Sleep problems, including snoring, sleep apnea (stops in breathing during sleep), insomnia (difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep with no obvious cause), sleep deprivation, and restless legs syndrome, are common. Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and can affect hormone levels, mood and weight. Sleep disorders interfere with normal physical, mental, social and emotional functioning. Management of sleep disturbances that are secondary to mental, medical, or substance abuse disorders aims to focus on the underlying conditions.
Relaxation therapy is a behavioural therapy used to relieve psychological stress and mental or physical exhaustion. Stress results in increased nervous system activity which may impact negatively on disease processes. Relaxation therapy aims to decrease nervous system activity, slow heart rate, decrease blood pressure, decrease anxiety, improve mood, and produce a sense of control in people with medical conditions. Relaxation can be achieved using methods including imagery, breathing exercises, focused muscle tensing and relaxing, mindfulness meditation and others.
Stress is a biological term which refers to the consequences of the failure of the body to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats, whether actual or imagined. It includes a state of alarm and adrenaline production, short-term resistance as a coping mechanism, and exhaustion. Common stress symptoms include irritability, muscular tension, inability to concentrate and a variety of physical reactions, such as headaches and elevated heart rate. Management of stress involves identifying the sources of stress, changing the situation by avoiding the stressor or altering the stressors, changing your reaction by adapting to the stressor or accepting the stressor, relaxing, recharging and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Self-esteem is a term used to describe a person's overall sense of self-worth or personal value. Self-esteem can involve a variety of beliefs about the self, such as the appraisal of one's own appearance, beliefs, emotions, and behaviours. Interventions for Low Self-esteem aim to change unhelpful patterns of low self-worth and esteem and improve the person's day-to-day functioning. Self-esteem is an essential human need that is vital for survival and normal, healthy development. Self-esteem arises automatically from within based upon a person's beliefs and consciousness and occurs in conjunction with a person's thoughts, behaviours, feelings, and actions
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that affects about 1-2% of the population. People with OCD experience both obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted and disturbing thoughts, images, or impulses that recur and persist despite efforts to ignore or confront them. Compulsions are deliberate behaviours (e.g. washing, checking, ordering) or mental acts (e.g. praying, counting, repeating phrases) that are carried out to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsessions. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a distressing and debilitating condition, which tends to be chronic and may become worse without appropriate treatment and support. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is often compounded by depression, and other anxiety conditions including social anxiety, panic disorder and separation anxiety. Conditions related to OCD include compulsive hoarding, trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling) and body dysmorphic disorder (excessive concern over a part of the body).
Complex Trauma and Abuse
The repeated experience of trauma early in a child's development has been termed complex trauma. The onset of trauma can result from a range of things such as living in domestic violent situations, or being raised in situations whereby the parent’s neglect to provide for their child’s needs. Complex trauma can also come in the form of abuse, for example, when a small child who cries to convey its needs or distress is physically assaulted, instead of given food or comfort. People who have experienced complex trauma may display symptoms including poor concentration, poor attention and poor decision-making and judgement. They may also appear highly reactive and respond to threat even if it is not present. Their behaviour may be aggressive in response, or they may take flight or simply freeze. Core components of complex trauma treatment include, safety, self-regulation, self-reflective information processing, traumatic experiences integration, relational engagement and positive affect enhancement.
Grief and Loss
Grief is the normal, natural and inevitable response to loss, and it can affect every part of our life, but it is varied and different for different people. It is common for people to experience intense feelings such as sadness, anger, anxiety, disbelief, panic, relief or even numbness. It can also distort our thinking, so that we may think we will never get over this, or we may think we are going crazy. Grief can cause difficulty in sleeping and can lead to physical symptoms. Dealing with a significant loss can be one of the most difficult times in a person's life.
Eating and Weight Concerns
Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that include potentially life-threatening behavioural, psychological, and physiological disturbances. An eating disorder is characterised by obsessive thoughts about food and body weight. This includes people who limit the amount of food they eat (Anorexia nervosa), eat lots of food in a very short time and then purge (Bulimia) or overeat often (Compulsive overeating).
Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events, such as sexual assault, warfare, serious injury, natural disaster, bushfire, flood, or threats of imminent death. The diagnosis may be given when a group of symptoms, such as disturbing recurring flashbacks, avoidance or numbing of memories of the event, and hyper-arousal, continue for more than a month after the occurrence of a traumatic event. People with PTSD often experience feelings of panic or extreme fear, which may resemble what was felt during the traumatic event. Up to 80% of people who have long-standing PTSD develop additional problems, most commonly depression, anxiety and alcohol or other substance misuse. These may have developed directly in response to the traumatic event or have developed sometime later after the onset of PTSD.
"Chronic pain has a distinct pathology, causing changes throughout the nervous system that often worsen over time. It has significant psychological and cognitive correlates and can constitute a serious, separate disease entity." (Relieving Pain in America, Report by US Institute of Medicine, 2011). Chronic pain is defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks despite treatment and coping strategies implemented by the individual. The onset of chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, an ongoing illness, or there may not be any identified cause. Fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. Difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair and impact negatively on family and social relationships.
There are many reasons why people self-harm and these can change over time, but the causes usually stem from negative emotions. Self-harming has been described as a "physical expression of emotional distress". Some people find that the physical act of hurting themselves helps them deal with overwhelming emotional and psychological issues. The aim of therapy is to provide other ways to deal with emotional distress.
Adjustment Disorder is an abnormal and excessive reaction to an identifiable life stressor. The reaction is more severe than would normally be expected, and can result in significant impairment in social, occupational or academic functioning. Work problems, going away to school, a relationship breakup, an illness — these are some examples of life changes that can cause stress.
Bullying is a misuse of power in relationships expressed through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. Bullying can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can occur in person or online, and it can be overt or covert. Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term detrimental effects on those involved. Bullying can occur in many ways, face-to-face (e.g. pushing, tripping, name-calling) at a distance (e.g. spreading rumours, excluding someone) or through information and communications technologies (e.g. use of SMS, email, chat rooms).
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings between severe depression and elation. The manic and depressive episodes can each last anywhere from a few days to a few months. There are a number of conditions across the bipolar disorder spectrum, ranging from Bipolar Disorder I to cyclothymia - where the hypomanic phases are less severe - and so-called "subsyndromal" conditions. Medication is the main form of treatment for bipolar disorder. Psychological treatments are another vital part of treatment that are used in conjunction with medication. Psychological treatment aims to help people regulate thoughts, emotions and behaviours to manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Anger is a normal emotion that some people find difficult to manage. The aim of anger management counselling is to help individuals recognise the triggers for anger, how it affects them and others around them. Therapy aims to teach individuals to respond to these triggers assertively without being aggressive. Relaxation techniques and problem solving skills empower individuals to retain a sense of control therefore reducing the risk of triggering anger or frustration.
Anxiety disorders are characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, where anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. The activation of these feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a racing heart and shakiness. There are various types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, a specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. While each of these conditions has its own characteristics and symptoms, they all include symptoms of anxiety.
Interpersonal Difficulties/ Relationships
The focus of couples therapy is to identify the presence of dissatisfaction and distress in the relationship, and to devise and implement a treatment plan with objectives designed to improve or alleviate the presenting symptoms and restore the relationship to a better and healthier level of functioning.
Couple therapy aims to resolve problems and conflicts that couples have not been able to handle effectively on their own. Throughout the therapeutic process, the therapist attempts to help both partners see the relationship in a more objective manner, to modify dysfunctional behaviour, to decrease emotional avoidance, improve communication and promote strengths.
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things. The essential feature of Clinical depression is a state of extreme distress in which the individual feels empty or numb rather than merely sad. The depressed person is unable to enjoy life normally or have an emotional shift from the depressed state. In a Major Depressive Episode, someone might also experience: • either diminished appetite with weight loss or increased appetite with weight gain, • either insomnia or increased sleep, • either agitation or slowed movements, • loss of all pleasure and enjoyment, • tiredness and fatigue, • feelings of guilt and worthlessness, • poor concentration, and • thoughts of death, including suicidal thoughts and plans. Suicidal thoughts are always abnormal, and are an indication of needing urgent help.
Harry is a small puppy in training who has recently been introduced into my practice. Harry is very friendly puppy . He is well behaved and obedient. Harry has received much positive feedback. Harry does not shed his coat. However if you have any pre-existing allergies or phobias or would prefer not to work with Harry for any reason, just let me know when you're booking your appointment and Harry will be relocated during your session.