us think. They can have a detrimental effect on people’s lives, and it’s vital to find solutions that work. If you live in the London area and want to find out how CBT, EMDR and mindfulness could help with your panic attacks, the team at Positive Mind Practice are here to help.

Contact us today to book an appointment and the chance to explore a life free from panic attacks.

 

Phobia EMDR, CBT and Mindfulness

Therapy for Phobias: EMDR, CBT and Mindfulness in London

Phobias can cause reactions that range from mildly inconvenient fears of an object or situation to extreme terror that paralyses us completely.

Many people choose to avoid coming into contact with the cause of their phobia. Someone with a fear of heights will not go out on the balcony, for instance. If you hate spiders, you’ll tend to avoid places where those eight-legged friends hang out.

At the Positive Mind Practice, we regularly see clients that have a phobia and want to do something about it.

Some have a severe problem that fills them with fear; others have a less troublesome phobia but want to change the way they feel. This is a diverse area of therapy and one where no one person is the same as another.

What Are Phobias?

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that is focused on a particular object or a situation. The most common are:

  • Agoraphobia: fear of open or crowded spaces.
  • Social phobia: fear of social gatherings or events.
  • Arachnophobia: fear of spiders.
  • Claustrophobia: fear of enclosed spaces.
  • Acrophobia: fear of heights.

Phobias are often caused by a bad experience in childhood or early adulthood. An example would be if someone were attacked by a dog when they were a child. They may carry this fear with them into adulthood even though most dogs are unlikely to bite them.

Phobias can also be learnt if a member of the family has a fear or anxiety that they are unable to control. There are complex phobias which are more difficult to dissect because they may have several underlying causes.

CBT and Phobias

Many people can control their phobia without it having a huge impact on their life. Someone who doesn’t like heights can find ways to avoid them. Other phobias are more problematic. If you have a fear of flying and you need to travel a lot, for example, therapy of some kind may help.

CBT or cognitive behaviour therapy is the most popular therapeutic choice when it comes to psychological challenges such as phobias. CBT is a form of counselling that enables you to address your fear and put in place strategies for coping with it.

This can include methods to reduce anxiety using mindfulness and meditation. Increased exposure or desensitisation to something that you fear can also work to reduce the emotional turmoil.

If you have a fear of spiders, for example, your therapist might start by getting you to research and read about them. That will progress to looking at images and videos. You might then increase your exposure, perhaps viewing live spiders in enclosed cases. The final step would have a spider out in the open or even getting you to hold one.

Therapy may mean that it doesn’t affect the individual as much as before. However, someone may not enjoy flying at all, but they can get onto a plane following therapy and travel from A to B using certain coping mechanisms like meditation.

Using EMDR to Treat Phobias

Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing is a therapeutic technique that has been shown to work for individuals who suffer from high levels of anxiety such as trauma. It’s also a suitable mechanism for helping people overcome problems like phobias and fears.

With a therapist, an individual is asked to recall seeing, for example, a spider and think about the feelings and sensations that they experience during this time. While this happens, bilateral stimulation is used to lessen the emotional impact.

This may involve getting the individual to track a light moving from side to side or listening to a sound alternating between the ears. This approach has been shown to help people process highly emotional situations better and very fast alleviating the impact of the feelings associated with phobias.

Using this process, many people can reprocess how they react to objects or situations that cause their phobia. Often it just takes one session to remove the distress altogether.

Can Mindfulness Help Beat a Phobia?

Another approach for helping people deal with phobias is mindfulness. This has proved useful with a range of psychological challenges, including anxiety and depression. Mindfulness uses a meditation approach to basically step back and view your emotional response to certain stimuli non-judgmentally.

Research has shown that it’s a great way to modulate our emotions and keep things on an even keel. With the help of a qualified therapist, you will begin to tune into your senses and see them in a different light.

For example, if you have a fear of insects, mindfulness can change your attitude by helping you realise that your response is disproportionate. It is a gradual process that mainly breaks the link between your phobic reaction and the stimulus itself. Over time, you learn to have a more positive reaction.

Mindfulness and meditation require constant practice, and they can be difficult to get the hang of at first. Once your practice is ingrained, and you understand how it works; however, it often has a remarkable impact on dealing with challenges such as phobias.

It can also help with other aspects of your life, especially if you are more prone to feeling anxious for a variety of reasons.

Finding a Phobia Specialist Near Me

Many people come to our London clinic not because they struggle with their phobia but because they don’t want to have it control their life in any way. Many phobias can easily be avoided, and that’s what the vast majority of people tend to do.

If you have a phobia that does impact your daily life, however, it’s important to do something positive to break the cycle. Our qualified therapists at Positive Mind Practice work with people from all walks of life in the London area. We can use the fastest approach that suits you, whether ii’s CBT, EMDRor mindfulness meditation to help you overcome your worst fears.

