Author: Dr Emma Gray

5 effective ways to deal with problems

5 Effective Ways to Deal with Relationship Problems

How to Deal with Relationship Problems Relationship problems are a part of a normal healthy relationship. It is not having relationship problems that distinguishes relationships that work from those that don’t but how the problems are dealt with. The Clinical Psychologists and Counselling Psychologists at The British CBT & Counselling Service have not only helped many couples to resolve their

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how to choose a therapist

5 Key Facts about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

5 Key Facts about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) 1. Evidence Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the only type of therapy or counselling that has been shown by research to be effective across a range of mental health problems (including anxiety, panic attacks, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders (inc. anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge

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clinical psychologists

5 Facts about Clinical Psychologist

5 Facts about Clinical Psychologist 1. Clinical Psychologists are Doctors Clinical Psychologists hold 2 degrees; the first is an undergraduate degree either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Psychology. The second degree is a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with involves teaching, practical and research elements. This means that Clinical Psychologists are the most highly

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negative thoughts

4 Tips for Dealing with Negative Thoughts

4 Tips for Dealing with Negative Thoughts Negative thoughts are the main cause of many common mental health problems including anxiety, panic attacks, stress, depression, eating disorders (inc. anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, eating disorders not otherwise specified {EDNOs}), obsessive compulsive disorder {OCD}, post traumatic stress disorder {PTSD} and relationship problems. Negative thoughts are in essence beliefs about

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good nights sleep

5 Practical Steps For Dealing With Sleep Problems

How to Deal with Sleep Problems This article deals with Dyssomnias, these are sleep problems characterised by abnormalities in the timing or quality of sleep, e.g. difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep. Parasomnias or unusual behaviours that occur during sleep e.g. nightmare, sleeping walking, sleep talking/shouting, night terrors, are dealt with in a separate article. Sleep problems are one of

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Sweets

4 Effective Ways To Deal With OCD

How to Deal with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health problem that affects at least 1.2 % of the population. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in essence is an anxiety disorder that is characterised by intrusive obsessive thoughts usually about harm coming to oneself or someone else that trigger high levels of anxiety which the

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grief and loss

5 Ways To Deal With Grief and Loss

How To Deal With Grief & Loss The first thing to be aware of is that the sadness and depression that accompanies any sort of loss serves a very important function. Depression slows us down and forces our focus towards it’s cause. This enables us to process what has happened, reconfigure our lives without the person that has died and

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calm person

5 ways to cope with anxiety

How To Cope With Anxiety 1. Breath When we are anxious our breathing pattern changes from slow and deep (diaphragmatic breathing) to quick and shallow. As a result the Co2 and oxygen levels in our blood are pushes out of balanced resulting in a number of uncomfortable physical symptoms including dizziness/faintness, breathlessness and nausea. These symptoms exacerbate feelings of anxiety

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exercise to beat depression

How to Cope with Depression

How to Cope with Depression Depression results from a combination of negative and/or self critical thoughts and self defeating or self destructive behaviours. Successfully resolving depression therefore involves resolving at least one of these issues. Often the first step in a person’s battle to overcome depression is to address the self defeating behaviours that are fuelling their low mood. This

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bdd

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental health problem whereby the sufferer becomes extremely concerned with an aspect of their appearance, usually with a perceived physical flaw. Objectively the flaw is either minor or non existence but to the sufferer the flaw will feel hideous to the extent that in some cases individuals are unable to leave the house. Sufferers

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beat depression

How to Reduce the Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety is our body’s way of responding to a perceived threat and involves a very physical process designed by evolution to enable us to either fight the danger, run from it or hide from it. This is known as the Fight, Flight, Freeze Response. The Fight, Flight, Freeze response is powered by the release of adrenalin into our system which

