Category: Uncategorized

How to be an Existentialist

  How to be an Existentialist: or How to Get Real, Get a Grip and Stop Making Excuses by Gary Cox Continuum, 2009 This is a great introduction for anyone interested in studying the philosophy of existentialism, and as a ‘handbook’, it highlights the importance of personal freedoms, responsibility and the importance of making, and… Read more »

CBT ~ Not what I was expecting!

A surprise might do you good It’s hardly surprising that if you go into therapy with a genuine hope of a positive result, you’re more likely to emerge with exactly that — and the opposite is also true. So a negative or pessimistic outlook is more likely in clients whose outcomes are poorer. But a… Read more »

The evolutionary origins of depression

The biological basis of depression In evolutionary terms, depression is said to be ‘adaptive’, that is, it has some sort of biological purpose in order to enable us to function more effectively in the longer term, either as individuals or as part of a social group. The discussion has given rise to a number of… Read more »

Antidepressants ~ chemical intervention or placebo?

The accidental birth of a billion dollar industry In 1952, scientists isolated a drug called reserpine from the dried Indian snakeroot plant (which had been used for centuries in India for the treatment of fever and snakebites). It was found to reduce levels of the monoamines in the body (serotonin, dopamine and noradrenalin) and to… Read more »

‘In The Face of Fear’ report

Mental health in a scared — and scary — world The MHF’s own national fear survey carried out in 2007 reveals a growing perception that the world is a frightening place, and that individuals respond, not surprisingly, by being scared of many aspects of it. The thrust of the report is that these two phenomena… Read more »

Solution Focused Therapy

Exploring a possible future Can you imagine life free of emotional issues, without the concerns and problems that made you think of therapy as a way of tackling them? What would show you your life was different? What would you be doing instead of your current everyday activities? What would you be thinking about, or… Read more »

Your soul has a cold

The ‘shame’ of depression in Japan Until relatively recently, the usual reaction to the idea of consulting 
doctors and other healthcare professionals about depression 
was one of great shame. There was very little 
understanding of what depression might be, 
and the Japanese cultural pressure to remain 
stoical and accepting, even in the face of 
great… Read more »

What’s love got to do with it?

Love conquers all Huston’s programme investigating coupledom and marriage, beginning with the very first date, is known as the PAIR (Processes of Adaptation in Intimate Relationships) project. He and his team recruited 168 newly-weds in central Pennsylvania, and followed them over the course of 13 years. The team asked about many aspects of the couples’… Read more »

Now don’t tell me about your mother

A positive focus on what might be ahead Traditionally, talking therapies for depression have involved delving into the past, unearthing painful memories and discovering how they affect us in the present. These psychoanalytic methods were overtaken in the cognitive revolution of the 1950s, which means that now, patients are commonly exposed to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy… Read more »

Mindfulness for Anxiety

The adaptation of meditative practice to therapy Mindfulness owes its origins to eastern religions, particularly Buddhism, and to the practice of meditation. Its more recent application in therapy owes much to those traditions, but alongside an increasing popularity, it has now gained a robust and more scientific evidence base. Mindfulness is a therapeutic approach that… Read more »