If you would like to break the hold a phobia has on you, contact us today and make an appointment.

Low Self-Esteem and CBT, EMDR and Mindfulness

Low Self-Esteem: What Are Your Therapy Options?

Do you suffer from low self-esteem? Is it affecting your life and preventing you from moving forward? If you are searching for therapy in London, Positive Mind Practice offers a range of solutions from CBT and EMDR to mindfulness training.

Low self-esteem is characterised by negative feelings about yourself which results in lack of confidence. It’s something that can happen for a variety of reasons. The opinion we have of ourselves is extremely important and unproductive thoughts will have knock-on effects on our sense of worth and mental health as we move through life.

Some people may have low self-esteem because of something that happened to them in the past. This could be a traumatic event or simply lack of support from teachers, parents and peers. It can happen following a bad experience at work or when a relationship breaks down. Serious illness or bereavement can also have an impact on self-esteem.

Low self-esteem means that we lack the confidence to move forward productively, despite our best efforts. Individuals may try to avoid certain circumstances or difficult situations, and this can reinforce their negative image even more.

All of us have doubts throughout life, but living with low self-esteem for long periods is likely to cause other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Fortunately, there are ways to identify unproductive attitudes and challenge them, particularly through talking therapies such as CBT.

How CBT Helps Improve Low Self-Esteem

Cognitive behaviour therapy is ideally suited to helping with issues such as low self-esteem. At the Positive Mind Practice in London, we have used it to support a range of individuals from all walks of life to re-evaluate their self-image and come up with strategies to transform negative thought patterns into more positive ones.

What is CBT?

CBT is often called talking therapy. It’s all about looking at what you want to change in your life and influencing thought patterns and behaviours to bring these about. Low self-esteem generally creates a cycle that gradually gets worse. The purpose of CBT, in this case, is to interrupt that cycle for the better.

Dealing with low self-esteem may involve different approaches depending on the cause and where the individual wants to be at the end of therapy. Learning to challenge negative beliefs can be difficult, but it can have dramatic and positive effects.

CBT Therapy in London

Retraining the brain using CBT is an ongoing process. At our London clinic, we’ll work with you to challenge beliefs and create new ones that are more in tune with a positive self-image. This is backed up by behavioural changes that reinforce those developments in thought patterns.

Cognitive restructuring, for example, is a way of identifying unhelpful ways of thinking and finding strategies to change these. At its heart, CBT is about implementing practical solutions that make a difference to the individual.

Low Self-Esteem and EMDR

Another approach that can be used to help with low self-esteem is EMDR. This is effective, mainly when there are past traumatic or harmful events that may have led to feelings of lack of worth in an individual.

What is EMDR?

Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing or EMDR is used in treating PTSD but also has applications for mental health problems such as low self-esteem. Lack of confidence and a negative self-image often develop because of difficult moments from the past.

EMDR gets the individual to focus on this event or moment while being exposed to another sensory input. This might be simply following the movement of a finger back and forth or tapping alternately on the one hand and then the other.

While it sounds simple, EMDR helps to desensitise the individual so that traumatic or difficult memories are not so intense and difficult to address. The individual can have a more balanced view of these moments and begin to understand how they affected them in later life.

When Is EMDR Appropriate for Self-Esteem Issues?

At our therapy clinic in London, it’s all about finding the right approach, and that may be a mix of EMDR, CBT and mindfulness. There is a lot of evidence to show that EMDR works well when there is a traumatic or troubling event in the past where it can help the individual come to terms with things and move forward.

Improving Self-Esteem Through Mindfulness

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to mental health. If you are suffering from low self-esteem, it’s important to work with a qualified therapist who can help you navigate towards a better sense of self-worth and wellbeing. One method we find useful at our London clinic is mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is all about being aware of your body and thoughts at the moment. It’s a method of getting better in tune with yourself, noticing what is happening, and it can have a significant effect on how you perceive the world. Negative thoughts about yourself become thoughts, and you view them in a non-judgemental way.

How Does it Work?

Research has shown that a little self-compassion can go a long way. It allows you to acknowledge your problems and thoughts fully but lets you be less self-critical. It’s a process that can be taught and, though it takes a good deal of work, often plays a vital role in developing a better self-image.

Is it Time to do Something About Your Low Self-Esteem?

Low self-esteem is a more common problem in modern society than many of us think. The good news is that a range of therapeutic approaches will help and these include CBT, EMDR and mindfulness.

At Positive Mind Practice in London, we can help you explore the issues and find solutions in a calm, comfortable, friendly environment. Our therapeutic support is based on providing you with practical ways to boost your self-esteem and live a free and more productive life.

If you would like to discuss how our therapists can help with self-esteem issues and want to book an appointment, contact Positive Mind Practice today.