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meditation

How meditation can improve mental health

How Meditation Can Improve Your Mental Health The benefits of meditation have long been recognised in Eastern cultures, both the physical and the psychological. More recently meditation has been included in therapy programmes for mental health, emotional, psychological and behavioural problems, in particular Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), as research looking at the beneficial effects on symptoms such as anxiety and

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My emotions scare me

Dear Dr Gray, I’m not sure if this is a mental health problem, or even if therapy can help me, but I am scared of my emotions. I feel completely overwhelmed by anxiety, anger and depression, I even find positive emotions like excited and happiness a little hard to bear sometimes. I do my best to avoid feelings by bingeing

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Schizophrenia

CBT Works For Schizophrenia

Research has found that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is at least as effective as medication in treating Schizophrenia and Psychosis. The research, recently published in The Lancet (the world’s leading medical journal) found that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) not only resulted in an improvement in symptoms suffered by those with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia and Psychosis but that the therapy

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How can CBT help Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Dear Dr Gray, My GP thinks I might have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and thinks that maybe Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) could help me. However, I don’t understand how a ‘talking therapy’ can help a physical problem.. Simon – Clapham Dr Gray Replies…….. Dear Simon I think that it is fair enough to question how talking about a problem that manifests

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Comfort eating

Dear Dr Gray, I think I’m a comfort eater. Whenever I am feeling depressed or anxious I reached for the biscuits (or crisps!). It is usually worse during the evening and whilst watching tv I can sometimes eat a whole packet of biscuits without realising. I am putting on a far amount of weight as a result which is making

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Am I a perfectionist?

Dear Dr Gray, I think I am a perfectionist. Everything I do I feel I have to do perfectly yet despite putting what feels like 110% into everything I am never satisfied with anything and still constantly feel like a failure. I feel pretty depressed about this as it seems like there is no way to improve the situation as

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Hiding from anxiety

Dear Dr Gray, I have always been a worrier and avoided the things that scare me, like lifts, the underground, busy pubs. However, recently my list of thing that make me anxious and things that I avoid seems to be growing and I am reaching the point where I feel anxious most of the time. Please help. Lucy – Islington

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Anxious in public places

Anxious thoughts in public places – when to seek support and who can help.

Are you experiencing anxious thoughts in lifts, on trains, cinemas, supermarkets or other public places? Have you ever had to find an exit point because of these thoughts? Public places can be common trigger situations for anxious thoughts, however the level of distress which these thoughts cause can vary, from mild to severe distress. In severe cases the occurrence of

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Dear Dr Gray, I have been with my partner for 8 years and unhappy I think for 7 but I am too scared to leave because I am worried that I won’t find anyone else and I don’t want to be alone. I am starting to feel really depressed and at times quite anxious about the whole thing. What should

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Anxiety therapy

Radio 4 Discusses Anxiety Problems

Anxiety, the often debilitating problem suffered by millions of people worldwide, was the topic under discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour this morning.  Highlighting the overwhelmingly distressing nature of the physical and psychological symptoms of this mental health problem the programme talked to Dr David Clarke, a Professor of Psychology and expert in the field of Anxiety and Cognitive

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I can’t make friends

Dear Dr Gray, I try so hard to get people to like me, I am always bending over backwards to help people, trying to do things for them, I even try to anticipate want people want so that they don’t even have to ask for it. Despite all this I don’t really have any friends and I am so lonely

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Do I have an eating disorder

Dear Dr Gray, I have been trying to lose weight for years and in doing so have tried every possible diet you can imagine. I start well but after a few weeks (days sometimes) I end up bingeing on all the forbidden food and then in a desperate attempt to compensate I make myself sick and sometime take laxatives. Then

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I can’t control my temper

Dear Dr Gray, I seem to feel angry all of the time and I am wondering if I need some kind of therapy or maybe some anger management. Most of the time I can keep a lid on it but from time to time (and this is starting to happen more often) I completely lose it, sometimes over really little

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I need help sleeping

Dear Dr Gray, I have a sleep problem. I can usually get to sleep without too much trouble but I then wake up a couple of hours later and find it almost impossible to get back to sleep.  Some nights I get as little as 2 hours sleep. I had some counselling sessions a few months ago and was taught

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How do I persuade my partner that we need marriage counselling

Dear Dr Gray , I think my husband and I need marriage counselling but I think if I suggest it he will just say no. I have had therapy (CBT I think) in the past for depression and found it really useful but he thinks that we shouldn’t talk to strangers about our problems. Annabel (Marylebone) Dr Gray Replies…….. Dear Annabel,

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Am I having a panic attack?

