Counselling and Psychotherapy are talking therapies . The basis of counselling and psychotherapy is the relationship that is established between the person being supported and their counsellor or psychotherapist. It is essential that the person being treated feels safe and that his counsellor is trusting and non-judgemental and that the person feels they will be met with respect, sensitivity and understanding so that they are free to speak about whatever is on their mind and make a recovery.
Counselling supports and enables the development of greater personal resilience. Taking a here and now focus, it can help to reduce anxiety and depression and negative thinking so that there is greater freedom to think through problems and find solutions and make a recovery. Counselling focuses on supporting our strengths and using these to develop new strategies so that we can find solutions to difficulties. It can help with a wide range of needs from anxiety and depression to relationship difficulties.
Psychotherapy helps us to make changes that are deep and long lasting. Taking a dual focus that looks both at our current situation and also any past circumstances that may be connected with it, it is possible to identify preferred patterns and preferences that take charge of our life even when we don’t want them to. This heightened understanding helps make it possible to change these patterns. In the process of making these changes people often re-discover parts of themselves that have become lost or overlooked over time. They develop new personal qualities and strengths and are able to build a richer and more satisfying life
If you are unsure about choosing between Counselling and Psychotherapy we will help you talk it through and come to a decision about what you feel will work best for you. We believe it is usually better to start small and progress from there if that is what is needed your never alone with Anxious minds.
Please ONLY apply for 1-1 Counselling and Online Counselling Sessions if you can commit to attending scheduled sessions. Non-attendance at scheduled sessions reduces the availability of sessions for our members and has a cost to the charity, missing a session without letting us know and you will be removed.
Anxious Minds runs a low cost counselling service which is provided by a team of volunteer counsellors.
We ask service users to make a donation, based on what you think you can afford per session. We suggest somewhere between £10 and £30 and the Counselling Coordinator will discuss this with you when we are able to allocate you to a counsellor.
We encourage you to discuss your counselling needs with your GP first, if you feel able to do so. Your GP can refer to you to a whole range of general and specialist mental health services, so talking openly with your GP may help you to access the service that is right for you first time round.
Counselling is accessed by an internal referral system so please speak to a member of staff who can help you with this.
Anxious Minds relies heavily on charitable donations, all money received goes straight back into providing more services.
Please note that all information provided, is held in the strictest of confidence and will not be shared with anyone outside of Anxious Minds, unless in circumstances where risk to self/others/a minor is indicated.
We also offer a Clinical Supervisory Service for supervisees who work with a range of client’s experiencing emotional distress in the private and voluntary sectors.
Our team of qualified clinical supervisors have given professional support and guidance for the last 12 years.
Payment for Clinical Supervisory Service
All payments must be made at least 24 hours before your appointment this is non-refundable if you miss your agreed session and amendments can only be made 24 hours in advance.
Therapy is a collaborative process, so finding the right match is critical. After you find someone, keep in mind that therapy is work and sometimes can be painful. However, it also can be rewarding and life changing.
What are the steps for choosing a therapist?
Eating disorders affect a person’s physical and psychological functioning differently than any other mental health disorder. Once thought to be a problem for the wealthy, eating disorders are now known to impact various cultures, socioeconomic statuses, ages, and genders, and can be found worldwide.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) characterises people with eating disorders as having “pathological eating habits and a tendency to overestimate their weight and body shape.” Eating disorders are not to be taken lightly: patients with an eating disorder faces a high risk of medical and psychological effects, along with the possibility of death if their condition becomes severe enough.
Eating disorders are also more common than you might think. In fact, a 2007 survey by Hudson, et al., noted that about 1.5% of American women (0.5% of men) experience bulimia nervosa, about 0.9% of women (0.3% of men) have been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, and roughly 3.5% of women (2% of men) struggle with binge eating disorder.
Until recently, eating disorders have been treated mainly through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). New advances in the emerging field of virtual reality therapy (VRT), however, are being combined with traditional treatment and show promise for more effective treatment.
Virtual reality therapy is a high tech approach to helping people learn effective ways to cope with the fearful situations they dread. During VRT, you wear a virtual reality headset that looks similar to the type you’d use when playing video games. The therapist plays a simulation program that displays avatars in a variety of anxiety-provoking settings, such as in a restaurant or a store dressing room for those with an eating disorder. These settings are low stress, to begin with, then stress levels are increased as you become more desensitised to the worrisome scenario.
