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Mental Health

Mental health is all about our emotional and psychological well-being. This drives how we think of and relate to ourselves, others and the world around us. At times, difficult feelings may temporarily interfere with our day-to-day life. However, persistent difficult feelings that interfere with our lives for more than several weeks might suggest that our mental health is affected. You may struggle with confidence to live through changes and not be able to make decisions.

The impact of our mental health

Difficult feelings are often more likely at times of change (for example changing jobs, going to university, a bereavement, moving house, retirement, having a child etc), at times of stress (for example difficult relationships, financial strain etc) or following a traumatic experience (for example a road traffic accident or an assault).

If you are feeling overwhelmed with feelings that are unpleasant and these are interfering with your life and relationships, it is important to get help early. Mental health conditions can be treated and early treatment can prevent difficulties from getting worse.

There are many different types of mental health problems and they affect each of us differently.


How therapy can help with mental health

Trauma

Many people can experience a traumatic event, for example a road traffic accident, an assault or traumatic medical treatments. Traumatic events can cause temporary or permanent changes to our bodies. It is also not unusual for a person to be affected by this emotionally, particularly in the period immediately after the event. It may even disrupt a person’s ability to carry on as before. I can work with you to help you understand your response to the traumatic event and the symptoms that are troubling you, like flashbacks and nightmares. Occasionally traumatic events, particularly when you felt your own or another person’s livelihood was threatened, can mean you develop a set of difficulties known as post-traumatic stress. I have experience in trauma-focused cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), a treatment currently recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), and supported patients from the London Bombings in 2007 and work with patients at a large regional hand trauma centre. I offer a service to those affected by a singular traumatic event.

Depression & loss

Depression involves feeling 'low' and not being able to experience pleasure in things that were once enjoyable. It is not unusual that you may be more tearful, tired, or irritable. For some people, this can also affect their appetite, concentration, libido, memory and sleep. At a time of depression, you may also notice how your mind be more preoccupied with negative thoughts that are harder to shift and may lead you to become hard on yourself. This can also be a reaction to a loss we might have experienced. I can work with you to understand what might have contributed to your episode of depression and what might be perpetuating your low mood. Long-term health problems can significantly increase your likelihood of experiencing depression. I would hope to identify what some of the deep-seated beliefs you hold that may undermine your ability to help yourself. Therapy would attempt to tackle these areas. I have experience in providing the talking therapy recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) for depression.

Panic & Phobias

Panic is a time when we might experience a very high level of anxiety. We may have a panic attack as a reaction to a particular situation, which we are fearful of or we may wish to avoid, though occasionally it may be harder to identity the reason for the panic attack. At these times, our heart rate might go up and we may experience many other bodily changes. It is logical that if the panic attack is set off in a particular situation, that we might wish to avoid such situations or change our behaviour in an attempt to prevent a panic attack in such situations. Most of the time, we would also become worried about having another panic attack. I can work out with you whether there are particular triggers to your panic attack and any changes you have made in order to reduce the likelihood of a future panic attack. I will spend time explaining to you about how panic works and work towards identifying a repertoire of skills and behaviours that might help you respond different to triggers and also manage a panic attack differently when having one. I have experience in providing talking therapy recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) for panic.

Anxiety & social anxiety

Anxiety involves having a set of particular, and occasionally many different, worries, which we may struggle to keep in check. We may be stuck on thinking about the same thing over and over again. This pre-occupation might affect our sleep and ability to concentrate. Worry can be about our selves, for example our performance, our health or relationships, or it can be about others. Being bothered by these thoughts can also make us irritable and become restless and tense. I can work with you to understand what might have contributed to your pre-occupation with a worry, which can be related to actual events and experiences. I also want to work out what might maintain your worry, including potentially deep-seated beliefs about yourself, others or the world. Therapy might involve making changes to how you behave and also looking at your responses to your thoughts and feelings. I have experience in providing talking therapy recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) for anxiety and social anxiety. The difficulties experienced by individuals within my clinical practice who look visibly different also often presents as social anxiety, giving me experience of dealing with social anxiety when the person’s worries may be realistic.

CONTACT

Please use the contact form to ask questions or arrange appointments. Alternatively you can email info@estherhansen.co.uk. Please note that data submitted in the contact form and via email will be processed by 3rd parties. If you wish to discuss personal or sensitive information then you may prefer to call on (0044) 020 3637 0796.