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Losing weight is a loss. It needs discussing!

If you have £3.70 pick up Marie Claire and turn to page 180.

Sarah Elizabeth Richards writes an excellent article in what she misses about being fat.

So often this is totally over looked yet something I always discuss with clients. Weight loss. LOSS. If you’re using the word loss, you’re losing something, someone. We deal with loss in psychotherapy. Loss of someone, of confidence of something. Why oh why isn’t this discussed at slimming clubs, diet places and before bariatric surgery as a must.

Many believe their problems will go along with their fat, or their weight.  Yet you are who you are right now. That’s your identity. To lose who you are matters and needs exploring. Your issues come from within.  They were caused in relationship and can be healed in relationship.  Not by what you look like.

There are physical, emotional and physiological implications in losing weight. Explore them.  Be ok. Be ok being you and then what you look like may or may not follow. Either way you’ll be ok.

Simply stated

YOLO, mindfulness in therapy

“Yolo” is a current piece of slang meaning you only live once. The question therapeutically for me is where is that once?  How do I impact right now, what is my part in right now, all great questions, yet by asking, are you taking yourself out of this moment?

Maybe it should read “timm,” this is my moment.

Eckhart Tolle states ” Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” We often believe we have done just that, yet habits are hard to break and we look for confirmation in life that our habit, be that addiction, an eating disorder, a panic attack, depression, being a workaholic, any habit in fact, is one of choice. Is it? Chemically, biologically, phenomenologically and psychologically?

Research on the brain has shown that the brain will shape path ways to avoid pain. We are scared of making the same mistake again so avoid repetition and avoid the potential in the future. That effectively takes us out of right now. We attach a bungee cord to that time when we felt x, it is familiar, safe, so we are ripped straight back to that point as if on the fairground running as fast as we can until that stretch is so uncomfortable we are pulled back.

This means we are stuck in doing, rather than being. How many human doings do you know? I’ll do it, leave it to me, of course I can, I will, I’ll sort it, let’s do something different, let’s sort this, what is the solution?

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201204/learning-be-present-yourself

John Kabat-Zinn suggests that

“Our brains operate primarily in ‘Doing’ Mode. We actively use our minds to solve problems, make plans, anticipate obstacles, evaluate how far we are from desired goals and choose between alternatives by judging their relative value.  While “Doing” mode is extremely useful for helping us advance in our careers, be popular, lose weight, and a myriad of other life tasks, it falls short when it comes to managing emotions.  Emotions cannot be reasoned away or “solved” and evaluating how far we are from feeling as happy as we’d like to feel only makes us feel worse.  This type of thinking can actually exacerbate “sad” emotions by introducing a second layer in which we criticize or judge ourselves for being sad. “Doing” mode also doesn’t work when there is nothing we can do to change the situation. We may desperately want to be married, rich, loved, or successful, but we cannot force these outcomes to happen right away, even with the best of efforts. “Doing” mode can also lead to disheartening comparisons with people we feel are doing better than us and ruminations of why we are not where they are.

 

living fully in the now

“Being” as an Alternative to “Doing”

 

Now, nobody is suggesting that we give up “Doing” mode altogether. If this were the case, we would never even find our keys to get out the front door. However, there is another way of being that many of us are not even aware of, and that is “Being” Mode. Unlike its counterpart, “Being” mode is not action-oriented, evaluative, or future-focused. It involves slowing down our minds and deliberately grounding ourselves by focusing on what we are experiencing right now. In “Being” mode, it is okay to just be us, whatever we happen to be experiencing; we do not try to change our thoughts or emotions into more positive ones or shut out aspects of our experience. Rather, we begin to develop a different relationship with our own senses, bodily states and emotions by deliberately focusing on what they are trying to tell us and allowing ourselves to be compassionately open to these messages.

“Being” mode involves accepting what is, because it will be there anyway. We begin to release energy, relax, and let go of the struggle to mould our reality into our preconceived ideas of what it should be. We begin to let go of judgments and regrets about the past and fear of the future. Rather than berating ourselves for not achieving the status in life we think we deserve or are entitled to, we allow ourselves to look fully and open-mindedly at where we are. Eventually we realise that this may not be so bad. We learn to extend love, compassion, and kindness to ourselves, and everything around us, rather than compartmentalizing reality into “good” and “bad,” or “winners” and “losers.”  We are all infinitely more complex than what we  earn or own; we are lovable and interesting, just by being human. This moment is just this moment and not where we are stuck forever. Ironically, by accepting the present, we open up space for internal and external movement and change.