You use a virtual “body” during VRT. Although this avatar isn’t really “you”, studies show that people feel a close enough association to the avatar that they emotionally respond as if they were in the actual setting. In this way, they can address their eating disorder and work through their body-image issues in a safe, controlled environment. The psychologist listens in during the session to coach, help with relaxation techniques and provide coping skills. They also can control the environment and either stop the program or lower the stress level if you become too upset.
Virtual reality exposure therapy gives people an experience that is just real enough to trigger an emotional response to their eating disorder, but is it effective?
In 2017, DeCarvalho, et. al., did a systematic review of several studies that used virtual reality therapy for binge eating and bulimia nervosa (BN) treatment. One of the studies they analysed was done by Perpina, et. al., and focused on treatment with a combination of VRT and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) versus treatment with CBT alone. The study found that the “VR treatment group showed more BI [body image] improvement than CBT and greater improvement in the behaviour of clinical measures. At post-treatment, the VR group improved on body attitudes, the frequency of negative automatic thoughts on BI, body satisfaction, discomfort caused by body-related situations and BN symptoms (measured by Bulimic Investigatory Test; BITE). These results were maintained or continued to improve (body attitudes, the frequency of negative automatic thoughts on BI) at one-year follow-up.” All participants improved in the eating disorders measures, and it was also maintained at follow-up.
In a different study, a body-swapping illusion was used in conjunction with virtual reality. Women with body image anxiety were asked to estimate their own body size before participating in two different body-swapping scenarios. In both illusions, the women were shown a virtual image of themselves with skinny stomachs.
The theory was that it might be possible to modify a person’s allocentric memory (a type of spatial memory in which the person mentally manipulates objects from a stationary point of view) for the positive. Indeed, after going through the virtual scenarios, the women in the study reported a decreased estimated body measurement and assessed their body size more accurately than before participating in the illusion.
Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG, Kessler RC. The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Feb 01;61(3):348–58. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.03.040. http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/16815322. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
De Carvalho, M. R., Dias, T. R. de S., Duchesne, M., Nardi, A. E., Appolinario, J. C. (2017). Virtual Reality as a Promising Strategy in the Assessment and Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder: A Systematic Review. Behavioral Sciences, 7(3), 43. http://doi.org/10.3390/bs7030043
When you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, it is crucial for you to seek medical treatment. This is the first step to recovery. Anxiety disorders include medical conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, and panic disorder. When you talk to your doctor about your conditions, he or she will probably recommend certain talk therapies, in which you work with a therapist and cognitive-behavioural therapy to overcome your disorder. You may also be recommended to take specific medications. However, there are also a number of other therapies that you can consider to help you overcome your anxiety disorder.
If you are interested in oral medications, there are a number of supplements that may be able to help with your anxiety. Supplements are generally more naturally than the chemicals found in medications, so your body may be less likely to react to them in an adverse way. However, it is important to remember that supplements can still be dangerous if abuse. Common supplements that can be used to treat anxiety disorders include passion fruit, passionflower, kava, valerian root, St. John’s wort, hops, chamomile, magnesium, and glycine. Your doctor can instruct you taking these supplements in a safe way.
If you have very low anxiety symptoms, you can also work by yourself to combat the development of full-blown anxiety disorders. First, get a proper diet. This will include all the nutrients you body needs to stay active and healthy. Reduce the amounts of caffeine and sugar you ingest to help with anxiety. Also make sure that you are getting both sleep and exercise. This can help you manage stress more readily. If you believe you may be developing an anxiety disorder, trying to use stress management skills is very important.
Many people also advocate that alcohol is a great tool for combating anxiety. Typically, patients with anxiety disorders feel stimulated, so alcohol, which is a depressant, can really help you to calm down. However, the disadvantage to this is that alcohol also can make you become intoxicated and anxiety is sometimes found in conjunction with depression, which alcohol will only cause to get worse. Therefore, this is usually not a good option, unless your doctor recommends it.
Techniques like hypnosis, virtual reality use, acupuncture, and meditation can also help patients deal with anxiety. While these alternative treatment options do not help everyone, they may be able to help you. Be sure to ask your doctor about all treatment options available so that you can make the best choices for your body.