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Therapy Art & Science

Therapy art & science information for you.

It was both an honour and a pleasure to have been invited to speak at the 8th Annual International Hypno-Psychotherapy Conference in Leicester this last weekend. Many thanks to Shaun and Fiona from NCHP&M for asking me, and to all the delegates, students and my fellow speakers who included Pat Hunt from the UKCP and Professor Windy Dryden.

In the forthcoming blogs, my lecture ‘The Holism Grail – The Science Behind the Art of Therapy” is going to be serialized as a resource for Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists alike as well as anyone who wants to understand a little more about linking Psychology and Psychotherapy in the clinical setting.

So if you weren’t there, you don’t miss out. This resource is aimed at casting some light on the science of  hypnotherapy and how that can help clients to achieve lasting change. It is designed to also be interesting to clients, patients and psychologists as well as psychotherapists and anyone remotely interested in the mind and the brain. Topics include anxiety, self-esteem, stress, depression, panic, worry, habits, PTSD, OCD, addiction and many more.

The aim was to provide a useful resource on therapy art & science to therapists and sufferers alike about why talking therapies help as well as just how. The content is drawn from my UKCP and CNHC practice working with private clients in my specialist areas of anxiety and self-esteem,  and from The University of Liverpool MSc in mental health psychology.

By understanding the reasons that treatment works we can make it more effective and save time and money in the treatment room. A belief in giving back to the therapy community and spreading knowledge and experience as an open resource are what encouraged me to release this material free of charge.

I hope you enjoy it and please don’t hesitate to contact me here if you wish to comment or ask anything at all.

Stay tuned for the first part of the content in the next blog, and thanks for reading.

Stuart Cale

Therapy for jealousy

Jealousy can feel like we are losing our hold

Therapy for jealousy and emotional issues. These can be helped by individual therapy in a safe and supportive setting

Jealousy, something (often secretly) familiar to many of us. Jealousy and Envy (yes, they are different things, envy occurs when we lack a desired attribute enjoyed by someone else and jealousy when something we already possess is threatened by a third person) can both be very intense feelings that in turn can easily dominate aspects of our lives. Another problem is that they can be as hard to shift as they are to deal with, and often are not talked about or discussed.

Jealousy can destroy love, and it’s rare to find someone who hasn’t been touched by the classic signs of jealousy such as lack of trust, fear of losing someone we love, or anger at attention paid to others. When it comes, that intensity of emotion can render rational thinking impossible and even cause behaviours in the sufferer that drive people away and reinforce the self-fulfilling prophecy.

The emotional content of jealousy is complex, abandonment, loss, fear, sorrow, humiliation, betrayal; the list is long and infamous. Even violence can make an unwelcome appearance where jealousy is concerned, and it can be as irrational as it is damaging, Steven Stosny, a psychologist says, “The formula for jealousy, is an insecure person times an insecure relationship” and goes on to point out that it isn’t just sexual jealousy at play, sometimes children or any kind of friendship that diverts attention from the sufferer can be a problem.

With origins based in our far-distant evolution, perhaps to protect intimate relationships, in our current lives where we may change partners several times in the course of a lifetime, jealousy can become a painful burden. The feeling of inadequacy makes it seem a particularly poignant and difficult burden.

So, what can be done? Well, like many things, communication is often at the root of the solution, jealousy is often something we deny in ourselves so just recognising and acknowledging it are also important steps. It’s often too personal and complex for a list of self-help suggestions as seem to be so common in our culture that demands quick fixes. Jealousy isn’t something we can cast off like an unwanted coat when spring comes, it’s a treatment process, and moving beyond jealousy is a skill that often takes a little time to learn.

Having said that, as is so often the case, people can travel through life with often debilitating levels of jealousy, accepting that as their fate. Surely, if you’re affected, it’s worth taking some steps now to hopefully improve the quality of life and relationships still to come…?

Social Media problems

Addiction to social media, internet addiction and self-esteem are sometimes closely linked

Addiction to social media, internet addiction and self-esteem are sometimes closely linked

Social media problems examined. Social media has changed our world in many ways; it has brought pleasure, connection, re-united people and re-ignited old friendships. Recent research commissioned by Unilever however (in which a thousand women were surveyed and compared to a similar sample from 2004)  found some less than savoury effects of Facebook, Twitter and the like. In the findings, more than half of the participants reported that seeing photos of friends made them feel worse about their own bodies.

Another very surprising result was that ten years ago, 75% of the women surveyed reported that the media set ‘unrealistic’ standards of beauty, but that figure has now dropped to only 66%. So what’s going on, and why is it a concern? Is there resigned acceptance of the unrealistic standards, or is the pressure that society and the media places on us to look a certain way having a potentially damaging effect over time?

Low self-esteem is a very real problem for many of us, and the sometimes debilitating effects of low self-esteem are at the forefront of those issues that many people tolerate unnecessarily, and which reduce their quality of life on a daily basis.

It’s a changing and ever more competitive world in which we live and one where it seems that our friends have the highest influence over our idea of beauty. That pressure can cause anxiety, jealousy or any of a number of emotional or thought issues. This is why here at Talking-Cure we take the influence of social media in our lives very seriously, and we see ever-increasing levels of the effects that internet exposure can have on our clients. In our view, although the end results of these pressures are often the same, the causes are changing with each generation and as therapists we need to rise to meet these challenges.

So, if you find yourself struggling with any of the issues above, or any other problem which may be related to exposure to social media or the use of the internet generally, then please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and speak to us here at Talking-Cure.