Author: Dr Emma Gray

Credit cards

The 9 Challenges of January

If December is the ‘season to be jolly’, January is the season to be depressed. Hot on the heels of the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ is the most emotionally and psychologically challenging. At The British CBT & Counselling Service requests for therapy triple in January with people feeling more depressed and anxious than at any other time. So why is this time of the year so difficult?

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post christmas depression

Christmas has made me depressed

Dear Dr Gray, I am worried that there is something wrong with me. I really didn’t enjoy Christmas, if I’m honest, I never do. I am surrounded by my family, have time off work and pretty much spend the whole time counting the days until I can return to normality. This makes me feel really depressed, everyone else is having

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Teetotal street

Dry January is a Bad Idea!

Dry January is a Bad Idea! At a glance it seems that giving up alcohol for a whole month, especially after the excesses of Christmas, is a good idea.  However, on closer inspection is it possible that this recently popular way of dealing with January is just another version of the feast or famine approach to life that we seem

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back to school

Coping with Back to School Anxiety

When we are faced with something new or unfamiliar our threat or fight/flight response kicks in.  We have evolved to respond in this way, it’s a survival strategy, if we aren’t sure what awaits us, nature believes it is best to expect and prepare for the worst: In the days when we might have found ourselves foraging for food, if

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Love Island 2018

Why You Should Watch Love Island – Bravado and Bikinis

Don’t Be Put Off by First Impressions The new series of Love Island started last week and with it some quite strong opinions based on first impressions of the Islanders. People can be quick to judge and judge harshly those that put themselves out there. These young people with their bravado and bikinis, who are still working out who they

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Teetotal street

Is Sober October a Bad Idea?

Is Sober October a Bad Idea? Sober October might roll off the tongue better than Dry January but the principle is just as shaky. When I sat down to blog about it I realised that I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel. Instead I could re-post my Dry January blog, suggest that readers replace the word ‘Christmas’ with ‘Summer’ and

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5 tips for self esteem

5 Tips for Self Esteem

Self-Esteem is the cornerstone of mental health. Low self-esteem underlies most mental health problems, is very common and most of us could do with a boost in this area. So here are 5 tips to help you to do that: 1. Low Self-Esteem is maintained by a self-critical voice, sometimes known as the internal critic. If you can identify yours

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Emotional Abuse

What is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is a consistent pattern of abusive words and bullying behaviours intended to control you. It can happen in any relationship, with friends, family or co-workers. One of the difficult things about emotional abuse is that it is so hard to define. This makes it hard to identify but also hard to explain to others. This in turn makes

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Insomnia therapy

How to Have a Better Night’s Sleep

Having trouble sleeping, either struggling to fall asleep, staying asleep and/or waking up early is very common and is usually a symptom of another problem e.g. stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem. So, if you want to sleep better over the longer term you will need to work out why you can’t sleep, maybe by speaking to your doctor or a

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body dysmorphic disorder

What is the Best Treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?

BDD is an anxiety disorder that effect approximately 1 in 50 people. It effects both men and women of any age but is particularly common in teenagers and young adults. For more information about BDD watch this video: There are 2 types of treatment that have been proven to be effective for BDD, medication and talking therapy. I will explain

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anxiety

Anxiety Therapy Course

The Therapy Course for Anxiety draws on techniques and strategies that research has proven to be effective in the treatment of anxiety. In this blog I am going to show you a quick quiz to help you to self-diagnose anxiety so that you know for sure that this is the right course for you. Then we will make a start

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low self esteem therapy

Do You Have Low Self Esteem?

Low Self-Esteem is much more common than you may think and is one of the main risk factors for developing a mental health problem, in particular Depression, Anxiety, an Eating Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Also, if you don’t address low self-esteem, any treatment that you received for a mental health problem is unlikely to have a long lasting

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thinking statue

Self Therapy

In this blog I am going to show you how to carry out your own therapy session. The techniques are based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is currently the most effective treatment for a wide range of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and confidence. 1. Set aside 10-15 minutes, once a week. It

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Birth trauma treatment

Birth Trauma Treatment

In this blog I am going to explain what treatment for Birth Trauma involves. This is a problem that affects 25-35% of women. Birth Trauma also affects men, so in this article I will refer to the sufferer as ‘the parent”. There are two treatments that are thought to be effective for Birth Trauma, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye

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Birth trauma

Birth Trauma

In this blog I am going to explain what Birth Trauma is then share a quick quiz so that you work out if this is the problem that you are struggling with. Birth Trauma is when a parent develops Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of giving birth. It is estimated to effect 30,00 women in the UK

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OCD treatment

The Best Treatment for OCD

In this blog I am going to explain the best treatment for adults suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This information is up to date at the time of publishing this article and is based on the recommendations made by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom. For more information about

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driving test nerves

Driving Test Nerves

In this blog I am going to give you 3 tips to help you to manage your Driving Test Nerves so you can maximise your chances of passing your test. First it is important to remember that up to a certain point feeling nervous can be helpful when we are facing a challenge like a driving test. Nerves motivate us

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Relationship therapy

The Six Keys to a Healthy Relationship

Our relationships determine our quality of life and how healthy they are is directly linked to how healthy we are, both physically and mentally. A healthy relationship shouldn’t be hard work, but it will need some work if we are going to get the most out of it. So, in this blog post I am going to share with you

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procrastination

What is Clinical Procrastination?