 

The Advantages of “Being” Where We Are

”Being” mode is a core component of mindfulness and spiritual practices. It is something that requires practice and training because we need to overcome our minds’ natural habits and fear-based biases. Experiencing “Being” mode can help us feel more whole and relaxed; we move from reacting automatically to having more choices about how we respond, based on a fuller understanding and acceptance of our own sensory, physical, and emotional experience.  It is the opposite of dissociation and avoidance that many people use to cope with negative emotions and situations.  We activate the more loving “approach” circuits of our brain and move away from the “avoidance” modes.”

 

 

Recent research also shows that with fear and anxiety, which is clearly heightened when our brain is actively searching for that,”do over” to avoid,  feeds the brain’s chemical reactance creating adrenalin and cortisol. The more afraid we are the more fear we feel, that might happen, it did once, what if, I can’t, yes but…
Embrace the fear, I’m ok, I’m frightened, I’m worried. Treat the adrenalin shot like a free can of Monster or red bull. Wow, I have this energy right now, just think of all I can do and be feeling like this.
Practice mindfulness, living in the here. The following are a few exercises on mindfulness.
Breathe
Put your hands with the fingers just touching under the “bra strap line” as you breathe in; the idea is that your fingers will separate. This is breathing using the diaphragm.Once you can breathe, look at a clock and start timing 60 seconds. Focus on nothing but your breathing, if you start thinking, start again and aim for as long as you can, purely focus on breathing. Preferably with your eyes open. Some people take years to learn to do this, so be kind and don’t expect success or failure, be in the moment and breathe.

Counting

Count to ten, gently and slowly. As soon as your mind wonders and goes off on a tangent, start again, focus on the counting

Observation

Pick up anything close to you, feel it and get lost in it. Don’t think, define, analyse, critique it. Be with it and truly see what it is.

 

A mindfulness app on modern phones is a great reminder. While you’re at work or out, a gentle randomly timed bell goes off reminding you to be.  If you don’t have a smart phone, pick a sound you hear randomly during the day. Could be a phone, a tweet, an animal, a voice, pick anything and use it as a cue to be.

 

Being in the moment can affect panic attacks, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, depression, self esteem and much more.

 

Therapy enables many to work out what happened yesterday, that shapes tomorrow and IF that is a choice we want to make now

 


 

Sleep is often linked to psychological issues, how much and when is enough?

There are many links to psychological conditions and our sleep. We must get 8 hours, best before midnight etc. Whats true though?

 

Monday’s medical myth: You need eight hours of continuous sleep each night

Waking up in the night is perfectly normal.

We’re often told by the popular press and well-meaning family and friends that, for good health, we should fall asleep quickly and sleep solidly for about eight hours—otherwise we’re at risk of physical and psychological ill health.

 There is some evidence to suggest that those who consistently restrict their sleep to less than six hours may have increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. The biggest health risk of sleep deprivation comes from accidents, especially falling asleep while driving. Sleep need varies depending on the individual and can be anywhere from 12 hours in long-sleeping children, to six hours in short-sleeping healthy older adults. But despite the prevailing belief, normal sleep is not a long, deep valley of unconsciousness. The sleep period is made up of 90-minute cycles. Waking up between these sleep cycles is a normal part of the sleep pattern and becomes more common as we get older. It’s time to set the record straight about the myth of continuous sleep—and hopefully alleviate some of the anxiety that comes from laying in bed awake at night. So what are the alternatives to continuous sleep?