Work-Related Stress cbt, emdr and mindfulness

Work-Related Stress: How CBT, EMDR and Mindfulness Can Help

Most of us get stress out at work at some time. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It may be a particularly busy time of the year, or you may have a boss who seems far too demanding.

Work-related stress can, unfortunately, get out of hand pretty quickly and then it becomes a significant problem for the individual involved.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, in 2018, 12.9 million working days were lost to work-related stress. It has become a significant issue over the last few decades, and not enough is being done in the workplace to make things much better.

Work-related stress is an even bigger issue in a bustling city like London. Not only do you have the struggle of getting to and from work and earning a salary that gives you a decent standard of living, but you’re also probably exposed to high-pressure work environments, whether you are an executive working on the Stock Exchange floor or a health practitioner delivering care in a local hospital.

Consistent work-related stress has all sorts of knock-on effects. You may start drinking more to ease the pressure. Your sleep will undoubtedly be disrupted. You could get angry or irritable more than usual. Your relationships may suffer, and your self-esteem can drop like a stone as you try to cope with the constant pressure of delivering results.

We often have a ‘suck it up and get on with things’ approach to stress. In the short term, this usually works. In the long-term, however, it can be damaging to your mental health. If you are struggling with work-related stress, it’s essential to do something about it.

The good news is there is a range of therapeutic approaches that should reduce the impact of stress and help you find more productive ways of moving forward.

Can CBT Help With Work-Related Stress?

Talking therapy is a great way to look at those things that trigger your stress and give you the tools to find strategies that allow you to cope. We often get in the position where we can’t see the wood for the trees and CBT is one way to improve the clarity of thought and action.

What is CBT?

CBT works to challenge unhelpful beliefs and thoughts and then put in alternatives that make a difference to the way we think and feel. Work-related stress is sometimes seen as something we have to cope with, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look for better strategies.

How Does it Work?

With a qualified therapist, you will talk through your problems at work and how these are impacting your health and wellbeing. For example, our emotions can be a significant driving force and may influence how we think about a particularly stressful situation. CBT helps you reframe what success looks like and what it means.

CBT isn’t just about delving into our thought patterns. It aims to provide practical solutions wherever possible. That may include behavioural changes such as learning to prioritise your worktime better or implementing strategies for getting a better night’s sleep.

EMDR and Stress

EMDR or eye movement desensitisation reprocessing has been used a lot in the treatment of PTSD and for other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It can have a role to play in helping individuals to cope with work-related stress but much depends on the circumstances.

What is EMDR?

EMDR uses a bi-lateral stimulus while someone recalls a traumatic or troubling memory. This stimulus most often involves getting the individual to track a finger movement with their eyes while recalling the event. Therapists can use other stimuli such as sound or alternate tapping of the hands.

It sounds simple, but the research indicates that EMDR can have quite profound effects.

How Does it Work?

What this does, scientists think, is help diminish the intensity of the traumatic emotions and this improves the processing of the event by the brain, allowing individuals to challenge or change their view of what they mean. This can help improve emotional health and make the individual more resilient.

Reducing Work-Related Stress with Mindfulness

Another effective strategy for dealing with work-related stress is mindfulness. While this takes some time and effort to learn to practice correctly, it has been shown to lower stress levels in individuals and provides a life tool that can be called upon at any time.

What is Mindfulness?

Many medium-sized and more significant business that is concerned about wellness in the workplace has begun to introduce mindfulness courses for their employees and popularity is increasing. The evidence suggests that mindfulness certainly acts as a buffer against the damaging effects of stress and allows individuals to maintain control.

Mindfulness is a way of observing yourself in a non-judgemental way. It allows you to keep track of your thoughts, feelings and emotions.

How Does it Work?

We all too often rush through life without paying attention to what is going on with our bodies and minds. Mindfulness gets us to step back and view ourselves as objectively as possible. By doing this, we are able better to understand our emotions and regulate them, feel more centred and less stressed out.

This kind of attentional control has also proved useful in regulating problem behaviours such as drinking too much or eating unhealthily, both of which generally compound stress levels. Mindfulness can also lower your stress levels before bedtime so that you get a better night’s sleep.

Find a Therapist Near Me

Work-related stress is a problem that many of us face, especially in busy, bustling cities like London. At the Positive Mind Practice, we have qualified therapists on hand to help you cope with stress better and find the solutions that work for you.

Letting stress at work get out of control will eventually cause issues with your physical and mental health, so it’s essential to do something about it. If you feel that you’re continually stressed out and don’t know what to do next, contact our expert team of therapists and book an appointment today. The perception of our customers is the reality of our business & we struggle hard, to make them outlandish.