In this blog I am going to help you to work out if you are a Clinical Procrastinator. Clinical Procrastination is when putting things off has become one of the main ways you deal with life and is getting in the way of not only your productivity, but your relationships and ultimately your happiness and enjoyment of life. We are

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antenatal depression

What Is Antenatal Depression?

Antenatal Depression (AND) is a type of Depression that effect 7-20% of women during pregnancy. It is the strongest risk factor for Postnatal Depression (PND) but is talked about far less, despite the fact that research suggests treating it will not only protect against PND and Parenting Stress but also Depression that continues long after the birth of your baby.

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Panic Disorder and Panic Attack

What is Panic Disorder, What is a Panic Attack?

 Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks are often confused and the terms used interchangeably so in this blog I am going to explain the difference and help you to self-diagnose so you can get the help you need. A Panic Attack is a discrete episode of anxiety, the onset of which is sudden and the duration short usually between 3-5

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Bipolar Depression

What is Bipolar Depression

Bipolar Disorder (previously known as Manic Depression) is a mental health disorder that affects your mood with sufferers having extreme swings between periods of depression and mania. During periods of depressions sufferers will experience lethargy, overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, sadness and sometimes thoughts of suicide. During periods of mania, sufferers will feel ‘wired’ and behave impulsively and frenetically. They will

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Phone addiction therapy

5 Steps to Cure Your Phone Addiction

This blog is for when you realise that using your phone to keep your life ticking over has become a way of escaping from it. Here are 5 steps to regain the balance. 1. Start by working out how much time you are spending on your phone each day, keep a simple log of when and how long you spend

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Phone addiction therapy

Are You Addicted To Your Phone?

Often when we feel sad, worried, lonely or angry, we reach for something to take the edge off the discomfort. Every once in a while this is fine, it’s human nature to need a bit of time out from ourselves. However, when we reach for this thing, be it a glass of wine, a donut or our phone as our

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Coffee

How Do You Treat Yourself?

If you are struggling with a mental health problem, particularly depression, the answer to this question is likely to be ‘not very well’. The way that we treat ourselves has a big impact on how we feel. It can be the difference between good mental health and bad mental health. From the things that we do or neglect to do

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Treating Childhood Depression

Treating Depression in Children

It is estimated that in the UK alone there are 80,000 children suffering from Depression, that equates to about 4% of children. In this blog I am going to go through what treatment for these children involves. Unfortunately, there is currently no good quality evidence indicating what the best treatment for children with depression is. So, I am going to

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friendship

Help for Friends and Family of Mental Health Sufferers

 Being close to someone who is suffering from a mental health problem can be very difficult, not knowing how to help, feeling confused about what is going on, feeling frustrated with the person, the situation, or yourself, maybe feeling isolated and hopeless about what to do next. In this blog I am going to share 6 tips to help

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I believe in me

A Quick Tip for Low Self-Esteem And Depression

Here is a quick tip to help you in the battle against low self-esteem and depression. To a certain extent rules help us to live our lives, they keep us safe both physically and emotionally and they guide us in a productive direction. The most powerful rules are the rules we make for ourselves. However, past a certain point these

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How to Get Pregnant Fast

How to Get Pregnant Fast – 9 Step Fertility Series

Step 1 – Getting Started This blog post is designed to help you to prepare both your mind and body for pregnancy and to survive the time it takes you to get you to this point.  It is based on my professional and personal experience of infertility, I am a mother of 4 boys, all conceived after the age of

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Depression in Children

How to Spot Depression in Children

 Low mood in children is often dismissed as a passing phase, sometimes as just part of growing up. However, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence estimates that in the UK alone 80,000 children suffer from depression, 8,000 of those are under 10. Depression is not a problem that will just go away on its own. Here are the signs

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Anxiety

3 Tips to Cope with Anxiety

 3.6 % of the global population suffer from an anxiety disorder. However, it is a very treatable condition. Here are 3 of the most effective strategies to help you to reduce your anxiety. 1. Change Your Thoughts How we feel is determined by how we think. So, the anxiety that you feel is being generated by the way you

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Perfectionism

What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism is when trying to do your best tips over into a desire to perform at the highest possible level in most things. Clinical Perfectionism is when this desire becomes something that you NEED to do in order to feel ok about yourself and when you fall short of this unrelenting standard you harshly criticise yourself. Do you suffer from

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Meditating

What are the Benefits of Meditation?

