Category: Anxiety

cognitive thinking

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy [CBT]: A Modern Neuroscience Approach

Life Sense Counselling

(incorporating mindfulness, cognitive behaviour therapy, self -compassion and neuroplasticity concepts)

Neuro-education and Principles:

  • Whatever we think about grows and thickens neurological pathways.  In simplest terms think of our neuro networks as green trees or black trees. You can grow and thicken the branches on ‘green trees’ (positivity or neutrality) or ‘black trees’ (negativity) by feeding them with brain proteins. This determines our state of mind.
  • We are thinking all the time – we can intentionally choose what to think to change our neurobiology and redirect thoughts to initially more neutral thoughts and then more positive, accepting or meaningful thoughts.
  • Reflecting and examining  (whether with ourselves or with someone else) takes a negative issue out of the negative neurological pathway (or black tree) and brings it into consciousness and creates a state of neuroplasticity where it becomes malleable and able to be restructured.
  • Just ‘naming it and claiming it’ or speaking something out or over ourselves doesn’t work – we need to examine it to understand and start to believe what we’re saying to change thoughts and self-beliefs.  When we tell ourselves or say things we don’t understand or believe it creates ‘cognitive dissonance’ and reinforces negativity or confused rumination. 

Read more

mental health

14 Simple Mindfulness Practice Exercises

Concentrated Mindfulness Practice – 5 Senses

(The mindfulness exercises can be spoken/recorded as a script) 

Sit or lie in a comfortable place. You may soften your gaze or close your eyes. Start with bringing your attention to your breath.

Breathe deeply into your belly, expanding your diaphragm counting four beats in through your nose, PAUSE and four beats out through your mouth. It may help to place your hands over the base of your ribs and feel the expansion in and out. 

Do three or four cycles or until you can stay focussed on just noticing your breathing without your mind wandering off.

Breathe IN, two, three, four; PAUSE and OUT, two, three, four. In, two, three, four…

Keep breathing.

Read more

Life Sense Counselling

Mindfulness Practice [Top Tips]

What is Mindfulness?

Whether it is a professional athlete; a rock star, a Mum in her fitness gear or the chilled-out guy who is cultivating an organic veggie patch; everybody seems to be practising mindfulness.  It is not just for Zen Buddhists and yogi masters, and whilst mindfulness is a type of meditation, you don’t need to be an expert to incorporate the principles into your life. 

The reason why so many people are doing it is because it has some solid research to prove its effectiveness as an adjunct to your lifestyle or as part of many mental health interventions. But how do you do mindfulness practice?

Read more

group counselling

10 Psychological Survival Tips for COVID-19

Whether we are facing social distancing, self-isolation, quarantine, or lockdown, these uncertain times can be hard, especially for those who have emotional and mental health concerns and relational difficulties. 

I am also acutely aware that for some people ideas may feel redundant and not remove the very real fear of domestic violence; grief and loss; compromised health or pervasive suicidal tendencies. It is my hope that whilst I can validate your very real concerns, maybe one of these ideas or thoughts may ease the burden even a little.

For the majority, I’m hoping these tips will draw you to seek and find a deeper meaning, sense of purpose and a back-to-basics type of beauty that is worth engaging.  Here are my top 10 psychological survival tips for COVID-19:

Read more

relationship counselling

Epigenetics and Mental Health [Exclusive Case Study]

It May Not Be All In Your Mind

How are Epigenetics and Mental Health linked? Most people would have a fair understanding of genes and what they do, and maybe you know about the changes occurring at all levels of medicine since the mapping of the human genome was completed in 2003,  and the great results arising from the subsequent research (think breast cancer).

Explaining Epigenetics

But in case you have not heard about epigenetics, let’s start with some basics. The prefix ‘epi’ means ‘on top of or added to’ and applies to an addition of some extra molecules to a gene, often called a tag or an SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism). These SNPs change the way that gene works or expresses itself. Since there are 3 billion genes in an individual and more than one tag can attach to a gene the number of different expressions is huge. 

Read more

good for food

Growing Scientific Evidence for Mindfulness [Exclusive Tips]

Mindfulness can relax you and regulate your emotions in the short term, but it can also change your brain permanently if you approach it as a form of mental exercise. 

What is the Scientific Evidence for Mindfulness?

Studies show that when we intentionally turn our focus onto mindfulness our brain changes activation and with repetition can change brain structure.  This is neuroplasticity, or how the brain can change in response to our experiences, both positive and negative (, Sept, 2019).

Neuroscience research shows that the brain continues to grow and change over our lifespan (neuroplasticity) and we are not ‘hard wired’.  When we experience repeated experiences, the brain neural pathways thicken which changes brain chemistry and anatomy. 

Read more

family therapy

What is the BioPsychoSocial Spiritual Model? [Full Guide]

BioPsychoSocial Spiritual. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? But perhaps that is exactly the point; that we are not one-dimensional and should not be viewed through a single lens.  We are integrated and holistic beings and not a set of separate compartments. Many things can affect our emotional states such as underlying medical conditions; general physical health; family background; cultural and social contexts; career situation; stage of life; underpinning belief systems; and recent events.

 The path to wellness often involves working on different aspects of our being, that’s why counselling should consider all dimensions of self: the biological, the sociological, the psychological and the spiritual. So, let’s look at what makes us who we are.

Read more

What Kind Of Relationship Am I In - Healthy Relationships

What Kind Of Relationship Am I In – Is It Healthy?

If you think about your relationship as a medical metaphor, which one best fits? Sometimes when my clients are stuck and …

Will My Relationship Survive

Will My Relationship Survive?

If you are asking yourself, “Will my relationship survive?”, it is well worth reading these relationship questions. …

Things to Consider BEFORE Leaving a Relationship

Things to Consider BEFORE Leaving a Relationship

For anyone thinking about leaving a relationship, whether that be an intimate partner relationship, friendship, family or …