Online Psychologists the real deal?

Hey readers,

We live in a technological age where you can practically get anything online from clothing to hayfever tablets to even psychological therapy.

When thinking about receiving psychological services online can you really trust them? How do you know that what the psychologist says is legit and save to do online?

Computer, Pc, Workplace, Home Office

Of course, like anything in life, there will always be some bad apples out of the bunch of potential good apples. However, that does not mean to say that online therapy is all bad. There have been many success stories from people who have received online therapy and it has really helped improve their life.

There are checks to see what qualifications a psychologist has obtained, meaning that they are above board and valid. They have had the correct training to give out to a client and that they are safe to do so. You can check to see if the psychologist is legit by visiting The British Psychological Society  This website allows you to search a database of registered online psychologists and what they have trained in. You can see where they are based and what kind of therapy they offer plus how much each session costs.

Alternatively, if you’re not sure about an online company or online services then there is also another brilliant website where you can check the validity of the website called Scam guard. It is a site where you can see all the complaints given to that company and this will be an indication whether they are worth checking out or not.

A lot of people have really found online therapy beneficial especially if they can’t leave the house or with the overstretched NHS mental health waiting lists. Online therapy gives a person a chance to speak to a professional trained in talking about your issues. Online therapy can give that confidence to improve your situation, you are in control and if at all you do not like the therapy that you are receiving you can say no and end it.

The beauty of therapy online is that it is flexible with time. We are not just tied down to the local therapy that is on offer locally to use that has to be fitted in the traditional 9-5 Monday to Friday slots. The therapy that is offered online can be at any time with the options of evenings and at weekends, for example, therefore giving you the individual more choice and flexibility to fit around your lifestyle. Not only is the times flexible for getting therapy but also the choice of counselor and the type of therapy you want. You have more choice with online psychologists, therefore, you don’t feel you have to do something just because it is one option. You can take your time and find the right therapy for you.

Here is a good read that explains more about psychologists online.

Cheers for reading X

This is a sponsored post for BetterHelp, however, all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

Peaceful

Hey readers

This week my word of the week is

as I haven’t done a lot but it is just wan I needed for me to rest as I was totally exhausted mentally and physically. I have been to the park, scooting and checking out museums close by home. It has been pleasant and I have just rested which I believe has helped my soul. I think I just needed time to shut down. I have to take it slow, which I have been doing with pottered about, reading and just generally taking it easy.

Also, the boys have been kept busy with accessing free swimming lessons (they also have their normal ones) so that is one of knackering them out, #mumhack.

My eldest has also gone to the occupational therapist to help with hand control. We have had issues as he is left-handed but won’t write with his left hand. This is because he believes that because I am autistic and left-handed that will mean he will be the same. I try to tell him that really doesn’t matter what hand you write with there will always be autistics who either write in their left or right hand. It has been a struggle so hope these sessions will help.

Hope you have had a good week.

Cheers for reading X

Ways to improve your mental health

Hey readers,

I have spent a large proportion of my life living and battling mental health problems. I have experienced anxiety, depression, and OCD. So, I for one know how hard it is to manage and get on with living your life when you have hurdles to overcome. Here are some of the ways in which I try to help myself with improving my mental health and they may be useful for you too if you struggle.

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Learn to be kinder to yourself. 

This one is an ongoing problem that I struggle with, it is too put yourself down when you have learned to over time. It is easy to batter yourself with the negativity especially when you’re dealing with trauma. That said one of the ways you can do something positive in your life is to learn to be kinder to yourself. I bet if the situation was turned to a loved one would you speak to them the way you do to yourself. Changes are no so looking at the good, praise your achievement even if it is small. You can change behavior though it takes time but needs to be practicing to do so.

Take time out.

One of the best things for me when I am struggling is having time out to myself to have a breather and stop. For me, I like to get my headphones on and walk. It makes me switch off and just go somewhere else other than the situation I am in.

Set realistic goals. 

Goals are brilliant – they help give focus and something to aim for. However, the one thing that can occur for people is making goals that are too unrealistic and less likely over time to stay focused and achieve. So, when you do consider making goals have a big goal but then make micro goals to help along the way to achieve that big goal. Another thing to take on board to reward yourself with something when you have reached the small goals. This will make you feel good and make you want to continue to the next level of achieving that goal.

See the positives. 

As a person who sees the world with an empty cup of water, it can be so hard to see the positives sometimes you got to wing it until you make it. What I mean by that statement is that you have to force to see the positives, write them down and find something even if it is getting out of the bed in the morning, that is progress. Habits are hard to break so get into forcing yourself to write down three positives a day, over time this will become easier to do.

Break up the monotony. 