Dear Dr Gray, I am having these really unpleasant episodes where I feel suddenly incredibly anxious, breathless, dizzy and my heart races. They seem to occur without warning and I am starting to avoid going out alone because I am worried about fainting or collapsing in public. I am also having problems sleeping and have lost my appetite Susan (Clapham)

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I have no energy

Dear Dr Gray, I am not sure what is wrong with me, I feel terrible, I have no energy, I’m miserable, I struggle to get out of bed in the morning and feel completely worthless. I have also started to feel anxious if I have to leave the house. Please help. Simon (Clapham) Dr Gray Replies…….. Dear Simon, Your lack

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Anxiety

The 3 Reasons Anxiety Won’t Resolve Itself

The 3 Reasons Anxiety Won’t Resolve Itself. Anxiety can be an extremely painful and distressing problem for the sufferer and with at least 1 in 6 people experiencing it in some form, it is more common than most people think. Anxiety comes in many different forms, panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even

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Man depressed

Am I Neurotic or Psychotic – how do I tell?

There has long been confusion amongst individuals suffering with mental health problems as to whether they are neurotic or psychotic with many fearing that if they have a neurotic problem they will soon also develop a psychotic problem. Neurotic problems are problems such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders (including bulimia disorder,

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exercise or anti depressants

Anti-depressants or exercise – which is best?

A Nation of Pill Poppers? We’d Rather Walk or Talk! A recently published study by Nuffield Health has raised headlines across the national press claiming that GPs are turning Great Britain into “a nation of pill poppers” as GPs are turning to prescription medication to treat individuals suffering from mental health concerns, such as anxiety, whilst ignoring other valuable options

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Counselling for young people

Counselling and CBT for young people

Young People and Counselling It is easy to assume that it is only rigours and demands of adult life that can lead to mental health issues that would benefit from CBT counselling and other forms of support. However, recent studies into the mental health of young adults at university and their access to counselling support, together with significant Government funding

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Mental patient costume

Mental Health – Eroding the Stigma

The recent public furore in relation to the sale by major UK retailers, Tesco, Asda and Amazon of offensive halloween costumes depicting “mental patient” characters has reignited the debate surrounding mental health and public perception. The release of the costumes for sale was met with a great deal of press coverage and led to a twitter storm. The vast majority

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Couples Counselling

How does Couples Counselling work? 6 tips.

Let us first answer the most important question ‘Does Couples Counselling Work’? The short answer to this is yes. What is important though is that the couples involved must be prepared to make it work for them and show commitment to change. So how does it work, what are the main points to consider? 1/ A secure environment in which

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Paul Gascoigne

Taboos about mental health in football

Taboos about mental health in football Recent high profile cases have shown the severe mental health problems many current and former professional footballers face. It is easy to assume that these sportsman lead a blessed life away from the pressures and anxieties that most of us face, however, the actual facts point to a very different reality. Pressure to perform,

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Interactions

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Not Positive Thinking

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is not as has often been simplistically suggested by the press about positive thinking or about correcting faulty thinking. It is about helping people to evaluate not just how accurate their thinking is, but also how helpful it is, so for example it may be accurate to think that you may die of thirst whilst stranded

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Stress at work

Stress at work

The work place is one of the most common places to experience high levels of stress and anxiety. It is unclear why this is exactly but it is likely to be a combination of the fact that our quality of life is largely dependent upon our financial security and much of our waking lives are spend in the work place