The siesta

The siesta sleep quota is made up of a one- to two-hour sleep in the early afternoon and a longer period of five to six hours late in the night. Like mammals and birds, humans tend to be most active around dawn and dusk and less active in the middle of the day. It’s thought the siesta was the dominant sleep pattern before the industrial revolution required people to be continuously awake across the day to serve the sleepless industrial machine. It’s still common in rural communities around the world, not just in Mediterranean or Latin American cultures. Our siesta tendency or post-lunch decline of alertness still occurs in those who never take afternoon naps. And this has less to do with overindulging at lunchtime and more to do with our circadian rhythms, which control our body clock, hormone production, temperature and digestive function over a 24-hour period
Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-monday-medical-myth-hours-eachnight.html#jCp (http://medicalxpress NULL.com/news/2012-08-monday-medical-myth-hours-eachnight NULL.html#jCp)

On the road DNA daddy van, ethical implications?

 

Who’s your daddy van?

Morality and therapy aren’t bed mates. Ethics and therapy are. I was interested  to read that for £2/300 you can flag down a man in a van and ask for a DNA test in nyc right now.
What are the moral and ethical implications for this? Could  counselling and therapy be involved as the potential fall out is catastrophic for some with huge emotional and financial implications. For the person asking, the other parent and especially the child.  If the test is the easy part, what then?

http://news.sky.com/story/973246/whos-your-daddy-van-offers-dna-tests (http://news NULL.sky NULL.com/story/973246/whos-your-daddy-van-offers-dna-tests)

A ‘Who’s Your Daddy’ van is travelling around New York City, offering men the chance to find out whether they are the father of a child.
The owner and operator of the vehicle, Jared Rosenthal, is selling DNA tests, mostly to those who suspect youngsters may not actually be theirs.
Costing around £200-£300, men just have to give a cheek swab. Then there is a laboratory analysis and the paternity results are available in a couple of days.
Mr Rosenthal told CBS News: “They flag us down, they pull us over, they talk to us.
“Sometimes, because of the nature of the services, they want to be a little more discreet about it, but they do come or they’ll call the number.”
Mr Rosenthal said he deals with all kinds of strange situations in his line of work.
“We have people that want to get the specimen from their spouse without them knowing about it. We deal with a lot of drama. It’s constant drama,” he said.
One unidentified man, who was asked why he was taking the DNA test from the travelling truck, said: “I’m paying child support anyways and I would do it anyways. You just want to know.”
Mr Rosenthal went on: “There’s a lot of difficult situations and tough moments and heartbreak,” adding there are happy endings as well.
“There’s a lot of good news that we’re able to deliver and there’s a lot of happy moments.”
For example, the test helped a 44-year-old Harlem man find his long-lost 20-year-old daughter.
Mr Rosenthal maintained that his credentials are legitimate and that his business is legal.
He believes he is providing an essential service. “It’s not something people talk about, but there is a big need for it,” he said.

Anxiety even if mild and undiagnosed raises risk of early death

OUT OF 100 PEOPLE IN A ROOM, 25 WILL HAVE A DIAGNOSED MENTAL ILLNESS. OUT OF THE 75 LEFT, 56 REMAIN UNDIAGNOSED, SO THAT LEAVES 19. IT’S TIME TO START TALKING

Anxiety is spiraling it seems if you judge by reported cases. Cases are up by 10%, 1 in 7 people are already on anti-anxiety medication and spending is increasing dramatically and this latest research states that anxiety raises your chance of death. Now of course that’s reporting and sensationalism when written in a head line and yet as a statistic it might just scare you in to doing something. The group looked at weren’t those diagnosed with anything. They were people with milder levels of stress, depression and or anxiety. At a mild level people still need to do something states Dr Russ. Not medication, but an alternative. As Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said: “This research highlights the importance of seeking help for mental health problems as soon as they become apparent, as early intervention leads to much better health outcomes all round.”

So come see me and let’s start talking.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9441038/Anxiety-raises-risk-of-early-death-by-a-fifth.html

Anxiety ‘raises risk of early death by a fifth’

Even low levels of stress of anxiety can increase the risk of fatal heart attacks or stroke by up to a fifth, a study has shown.

Anxiety and low-level depression appear to set off physiological changes that make the body more prone to death from cardiovascular disease. Photo: ALAMY

 

By Stephen Adams (http://www NULL.telegraph NULL.co NULL.uk/journalists/stephen-adams/), Medical Correspondent

A quarter of adults are at risk of an early death even though their problems are relatively mild, it found.

People who suffer from clinical depression or other major mental health problems have a greater chance of dying early.

But now British researchers have found that even those with problems they don’t consider serious enough to bring to a doctor’s attention, are at an increased risk.

The team found those with “sub-clinical” anxiety or depression had a 20 per cent higher chance of dying over a decade than those who did not.

The researchers, from universities and hospitals in Edinburgh and London, looked at deaths in 68,000 middle aged and older people who they followed from 1994 to 2004.

They found those suffering from sub-clinical anxiety and depression were at a 29 per cent increased risk of dying from heart disease and stroke.

They were also at a 29 per cent increased risk of dying from ‘external causes’ like road accidents and suicide, although these only accounted for a tiny proportion of deaths.

It had been thought that depressed or anxious people were more likely to die early because they failed to take good care of themselves – perhaps smoking and drinking more, eating worse and doing less exercise.

But Dr Tom Russ, lead author of the study, published in the British Medical Journal, said: “These ‘usual suspects’ only make a small difference to mortality.”

Even when these factors and others – including blood pressure – were stripped out of the equation, the link remained, he emphasised.

The psychiatrist, of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre at Edinburgh University, said this suggested stress altered the physiology of the body to make it intrinsically less healthy.

In particular, he said it could make the body more vulnerable to heart attack and stroke.

He said: “It’s early days, but there’s growing interest in potential physiological changes associated with both distress and cardiovascular pathology.”

Dr Russ pointed out that the group they looked at were not those with serious depression who were simply avoiding medical help.

“If these individuals went to a doctor, they wouldn’t be diagnosed with depression,” he said.

So many people had mild anxiety or depression, “that we really need to take it seriously”, he argued.

But he said neither he nor colleagues who worked on the project were advocating “the medicalisation of anxiety”, nor suggesting people suffering from it should go on drugs.

If anything, they thought treatments not based on drugs should be investigated.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said: “This research highlights the importance of seeking help for mental health problems as soon as they become apparent, as early intervention leads to much better health outcomes all round.”

*Meanwhile, new figures show that the number of anti-depressants prescriptions being issued in England has risen by almost 10 per cent in just a year.

Data from the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care show that the number rose from 42.8 million prescriptions in 2010 to 46.7million in 2011 – a rise of 3.9 million, or 9.1 per cent.

The NHS is now spending £49.8 million on anti-depressants such as citalopram and fluoxetine, better known by its brand name, Prozac.

Of all drug types, antidepressants saw the biggest rise in cost and items dispensed between 2010 and 2011.

 

Even spiderman’s girlfriend gets anxious, so, what happens in our brains?

 

http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/80708/Emma-Stone-Reveals-Pain-Of-Childhood-Insecurities-

