Maryam's Blog

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Psychotherapy: you'll get the hang of it

16 May 2022
Seeing a counsellor or psychotherapist for ongoing sessions is a bit like learning to drive. We need to give ourselves time to let our brain adjust to the newness of it. It is normal to feel anxious until we get the hang of it.
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Loneliness

6 May 2022
"Samaritans says the Covid pandemic has led to more people calling its helpline about loneliness and isolation.
It is an issue affecting all ages.
Nearly a third of all callers contacting the charity during the pandemic mentioned it. Prior to that, it was about a quarter."
♦ Excerpt from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-61332060 - posted 5 May
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British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy shocked that Conversion Therapy ban in UK is discriminatory

24 April 2022
"A ban that only addresses conversion therapy for sexuality and not gender identity is inadequate."
"Sexual orientations and gender identities are not mental health disorders. Anyone accessing therapy should be able to do so without fear of judgement or the threat of being pressured to change a fundamental aspect of who they are."
♦  Excerpts from https://www.bacp.co.uk/news/news-from-bacp/2022/1-april-disappointment-on-conversion-therapy-ban-proposals-latest/?
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Enjoy the freedom

12 April 2022
Being respectfully honest with ourselves frees us from the anxiety of unachievable expectations. Being honest with ourselves is great, but it turns into judgment and pressure when we forget to be respectful. 
Respectful honesty helps us maintain a healthy mind and body.
It’s never too late; start by capturing one moment of respectful honesty a week. This will help your mind gradually ease into the habit.
Enjoy the freedom.
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The Dark Side of Caring

19 March 2022
"I guess, as a British Afghan, I’m a little jealous. I want us to care about Afghans in the same way we do the devastating war in Ukraine..."
♦  Excerpt from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/mar/19/response-ukraine-laudable-british-afghan-jealous-kabul-crisis
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Trauma is a part of our human existence.

Here are some (often overlapping) types:
A single event trauma is when the brain is having trouble processing a threat.
A multiple event trauma (complex trauma) is when a number of such events are involved.
Developmental trauma is when we experience events over a period of time in the context of significant relationships. The more embedded they are in our childhood, the deeper is the impact.
Secondary or vicarious trauma is when we are exposed to and triggered by someone else’s experience.
 
Are any of these familiar?
Psychotherapy helps you to gently reconnect with the free and strong person that you are under the weight of trauma, and you can begin to slowly process the unprocessed.
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UK Mental health unit patients and specialists speak out

“…Keir Harding, founder of Beam Consultancy, says such environments ‘recreate a lot of the trauma [patients] have lived through’.”
Emma from Derbyshire, an inpatient for 3 months in 2020 says: ”I know how close I was to not making it through. Now I channel that energy into trying to fight for other people."
“The Department of Health and Social Care said it was ‘rolling out integrated community mental health teams which will give 370,000 people with severe mental illness greater choice over their care’.”
♦ Excerpts from BBC File on 4 and UK Insight. By Adam Eley and Emma Forde
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“Calls to male sexual abuse helpline doubled in 2021.”
Alex Feis-Bryce, Survivors UK: “We need to be teaching young people about consent and their responsibilities when it comes to sex, and to remove shame from sex, because that perpetuates silence.”  
♦  Excerpts from Rachel Stonehouse, BBC Newsbeat Report, 10 January 2022
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Anxiety: the 'fight, flight or freeze' responses

Like other animals, we have evolved to protect ourselves from perceived danger.
When our brain detects a threat, our body reacts by releasing useful hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones make us want to fight off danger or run away or numb out. These are automatic and uncontrollable physical responses.
'Fight, flight' responses are more commonly known, but what about 'freeze'? When our brain thinks it can do absolutely nothing to ward off danger, we go blank, or experience a kind of paralysis, or numbness. Click here for an excellent article about 'freeze'.
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Emotions

Our survival instinct compels us to suppress the emotions that we think are a threat.
Recognising and expressing emotions safely, helps us own, understand and process them.
Express them by telling someone, imagining, making, drawing, painting, dancing, walking, running, punching (safely), digging, writing, listening to music, talking to yourself out loud, making noise, singing, playing, etc. Then... think through the impact of those emotions on you and what you're going to do with them.
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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

November 2021: Qualitative evidence gathered by Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists offered 5 studies that showed "people with depression expressed strong beliefs about the potential benefits of talking therapies, either alone or in combination with antidepressants. The opportunity to gain insight and understanding, and to talk to a professional who is not part of their life, were particularly valued."
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Worlds One (music)

If you are able to use your hearing (apologies to the deaf community) to connect with the world and explore, this link is a gift to you: Worlds one
How you listen is up to you.
Suggestion: You might like to imagine yourself in a safe and comfortable bubble exploring the depths of a rainforest, the oceans or the beauty of the planets, stars and galaxies. Or you might travel into the centre of a cell, atom or electron. Your bubble lands you safely back at the end of the piece.
Please be kind to yourself as you listen; some listeners may find it too overwhelming.
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Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50

Ruth Sutherland, CEO of Samaritans wrote:
(1 Aug 2018) "Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50. You can quote the statistics about suicide, but it is hard to convey the devastation with just numbers. A suicide is like a rock thrown into the water with the ripples spreading outwards, covering family, friends, soaking work colleagues, acquaintances, the wider community."
♦  Excerpt from https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/tackling-the-root-causes-of-suicide/
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