Is it time for a radical rethink, on NHS psychological treatments, waiting Lists?

depression_eleiocounsellingThis morning’s radio fours woman’s hour interviewed the health minister regarding waiting lists for psychological treatments, on the NHS. The Minister promised an improvement, should the current government be re-elected. The Minister responded to claims that there is no choice in psychological treatments and that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT ) is often offered as the only treatment.

The Minister promised that other treatments such as psychodynamic, person centered, and solution focused therapy would be offered as a choice should the present government be re-elected.

Unfortunately, people are generally waiting up to 12 weeks to see the therapist, and then offered anything from 2 to 6 sessions. Research has shown, that it takes up to 4 sessions for a client/patient  to build up a good enough relationship with the therapist.

A spokesman for the Tavistock Institute in London quoted as saying that it takes up to 12 to 20 sessions for a potential client have good enough therapy.

The longer people wait for therapy more risk they are, often people will find a private therapist, which can see them right away. Of course, with private therapy, there’s no limit to the amount of sessions, one can have, if one can afford it.

May be if the NHS were to outsource psychological treatments to the private sector and individual therapists, in private practice, using the vast amount of experienced therapists in private practice, perhaps even local health providers could pay for a proportion of the treatment? Also, the patient or client is able to make an informed choice as to what type of therapy, he or she  has. A point raised in the programme is that, currently, only 10% of therapy is offered on the IAPT scheme are non-CBT.

 

At Eleos counselling, we offer a reduced rate counselling. The clients who are on family tax credit, income support can access psychological treatments at a reduced rate We feel, that this is the way of plugging the gap between the private sector and the therapies that are available, under the NHS scheme. One of the ethos  of Eleos counselling is to offer affordable therapy for anyone who needs it.

 

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Finance clerk runs up £6 million debt, using online gambling.

Online-Betting (1)

This week the media highlighted the case of the Finance clerk who gambled more than £6 million on online bingo. Jacqueline Balaam was winning  up to £15,000 of time, but continued to gamble, if even after winning these large amounts.

This exemplifies just how addictive online gambling can be. Unfortunately, one of the aspects of online gambling perception is that it’s not real money, but it is.

With the rise of advertising for online gambling, offering enticing incentive to gamblers. This will often hook somebody who is susceptible to a gambling addiction. There are often three phases of gambling addiction. At first there will be the winning phase, little win’s, which will you force, a sense of  security that you have beaten the system somehow, or you are lucky. Then there is the losing phase, which for some, is enough to stop gambling altogether, but unfortunately, for some people, there’s another phase often called the catch up in which you are trying to make good your losses. The full detail of Ms Balaam, gambling, is not known, but there is a good possibility. This is exactly what Ms Balaam, was doing.

People with are constantly bombarded now with advertising on television, online and social media, enticing us to gamble. Unfortunately, the excitement of gambling can be as addictive as any drug. The primal areas of the brain called the limbic system appears to play a major role in pleasure sensations of addiction, unfortunately, one of the downsized to modern technology is we have more access to things which can possibly be addicted, such as online gambling.

A generation or two ago, one would have to go to the bookies, a casino, or join a card school. Fundamentally, today one can gamble away as much as Ms Balaam simply by downloads an app onto a mobile device and enter a credit card number.

if you feel you may have a gambling problem and  would like to talk to someone , Eleos counselling can help . Just click the link below.

 

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New figures prompt a request for a new look at rehab.

cocaine use_Eleos counselling

 

New figures released under Freedom of information act, Highlight that there that there is an inadequate amount of residential rehabilitation for drug users. This is added to the political debate on how people with drug habits are to be treated.

The ongoing debate ,by some experts, suggests that community-based rehabilitation is more successful and less costly than so-called L ive in  treatments. Furthermore, Figures released suggest that there are 138 addicts for every residential rehabilitation placement in England. The drastic lacking places this  is possibly due to lack of funding, as local government finances are cut back as part of austerity measures in general.