With her amazing Hollywood career, screen siren looks, wardrobe to die for and hot boyfriend Andrew Garfield, it’s hard to believe that Emma Stone lacks confidence.
But in a recent interview with Vogue magazine, the 23-year-old has proved that it’s not just us mere mortals that suffer from personal insecurities, having confessed that she took up acting only to help her deal with her own demons.
“I had a panic attack when I was eight,” she tells Vogue. “My mum couldn’t put notes in my lunch because I would be reminded that she existed and I would want to go home. And I was sick all the time.”
“When I went through therapy, I tried improv for the first time, and I think there was some cathartic element to it,” she added.
Loved up couple Emma and Andrew recently moved into a New York apartment together having fallen for eachother during filming The Amazing Spider-Man movie.
But after striving for acting success after all this time, she simultaneously fears it. She said: “I worry about my fame making New York unliveable. To not walk around would be awful .  .  . that idea makes me physically ill.”
Emma, who was born in Arizona, shot to fame in 2012 with teenage comedy Easy A and has since won much critical acclaim for her performance in the Oscar-nominated the Help, and has ever increasingly been blossoming into a world-wide renowned fashionista.
You won’t be able to walk freely around NYC soon, Emma…
So what does happen to the brain during anxiety or panic attack?
Amygdala – a brain part where anxiety, fear and panic originate from. It’s sometimes called Anxiety Brain.
Anxiety is a natural human emotion that all of us experience from time to time. It comes with a feeling of nervousness, apprehension, worry, or fear. Typically, this emotion may be experienced during times when you are in a lot of stress such as before taking a test or walking down a dark avenue alone. These illustrated occasions where anxiety is felt are actually helpful for you. In the test-taking situation, anxiety helps you to be more focused on your examination so that you can answer correctly each test item, thus get a high mark. While for the dark alley situation, anxiety helps you to be more alert so that you are prepared for any danger that the dark night might bring. In conclusion, anxiety protects us from any danger that our senses have perceived. It acts like a guardian for our self-preservation. This is clear enough. But what if you want to get to the particulars on how our body does this instinctive mechanism?
Truthfully, it does not quite matter what the real cause of your fear and anxiety is. You just have to remember that this feeling expresses itself throughout your whole body. It does not merely affect or linger in your mind alone. This fearful feeling always connects with your body.
So how does this feeling of fear, anxiety, or panic actually created? What happens inside the brain or what is usually called as the ‘anxiety brain’?
Scientists have moved very far in the area of neurophysiology of anxiety and fear in the last few decades. Just imagine for one second that you get back home from work, it is late, you open your house’s door and suddenly you see a moving shadow inside one of your rooms. In a split of second, the whole chemistry in your body changes. It could be a threat to your life, so your neural circuits become pumped up and start their job. And usually this happens before you can even rationally digest what is really happening. It is just that fast.
So the signal enters your eyes and your ears and then to your brain stem. From there, it travels to the thalamus where the impulse branches off. One part of the signal moves to the part of the brain where it will be interpreted and the other part of the signal moves to your anxiety brain – the amygdale – and hippocampus. Although amygdale is a small part of your brain, as small as an almond, its size is insignificant to the role it plays in your everyday life. On the other hand, the hippocampus is a part of your brain that is responsible for remembering things such as your memories. When the nerve signal reaches the hippocampus, this part of your brain will analyze it with the memories it has already stored to find out if this is a threatening situation.
If you are sure that the stimulus means nothing, the signal’s journey will stop right there. However, if you are not really sure about it, your brain will go into a ‘warning’ mode. Then that impulse will be sent back and forth between the hippocampus, your temporal lobe and amygdale (the anxiety brain); your whole body becomes alert and you are prepared for the worst.
As mentioned, your emotional brain (amygdale) plays a major role in this whole process. This is a place where anxiety, fear and panic originate from. If there was a way to physically remove amygdale out of your brain, you wouldn’t feel fear, anxiety or panic at all. Furthermore, you wouldn’t be able to tell if people around you are scared or not.
Your anxiety brain is always on alert, sorting every signal received to see if you are facing anything threatening. If some signal will be recognized as threatening, this little almond-shaped anxiety brain will signal other parts of your brain to put those scary expressions on your face and stop everything that you are doing in order to fully concentrate on the possible danger ahead.
Understanding your anxiety and its probable causes is crucial, because it gives you a starting point – a steady foundation from which you can build toward your well-being.
Make a change, go see someone and start accepting, breathing and changing

You + stress = Alzheimers possibly?

People are stressed. I often hear people talking about their stress, how acceptable it is, how normal, what does it matter, I’m ok, I cope. They then wonder why they collapse or carry on yet feel worthless, unhappy and exhausted. 1 in 7 people in the UK alone take an anti anxiety medication. More children are being prescribed the same medications and people over all are more stressed than they have ever been. Why is too big a question with lots of answers. The real question for me working with people is what can you do, now, here and today to enable yourself to let go of stress. The implications of stress related illness are many. Death in some cases.

Now new research is proving that chronic stress could also lead to Alzheimer’s. So we push, to get, to enjoy, and maybe now to forget why we ever did in the first place? Go see someone, counter your stress and any traumatic experience.

