Frequently Asked Questions

Can therapy help if I’m just under stress?

Yes, although stress can mean different things to people. Sometimes advice on managing time, establishing priorities or help in accessing support can alleviate stress. In other cases individuals maybe creating more stress in their attempts to alleviate it and may benefit from additional strategies such as relaxation training.

How can therapy help me feel better about myself?

This is a fundamental goal of most therapy. In CBT while the ultimate focus is on current goals it is often useful to understand how beliefs, thinking patterns and behaviours have developed over time. In EMDR memories of the past are thought crucial to this process and are addressed directly in therapy.

What are the signs of low self esteem?

The way we view ourselves affects what we expect from life, including work, relationships and friends. E.g. low confidence in our ability to do a new job may lead to anxiety about our performance, fear of evaluation, inability to accept criticism etc. Similarly negative beliefs about what we deserve or are worth may affect our confidence in finding a partner, or even keep us in a damaging or abusive relationship.

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. Along with CBT it is one of the two treatments recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Effectiveness (NICE) for the treatment of PTSD. EMDR can be integrated into CBT treatment if negative memories are thought to be playing a role in maintaining problems such as anxiety or low self esteem. By employing a dual processing technique which requires the individual to attend to visual stimuli at the same time as thinking about the past, the individual is able to face the memory and integrate more positive beliefs about the past, present and future. 
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What is PTSD?

PTSD stands for post traumatic stress disorder. This frequently occurs in individuals who have had, or witnessed, a dangerous experience such as a road traffic accident or assault. Typical symptoms involve a combination of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Frequently sufferers also have problems related to negative memories such as flashbacks or nightmares.

What treatment will I be offered for my anxiety symptoms?

This will depend on the kind of anxiety problems you experience. A CBT approach will involve identifying the thoughts and behaviours which trigger and maintain anxiety. Typical courses of anxiety treatment involve the teaching of relaxation skills and how to apply them in both imaginary and real life situations. In this way a programme of graded desensitisation can be designed so the client is able to master their anxiety in easy steps.

What are the best things to do when I feel depressed?

As depression is so common there are many cases where people are able to recover with just the support and help of family and friends. Sometimes maintaining a good level of meaningful activity can be enough. In many people though additional help such as therapy is necessary to help the individual get back to their usual lifestyle.

Psychologist v psychiatrist – are they the same?

No. They may work with the same client group (even in parallel) but psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialised in mental health. Consequently they are very likely to prescribe medication such as anti-depressants which psychologists are rarely qualified to do.