Taking somebody out of their normal circle of friends and put them into a rehabilitation center can sometimes be good for the addict, in general. They have time to reconsider their lives and have no network where they can acquire their drug choice. But, one would argue they have to live in the real world. Returning back to their home town, can start an addiction back up after being clean for several months in the rehab unit.

Perhaps one thing to consider is the amount of support drug users get. This varies from excellent to inadequate, depending on where you live. If the government goes for a community-based rehabilitation programme. One would suggest that they have to be some form of psychological support put in place as well as chemical support.

Psychotherapy has often played second fiddle, with drug and alcohol agencies, adding it as an afterthought rather than necessity. Using trained councillors/psychotherapy to help people through the drug addiction can have a marked effect on long-term prognosis.

Looking at why a person took to drugs in the first place can be very painful for them, but very useful in finding their triggers, and also they come to terms with old hurts, which may have caused them to use in the first place.

An interesting comment was made in the report. Inasmuch as, the UK is now deemed the addicted man of Europe, proportionally more having more problematic drug users in any country in Europe.

The report also asked for local authorities to adopt new models in drug and alcohol treatment. Perhaps one of these could be a home-based abstinence programme supplemented with psychotherapy at a local center?

Research confirms the mental health effects of skunk marijuana

A long-term study,(six years)which is  due to be published in the Lancet psychiatry confirmsjointjpg that long-term use of skunk marijuana can have lasting effects on mental health. The study addressed what is described as first episode psychosis and concluded that this is strongly reliant on the type of cannabis used. The research investigators established there was little or no harm to mental health, if low potency hash or block, cannabis is used, even if the use is daily.

The report concluded that the risk increased significantly, if the skunk marijuana is used. These findings confirm what is already thought that there is a strong association with the frequent use skunk marijuana and psychosis.

For those who are not in the know, skunk marijuana is a term applied to select plants which are high levels of THC; the active ingredient in Skunk marijuana. Skunk marijuana, which normally grown in legally, using hydroponic cultivation, and matured, under artificial lights.

Researchers have concluded that a THC level in skunk marijuana is 15% percent higher than normal block hash or cannabis.

The research showed that those who smoke skunk marijuana every day are up to 5 times more likely to suffer with psychosis ,compared to those who do not use the recreational drug.

It is estimated that some 60,000 people in Britain are living with a mental health condition. This can be greatly worsened by smoking skunk marijuana.  The report concluded that the smoking of this potent strain of marijuana could possibly be accountable for up to quarter of new cases psychosis, paranoia and schizophrenia.

This research backs up a study carried out in Switzerland using functional magnetic resonance imaging machines, concluded that skunk marijuana alters the size of  a vital area of the brain, the amygdala; thought to be the centre of all emotions.

This research goes alongside the fact that some states in America have deregulated skunk marijuana, making it legal.

The true effect of this potent form of marijuana will only be really realised in maybe two or three generations time, when there is a notable is Spike in the levels of psychosis schizophrenia paranoia in the younger generation.

Diogenes syndrome : a symptom of dementia or loneliness?

hoarding_eleoscounsellingA  recent article in the Daily Express spoke of a lady who had lived for three decades in a battered car, in a South London residential street. The lady in question Anne  Naysmith, recently died after being hit by a car, close to her home. It transpired that Anne Naysmith had been a talented concert pianist who had been suffering from Diogenes syndrome. This is mental illness, named after the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, who cast off material things in favour of  living  in a large jar in Athens.

A person with Diogenes syndrome has many idiosyncratic characteristics, one of which can be hoarding. As with Anne Naysmith, Diogenes syndrome is often associated with extreme self-neglect, causing the person to become socially withdrawn, furthermore, sufferers of Diogenes Syndrome, will also have a compulsion to hoard rubbish, which can add to the social isolation.

