Blog

February 23, 2018

Traditional counselling and psychotherapy can seem intimidating to some - walk and talk therapy is a viable alternative and can also provide huge benefits to our emotional and physical wellbeing.

October 12, 2017

We all make judgements every day - it would be difficult to imagine a world where we didn't. Indeed, being of 'sound judgement' is seen as an attribute and often indicates a rational, clear-thinking individual.

If we judge a person, we are, by definition, categorising them somehow, in to what he or she is, or is not. Again, this is a natural process in many ways. In childhood and in our day-to-day lives we are constantly assessing the world around us...is this person trustworthy? Do I believe them? Does that person like me? Is she Slytherin or Gryffindor?

Dangers, lurk within, however. Constantly judging whether someone or a situation we find ourselves in is good or bad can blind us to acceptance and also to an appreciation that the world is rarely as binary as 'all good' and 'all bad.'

If we become judgemental of others, what then, is the impact on us? Often we judge ourselves by standards to which we wouldn't necessarily hold others. How many times have you caught yourself making excuse...

October 6, 2017

New research has found that even relatively small amounts of exercise can have a dramatic impact upon our wellbeing.

According a study conducted by the Black Dog Institute in Australia, just one hour of exercise per week could reduce cases of depression by 12%.  Over 30,000 participants were monitored over the course of 11 years, for symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as their activity levels.   

Associate Professor Samuel Harvey of the Black Dog Institute commented that, 'these findings are exciting because they show that even relatively small amounts of exercise – from one hour per week – can deliver significant protection against depression."

What is also encouraging is that the exercise can be spilt into smaller more manageable chunks without a loss in benefit. Making small changes to our daily routines can make a difference. 

The belief is that exercise has such a positive impact because of its effect on us, not only physically, but also socially.  Exercise combined...

September 15, 2017

In an article by Robert H Lustig about his new book ‘The Hacking of the American Mind,’ there were some intriguing revelations about the impact of modern society’s constant need for instant gratification.

The bad news:

It makes for sober reading – depression and suicide rates are on the increase in the UK, as well as in the US, Germany and China.   Prescriptions for antidepressants in the UK are up by 108% from 10 years ago.  Diabetes, heart disease, dementia and fatty liver disease are snowballing into epidemic proportions.

How is our pursuit of pleasure to blame for all of this?  It’s precisely how we seek to feel happier that is contributing to the upsurge in these conditions.  Our addictions to tobacco, alcohol, sugar and, more recently, technology (which can lead to sleep deprivation) have been shown to be major factors in the development of these diseases and can also be link to ballooning rates of depression.

The science bit:

We derive pleasure from dopamine, whose pro...

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CLAIR NEILL

Counselling & Psychotherapy