Mind Health Challenges

Depression

At some point in everybody’s life we inevitably hit periods of feeling down. It’s a natural and somewhat unavoidable aspect of being human. Regardless of whether you’re just having the odd dip in mood or in fact feeling low for longer periods of time, it’s important to know that you are not alone.

By simply sharing how you are feeling with an expert, you can start to feel an improvement. During 26 years of being a psychologist assisting people, depression has been one of my primary focuses.

It’s so frustrating to be feeling miserable day in day out and it sucks the hope out of life.

If you are having difficulties with a low mood contact me today so that I can offer you an understanding of what might be happening as well as practical strategies to feeling better.

Anxiety (including panic attacks)

Nearly everybody experiences anxiety now and again. We can all relate to that awful pit in your stomach when you feel so tense that the idea relaxing seems impossible. Anxiety impedes your ability to concentrate, be productive and enjoy life. It holds you back from making the most out of each day and blocks healthy relationships.

The good news is that anxiety is very treatable.

One of my greatest pleasures in life is to watch people who were overwhelmed with anxiety start to recover after engaging in a few counselling sessions.

Stress

Whether you are juggling a busy life with lots of competing demands or you have a more simple existence, stress can still be present.

More and more, clients attend counselling because life just seems too difficult.
Thankfully, by employing a change in thinking along with a shift in how you approach each day, stress can melt away. Not only that, once you have a better understanding of what stresses you out, it’s easier to accept and not feel so daunted.

Grief/ Trauma/ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Have you faced a devastating loss or event which has left you feeling overwhelmed and confused?

During periods of exceptional hardship we often feel most alone. It can be a time when it’s an effort to reach out and we often feel like loved ones don’t understand.

Left unchecked, grief and trauma can lead to PTSD which is a more lasting experience of devastation (including nightmares, flashbacks, changes in sleep and eating patterns, low mood, anxiety and unsettled relationships).

Talking about how you are feeling can make the event seem less crushing.
It’s true that life wasn’t meant to be easy but you sure don’t have to go it alone.

While grief and trauma is a very personal experience and affects everyone differently, the best way to resolve the distress is to talk it out with someone you trust who has the skills to navigate you to brighter days.

The healing starts when you start to open up and make sense of the pain.

Eating Concerns

Regardless of age or background, it appears that having an unhealthy relationship with food is typical for a large percentage of the population.

It’s no secret that the media (including social) is largely responsible for making people believe that to be attractive and desirable one must look a certain way.
Instead of focusing on being pleased with yourself due to your a range of attributes, there is now a tendency to place an unnecessary emphasis on weight and size.

Once disordered eating kicks in, we stop basing our self-worth on how kind or funny or clever or creative we are and instead hone in on the number on a set of scales. It can be soul destroying to fixate on controlling what goes in your mouth. Even simple outings with friends can feel like a stressful exercise you’d rather avoid.

Sadly most people who have issues around body image keep it a secret because of the shame that is attached to it all.

Please don’t suffer in silence.

Understanding the relationship between eating disorders and self esteem and gently moving beyond the calories while reaching for a more meaningful existence is the ticket to a happier life. At Plenish Mind Health, we feel nothing but empathy for people struggling with food issues and appreciate the complexity of the problem.

Substance Misuse

Falling into unhealthy habits with drugs or alcohol is such an easy trap these days. Access to substances has never been easier and we live in stressful times.

The slippery slope of addiction is often ignored until it cant be ignored.

If you are struggling to manage the use of a certain substance, please don't beat yourself up. There are many reason why we find ourselves escaping with drugs or alcohol. Mostly, it is to avoid certain painful feelings or to shake off life’s stressors.

If you don't feel in control of your choices, we have methods to turn your life around so that it has more meaning. Using specific therapeutic approaches, you can be clear about why you engage in unhealthy practices and how you can finally kick unwelcome habits for good.