Life can be boring at times so that why it is important to do something now again that breaks that samey samey up, you don’t have to spend a fortune you could go to the local park and have a picnic. It is refreshing to do something different now and again, it allows you to look forward to that day.

What things have helped improve your mental health?

Cheers for reading X

How do I find a therapist near me

Hey readers,

If you have read my blog before then you will know that I have suffered from mental health problems for a large portion of my life and have had several different types of therapists in my time.

If you are in need of a therapist to explore ways of managing your mental health issues or just talking to someone where do you look for one?

Finding a therpist1

Well first of you could ask your GP for a referral for some kind of talking therapy. However, in this day age, it can be a long waiting period depending on the severity of your mental health problems sadly. In the past, I have waited for two years to seek help and during the time my mental health has deteriorated.

There are community mental health nurses who can see you are a regular basis and can deal with a more practical side of things such helping with benefits, accessing services, housing etc. CPNs are primarily there to provide support for people with mental health problems adjust to living life in the community. You will need a referral from your GP to access a CPN. Alternatively, there is a service called IAPTS (improving access to psychological therapies) run by the NHS and they can provide CBT for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Normally you can also self-refer. However, this service is not available everywhere so you will have to check that it is available in your area.

If you can afford seeking private then the world is your oyster quite frankly. One place that you may want to look at this article Betterhelp that is a clear and concise in-depth information on where to go to find a therapist.

When thinking about seeking a therapist you have to understand that there are several different types of therapy and some conditions respond better to the type of therapy that is offered.

So, for instance, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) deals with current issues and doesn’t look at the past or childhood. Its main focus is problems that are present now and working with thoughts and behaviors to change the way you’re responding to the situation, This is great for anxiety, OCD, eating disorders for example. It is about changing one behavior for a positive behavior and it is short term. Normally courses last six to twelve weeks and it is a very practical way of seeing fast results.

However, if you have experienced trauma such as rape, abuse then I think therapy that is more exploring feelings and talking openly to someone in a confidential setting may be more suited because not about changing opening up and allowing them emotions to come to the surface.

Therapists can also be online and you can use Skye which is a modern practical way of communicating and seeking therapy. Depending on what you are looking for this option allows you to have more choice in the variety available rather than just having what is available within the area that you live in.

Also, if you are searching for a therapist in the private sector make sure that they have the right established qualifications to work with people who have mental health conditions. They need to have the right accreditation to work in mental health and giving therapy. Each type of therapy has a set of qualifications that a therapist needs, this is to show that the therapist has had the correct training to carry out the therapy on people.  It is good practice for therapists to be signed up with The British Psychological Society  and this allows you the general public can go to the BPS and ask what qualifications the therapist has and the training that they have undertaken.

Hope you find this information useful.

Thank you for reading.

This is a sponsored post for Betterhelp. However, all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

With or without anxiety

Hey readers,

I am struggling with my anxiety at the moment. One moment I feel like I am doing alright with life and then the next thing bang the darkness appears. I swear at times anxiety hates me, it is on 24-hour alert to catch me, especially when I am most venerable. It hates the fact that I am doing OK and hates to see me managing and getting on with life. My brain needs anxiety I feel, I can’t relax and that is the biggest downfall. As I have experienced anxiety for so long where it is not there I worry about worrying if you know what I mean.

Multicolored Smoke

I have this inability to relax. I like the adrenaline at times, feeling alert and it almost feels like a way to clarify that I am alive and living. I have had anxiety for most of my life that when I am not having anxiety I think it is my problem adapting to change. It feels weird to not have the anxiety around.

I am learning to try and let go, allow that anxiety to come and to try not to shy away from it. it is what it is, fear brings it on and that’s not healthy either. I think being present at the moment with the anxiety is one of my biggest challenges. I can’t believe how hard it is to just be and face the anxiety head-on. I am on alert, my body is tight, my muscles and mind hurt. Every night I have a splitting headache due to fighting this anxiety.
It feels like I am doing a mental workout, it is exhausting but with being anxiety warrior you can’t deny resilience is there. Good or bad resilience it is in me and I keep on fighting when at times I just want to hide under a fort, but sadly I need to get up and go, with or without anxiety.

However, that being said I have spent years trying to get rid of this anxiety. Now, I am trying a new approach where I allow it to come, greet it with open arms. I don’t want to be scared of anxiety anymore. I have autism as well and anxiety is a common trait for a lot of people on the spectrum including me. So, instead of trying to change it, I am going to acknowledge the anxiety. Sometimes the anxiety can be good, it might make me think twice about what I am doing. it may be anxiety cause let’s face it not all anxiety is bad. I think media portray it with negative connotations but you can use to your advantage.

