There is a lot of talk currently about neuroplasticity - the idea that we can rewire our brain. But what does this really mean? How does it happen? Why is it important? An important part of the work of a psychologist is helping people to change behaviour, to learn new ways of thinking and behaving,… Continue reading Can we really change our brains?
We know that having solid and reliable social support networks in the postpartum can be a really important protective factor for postnatal depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, when social networks are not actually supportive, they can end up being harmful and increase our risk of developing depression or anxiety. Did you join a mother's group? Was… Continue reading Social support in the postpartum
Many women feel traumatised by their experience of giving birth, but then feel compelled to minimise their experience "it wasn't that bad" or struggle to admit how the birth experience has impacted on them. Things might have ultimately turned out ok for mum and baby, but the birth has left them with a significant trauma… Continue reading Dealing with a traumatic birth
VARTA is a wonderful resource for families undertaking fertility treatment (including donor and surrogacy). One of the great things they do is generate a whole load of really helpful information booklets and online information sources about everything fertility related. Their website include information for families and friends of people going through fertility treatment - it… Continue reading Know someone going through fertility treatment but don’t know how to help?
Unfortunately, this is a question I get asked a lot. Many parents stay in relationships, maintaining toxic feeling of sadness or anger towards their partner, because they believe that an intact family is best for their kids. My answer is always the same. Obviously, an intact, happy and stable family (in whatever form that entails)… Continue reading Is divorce bad for kids?
We spend a lot of time focusing on building resilience in kids, but the truth is, we all need to focus on ways to grow and protect our resilience. This NY Times article describes some simple strategies that can help https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/well/mind/how-to-boost-resilience-in-midlife.html Here are some of the ways you can build your resilience in middle age.… Continue reading Feeling frazzled? Adults need to work on resilience too.
When we grieve, we can feel the we lose all track of time and reality. The smallest and simplest of tasks can feel impossibly difficult. Finding and engaging in simple rituals can really help. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/03/in-grief-try-personal-rituals/284397/ Researchers Michael I. Norton and Francesca Gino at Harvard Business School wanted to know how people cope with extreme loss. In… Continue reading The power of rituals
Dealing with scary thoughts in the peripartum can be really challenging. Much thanks to Karen Kleiman for this extract from her book Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts, with ideas on how to manage those scary intrusive thoughts. Dealing with scary thoughts is not just a matter of willpower, as some claim. Although willpower… Continue reading “When your mind races”
We psychologists do love to recommend a bit of gratitude journalling as part of our interventions. The reasons for this is simple: the research clearly shows it helps. Read more on how being grateful, and attending to our gratitude helps sooth our distressed minds https://www.mindful.org/gratitude-changes-brain/?utm_content=bufferf5af1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
I am aware that quite a few regular readers of this blog are actually other helping professions, so I have decided it is timely to include some resources specifically for them. Working as a counsellor can be tough too, and it is really important that we remember to take care of ourselves, even if only… Continue reading Self care for workers in the helping professions