 

Anxiety and EMDR, CBT and Mindfulness

Dealing with Anxiety: How EMDR, CBT and Mindfulness Can Make a Difference

Anxiety is a major issue in modern society. We live in, such as a fast-paced world with so many challenges and expectations; it’s no wonder many of us have trouble coping. At the Positive Mind Practice in London, we provide the therapeutic support you need to live a healthier and more optimistic life.

Anxiety can seem like a catch-all term and means different things to different people. It’s not unusual to feel anxious,  however outwardly confident you might appear. We’ll worry about an upcoming interview, or maybe we’re having trouble with a relationship.

Anxiety becomes a much more debilitating issue when it begins to affect our daily living. It can colour how we see the world and the way we react to people and the environment around us:

  • A generalised anxiety disorder may mean you worry about a lot of different things in your life.
  • A social anxiety disorder means you have trouble with being around people, such as in the workplace or social situations like parties.
  • A panic disorder could mean your anxiety becomes so physically and mentally overwhelming at times that you are unable to function at all.
  • PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder occurs after you have experienced a threatening event and is characterised by having flashbacks and nightmares or fear of certain situations.

These are just a few ways in which anxiety is likely to affect individuals. People sometimes hide these problems away and avoid confronting the issues, for example, by steering away from social contact or particular situations.

Several therapeutic approaches can help you deal with an anxiety disorder. Our Positive Mind Practice in London specialises in three key areas: CBT, EMDR and mindfulness. These have been proven to help individuals find new and more positive options that open up a whole new future.

Using CBT For Anxiety

According to the World Health Organisation, around 300 million people across the globe suffer from some form of anxiety disorder. That’s an astounding figure. Next to depression, it’s probably one of the most widely recognised mental health conditions we see in modern society today.

People often live with a condition like anxiety without realising that there is a range of different therapies that can help.

One of these is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT, which has a substantial amount of evidence behind it as a suitable treatment. Also, know as talking therapy, CBT is carried out between a qualified therapist and an individual.

The key here is that the approach addresses harmful thought patterns and how we view both the world around us and our feelings about it. How we think about a particular situation can have a significant impact on our feelings and change or ‘reforming’ these can make a huge difference.

For example, if you believe a social gathering is going to be fun and exciting, you’ll feel energised and enthusiastic. If you think you are going to make a fool of yourself, you’re likely to feel anxious and ill at ease.

CBT involves identifying and challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive and realistic attitudes. The approach will depend on what causes your anxiety, how long it has affected you and to what degree the behaviour is ingrained and what strategies you can put in place to change the way you think and act.

That’s why it’s essential to talk things through with a therapist and find a way forward. At Positive Mind Practice, we’re experienced CBT therapists who work with a wide range of clients,  helping them to build a better future.

What is EMDR and How Can It Help Anxiety?

Another therapeutic approach that has gained in popularity over recent years is eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing or EMDR. This uses an external stimulus to reduce the intensity of an anxiety-producing memory or event.

The therapist will ask you to recall when you felt over-anxious and use a simple, physical stimulus such as following a finger moving from side to side. Other approaches use alternate sounds in the ears or tapping on the left and right hand in sequence.

While it sounds simple, what this does is help the brain process traumatic emotions and feelings more effectively. This can significantly reduce the impact of the event, which is causing anxiety and is effective in conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

EMDR is very often used in conjunction with other therapeutic practices such as CBT and can undoubtedly help reduce the initial impact of an anxiety disorder. Your therapist will work closely with you to find out if this is a suitable approach.

Find out more about EMDR on our blog.

Mindfulness and Anxiety

Paying attention to the present moment is harder than many of us think. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the city, especially in a place such as London. Stress and anxiety quickly get out of control, especially when we can’t find an outlet.

Mindfulness is a proven way to lower stress and anxiety and is something that anyone can learn to do with a little practice.

What is Mindfulness?

Essentially it means being aware of what is happening both inside and outside ourselves in the present moment. It teaches you as an individual to reconnect with yourself. By being more aware and understanding how your body and mind are reacting to certain things, it gives you a greater connection to what is going on and allows you to find practical solutions.

In simple terms, mindfulness lets you sit back a little and view your world from an outsider of sorts. It’s important to do this kind of practice in a non-judgemental way. Instead of brooding over some issue, we can view it a little more dispassionately and ask essential questions.

Is this good for me? Am I getting caught up in my thoughts? How can I change this?

By practising mindfulness regularly, we get into the habit of addressing problems rather than avoiding them and can deal with issues such as anxiety better. Like any new skill, it takes time to understand the potential of mindfulness and implement it in your everyday life. That’s why it’s important to work with a qualified therapist.

Find a Therapist in London

If you are struggling with anxiety and live in the London area, Positive Mind Practice is here to help you find a way forward.

We’re qualified therapists, and we’ll work with you to find practical and effective solutions that work. With expertise in CBT, EMDR and mindfulness, we provide you with a full set of tools for a happier and more productive future.