Meditation used to be the sole reserve of Tibetan monks and Master Yogis but now it is well and truly part of the public consciousness with videos on YouTube, Apps and countless online articles and books. So why, after hundreds of years, is meditation suddenly so en vogue. Basically, science has stepped in and proven it’s worth. So, what exactly

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Coping with Depression

4 Tips To Cope With Depression

 It is estimated by the World Health Organisation that if current trends continue, by 2020 Depression will be the second most disabling condition in the world, after heart disease. There are however some very effective strategies that can help you to cope with Depression, in this blog I am going to share 4 of the best. 1. Activity Scheduling

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Self Harm

How To Cope With Self-Harm – 3 Steps

 In this blog I am going to explain a 3-step approach to cope with Self-Harm. Self-harm is a discrete episode where someone intentionally harms themselves when distressed and that harm reduces the distress. The urge to self-harm is usually impossible to resist and those that harm themselves are frequently unable to tell anyone and if they do people are

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Dealing with Exam Stress

How To Deal With Exam Stress

In this blog I am going to describe 5 tips for dealing with exam stress and a 6th tip if you are a parent reading this trying to help your child. The first thing to remember is that a certain amount of anxiety and stress in the lead up to exams is normal and necessary. Nature has designed us to

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How to Tackle Bullying

How To Tackle Bullying

 In this blog I am going to describe a 10-step plan to tackle bullying. 1. Work Closely with your Child’s School Sooner Rather than Later The sooner you can start working with the school to stop your child being bullied the better. This may seem like an obvious thing to say but bullying is often a contentious issue and

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How to Cope with Miscarriage

6 Tips To Help You Cope With Miscarriage

 Having a miscarriage is devasting. You have lost a baby and where ever it was in its development when you miscarried, you will need to allow yourself to grieve for that life and work out how to move forward without that baby. In this article I am going to share 6 tips to help you do this. 1. Remember

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Aidan Connor Coronation Street

Could Aidan Connor’s Suicide have been Prevented?

This week on Coronation Street Aidan Connor committed suicide, but could his death have been prevented? The short answer is ‘yes’, but unfortunately, although suicide is very preventable, it is the single biggest killer of men under 45. 50% of all those who die by suicide have been diagnosed with Depression and by 2020 it is estimated that Depression will

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How to deal with Anger

Five Steps To Help You Deal With Anger

In this blog I am going to explain 5 steps to help you to deal with your anger. Anger is an unpleasant emotion to experience and to be on the receiving end of. It can damage relationships and reputations and leave all involved feeling anxious and depressed and angry. However, anger serves an important function, it alerts us to mistreatment

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Are you drinking too much?

An Easy Way To Reduce Your Alcohol Intake

 In my last blog I showed you how to identify if the amount you are drinking is potentially threatening your physical and mental health. If you have decided that it is let’s look at what you can do about it. In the first part of this blog we are going to look at how to reduce the amount of

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Are you drinking too much?

Are You Drinking Too Much Alcohol?

 Alcohol is a very common way of dealing with the stresses and strains of life, there is nothing like a nice glass of wine to help you to relax after a busy day at work or a hectic day with the kids. However, all too easily that glass of wine can become something we NEED at the end of

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Broken Heart Robot

How To Cope With A Relationship Break Up

Techniques to help you to cope When a relationship ends it can be devastating, especially if you did not anticipate or want the ending. You can find yourself completely overwhelmed by feelings of rejection, anger, anxiety, loneliness and hopelessness about the future. Coping with the end of an important relationship is a process that we must go through, this process

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Prince Harry

Prince Harry & Mental Health

Prince Harry Discloses Seeking Help with Mental Health Prince Harry has revealed that he pursued counselling after he “shut down all his emotions” for nearly two decades as a result of struggling to cope with grief of his mother’s death.  In his interview with The Telegraph Prince Harry shared, “my way of dealing with it was sticking my head in

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euthanasia

The Right to Die And Why We Struggle With It

The Right to Die And Why We Struggle With It Giving ourselves and others the (legal) right to die is a decision that many of us wrestle with.  It provokes a range of strong and often overwhelming emotions which makes thoughtful consideration of the topic at times practically impossible.  Understanding why a decision is challenging can make it less so.

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Boris johnson giving a speech

Why Has Boris Johnson Dropped out of the Conservative Leadership Race?

Boris Johnson, former Major of London and the de facto leader of the campaign to leave the European Union has just announced that he will not be running in the race to replace David Cameron as the next leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. His decision has shocked party members and voters alike many who believed that part

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The archers

Why Hasn’t Helen Told Her Lawyer She Confided in Jess on his Abuse?

Q:  “I remain mystified why Helen has STILL not told her lawyer she confided in Rob’s first wife Jess on his abuse” – @Rangefinder115 A: The first thing to keep in mind is that for maximum dramatic impact some aspects of this plot line will not necessarily reflect what would happen in real life. However, one explanation for Helen not giving

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The archers

Request for Psychology Questions Related to The Archers

If you have any questions that are related to any of our other articles about “The Archers” (most recent article found here) or any other story lines from a Psychological point of view then I will do my best to answer them. Please leave questions in the “Comments” box below. Many Thanks Dr Gray

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kylo ren

Why did Kylo Ren turn to the dark side?

Ben Solo, the only son of Hans Solo and Princess Leia was lured to the Dark Side by Supreme Leader Snoke, but why? Kylo Ren (aka Ben Solo’s Dark Side alter ego) like his grandfather Darth Vader is angry, the forces of the Dark Side are able to take advantage of this and manipulate him into turning away from the

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