It is thought that long periods of social isolation, which causes lack of cognitive stimulation, or a genetic precondition may be the cause of this syndrome. An additional factor which is also thought to cause the syndrome is a traumatic life event. In the case of Anne Naysmith, it was thought that the breakup of her relationship with a handsome choral singer induced some of the behaviours which she had to her death.

For the family members of someone suffering with Diogenes syndrome, it can be difficult seeing someone living in extreme squalor. Furthermore, for those who are left to sort through years of squalid living.

With the biggest charity in Britain today announcing three centres of medical research, one in, Oxford, one in Cambridge and one at Kings College London. These three centres will be dedicated in trying to find a medical solution for dementia.  It is well known that Early-onset dementia will become more prevalent , in Great Britain as the  population becomes older.

Increasingly, people are becoming more and lonelier and social stimulation, is something that people crave for.  One can only wonder whether , if Anne  Naysmith had received the right amount of support, in the form of psychotherapy, after the break of the relationship, whether the outcome for her would of been different.

Anger in children and young adults : knowing anger

angry teenager_Eleos counselling

 

It would be right to say that most adults have angry feelings, these are normal reactions to when things which frustrate us when things go wrong, or people feel an injustice has been done to them. Children, young people express these feelings in different ways.

In a young toddler or young child, frustration and anger is often expressed by  tantrums, when they don’t get what they feel they should or get their own way. They can hit, scream, throw things and often destroy possessions. This is their way of saying they don’t like the emotions or feelings they have, and struggling to express these words. Consequently, their behaviours express their anger and frustration.

In teenagers anger can be expressed by being defiant and refusing to keep house rules. A teenager will often push against boundaries to increase their own independence or sense of self.

Young adults and children can often convey their anger by shouting, refusing to do what they’re told. Furthermore,  a disturbing behaviour, Parents often witnessed or objects of is  when a child starts to hit them or hurt them, often using spiteful words, which  often cuts to the quick.

Young person or child could have many reasons for express their anger inappropriately, including the following:

  • Struggling to come to terms with hormonal changes during puberty.
  • Divorce or separation in parents.
  • Sibling rivalry or jealousy towards a brother or sister.
  • The feeling of rejection by parents or close family.
  • Witnessing domestic violence.
  • Being  accepted into  a friendship group or having problems, relationship  difficulties within that group.
  • Feeling powerless through being bullied or hurt.
  • Struggling to cope with schoolwork, academic workload.
  • Having to be a carer will look after parents or relatives.
  • Breakup in a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend

Anger is a normal part of being human, but for some children, or young adult’s  anger is often expressed inappropriately.  Parents, grandparents, or adults close to the  young people, young adults, often feel walking on egg shells and will often placate behaviours, rather than deal with them head-on.

At Eleos counselling is   developing an anger management program for young people. Unlike most programs  the Eleos counselling program is educational and fun for the young person to engage with. This course will be run groups, and rather seeing this as a punishment the young person, see this as an opportunity to find out how to express his or her anger. If you would like to know more, please go is the homepage and from there you will find our contact details,or click the link below annual be taken to the Eleos counselling website

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Emetophobia: A common phobia, which is often misdiagnosed

eleoscounselling_eating_disorderA recent article in the Independent’s tabloid I highlighted the difficulty people with a phobia Emetophobia (fear of vomiting or being sick) face. This phobia  is often misdiagnosed as anorexia, due to the sufferers reluctance to eat, due to their fear of vomiting.  The article talked extensively of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and mentioned little or reference to interpersonal therapy, better known as humanistic therapy and the benefits, this form of therapy can offer; the  therapy offered  by Eleos counselling. Recovery from any phobia can be a long process, and often it is the relationship with the therapist that is the real healing factor, not what the therapist does with the client.  As you would see challenging deeply held beliefs is part of the process of therapy and this is borne out of a close relationship which formed between the therapist and their clients.  You will see from below that challenging these in a non-judgement, and empathic way is key to a successful outcome.