Contact Positive Mind Practice today.

 

Sleep Disorder CBT, EMDR and Mindfulness

Dealing with Sleep Disorders: Find a Therapist in London

We spend around a third of our lives sleeping. Not only does this simple act of rest help recharge our batteries, but it has several important biological effects on the body such as regulating the hunger hormone ghrelin, producing growth hormone and boosting our immune system.

It’s estimated that about 1.5 million people in the UK (source: BBC News) suffer from a condition such as sleep apnoea and many more have disrupted sleep patterns from problems including work stress and other mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

What Are Sleep Disorders?

Most of us have trouble getting a good night’s sleep at some point. This might be down to worries at work or in everyday life with the family or friends, challenges such as paying the bills or coping with a bereavement. Poor sleep can also be caused by illness even because our normal routine has been disrupted.

It’s when a loss of sleep becomes a regular experience that it is likely to be classed as a sleep disorder.

  • Insomnia, for example, is the inability to get to sleep at all and can be caused by bad habits, drinking too much caffeine before bed or being stressed out by work.
  • Sleep apnoea is a condition where you suddenly stop breathing for a short while, and that disrupts your rest.
  • Narcolepsy means you are overtired during the day and tend to drop off to sleep at inappropriate moments.

Treatment for any sleep disorder will vary depending on the cause and the type of problem an individual is facing. In some cases, therapies such as CBT, EMDR and mindfulness can undoubtedly help.

At the Positive Mind Practice in London, we offer these non-medicinal approaches to help with sleep problems.

Using CBT for Sleep Disorders

Cognitive behaviour therapy or CBT is used to treat a variety of mental health and behavioural issues and has a strong body of evidence supporting it.

At its heart, CBT is about exploring what causes your sleep disorder and how practical changes in thought and behaviour can make a big difference.

Working with a qualified therapist, you will explore areas that contribute to your poor sleep patterns. This might, for example, look at creating the right conditions for a good night’s sleep, such as going to bed at the same time every evening or avoiding stimulants like caffeine. You may have a weight issue that contributes to poor sleep, or you might want to reduce your alcohol intake, all of which can be addressed with the right plan of action.

All these are relatively simple strategies to implement. However, you may well have negative thoughts or feeling that contribute to your sleeplessness in a variety of ways. This could include anxiety or depression that is caused by past events.

CBT enables you to challenge negative thoughts and find alternatives that are more realistic and positive. It is more effective than medication in treating many kinds of sleep disorder, and it’s well worth exploring the potential with a qualified therapist.

EMDR and Improving Sleep

A less well-known approach to sleep disorders is eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing or EMDR. It has proved particularly effective at treating disorders that have a traumatic event as their primary cause.

It works by using an external stimulus to aid with the processing of those traumatic events. The individual is asked to recall such an event and the therapist uses a bilateral stimulation such as getting the person to follow a finger movement with their eyes or listen to sounds alternately in each ear.

This has been shown to reduce the impact of a traumatic event and allows for better processing. What has also demonstrated in research is that EMDR causes drowsiness in some individuals. There is anecdotal and research evidence that people sleep better after using this approach.

We’ve written a more detailed article about EMDR and its therapeutic uses, as well as the research behind the approach on our blog. You can read it here.

Using Mindfulness for a Better Night’s Sleep

Another approach that has proved useful in treating a range of sleep problems is mindfulness. Research has shown that individuals with sleep issues that learn to practice mindfulness have a better chance of achieving a good night’s sleep than those who don’t.

Mindfulness is a meditative technique that gets the individual to focus on the here and now in a non-judgemental way. In a simple practice, you will focus on your breathing and avoid thinking about things in the past or present that worry you, for example, if you are stressed out at work.

This produces a relaxation response which means you are primed to fall asleep rather than let your thoughts and worries keep you awake. Mindfulness does take some work to get the hang of, but it can quickly become a lifelong practice that has a profound effect on your health and wellbeing.

Our Top Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Therapy for sleep disorders often involves a mix of CBT, EMDR and mindfulness. It’s important to work with a therapist to find an approach that works for you. Having a set bedtime routine can make a big difference:

  • Avoid taking your tech devices to bed with you. The blue light can affect your sleep response and trick your mind into staying awake.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or stimulant drinks such as coffee and tea in the evening.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night. This ensures that your body is adapted to being relaxed and ready for rest once you hit the pillows.
  • Try to darken your bedroom entirely as this can improve your ability to drop off quickly and stay asleep for the rest of the night.
  • Make sure your bedroom is not too cold nor too warm as this can also affect your sleep.

If you have set a routine and you are still finding problems with sleep, it may be time to seek the help of a qualified therapist.

Find a Sleep Therapist in London

If you live in the London area and are looking for a CBT therapist, the team at Positive Mind Practice are here to help. We can work with you to put together a strategy to solve your sleep disorder and promote a better night’s rest.