Sleep Disorder

The most common condition that I help people with is Sleep Disorder. More often than not it's discovered once someone attends therapy for a different reason. It doesn’t take long to realise that they’re not sleeping well. We cannot underestimate the negative impact sleep deprivation has on both physical and mental well-being. Not getting enough sleep depletes energy levels, concentration, ability to operate effectively and most of all, it takes the fun out of life. It would be a rare situation that someone having a difficult time with life is still sleeping well. Hence, the abundant research available around how to resolve sleep problems. I have a keen interest in helping people getting back to sound slumber patterns.
There is no need to keep tossing and turning, wrestling with an unsettled mind while the rest of the world is getting the zeds. With a few simple strategies you can be fully charging the batteries each night, ready for a great day ahead.

Relationship Issues (including separation)

It may be “love that makes the world go around” but no body said it would be easy.

Humans are social creatures and thrive on connection. Throughout life, it’s inevitable that we will hit snags along the way when it comes to loved-ones. Whether you are having difficulties in a relationship with your partner, your offspring or someone else who is important to you, finding new ways to relate and communicate will give it a boost in the right direction.

Sometimes all you need is for a third party to help clarify the issues with a solution focused approach.

Being able to forgive and make new commitments takes a lot of courage. Let us help you identify the source of the concerns so that everyone wins. Or perhaps you realise that it may be time to move on and therefore require support in ensuring things remain clear and amicable.

In all of my relationship counselling, I take a non judgemental position where my only goal is to improve the situation for all parties.

Women’s Issues

As a woman living in the 21st century, I can appreciate the subtle and complex needs of women.

Often women come to me feeling exhausted, disappointed and unhappy. So who nurtures the nurturer? I do. Some might say it’s what I do best.

As well as helping with general mental wellbeing, I work with issues around general health, mothering/parenting, relationships, fertility, life-transitions, family, loss, burnout and hormones.

My primary goal when assisting women is to help them thrive, not just survive.

Pregnancy and Parenting Solutions

Being a mother of 5, I can completely relate to the unexpected challenges of pregnancy and motherhood. It’s one of the few occasions when life is turned upside down.

Caring for a young-one may be described as a quest filled with sleepless nights, crying, and questioning if you are doing the right thing. Parenting can include physical and emotional strain, especially if your body is depleted from pregnancy, labour and feeding. Perhaps you don’t have the energy to look after yourself as well as you did before childbirth, let alone, engage in activities you once thrived on. You may have less energy to spend quality time with your partner, family or friends.

Pregnancy and Motherhood is truly an unpredictable experience so not surprisingly it can be difficult to cope at times.

I have worked with hundreds of mothers. They’ve joined me for a range of reasons from feeling unsettled with their work/home balance to being severely depressed and suicidal.

Even if you don't fit the clinical criteria for Post Natal Depression, you may benefit from some support and guidance during this interesting period.

You deserve to enjoy this life and receive all the abundance it can bring.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Do you ever find yourself obsessing about having to do something in a certain way or else something bad may happen? Are your thoughts so overwhelming that you simply have to do the activity before feeling better?

OCD is a tricky beast because is can sneak up on you. Over time the need to engage in particular activities (eg. cleaning, organising, checking, touching things in certain ways) can gradually increase. It may start out harmless and then gradually take up more and more of your time with worrying thoughts and the “necessary” actions that follow.

There are proven techniques that can release you from the cycle that comes with OCD. The longer you wait the harder it may be to change the unhelpful behaviours. You are the boss of your life, let us help you to get back in control.

Phobias

Approximately one in ten people suffer from a phobia at some point in their life. Put simply a phobia is an extreme fear of a specific thing or situation (e.g. dogs, tunnels, bridges, water, spiders, socialising, flying, heights, small spaces, germs etc). In fact, a phobia may be developed around any number of themes depending on life experience and perceptions. The common element is that the fear is so strong for the individual, it causes extreme anxiety which results in the person avoiding being triggered at any cost.

When left unchecked phobias can control a persons choices and ultimately prevent them from having a bright and enjoyable life.

