Categories for Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

This year it seems Mental Health awareness has increased hugely even since 4-5 years ago and we should pat ourselves on the back for spreading the word and reducing the stigma, so that more and more people are talking about mental health.

This year’s theme is Body Image – ‘Body image’ is a term that can be used to describe how we think and feel about our bodies. Our thoughts and feelings about our bodies can impact us throughout our lives, affecting, more generally, the way we feel about ourselves and our mental health and well-being.’

For more information click HERE to go to the Mental Health Foundation Website.

Imposter Syndrome

Michelle Obama recently raised the issue about ‘Imposter Syndrome’, a term used to describe feeling a fraud, insecure and/or self-doubt. She has spoken about her life experiences of a lack of insecurity despite the success and status she has achieved. Calling it a syndrome is to down play how universal it is. Whilst a lot of emphasis has been placed on this being a ‘female’ issue, men also experience the same struggle in feeling a fraud, as people of all ages, gender, ethnicity and occupations can be affected. Imposterism is n’t about a lack of confidence, and it’s not necessarily linked to depression or anxiety, so where does it come from and why do people feel like this?

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Our Relationship with Food.

What do food cravings mean?

Our relationship with food is complicated at best, but it is one that is key to understanding both our emotions and mental states. It’s really quite enlightening to observe your eating habits and desires or to become more mindful and stop before you eat something.
Question why you want something, what it will give you and what need it will fulfil?

One study shows the significant role of emotions in food consumption. The results showed participants felt contented after eating a high fat, high energy food, whereas with a low carbohydrate meal, participants felt unfulfilled.

Intuitively, the body knows that certain foods will alter the brain chemicals or blood pressure.
If your emotional issues remain unaddressed, your food craving will remain constant. If your emotional issues change, so will your food cravings.

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Anger and Forgiveness

The impact of conflict can run deep and can change the state of our mental and physical health. Anger resides in the body, increasing heart rate and blood pressure as well as compromising the immune system’s ability to function effectively. Holding onto negative thoughts and feelings limit our ability to enjoy our day to day life. Thoughts of the original conflict ruminate and escalate and relationships are impacted causing more dis-satisfaction and inner pain.

Thankfully our ability to forgive works wonders for our well-being, reducing stress and anger, boosting the ability to feel more optimistic and satisfied with your life as a whole. Unfortunately, the tendency to dwell or let go of unpleasant conversation or personal criticism is difficult and the pain of the conflict dominates. Whether the hurt happened a moment or a decade ago, intentional or not, its normal to feel heavy-hearted and angry, yet the next step is crucial. If letting go feels a weakness, the mind thrashes between forgiving, forgetting, avoiding it completely or going over every detail, over and over again. If the culprit was you, shame and blame add another dimension creating more confusion and complexity.

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Working with UCLan

The Therapy Company provides support to students affected by Hurricane Irma.

Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma last autumn, more than 700 students and staff from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) in Sint Maarten arrived in Preston last October to continue their studies at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

AUC students utilised the University’s academic facilities for teaching, and students and staff have been accommodated in numerous halls of residence and houses within Preston City Centre. To assist some of the students experiencing trauma from the hurricane, as we all cope with exam stress and adjust to life in Preston, The Therapy Company has been providing counselling services to a number of AUC students. Their work complements AUC’s own wellness services, providing students and faculty with comprehensive support.

A team of 4 counsellors from The Therapy Company who specialise in providing a range of treatments from qualified therapists covering the whole spectrum of mind, body and wellbeing, have treated 22 individuals from AUC, dealing with a range of psychological issues over the course of numerous therapy sessions.

Diane Ogden, Director at The Therapy Company commented, “We’re delighted to have been selected by UCLan to support the students from AUC. We have utilised a range of support mechanisms such as counselling, trauma therapy (EMDR) and cognitive behaviour therapy to help them overcome the stress they are experiencing. We have been accommodated by UCLan at their premises, and AUC team have been very understanding and appreciative of our input.”

Professor Mike Thomas, UCLan Vice-Chancellor, commented, “The huge logistical feat of evacuating the students and university staff was organised in just nine days and came about because of the AUC’s links with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS trust, where it sends students on work placements each year. It has been a real privilege to be able to assist the displaced students and their families and enable them to continue their medical studies.”

The Therapy Company will continue to provide counselling services until the spring/summer when AUC plans to fully return to the Caribbean.