Why not contact us today to book an appointment?

Anger EMDR, CBT and Mindfulness

Anger Issues: How EMDR, CBT And Mindfulness Can Change Your Life

There are many mental health challenges ordinary people face in modern life. Perhaps one of the least talked about is anger management.

As therapists based in London, trouble dealing with feelings of anger can be a difficult personal problem for people to broach and talk about. It is, however, more common than many think.

What Are Anger Management Issues?

We’ll all get angry at some point in our lives and for a variety of reasons. Anger only becomes a problem when it is difficult to control, persistent and is having a detrimental effect on your life.

Anger management is made all the more challenging because it is often associated with issues such as depression, drink and gambling addiction, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health problems.

When the ability to control anger gets out of hand, it leads to the break up of relationships, could mean you are losing a job and may even end up with a criminal conviction.

The first step in changing the way you deal with an anger problem is admitting there is an issue in the first place.

The good news is there are plenty of effective therapeutic approaches that will help to balance your wayward emotions. Here we take a closer look at therapies such as CBT, EMDR and mindfulness as ways to handle anger and how our Positive Mind Practice in London can help.

CBT and Anger Management

As human beings, we experience many different emotions. We feel joy, fear, anxiety and love. We laugh, we cry, we feel a sense of calm.

We also feel anger. An outburst here and there may offend those around us but rarely do they lead to damaging consequences. Anger can quickly become a habit; however if we allow it to get out of control.

Anger isn’t always just focused on another person either. Many people internalise their rage and bottle it up, which can be harmful.

What is CBT?

CBT is called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and it is a way of changing the way you view a particular behaviour and finding alternatives and setting goals to deliver different outcomes. It’s often referred to as ‘talking therapy’ and involves working through your issues with a qualified therapist.

CBT is very effective when dealing with a range of anger management problems. It’s a practical approach that puts the individual back in control. While there may be past issues that influence your anger problem, CBT tends to focus on the here and now and looks at putting in place strategies to change the way you feel or act.

How it Helps For Anger Management

CBT helps you look at anger differently and find other solutions rather than losing your temper over a particular situation. With your CBT therapist, you’ll look at what triggers your angry feelings and ways you can change your focus and exposure rather than letting rage get the better of you.

Every individual is different, and what works for one person won’t for another. A simple example would be replacing angry thoughts with mindfulness meditation or visualisation that helps redefine it to be much less damaging.

Using EMDR to Resolve Anger Issues

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing or EMDR has proven to be effective in dealing with psychological issues such as PTSD which often has an anger management component. It can be used in conjunction with other therapies to help individuals deal with the emotional turmoil of a difficult situation.

What is EMDR?

It uses a simple sensory input as a response to intense emotional feelings. For example, an individual may move their eyes from side to side in response to a moving finger as they also process angry feelings.

What this seems to do is lessen the impact of the feelings and allows a person to better process and understand what is happening when they get angry. It can enable them to change maladaptive behaviours and begin the work of putting something different and less damaging in place.

Can Mindfulness Help With Anger?

While both CBT and EMDR help individuals come to terms with their problems with anger and put in place positive solutions, dealing with outbursts on a day to day basis can be particularly challenging.

Mindfulness is a meditative approach that gives people a useful set of tools they can employ as and when needed.

What is Mindfulness?

We tend to go through life without being fully aware of what is actually happening to us. An angry outburst may overwhelm us without there being any real understanding of the emotions it causes and the thoughts that triggered it.

Mindfulness is about being present in the moment and watching our feelings, thoughts and body sensations in a non-judgemental way. It is achieved by regular practice and can have profound effects on the individual.

How It Can Help Manage Anger

It may sound slightly new age, but mindfulness has certainly proved beneficial in dealing with emotional outbursts. It teaches you to become aware of the physical and emotional things that happen when you get angry.

You can then use strategies like breathing and visualisation to lessen the impact of those emotions. You may use mindfulness to build up resilience to things that are likely to cause your anger, such as stress and anxiety.

You’ll not only recognise the angry emotion is there, but you’ll be able to accept that the emotion is real while creating some distance from it, allowing you to manage it better.

While this appears difficult, it’s something that anyone with the right training can use to help with a wide range of emotional challenges.

Find a Local Therapist in London

Managing anger is not easy, especially if it’s something that you have been struggling with for a while. It’s a habit that tends to reinforce itself.

It is not something that you have to live with forever, and there is plenty you can do. If you live in the London area and want to explore how CBT, EMDR and mindfulness can be used to develop a new outlook on life, then our therapists are on hand to help right now.

To find out more, contact our fully qualified team of therapists today.