Like just about all phobias and phobic disorders, Emetophobia most frequently develops in childhood fear having, by no means, really, ever been outgrown. Perhaps a frightening incident had been witnessed when  young, a person being sick close to them or perhaps on them, it’s possible that they themselves are sick or possibly that they have seen someone else being sick under frightening situations.

When a traumatic scene is witnessed the subconscious mind functions as being the body’s ‘protector’ calculates the simplest way to avoid the episode repeating itself. The way this specific works, in practice, is that the subconscious mind attaches negative feelings or thoughts to nausea or vomiting plus in along with  this specific teaches the person to steer far from this  ‘dangerous’ scenarios. Whilst the subconscious mind is doing all this ‘protection’, your conscious thoughts are desperate trying to work out exactly where this irrational behaviour is coming from.

The episode, which was encountered when young was initially your subconscious mind has construed, mistakenly, a rule that moment and the subconscious is causing the person to still to act like that worried two year old, regardless that she or he is now an adult. Whenever ‘stuff’ happens to all of us whenever we were young, we are relatively short on thinking ability as well as life experience – this deficiency makes us translate situations to the best of our ability together with the minimal information available. 9 times out of 10, this kind of understanding is incorrect, however ,because of the conscious mind’s  has issues accessing  the subconscious, it cannot determine the reason why you react to certain occasions within an illogical way.

 

If you would like to know more of this type of therapy that Eleos counselling offers then please visit our  website by clicking the link below.

www.eleoscounselling.com 

 

 

Outsmart Road Rage

stresssed man road rage

 

Incidences of road rage  have become more prevalent in the UK. Many people found guilty of such offenses, often face a custodial sentence or in some extreme cases end up in prison.

In the past, what is now commonly known as “road rage”, was a comparatively rare on British roads. Nevertheless, since the 1990’s, aggressive driving has increasingly hit the headlines and there has been several high-profile cases in which people have lost their lives, due to these incidents turning into violence and assault.

Much research has been done on the cause of road rage, as it is a useful benchmark to measure modern attitudes to anger and the causes of anger.

It is strongly suspected that the rate of road rage is much higher than reported, as many people do not want to admit they get angry at all. Moreover, many might consider incidences of road rage as part of modern day driving.

It is not surprising that the incidences of road rage are higher in the male population, rising sharply in young men.

The anatomy of road rage

For illustration, we will be using a hypothetical incident of road rage; but this will sound familiar to you. Steve a salesman for a large IT company, he is late for a meeting, with an important customer. Unfortunately, it is Monday morning and Steve gets caught in heavy traffic on the motorway. Steve goes to pull off for his junction, at this moment He has undertaken by a driver, who cuts off. Steve slams on the brakes and slams on the   horn and is quite shaken up by this incident, as he pulls up to a roundabout, he sees a driver of the car. Steve winds down his window to talk to him. This starts a verbal altercation. Steve gets out of the car in a rage and hits the other driver, as he sits in his car. Unfortunately, a police patrol car is it the same roundabout and Steve is arrested  for assault.

What has gone wrong? Here is how Steve reaction has fired up some primitive responses, which is commonly known as the three spheres, or primal reactions.

  • Resources
  • Residents
  • Relationship

The next time you are cut up like Steve, you will have the knowledge you need to stop these primal responses. Neuroscientists would tell you that Steve reaction is grounded in the primitive limbic system, the brain. The limbic system is for controlling survival responses, its perceived threat, but only if certain factors are in place. In the case Steve, He saw the motorway as a limited resource, and the other driver stopping  him getting to work, effectively stopping him   maintaining his residence,  and potentially being humiliated, or shamed in front of other drivers, or contribute to this, which is part of the relationship response.

 

Unfortunately, what happened to Steve happens to a lot of us. We believe we have anonymity as a driver, but this is a perception which is not real. Like the cyberspace, text messaging and even voicemail, anonymity is not benign. What is missing from this scenario? Steve could not see the face of the other driver. Seeing the face of the other person, you have an issue with plays a vital part in moderating your anger. Unfortunately, Steve is sitting in a machine and is lacking that vital information. Fundamentally, he lacks proper  a relational component of direct human,  his primal responses kicked in, because of the  lack of information and his anger when unchecked.