At Plenish Mind Health we can assist with changing patterns so phobias don’t negatively impact your quality of life. By unravelling the thoughts and beliefs associated with the phobia, we can learn new ways the approach the situation, leaving the problematic behaviours behind.

Bipolar Affective Disorder (BAD)

People experiencing BAD often fear what life will hold for them. The diagnosis brings assumptions that symptoms will at times mean a decrease in being able to manage and function properly. If you have (or think you may have) BAD, rest assured that a happy and fulfilling life still awaits you. With the right support (and medication) you can achieve your life goals including close relationships.
Counselling with a professional who has specific training with mood disorders will help you gain insight and coping strategies. Give us a call today if you want to get on top of BAD.

Adult Autistic Spectrum

Autism (a milder form was previously called Asperger syndrome) is a neurological condition that affects how the brain processes information. Typical characteristics of the condition mostly include difficulties in forming and maintaining close relationships due to an inability to easily bond and relate to others.

Appropriate support (especially around social skills training) can help people to gain insight and coping strategies. Psychological therapy can also assist with emotional regulation (managing feelings). Once these new techniques are adopted into everyday activities, life becomes easier with closer bonds and less conflict and isolation. If you or someone you love is finding relationships hard, take comfort in knowing that Autism is treatable. Contact us at Plenish Mind Health to find out more.

Sexual and sexuality challenges

It is often difficult to talk about concerns related to sexual preferences, identity issues or performance hindrances.

You can rest easy in knowing that for over 26 years, I’ve had the privilege of assisting people with a wide range of sexual dilemmas.

Thankfully I've had a great deal of success with helping people experiencing Vaginismus (painful vaginal muscle spasms); sexual assault recovery; LBGTIQ challenges; libido issues and much more. We provide a safe environment where you can feel free to share your personal concerns so that you can enjoy the simple pleasures in life while feeling confident and empowered.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

If you have experienced a tragedy of traumatic event, the key is to get help as soon as possible. Bottling up your thoughts and feelings can lead to ongoing unresolved psychological issues. Problems may arise with addiction, your relationships, work performance, getting sound sleep and just being able to enjoy the simple things of life.

Don’t fall into a pit of despair when help is available. Whatever has happened to you can be worked through.

Adjustment Disorder (coping with a significant change in life)

The diagnosis Adjustment Disorder is a broad term used to describe feelings of stress, sadness, hopelessness and unrest after a significant event. The cause of Adjustment Disorder may include the death of a loved one, separation, changing jobs or living arrangements, illness/injury, financial strain, interpersonal conflict or sexual issues.

It can affect people of any age and background. If you are currently having a hard time with a life change, you may have Adjustment Disorder.

The best treatment for Adjustment Disorder is counselling. By “talking it out” you will be able to make sense of what’s going on and how to manage the change in a healthy proactive way.

Self esteem

How we perceive ourselves is one of the most crucial influencing factors of fulfillment. Having a strong sense of who you are is a key indicator of happiness. In other words those who feel good about themselves do better in life, compared to those who have a poor opinion of themselves. Sadly life events will impact your self-concept. Too often people outsource self-esteem by relying on positive reinforcement from others in order to feel good. In today’s world of social media saturation, we are literally throwing ourselves to the wolves if we don’t learn how to internally generate self-love.

This is a topic I hold dear to my heart as I know how strong self-esteem facilitates a better future. If you don’t have a clear sense of who you are, what you value, and where you want to be then start the journey today to becoming your finest self and your own best friend.

Anger

Feeling angry at times is a normal part of life. We all can relate to occasions when we’ve felt frustrated or angry. Anger management is not designed to repress anger but instead a journey where you become more aware of what is creating the feelings of anger. More often than not anger is masking deeper feelings around sadness, loss, confusion, shame, grief and hurt. Anger shields people from getting too close and blocking vulnerability. Learning more about the origins of your anger and tapping into the reasons why you’re feeling angry will help you express the feelings in an appropriate way that lead to positive changes and deeper connections.

Don’t let anger get in the way of having rich safe meaningful relationships. Help is available. Discover new methods of thinking about and handling difficult emotions.

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