 

Depression, CBT, EMDR, Mindfulness

Depression: How CBT, EMDR and Mindfulness Work

Depression is more than just a low mood. We can all feel down at one time or another and for a variety of reasons. When that low mood persists and begins to impact on your life, however, it may be a sign you have a more serious mental health issue.

Depression may be viewed as a symptom of something that is chronically wrong in our lives, an issue that has been ignored and not attended to. We respond in different ways to avoid facing the issue such as overworking or accepting that we are powerless in life.

Depression has a wide range of physical and behavioural symptoms. A person might feel tearful or upset, even angry on occasion. They may find themselves isolated, or they don’t get any enjoyment out of life anymore. An individual could avoid social situations, have low-self esteem and, in severe cases, feel suicidal.

There are several different therapeutic approaches to depression. Most interventions start with some form of self-help which allows the individual to explore their feelings and find their solutions. If this does not work, it helps to build a relationship with a qualified therapist who is experienced in dealing with these sorts of mental health issues.

Medication can be used to help with depression, but the initial approach nowadays is to employ a therapy such as CBT first. In some cases, medicine offers a way to stabilise someone who is clinically depressed so that they can then undertake something like a talking therapy.

At Positive Mind in London, we use a mix of therapeutic approaches to depression, including CBT, EMDR, and mindfulness.

How CBT Can Help With Depression

CBT stands for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and is sometimes called ‘talking’ therapy. Working with a therapist, you will explore your feelings, beliefs and behaviours and how they relate to your depression and seek to change these to improve your condition.

What is CBT?

Therapists help you understand why you feel the way you do and give you the tools to help change those feelings. It’s an evidence-based therapy that has proved highly successful in treating depression.

Each individual is different. Your depression might be caused by low self-esteem, for example. Here, CBT will delve into where these feelings come from and aim to change your self-perception and be more positive about yourself.

Your depression could be the result of some past traumatic event, such as the loss of a child or violence you may have suffered. It may have been brought on by problems at work or having to cope with the pressures of raising a family.

How Does CBT Work?

How we think about a particular aspect of our lives will impact on how we feel and how we behave. If we see a situation as negative, then our emotions relating to it are likely to be negative too. You will work with a therapist to look at what’s happening in your life currently and also explore the past.

Assisted by the therapist, you will then come up with solutions that help to stop the cycle of negative thought. Everyone will have a different path to recovery and understanding what is going on in your head, and your life and how you can change things can be a complex process.

The good news is that there is a lot of evidence that supports the use of CBT in dealing with depression, providing as it does a set of tools that helps individuals cope and come out the other side to live happier and more fulfilled lives.

EMDR and Depression

On the surface, EMDR or eye movement desensitisation processing may seem a little new age, but it has a significant amount of research supporting it as a therapy. It was first used in the treatment of PTSD as an essential step in helping individuals reprocess their feelings and beliefs.

What is EMDR?

First used by Dr Francine Shapiro in the 1980s, EMDR is not a talking therapy like CBT. It gets individuals to focus on a past traumatic event. It uses a stimulus such as an eye movement, alternate sounds in the ears or tapping alternately on the hands while the incident is being re-experienced.

While EMDR has clinically proven results in treating PTSD, it is also now being used in helping patients overcome other mental health issues, including depression, where there may be a direct cause from a past traumatic event.

How Does EMDR Work?

When someone has a condition such as PTSD, it can be difficult to tone down the experience and understand all the emotions that accompany it. Feelings can be highly intense, and it is difficult to then find a way forward with other therapies such as CBT. It’s thought that EMDR works by giving the brain more to do, which then acts to dampen emotionally fraught memories.

In some ways, EMDR works to desensitise the individual so that they can better see the event that is causing their mental health issue. Many types of depression are caused by past events that are too traumatic to face directly. EMDR allows the individual to be more balanced, and they can then explore issues that they previously wanted to avoid.

Using Mindfulness to Combat Depression

Mindfulness and meditation have increased in popularity over the last couple of decades. The benefits of using a mindful approach are backed up by research, and it has proved particularly useful in helping with mental health issues such as depression.

What is Mindfulness?

We tend not to notice what is happening to us in great detail, especially when it comes to mental health conditions such as depression. Mindfulness is essentially a way of stepping back and little and being more aware. Many see it as a way of reconnecting with our bodies, not just sensations such as aches and pains but our thoughts and feelings, in a non-judgemental way.

How Does Mindfulness Work?

Teaching you to become more aware in the present moment has a significant impact on your sense of wellbeing and allows you then to make small changes that improve health and focus. It’s a practice that takes work to get right, but it has proved important in helping to maintain good mental health.

Find a Therapist Near Me

If you are searching for CBT in London, mindfulness or EMDR, it’s important to work with a qualified therapist who is trained and experienced in helping you find the solutions you need. Depression is a complex mental health issue, and at Positive Mind, we believe in providing an individual approach.