The main line of this anxiety post is that I am trying to learn to live with the anxiety, accept it for what it is. don’t put everything I have one then anxiety and know that it is the only sort of me. it doesn’t define me and that actually in control of my life.

Cheers for reading X

Depression and parenting

Hey readers,

Sometimes I feel that on my blog I should not discuss depression as I am so ashamed because that is what society makes me feel like at times. I have always been embarrassed to say that I take anti-depressants and that in-turn makes me feel weak. But deep down I know that my depression is a genetic and chemical reaction, it doesn’t make me a bad person because of it.

Truth be told as a parent with depression there are days when I hardly do anything, the only thing I attempt is to the bare minimum for my children. Once the children have gone to bed it allows me time to cry from all the build-up sadness and frustration from the day.

Some days are better than others, but now again I get dips and need that extra hand from my husband. For instance, I struggle to deal with the social side of taking my children to nursery or school. It is not always just the socialising but the physical environment is so hard for me to manage. I literally feel so suffocated and overwhelmed by the sensory stimulation that is happening in the room. I am autistic on top of all this and usually, I can find that it interacts with the depression.

Therefore heightened social situations can make me feel rubbish and can contribute towards me beating myself up for not being a good enough at being a parent because I am not like all the parents. It tends to result in me coming home and breaking down. I feel rubbish and tend to just want to sleep in order to escape the reminder of my shortfalls as a parent and person.

Other times, I struggle with dealing with the temperament of my children or talking about topics such as death, as this can trigger my OCD. No one teaches you how to communicate to your child and some days I just have to admit to defeat as it is too tough for me to deal with and hubby would have to take over.

When I am going through a dip in my mood I can spend the whole day dragging myself down, I physically feel on edge and know that after all this there is going to be a massive panic attack. I hide away from my husband, as I am not good at communicating at that moment, I don’t instantly have the words to say. I feel therefore this risks the changes of irritability between me and my husband. I don’t like being touched for a cuddle, I just need the time for me to mope and allow the emotions to pass. I don’t want solutions, I try lots of things but at that moment I just need to be. I don’t run form it anymore, at the end of it, I kind of feel better out of my system.

It helps me feel calmer and my body feels like it is being heard.

Sometimes, the best thing is to accept it at that moment, don’t find solutions because at the end of the day it is something that you can deal with at a later date when your mind is in a clearer state. I have learned when you are that emotional, nothing makes sense and I tend to make the wrong decisions so it is better for me to not make any decisions at all during my ‘meltdowns’. I feel now that I have learned how I react and what is best for me is less painful and it allows me to feel more in control ironically.

Cheers for reading X

Ways to find anxiety relief

Hey readers.

If you are a regular you will know that I suffer from anxiety and depression for a number of years. I have explored many ways to help reduce the mental distress that these conditions cause me. I thought I would share some of the successful ways that have helped reduce my anxiety.

Trees in Forest

Laugh – such a fun and easy way to make you feel good. I love a good stand up DVD or someone funny that does Youtube really puts me in good spirits.

Have a bath – it can help you relax and soothe your pains away. If you are like me then with my anxiety I tense my body, so much so at the end of the day my muscles are aching. I love a hot bath and something soothing in it to help relax me. It is perfect to help with getting a good night sleep.

Sleep – sometimes life can get too much with all the worry that anxiety brings. I just take myself to bed early, close the curtains and just put some relaxing music on to help make me drift away. I feel so much better in the morning because I have allowed myself switch off and just relax.

Talk to someone – it doesn’t have to be someone you know could be a helpline or talking anonymously to someone on a forum. It is a massive relief just getting things off your chest even if you find no solution.

If in doubt at all go to your doctors and seek professional help. Don’t be ashamed as you are not alone, many people suffer from mental health issues.

Sometimes, I don’t always have the vocal skills to express what is on my mind so a good way that has helped me is to write down is on my mind. I feel that once it is down it stops getting messy in my mind. It is more concrete and lot easier to understand.

A brilliant anxiety technique to do is try deep breathes. At first, it feels funny but the more you practice the more it will feel natural to you. It is brilliant for getting more air into your lungs and using them to your full compacity rather than just doing quick and fast rapid breathing. Breathing more oxygen exchange meaning release of the hormone cortisol which helps with destresses. There are plenty of videos of guided how to videos o it on youtube.

Sometimes we can feel that whatever we are thinking must be true, but reminding ourselves that actually, not all feelings are facts. They can be illogical, biased and deseving. We chose what we want to believe in, there are so many thoughts that we produce but we get stuck on all the negatives one that we let slide the other side of the argument.

Finally, one that I do regularly as I find it so beneficial but it is the most difficult and that is a change of scenery. It can be so easy to just stay indoors when it feels safe,

Cheers for reading X