Category: Counselling

Are you suffering from postnatal depression?

by Paula Bendon, Counsellor, CBT and Clinical Hypnotherapist

Postnatal depression (PND) affects many new mums, it is estimated that at least one in ten new mothers’ suffer from PND. Many mothers suffer alone and feel afraid to even tell their partner and many don’t even realise they have it at all and slowly suffer in silence. It can be a very distressing and confusing time, not the moment of joy you were looking forward to throughout your pregnancy and it goes against all the happy and idyllic images portrayed in the media.

Everyone expects you to be blissfully happy, so you cover up your feelings of despair and hopelessness and this often makes the feelings worse, suppressed and you put on a brave face.

What is postnatal depression (PND)?

It is a form of depression that starts from between one month and several months from giving birth. It is not ‘baby blues’, which many mum’s experience that usually happens a few days after the birth with common symptoms of crying and feeling sad for a few hours or a couple of days. Research shows that over half of all women who give birth describe their first feeling towards the baby as ‘indifferent’. The bonding process grows as the mother recovers and the baby is well and is here to stay.

Common symptoms

• Unable to bond, connect and nurture with new baby.

• Low, tired, lethargic, numb, hopelessness and unable to face the world, nothing is enjoyable. • Feeling inadequate or unable to cope and being unusually irritable.

• Feeling guilty, ashamed and angry. Wanting to cry and withdraw all the time.

• Comfort eating or not eating at all. Unable to sleep or sleeping too much.

• Overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression and panic that are uncontrollable.

• Suicidal thoughts.

Counselling for postnatal depression?

If you feel you may have PND it is better to share this concern with helpful and supportive people, friends, family and your GP. It’s also useful to seek professional help form a counsellor/psychologist. It can be very helpful, safe, confidential and personal way to start to look at ways to overcome your postnatal depression, with a therapist who understands PND.

How counselling works

• Understanding how your emotions works after having a baby and why you don’t feel joy but depression.

• Fears and worries and self expectations linked to having a baby and learning to cope and love being a mother you deserve to be.

• Understanding the critical parent, and what is a ‘good enough mother’. Move from a ‘nice parent to a compassionate parent’. Using mindfulness and compassionate psychology

• Understanding hopelessness, anxiety, depression and irritability after having a baby.

• Understanding our hormones, nervous system and learning to be kind, soothing and compassionate to ourselves.

• Understand how you are feeling and how your baby and partner are feeling.

• Then ‘pulling it all together’ using counselling, mindfulness and self-compassion.

• Start bonding with your baby and enjoy the joys of motherhood.

Photo by Mariano Rivas on Unsplash

Is anxiety controlling your life? How to take control, feel calmer and happier.

by Paula Bendon – Counselling, CBT and Hypnosis Therapist

The vast majority of people with anxiety problems never seek help and can really feel alone

Who suffers from anxiety? – It can affect anyone, anytime, any age race or gender. Approximately 10% of the UK population suffer from anxiety. Many people with anxiety don’t know what to do and often don’t seek even though it casn be very treatable. It can be hard to share this with their loved ones and many live with this on their own. One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Women are twice as likely to get anxiety than men. Worryingly child and adolescent anxiety is on the increase year on year.

Symptoms – Physical and emotional
• Worry and fear
• Feeling overwhelmed all the time
• Panic attacks
• Nervousness
• Lack of sleep
• Avoidance of social situations and people
• Faster heartbeat and shortness of breath
• Sweating
• Shaking
• Dry mouth

What to do if you have anxiety?

There are many ways you can overcome anxiety

• Counselling – Talking to a trained counsellor who specialises in anxiety in a safe and confidential environment can help you talk openly about your difficult feelings, explore why you are having them and to work out strategies with the therapist to get to a much better place.

• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – With the help of a CBT therapist explore your thoughts and feelings and behaviour. Together with unhelpful negative and difficult thinking patterns which help maintain anxiety and it’s suffering. Then learn CBT tools and techniques to help yourself overcome them.

• Hypnotherapy – Is an effective, safe and efficient therapy to overcome anxiety when you are feeling overwhelmed. The relaxation techniques used in hypnosis creates an ideal mindset to help overcome and release the stronghold anxiety can have on our mind and behaviour.

Photo by Christopher Ott on Unsplash

Clinical hypnotherapy and psychological therapy is effective in alleviating the painful symptoms of Irritable bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other gut related illnesses.

By Paula Bendon, Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist

About one in five people suffer from IBS in the UK at some stage in their life. It is also believed it often goes undiagnosed due to the sensitive symptoms of diarrhoea, constipation, spasm pain and bloating which naturally people are not keen to share, so often suffer in silence. The reality is IBS is very common and the negative symptoms can seriously affect the quality of life of the IBS sufferer. Both the journal ‘Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin’ (June 2005) and the NHS guidelines (NICE 2008) recommend ‘Gut Directed Hypnotherapy’ for the effective relief of the negative symptoms of IBS and psychological therapy including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Psychodynamic interpersonal therapy, if conventional medication fails. Not only do IBS suffers have to live with the uncomfortable symptoms of IBS but they often suffer from anxiety, depression and sleep problems too. It is not thought to be a psychological disorder but we do know IBS is made worse by stress but is not caused by stress.

How does it work
Hypnosis is a deepen state of relaxation which enables the hypnotherapist to make positive suggestions to you subconscious mind that are consistent with your values and help activate a reduction of the painful symptoms of IBS, you will be in control and it is not a form of sleep. It usually consists of 12 one hour hypnotherapy sessions. Clients will receive information on how the gut works and how it is interlinked with our brain, hormones and our nervous system. Then they will learn how to influence and gain control of their gut function, through hypnosis, self-hypnosis, compassionate breathing exercises, positive imagery and meditation. A ‘gut friendly’ diet will be advised as well as encouraging regular exercise and managing stress levels.

Quote – Dr R Valori, of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital began referring IBS patients for the hypnotherapy in the early 1990’s and found it to be highly effective. He said ‘to be frank I have never looked back.’ and ‘It is pretty clear to me that it has an amazing effect’ Dr Roland Valori, editor of Frontline Gastroenterology.

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash