Treatment for Depression and Anxiety

Depression and generalised anxiety are mood problems that occur when you feel negative about self, the world, and the future or perceive you are continually vulnerable. Unlike sadness, it persists and may lead you to give up hope and feel defeated. At the worst stages, you may contemplate or attempt suicide.

Anxiety encompasses many different types of emotional difficulties including stress and tension. It is a type of emotion that gets in the way of you and what you want to do. Both depression and anxiety problems are common and can be serious for a small number of individuals if they get out of control and do not receive treatment.

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy is perhaps the most researched form of psychotherapy for anxiety and depression. It has been shown to be a very effective short term approach to help improve mood and alleviate anxiety symptoms.

Although medication can be effective, many people who seek cognitive bhavioural psychotherapy are trying to avoid or minimise the use of medication.

For those who desire a combination of treatments with psychotherapy and drugs, it is usually possible to either work in partnership with your General Practitioner or Consultant Psychiatrist.

The programme of treatment with cognitive behavioural psychotherapy includes learning to identify and challenge unhelpful thinking and attitudes, problem solving, and learning new coping behaviours. A course of therapy typically lasts between 8 to 20 sessions.

Suggested Reading: Feeling Good, The Feeling Good Handbook both by David Burns, M.D., Mastery Over Anxiety & Panic by Barlow & Craske., Coping with Depression, Ivy Blackburn.

Relationship, Sexual & Family Disorders

I also provide problem focused treatments for Couples and Families. Many times problems persist because of communication and behaviour patterns or habits in a family or marriage that have become unhelpful and either are not recognized or have become difficult to change without help, support and guidance.

Cognitive Behavioural psychotherapy helps you change the way you communicate with those you love so you can be heard as well as listen better. Family problems are many times more effectively dealt with if more than one family member can attend therapy sessions. If this is a direction that you want to take, you may discover things about yourself and those close to you that will allow for a better, happier and more fulfilling home life.

Suggested Reading: Love is Never Enough by Aaron T. Beck, M.D., Intimate Connections by David Burns, M.D., and Couple's Guide to Communication by Gottman, et.al.,

Phobias, Panic & Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Anxiety disorders include phobias (fear of different kinds of situations, objects, or beings). Panic disorder (episodes of extreme fear when you may feel you are going out of your mind or are about to die, but don't). Obsessive compulsive disorder (repetitive unwanted thoughts, images and impulses and obsessive rituals and other distressing behaviour) and very common and usually respond well to cognitive behavioural psychotherapy either with or without medication.

Therapy usually involves self directed graded exposure and response prevention, problem solving, relapse prevention and cognitive therapy if required. A typical course of therapy is between 8 to 20 sessions.

Suggested reading: Living with Fear Isaac Marks, M.D., Obsessive Compulsive Disorder the Facts, Rachman, S, and De Silva, P.

Impulse & Anger Problems

I also offer programmes for adults who get in trouble as a result of poor control over impulses such as anger and inappropriate sexual behaviour. Often, Impulse Control problems lead to problems with the Police. It is my view that if a person is able to recognise they have a difficulty and are willing to seek or accept treatment, that they can change their problem behaviour patterns. Therapy enables then individual to identify and change unhelpful thoughts and attitudes and to take personal responsibility for unacceptable behaviour. It also involves learning how to cope assertively and appropriately with situations perceived as unjust or stressful.

Suggested Reading: 10 Days to Self Esteem by David Burns, M.D., Anger by Carol Tarvis.

Motivation & Work Related Problems

Stress is common in the workplace. Some of the common signs include excessive tiredness or worry, procrastination, avoidance, dissatisfaction, helplessness, and poor communication. These are just some of the problems that you may be experiencing if you are unhappy at work.

If you own or manage a business and have employees that are not working effectively, you may be finding it difficult to develop ways to implement effective ways to change the environment and improve the effectiveness and performance of your staff.

You may be considering a career change and want to collaborate in an exploration of what you might be able to do next. Perhaps you are a student who is not sure what you will do with your life.

Cognitive behavioural consultation can be an effective way to focus your mental and physical energy on discovering you or your employees potential. This approach can enhance both your own and others abilities in the workplace.

I offer employee assistance support to individuals or organisations for organisational consultancy, individual or group stress management or therapy.

Suggested reading: Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey Young, The Ten Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make by Art Freeman and R. DeWolf.