What happened to Steve, can happen to you. One of the steps you can take is to notice how long it takes for you to get angry. Furthermore, notice how long it takes other people to get frustrated, angry with you. Asking yourself why they became frustrated keeping this question in mind will help you recognise rage and anger.

If you  or someone you know, has  a problem with anger and would like to talk to someone about this then Eleos counselling offer and unique succession anger management course. Just click on the link below

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Internet Addiction

eleoscounselling,internet_addictionCan somebody be addicted to the Internet?

Being online has become part of everyday life, for lots of households in the UK. Most people are able to control the time they spend in cyberspace, others can become pre-occupied with the Internet and are unable to control the time they spend online,  which can certainly lead to problems for some people. Like any form of repeated behaviour, such as gambling, exercise, and shopping, the Internet can become addictive.  The brain can become the psychologically addicted, or neuroadapted. Effectively, the brain becomes wired to accept a certain kind of stimulus and when it doesn’t receive that stimulus it goes looking for it. For some, escaping into cyberspace, when life becomes too difficult for them, or they have to deal with difficult situations or emotions has become a way of life. Below are some of the symptoms which can be, warning signs that a person has become cyber dependent.  Excessive time online, can also be a coping strategy to deal with life’s difficulties, if this is a sole coping strategy it can leave one feeling isolated and alone. Furthermore, contribute to a dependency on its use.

Warning signs of Internet addiction

  • Finding yourself losing track of time whilst online
  • Experiencing mixed emotions which may include a sense of well-being or guilt/ whilst online.
  • Favouring online activities to spending time with your family and friends
  • Unsuccessfully attempting to curtail your online use.
  • Feeling irritable and depressed when you are away from your computer all the time spent has been interrupted.
  • Using your computer to deal with negative feelings such as sadness, anger, guilt and shame.

Excessive time online can cause physical discomfort and pain, mainly because you are sitting among place for a great deal of time. There are some of the physical difficulties, one can have from excessive Internet use.

  • Pains or numbness in your hands that can spread to the wrists, elbows and shoulders. This can be the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Pains in your back or neck
  • Irritable or dry eyes or eyestrain
  • Severe headaches
  • Disturbed sleep

Recognising you or someone close to you has a problem

The first and most important step in treating any form of dependency, including Internet addiction, is recognising that there is a problem. It is normal for an individual to deny they have a dependency, but if the cost of online use outweighs any benefit. There is a need for some form of treatment.

 

Eleos counselling has many years helping people overcome addictions. If you would like to know more you can click on the link below and it will take you to a more comprehensive page on addictions.

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Survey Reveals Families do not spend enough time together

A recent survey conducted, suggests that In the UK, the average family spends only half an hour of quality time together, during the week. On the weekend, the time spent together goes up to about an hour and 20 minutes, on both Saturday and Sunday.

family life

Family life

56% of the people surveyed said that they book a holiday for no other reason than to spend time with their family.

The reason we are not spending so much time together various from “the kids are at an age that they don’t really want to spend time with us.” To working anti social hours” what this means is that families are not contacting. Humans, by our very nature are gregarious, we long for social connection. The rise of Facebook and other social media’s would tell us people want to talk and be listened to by other’s chance to tell their story. Obviously lots of things can distract us our I Pad’s, our emails, parents working and after-school activities. The downside of this is that many families struggle to connect and spend time together and enjoy each other.

With reference to the survey, 50% of those asked admitted the only real time they spend together is when they’re away on holiday.  Often holidays can be a time of great stress for people and it could be that we don’t see ourselves in the best light, particularly when we have to deal with airport queues, et cetera.

Could it be that we switch off the television, and simply eat together as often these times when families feel really connected to each other.

 

If your family is going through a crisis, then Eleos counselling can help, you can book an assessment appointment by clicking the link below

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