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Eliminating Panic Attacks

A Panic Attack is an intense and terrifying experience that can leave the sufferer feeling overwhelmed and constantly fearful that it will happen again. Most people will experience a panic attack at some point in their lives usually during a period of high stress but only a number of these individuals then go on to develop panic disorder. Those vulnerable

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Dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder where an individual attaches an anxiety provoking meaning to intrusive thoughts and then engages in certain repetitive or ritualistic behaviours (known as compulsions) in an attempt to reduce the anxiety triggered. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) effects adults and children and can be a debilitating problem that interferes with every aspect of a

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Eating Disorders – It’s not about the food

Contrary to popular opinion an individual suffering from an eating disorders (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified {EDNOS}) has not lost their appetite (in the case of those with anorexia nervosa) nor are they experiencing an increased in appetite/are being greedy (in the case of those who are binge eating; which occurs for

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Dealing with Bullying

Bullying is an experience that is not limited by age, whether you are in the playground or at work if you suffer from low self esteem and confidence you are vulnerable. A bully will only target those that they perceive will accept the bad treatment and abuse, have you ever heard of a confident assertive and self assured individual being

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Migraine treatment

Finding the Cause of Migraines

Finding the Cause of Migraines A migraine is a debilitating and reoccurring headache that often effects one side of the head and is usually accompanied by nausea and blurred vision. Although the experience of a migraine is a very physical one the cause seldom is. However this does not make a migraine any less painful or distressing nor does it

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Self harm counselling

Overcoming Self Harm / Self Injurious Behaviour

Overcoming Self Harm / Self Injurious Behaviour Self Harm or Self Injurious Behaviour is where an individual causes physical harm to themselves. Self harm can either be impulsive (the behaviour is not planned in advance but performed in a reactive way in response to an unforeseen trigger) or compulsive (carried out with intent and forethought). Self harm includes behaviours such

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Stress

Stress

Stress is a type of anxiety and it is the way that we respond to a challenge. Stress involves a reaction from both our mind and body and in appropriate measure stress is an adaptive, helpful and necessary way of dealing with demands. Stress motivates us to deal with tasks; once our brain identifies a challenge or demand it releases

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Sleep problems

Sleep Problems and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Sleep problems are incredibly common and affect millions of people each year. Sleep problems can be incredibly anxiety provoking causing both emotional distress and physical discomfort. Sleep problems can also affect memory, concentration, energy levels, and mood and can make you more prone to both physical and mental health problems. A sleep problem however is usually a symptom of more

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how to choose a therapist

The difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy

There are over 500 different types of talking therapy all aimed at helping people to resolve psychological, interpersonal and behavioural problems including anxiety, depression, low self esteem, eating disorders (including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder), relationship problems, stress and panic. These psychological treatments each have their own name for example Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Psychodynamic Counselling,

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Vulnerable person

Who is most vulnerable to mental health issues?

Causes and Treatment For Mental Health Problems; Key Considerations. Western societies greatly exaggerate the difference between humans, dividing us into the ‘haves’, ‘have nots’ and ‘have lots’, with the ‘have nots’ being at greater risk of physical and mental health problems including anxiety (including generalised anxiety, social anxiety, phobias, stress and panic attacks), depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders

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Quater life crisis

What is the Quarter life Crisis?

Quarter life Crisis The quarter life crisis is a relatively new phenomenon that has been observed in young adults once they finish their formal education and are starting to live their lives independently of their parents. They are for the first time facing the experience of ‘standing on their own two feet’ and taking on all the ‘adult’ responsibilities that

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Mid life chrisis

Midlife Crisis

Midlife Crisis Towards the middle of our lives we experience a flood of awareness. This can be triggered by any number of events including health problems, divorce, death or children leaving home. At this point in our lives we realise that we have lived at least half of our life, we start to review what we have achieved and consider

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