Each person is different and providing the support necessarily requires a holistic approach. That means our experienced therapists may use a mix of CBT, mindfulness and EMDR to help in your recovery.

If you are searching for a therapist in London, contact Positive Mind today.

Low Mood, CBT, EMDR, Mindfulness helps

Low Mood: How to Improve It and Live a Healthier, Happier Life

Low mood can mean different things to different people. You may be feeling a little down but know that you are going to perk up later. We all have periods like that.

When your low mood begins to last longer and occur more regularly, however, it could be symptomatic of something else.

Depression generally starts with a feeling of low mood, and it can creep up on an individual over time. When it’s difficult to shake off, you can begin to let your negative feelings dominate your daily life and get into a cycle that gets gradually worse.

You may have relationship problems, or perhaps you’re getting over a recent bereavement. You might be in a problematic, dead-end job, and your mood is dictated by the stress you are under almost always. Maybe you’ve had a recent accident and are coping with life-changing injuries.

Low mood often leads to other problems. A person finds themselves getting angry, irritable or frustrated. Appetite may suffer, and a person might sleep more than usual.

If your negative feelings or low mood don’t improve, it’s essential to do something positive such as seeing a therapist who will be able to help you explore what is happening and find a solution. There are a lot of techniques available nowadays and plenty of support out there.

CBT and Low Mood

One of the therapies that are used to treat low mood and depression is CBT. This stands for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and is an evidence-based solution that is used for a variety of mental health challenges, including depression and anxiety.

What is CBT?

Sometimes called ‘talking’ therapy, CBT is recommended by NICE and has been proven to help with conditions such as low mood. It mainly involves changing the way you think about a problem and your behaviour towards it.
For example, if a recent bereavement causes your low mood, CBT allows you to look at this in a more ‘positive’ way and find coping mechanisms to help you cope with your loss. It may impress on you that this is a natural process, and you have to forgive yourself for not being your usual self. It might include using behaviour changes such as improving your diet and taking more exercise, talking about your feelings more and exploring options to alleviate your mood.

How Does It Work?

You work with a qualified CBT therapist will explore areas and identify issues that you can address and improve your symptoms. Each person is an individual and finding practical solutions will be different for everyone depending on their circumstances.

It’s essential to break down your problems into smaller parts so that they don’t seem so impossible. A session with a therapist lasts typically about 30 minutes to an hour, and you can have as few as five or as many as 20 meetings.

During these sessions, you’ll discover more about your issues and the things you can change and then you’ll go away and try to implement these in your daily life.

Can EMDR Help with a Low Mood

EMDR or eye movement desensitisation therapy has been used in the treatment of PTSD but has recently started to be employed for other psychological interventions as well. It is not a talking therapy but uses stimulation to reduce the impact of past traumatic events.

What is EMDR?

Francine Shapiro developed EMDR in the late 1980s, and a wide range of research has shown its effectiveness in helping treat PTSD. It is important in recalling distressing events in someone’s life and is often used in conjunction with other therapies such as CBT.

How Does It Work?

During an EMDR session, the individual is asked to recall a traumatic event while the therapist applies an external stimulus. This may be getting the person to move their eyes from side to side in response to a finger movement, tapping on the hands alternately or using sounds to one ear and then the other.
This sounds very simple but essentially gives the brain more to do, and it can mean that the recall of the traumatic event is less intense. Over time this can have a desensitising effect which means emotions are not as heightened and problematic.

When it comes to low mood, EMDR can be effective if there is an underlying traumatic event in the past and there is increasing evidence that it can help with a variety of patients.

Taking a Mindfulness Approach

Another therapy that can help with low mood is mindfulness. This approach has increased in popularity over the last few years, and there is research evidence to back up its effectiveness. Meditation and mindfulness are useful in combatting pain, reducing stress and alleviating the symptoms of depression.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is an approach where you focus on your own body and become more aware of what is happening at the moment. All too often in modern society, we don’t take enough time to assess how we are feeling and the sensations that we are being bombarded with. Doing so can help in managing all sorts of feelings and making us aware of what is happening.

How Does Mindfulness Work?

Mindfulness takes practice and effort. It involves essentially taking a step back and observing yourself and how you feel. It’s not about ‘emptying’ the mind but getting back in tune with it, so we understand how we are reacting. You will work with your therapist to develop mindfulness and use this as a life skill that should benefit you through your entire life.

Find a Therapist Near Me

If you suffer from a low mood and it is not going away, visiting a qualified therapist can help you to explore any issues and find solutions. At Positive Mind Practice, our professional team of therapists are on hand to assist with a variety of mental health challenges using the latest, evidence-based techniques.

We offer CBT in London as well as EMDR sessions and mindfulness training. Each person is an individual, and our approach will vary depending on your circumstances. If you would like to find out more and book an appointment, contact our professional, friendly team today.