There are a number of risk factors for postnatal depression that are well-established in the scientific literature. These include the following: Continue reading “Risk factors for postnatal depression”
Thoughts go through your mind all day, every day. Thoughts narrate our lives, and tell us stories about ourselves, other people, and the world. One narrative that I often hear from mothers is thinking or feeling they are being a bad mother, or Continue reading “The Bad Mother Story”
One thing I often hear from my clients is ‘I’m a bad mother’, or ‘I feel like a bad mother’. Why are so many women feeling this way? Commonly, the reasons behind these thoughts are things like: Continue reading “Good Mothers & Bad Mothers”
Pregnancy support counselling is a particular type of nonjudgmental counselling that aims to provide support and objective information for women experiencing difficulties related to recent or current pregnancy, or even whether to consider planning a pregnancy. Reasons why women may access this service include the following:
– Discussing issues related to a recent pregnancy, such as loss (including miscarriage, stillbirth, birth trauma, or loss of your infant), or coming to terms with a termination.
Exercise has long been demonstrated as a helpful, Continue reading “Happiness & Exercise”
There are several myths about motherhood that are communicated through the media and by other people. If you strongly believe these myths, and then find the reality of motherhood to be quite different, you can be left feeling like you’re failing or not measuring up. No one likes to feel inadequate. Understanding what these myths are, and having a balanced understanding of what motherhood is really like can help relieve unnecessary guilt, shame, anxiety, frustration, or inadequacy. Continue reading “Motherhood Myths”
In the last year, I have seen several clients seeking help for disordered eating who have been surprised to learn that they have an eating disorder. Why? Because receiving a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa didn’t fit what they imagined it to be.
When you picture bulimia nervosa, how does it look? You probably imagine someone thin who binge eats and then vomits afterwards. The reality can be different: people with bulimia nervosa are typically within a normal weight range or overweight. People with bulimia often have an intense focus on their shape and weight, and judge themselves harshly. This is particularly difficult, especially if you are overweight. The disorder is characterised by binge eating, which is the loss of control over eating, eating a large amount of food rapidly, and eating to the point of discomfort or feeling sick. People with bulimia then compensate for the binge eating. For some, this involves purging food (vomiting, or abusing medications such as laxatives). For others, this involves exercise or fasting- you don’t have to be purging to meet criteria for bulimia, and this is what surprises people.
It’s good to know that bulimia does respond to evidence-based treatment and that there are several treatment options available. Research has consistently indicated that with evidence-based intervention, around 50% of people recover from bulimia. Approximately 70% of people experience symptom reduction to the point where they no longer meet criteria for bulimia. Have hope, and seek a therapist who can offer you an effective treatment. If you would like to discuss your treatment options, you are very welcome to contact us for an appointment.
There are several different models which explain why eating disorders commence and continue. One straightforward model with supporting evidence is the Dual Pathway Model. This model proposes that two factors lead to body dissatisfaction: Continue reading “Why do eating disorders start and continue?”
Nightmares are common- most people have experienced these on occasion. For some people, however, nightmares can frequently occur, causing distress or interfering with functioning. The risk of experiencing distressing, frequent, or impairing nightmares increases if negative life events, trauma, or mental health issues are present. It can seem hopeless to manage- how can you control or change your dreams?
It’s good to know that there’s a particular psychological technique that can reduce the distress linked to nightmares, as well as their frequency. Research shows that most people who undertake ‘Nightmare Rescripting’ for 10 minutes a day (for several weeks) experience benefit. It involves the following:
Step 1: Write down what happened in your nightmare. Include as much information as you can.
Step 2: Write down the emotions you experienced as a result of the nightmare.
Step 3: Identify the emotion you would like to feel instead (for example, calm and safe).
Step 4: Rewrite your nightmare so that the story finishes with the emotion identified in Step 3. Rewrite it so that the changes occur before anything bad happens, that ideally prevents the bad outcome from occurring. Be creative: it is a dream! For example, a pink unicorn might come in to save the day, or you might suddenly start flying (anything is possible in dreams!).