Specialising in Anxiety Treatment, Depression and Health Related Difficulties
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone can experience. Many people feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test or giving a presentation, or making an important decision. Anxiety disorders, however, are different. They can cause such distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.
What Are the Types of Anxiety Disorders?
There are several recognised types of anxiety disorders, including:
Panic disorder: People with this condition have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. Other symptoms of a panic attack include sweating, chest pain, palpitations (unusually strong or irregular heartbeats), and a feeling of choking, which may make the person feel like he or she is having a heart attack or “going crazy.”
Social anxiety disorder: Also called social phobia, social anxiety disorder involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others, or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule.
Specific phobias: A specific phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as snakes, heights, or the dentist. The level of fear is usually inappropriate to the situation and may cause the person to avoid common, everyday situations.
Generalised anxiety disorder: This disorder involves excessive, unrealistic worry and tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety.
Most anxieties, despite how overwhelming they feel, can be overcome with therapy and support you feel at ease with.
When we think about mood, we all know we can have good and bad days and at times we all feel sad, overwhelmed or just feel disconnected. However, for some these feelings are magnified and can last for days, weeks, months and in some cases years. Depression can often leave us feeling confused as it can sometimes occur without any apparent reason.
Depression affects how people feel about themselves. You may notice that you have lost interest in work, friendships and doing things you normally find rewarding. You may lack energy, have difficulty sleeping or sleep more than usual. Some people feel irritable and some find it hard to concentrate. This makes managing life on a daily basis more difficult.
Not everyone’s experience of depression is the same and everyone who suffers from depression will experience it differently, but there are some common signs and symptoms. Depression can range from mild to severe. If you have depression, some symptoms you might experience include:
feeling down or ‘numb’ for longer than two weeks
losing interest in activities/hobbies that you used to enjoy
feeling like you don’t get much pleasure out of things
difficulty concentrating and/or remembering things
lack of energy, or feeling tired
having feelings of worthlessness or guilt
having thoughts of self-harm or suicide
feeling hopeless and helpless
Taking the first step to talk to someone about how you feel can be overwhelming, we will work at your pace and work with you to find a therapy plan which works for you.
Individuals often come to see us because they struggle with various aspects of their lives, in particular their relationships. For example, when they begin to realise that there is a reoccurring difficulty maintaining close relationships or getting stuck in unhealthy relationship patterns. Some individuals seek a therapeutic space to process a traumatic relationship breakdown or to understand themselves better following a separation.
Many things in life can impact on relationships such as money worries, parenting and workplace stress. Often individual ways of coping or our communication styles can clash and exasberate frought relationships further. Recognising these and working within individual therapy or as a couple can help make sense of what is maintaining the difficulty and move towards a resolution rather than being in conflict about the origin of the problem.
Here at EYP, Dr Nikki McCloud and associates are specialists in Health Psychology. Nikki developed and managed a Health Psychology Service in the NHS and can help with adjustment to illness, life-changing diagnoses, pain management and the anxiety and stress associated with these.
Psychological therapy can help with chronic pain including back, neck, head and face pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain and pain related physical injuries e.g. road traffic accidents. Pain can impact mental wellbeing and lead to depression, anxiety, frustration and anger. It can also lead to insomnia and relationship problems. Yet many clients can feel misunderstood by medical professionals and loved ones alike as pain is a very subjective experience.
Chronic fatigue is an often misunderstood problem leaving individuals feeling unheard and misunderstood. Here at EYP we use a number of approaches to help you cope with the effects of Chronic Fatigue on your physical, emotional and social life. We conduct an assessment in a non-judgemental way and work with you to decide a way forward. It is also possible to work with occupational psychology to assist with work adjustments or your medical provider if you have other needs.
Adjustment to diagnosis/ chronic health support
We have years of experience working with individuals with Diabetes, Epilepsy, Cancer, Brain Injury, Stroke, Genetic disorders, Autoimmune disorders and many other chronic or acute health related difficulties. We receive referrals from health professionals or you can self-refer. We can also provide support for family members including children who are affected by the effects of illness and injury on a family.
Most people worry about their health at some time. Usually people worry when they experience physical symptoms, and most of the time, these worries go away. People who experience health anxiety are excessively worried about and preoccupied with having a serious illness when there is no medical evidence of them having the illness. These worries may affect their lives in very significant ways, leading to intense anxiety, panic attacks, feeling as though they cannot cope, or sometimes even depression. They may spend a lot of time researching symptoms on the Internet, seek reassurance from others, in particular medical professionals, or examine their body for possible signs of illness. This can lead to them feeling more anxious and preoccupied.
People who experience health anxiety typically respond well to a range of therapies and these can be tailored to your needs.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a therapeutic approach that is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for anxiety, depression and trauma. CBT explores the links between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, aiming to reduce distress by challenging unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours while learning new skills and strategies.
In Cognitive Behavioural Treatment (CBT), people work with a therapist to look at patterns of thinking (cognition) and acting (behaviour) that are making them more likely to become depressedor anxious, or are keeping them from improving once they become depressed or anxious. Once these patterns are recognised, the person can make changes to replace them with ones that promote good mood and better coping strategies. Treatment length can vary, but is usually 12 to 24 weekly sessions.
Issues CBT can help you with.
We are able to help with a range of issues including:
Anger, Anxiety, Stress,
Depression, Post Natal Depression,
OCD, Panic, Phobias and Fears,
Work and Career Issues.
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
CFTis a useful model to use when someone is experiencing feelings of shame and/or engages in high levels of self-criticism. Therapy is aimed at being compassionate towards yourself and others to ehance menatal wellbeing and to assist woth emotional regulation.
CFT suggests that we have three dfferent systems, the soothing system, the threat system and the drive system. In ideal circumstances these are balanced and can be activated in order to help us soothe, avoid danger or 'get up and go' when needed. However, adverse life experiences, particularly in childhood can alter the sensitivity of these systems, or be a barrier to their ability to grow and develop. This results in responses that may be "over the top" or the misinterpretation of different situations. In addition, negativity can then be turned inward as self-criticsm and self-punishment.
CFT wil help to regulate the systems and skill a person to select the most appropriate responses for the situation, while learning ways of self-soothing.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT comes from the perspective that life is painful at times. While there are some things that we can change, there are others that we can't.
ACT explores our personal values and challenges us to ask ourselves whether we are living our lives in a way that fits with them. It suggests that when we live in ways that do not fit with our values, then we experience distress and life can become a struggle. Some people stuck with this struggle and all the thoughts and emotions associated with it, making us feel even worse.
While ACT does not attempt to change things that cannot be changed, it helps us to accept things as they are and commit to taking action that moves us towards living our life in a way that fits with our values, even when all we really want to do is run away and hide or lash out.
We are also trained in Systemic Therapy and Solution- Focused Therapy. Your therapist will discuss with you a suggested therapy intervention following your assessment.