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=1243 Stress link to Alzheimer’s goes under the spotlight Published 25 June 2012 Chronic stress is being investigated in a new Alzheimer’s Society funded research project as a risk factor for developing dementia. It is part of a £1.5 million package of six grants being given by the charity fighting to find a cause, cure and way to prevent the disease. Professor Clive Holmes is lead investigator for the stress study at the University of Southampton. He said: ‘All of us go through stressful events. We are looking to understand how these may become a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s. ‘This is the first stage in developing ways in which to intervene with psychological or drug based treatments to fight the disease.’ More effective coping methods for dealing with stress and a greater understanding of its biological impact may provide the answer. The study scheduled to start in in less than a week will involve 18 months monitoring 140 people aged 50 and over with mild cognitive impairment. The participants will be assessed for levels of stress and assessed for any progression People are stressed. I often hear people talking about their stss, how acceptable it is, how normal, what does it matter, I’m ok, I cope. They then wonder why they collapse or carry on yet feel worthless, unhappy and exhausted. 1 in 7 people in the UK alone take an anti anxiety medication. More children are being prescribed the same medications and people over all are more stressed than they have ever been. Why is too big a question with lots of answers. The real question for me working with people is what can you do, now, here and today to enable yourself to let go of stress. The implications of stress related illness are many. Death in some cases. Now new research is proving that chronic stress could also lead to Alzheimer’s. So we push, to get, to enjoy, and maybe now to forget why we ever did in the first place? Go see someone, counter your stress and any traumatic experience.  http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=1243 Stress link to Alzheimer’s goes under the spotlight Published 25 June 2012 Chronic stress is being investigated in a new Alzheimer’s Society funded research project as a risk factor for developing dementia. It is part of a £1.5 million package of six grants being given by the charity fighting to find a cause, cure and way to prevent the disease. Professor Clive Holmes is lead investigator for the stress study at the University of Southampton. He said: ‘All of us go through stressful events. We are looking to understand how these may become a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s. ‘This is the first stage in developing ways in which to intervene with psychological or drug based treatments to fight the disease.’ More effective coping methods for dealing with stress and a greater understanding of its biological impact may provide the answer. The study scheduled to start in in less than a week will involve 18 months monitoring 140 people aged 50 and over with mild cognitive impairment. The participants will be assessed for levels of stress and assessed for any progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. About 60% of people with mild cognitive impairment are known to go on to develop Alzheimer’s. Prof Holmes said: ‘There is a lot of variability in how quickly that progression happens; one factor increasingly implicated in the process is chronic stress. That could People are stressed. I often hear people talking about their stss, how acceptable it is, how normal, what does it matter, I’m ok, I cope. They then wonder why they collapse or carry on yet feel worthless, unhappy and exhausted. 1 in 7 people in the UK alone take an anti anxiety medication. More children are being prescribed the same medications and people over all are more stressed than they have ever been. Why is too big a question with lots of answers. The real question for me working with people is what can you do, now, here and today to enable yourself to let go of stress. The implications of stress related illness are many. Death in some cases. Now new research is proving that chronic stress could also lead to Alzheimer’s. So we push, to get, to enjoy, and maybe now to forget why we ever did in the first place? Go see someone, counter your stress and any traumatic experience.  http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=1243 Stress link to Alzheimer’s goes under the spotlight Published 25 June 2012 Chronic stress is being investigated in a new Alzheimer’s Society funded research project as a risk factor for developing dementia. It is part of a £1.5 million package of six grants being given by the charity fighting to find a cause, cure and way to prevent the disease. Professor Clive Holmes is lead investigator for the stress study at the University of Southampton. He said: ‘All of us go through stressful events. We are looking to understand how these may become a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s. ‘This is the first stage in developing ways in which to intervene with psychological or drug based treatments to fight the disease.’ More effective coping methods for dealing with stress and a greater understanding of its biological impact may provide the answer. The study scheduled to start in in less than a week will involve 18 months monitoring 140 people aged 50 and over with mild cognitive impairment. The participants will be assessed for levels of stress and assessed for any progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. About 60% of people with mild cognitive impairment are known to go on to develop Alzheimer’s. Prof Holmes said: ‘There is a lot of variability in how quickly that progression happens; one factor increasingly implicated in the process is chronic stress. That could be driven by a big change – usually negative – such as a prolonged illness, injury or a major operation. ‘We are looking at two aspects of stress relief – physical and psychological – and the body’s response to that experience. Something such as bereavement or a traumatic experience – possibly even moving home – is also a potential factor.’ Alzheimer’s Society research manager, Anne Corbett, said: ‘The study will look at the role chronic stress plays in the progression from mild thinking and memory problems – Mild Cognitive Impairment – to Alzheimer’s disease. ‘We feel this is a really important area of research that needs more attention. The results could offer clues to new treatments or better ways of managing the condition. ‘It will also be valuable to understand how different ways of coping with stressful life events could influence the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.’ The participants in the trial will be compared to a group of 70 people without memory problems, who will be tested as a ‘control group’ All the people taking part will be asked to complete cognitive tests in order to track their cognitive health. Questionnaires will assess their personality type, style of coping with stressful events and their perceived level of social support and mood. The process will be repeated after 18 months to measure any conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. Stressful life events will also be recorded. The researchers will take blood and saliva samples every six months to measure biological markers of stress. Blood samples will measure immune function and the saliva samples will track levels of cortisol, which is released by the body in response to chronic stress. A number of illnesses are known to develop earlier or are made worse by chronic stress, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Surprisingly little research has been done in people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease in relation to their experience of stress. be driven by a big change – usually negative – such as a prolonged illness, injury or a major operation. ‘We are looking at two aspects of stress relief – physical and psychological – and the body’s response to that experience. Something such as bereavement or a traumatic experience – possibly even moving home – is also a potential factor.’ Alzheimer’s Society research manager, Anne Corbett, said: ‘The study will look at the role chronic stress plays in the progression from mild thinking and memory problems – Mild Cognitive Impairment – to Alzheimer’s disease. ‘We feel this is a really important area of research that needs more attention. The results could offer clues to new treatments or better ways of managing the condition. ‘It will also be valuable to understand how different ways of coping with stressful life events could influence the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.’ The participants in the trial will be compared to a group of 70 people without memory problems, who will be tested as a ‘control group’ All the people taking part will be asked to complete cognitive tests in order to track their cognitive health. Questionnaires will assess their personality type, style of coping with stressful events and their perceived level of social support and mood. The process will be repeated after 18 months to measure any conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. Stressful life events will also be recorded. The researchers will take blood and saliva samples every six months to measure biological markers of stress. Blood samples will measure immune function and the saliva samples will track levels of cortisol, which is released by the body in response to chronic stress. A number of illnesses are known to develop earlier or are made worse by chronic stress, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Surprisingly little research has been done in people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease in relation to their experience of stress. from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. About 60% of people with mild cognitive impairment are known to go on to develop Alzheimer’s. Prof Holmes said: ‘There is a lot of variability in how quickly that progression happens; one factor increasingly implicated in the process is chronic stress. That could be driven by a big change – usually negative – such as a prolonged illness, injury or a major operation. ‘We are looking at two aspects of stress relief – physical and psychological – and the body’s response to that experience. Something such as bereavement or a traumatic experience – possibly even moving home – is also a potential factor.’ Alzheimer’s Society research manager, Anne Corbett, said: ‘The study will look at the role chronic stress plays in the progression from mild thinking and memory problems – Mild Cognitive Impairment – to Alzheimer’s disease. ‘We feel this is a really important area of research that needs more attention. The results could offer clues to new treatments or better ways of managing the condition. ‘It will also be valuable to understand how different ways of coping with stressful life events could influence the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.’ The participants in the trial will be compared to a group of 70 people without memory problems, who will be tested as a ‘control group’ All the people taking part will be asked to complete cognitive tests in order to track their cognitive health. Questionnaires will assess their personality type, style of coping with stressful events and their perceived level of social support and mood. The process will be repeated after 18 months to measure any conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. Stressful life events will also be recorded. The researchers will take blood and saliva samples every six months to measure biological markers of stress. Blood samples will measure immune function and the saliva samples will track levels of cortisol, which is released by the body in response to chronic stress. A number of illnesses are known to develop earlier or are made worse by chronic stress, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Surprisingly little research has been done in people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease in relation to their experience of stress.

