My Blog.........25 September 2013
Mic Wright journalist wrote in the Telegraph saying "I'm in therapy and I am not ashamed to admit it." He sought psychotherapy because of depression. He says "The beautiful quality of therapy is a private relationship, a two way thing".
Summer 2013 The Psychotherapist publication has an interview with former cabinet minister Jack Straw who has spoken for the first time publicly in his autobiography about his depression and the value of having psychotherapy twice a week for ten years.
26 August 2013 Telegraph reported that the British Journal of Dermatology research has found that psychological intervention can help patients deal with the emotional impact of skin disease.
19 March 2013 BBC publish an article about post natal depression. X Factor finalist Stacey Solomon suffered from post-natal depression after giving birth to her first son at the age of 18 and is now hoping to raise awareness of the illness, particularly among young mums.
It is thought that one in ten new mothers is affected by post-natal depression, but rates among teenage mothers are higher and Solomon believes there is a greater lack of understanding and empathy in society when it comes to young mums.She says "Everyone says that having a baby is the happiest time of your life. It wasn't like that for me. When I had my son Zach four years ago I thought my life was over."
Symptoms can include feelings of sadness and guilt about not loving the baby enough or coping with motherhood, a sense of anxiety, loss of appetite or feeling constantly hungry, lethargy and the feeling that life is not worth living.
Talking about the problem with a GP, midwife, health visitor or close friend can help to share concerns and fears.
28 February 2013
Pam Gawler-Wright psychotherapist appeared on the Vanessa Feltz talk show to discuss the legitimacy of reparative therapy following an advertising campaign on London transport buses which proposed to claim that homosexuality can be 'cured'. The organization in which I am a member the UKCP does not consider homosexuality or bisexuality, or transsexual and transgendered states to be pathologies, mental disorders or indicative of developmental arrest. These are not symptoms to be treated by psychotherapists, in the sense of attempting to change or remove them.
I was very interested by an interview with Peter Fonagy in 'The Psychotherapist'.
Peter Fonagy's Wikipedia entry decribes him as ' a prominent contemporary psychoanalyst'. He is Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis and Head of Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at University College London, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, visiting clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale and visiting clinical professor at Harvard.
In the interview he describes psychoanalytical psychotherapy as the "best model for understanding mental health and mental ill health we have. It's the most sophisticated, most subtle, most coherent and most valuable in guiding all kinds of clinical activities..... It's main value is a way of training people (here I think he means the therapists training) to immerse themselves in human subjectivity so they can develop their understanding beyond previous boundaries of knowledge".
He goes on to say "for me, there are three main components that are common to all successful psychotherapies." Here is a summary of what he suggests -
"The first is attachment. In your relationship with another human being you have to activate what I call 'epistemic trust'. No one in their right mind is going to trust someone they don't know......" (he goes on to expand).
"The second component that good therapy must have is mentalising. You, as a therapist, have to be able to create in your mind some image of my mind and communicate that to me in such a way as to help me organise my mental world. I can see how you conceive of me by how you behave towards me, and experiencing you making sense of my thoughts and feelings will help me organise myself......"
Fonagy is of the opinion that the third thing the therapist must give is compassion. He says "Your behaviour must encourage me to be more respectful of myself- permissive compassionate about my own thoughts and feelings, about my own subjectivity. Being non-judgemental is one way of communicating it, normalising is another, explaining things to me or linking things is yet another. But the valence is the same. You create an attachment relationship by being sensitive. You give me the experience of being understood and that it's ok to be who I am and to have the fantasies I have."
The conversation goes on in the same rich thought provoking way.I think that Fonagy is attempting to get to the essence of therapy that sometimes goes beyond words.
The incoming chair of NICE, Professor Haslam, made an unequivocal commitment to review the way NICE assesses the effectiveness of psychological therapies.
This represents a huge opportunity for UKCP to work with NICE to make good on that pledge when the Professor Haslam takes up his role as chair in April 2013. Such a review has the potential to transform mental health services, opening up new opportunities for NHS patients in England and Wales to access the full range of high-quality and cost-effective psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling services.
UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) campaigned to highlight areas of concern in the way National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) assesses talking therapies for provision on the NHS.