Perspectives on what works in psychotherapy

 

I love what I do, I am passionate about what I do and I enjoy what I do and all that it brings. If you were to ask me what and why, I am not sure I could answer that specifically. When people get what they wanted, when I see a shift in someone’s thought process, when I see an acceptance or a coming to terms with something. Or when a new feeling is accepted or experienced and growth takes place. They’re all amazing and rewarding, yet to sum those feelings up, they’re about a connection based on our relationship in that moment. that’s the key to therapy and change, that relationship.
It’s not always easy to determine if you’re going to connect with someone yet that’s the key, the relationship.
This article talks about clients with anorexia, yet it could be written about any issue you may bring to therapy. To trust, to allow challenge, to experiment with what does and doesn’t work, to express emotions within a therapeutic safe relationship and to live in today,  not yesterday’s out of date decisions nor in the fears of tomorrow.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-david-herzog/eating-disorder-therapy_b_1565261.html

DR. DAVID HERZOG
Psychotherapy: What Works?
Posted: 06/04/2012
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you when a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
— Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
There is no “one-fits-all” psychotherapy for anorexia nervosa. In an effort to learn more about what “works” and what doesn’t, my Massachusetts General Hospital colleagues Eugene Beresin, M.D. and Christopher Gordon, M.D. and I interviewed a group of women who had received individual therapy and recovered from the illness. Their perspectives on psychotherapy helped inform our work with individuals who are struggling with anorexia.
New patients don’t open the door of the therapist’s office bright-eyed, cheerful, and eager for treatment. For the most part, individuals with anorexia don’t feel ill or see their eating behaviors as unhealthy. They want no part of therapy. The idea of sitting down and talking about themselves feels foreign and scary. From their standpoint, the therapist is out to make them fat. Particularly frightening — almost unthinkable — is the possibility that the therapist will raise the topic of eating more and gaining weight. Tense and shaky, or sullen and defiant, patients sometimes experience the urge to bolt out of the room.
“First, I had to trust.” This is easier said than done. At the beginning of therapy, patients don’t know what to expect. Some individuals sense that they are better off remaining silent and that anything they say will be held against them, as if they are standing trial in a court of law. They may feel very alone or bombarded with powerful pangs of guilt about calories eaten or ounces gained. They may be thinking: “What is this thing called therapy?” “What am I expected to talk about here?” How is therapy supposed to help me?” “What does the word ‘help’ mean?” This last question is important, and a patient’s answer to it can fluctuate or change as therapy proceeds.
“I didn’t know how I felt.” Trapped in an unforgiving world of shoulds and should-nots, individuals have a hard time recognizing their feelings. They are often receptive to therapists who participate actively in sessions, helping them to better understand themselves and coaching them on how to relate to others. The very nature of the patient-therapist relationship can help individuals learn where emotions come from and how to manage them. For example, becoming angry at the therapist and being encouraged to talk about this in session can gradually instill confidence that it is natural and human — or, as the Skin Horse suggested, “real” — to experience and express emotions.
“I wasn’t sure I wanted to grow up.” Teenagers experience huge emotions and extreme moods. One moment they long for independence; and the next, for security. As they mature — emotionally, cognitively, physically — relationships, academics and athletics take on new importance, and pressures seem to mount. The stress of adolescence is significant, and teens often feel overwhelmed. For these individuals, anorexia can represent a way to slow down the biological clock, to get their bearings, and to maintain control before traveling on to adulthood.
“It was important to like myself better.” Well into treatment, individuals with anorexia continue to consider themselves defective, inferior, or “bad.” They may come to realize that anorexia gave them a sense of accomplishment or specialness. The challenge is to find ways to experience these positive feelings without focusing on weight loss.
“Experimenting helped.” Insight alone does not free individuals from the grasp of anorexia nervosa. There must be a willingness to experiment — to take risks. People with anorexia go about everyday life in a very structured, programmed way in an effort to cope with their fear of the unknown. Although it is very challenging for patients to modify their routines, they are often able to do so once they feel that the therapist values and respects them for who they really are. Risk-taking becomes possible when it is introduced in small, achievable steps that gradually build self-regard. In this way, patients — with the guidance of the therapist — chip away at the anorexia, a little bit at a time.

Is it time to tackle your obstacles to life?

Sometimes with or without therapy, life can feel like it isn’t our responsibility to change or that the obstacle is too over whelming so what’s the point. This could be anxiety, depression, the way we deal with change or anyissue. This is alovley story that shares what the point is. No matter who you are, what you have or where you come from, life may at times have a boulder in the ahead ahead.

 

What you do about that is up to you?

 

 

The Obstacle in our Path

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.

Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then, a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road.

After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.

The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

The peasant learned what many of us never understand! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

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