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SU4MH - Isn't it time you stood up for mental health?

With best wishes, Steve.

Please feel free to email your blog posts for “Your Mental Health Matters” to stevecliffordcbt@gmail.com

Steve Clifford, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist

Visit us @  www.steveclifford.com                                                                                      Ask us your mental health questions anytime @ www.facebook.com/yourmentalhealthmatters                                                                  Tweet us @ cbt4you

 

Pariah

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

Photo taken by contributor Lori Goodwin who has fought a lifelong battle with severe anxiety, depression, OCD, and PTSD. She has had many people in her family also struggle with mental health issues, including a mother with depression; father with anxiety, depression, and OCD; and an uncle with schizophrenia. Three of Lori’s four children also suffer differing combinations of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and/or chronic insomnia. Lori is a long-time single mother who’s had very little in the way of resources except courage and resilience. She feels like a sensitive soul trying to find a place in what feels like a loud, angry, cruel world.

About this photo: “This photo depicts the extreme isolation and loneliness I’ve felt much of my life, as I’ve tried to hide my fear out of shame.

Pariah:
One that is generally despised, rejected, avoided.
Outcast.

Outsider.

Rock-the-dysfunctional-boat rider.

Pariah:

One who speaks
 when no one…

View original post 92 more words

We value your stories, experiences, tips etc.

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Your Mental Health Matters was founded in 2013 as a community committed to promoting mental health, ending stigma and supporting people affected by mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and other mental health related difficulties.

It is also aimed at promoting mental health in general, for example where individuals might be experiencing conditions such as stress and worry. It also embraces the wider context of improving well-being by highlighting global concerns such as rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, risks of violence and physical ill-health and human rights violations.

It is intended to be a forum in which like-minded people can contribute and share experiences within a supportive community through blogs, daily news and mental health information. It supports all other communities, organisations, charities and forums. It does not discriminate between voluntary, charitable, NHS or private providers of mental health care or mental health promotion.

We welcome guest blog submissions and encourage you to write about mental health.We value your recovery stories, experiences, tips etc.

 We would like to request that when you submit your blog article that you avoid the following:

  • Use of language which could cause distress
  • Advertising or commercial promotion
  • Requests for financial support
  • Being disrespectful to others
  • Rudeness or badmouthing others

We reserve the right to edit blogs or not publish. We reserve the right to do so without explanation. We hope that we can help you to have your say and will endeavour to use appropriate images to support your blog or include your photographs where desirable.

With all good wishes Steve

Please email your submission posts to stevecliffordcbt@gmail.com 

Visit us @  www.steveclifford.com                                                                                      Like us @ www.facebook.com/yourmentalhealthmatters                                                Tweet us @ cbt4you

Managing difficult emotions

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 FREE WORKSHOP SERIES                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Friday 28 March 2014                                                                                                             Part 1 — Thinking errors

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In March, Sarah Eva will be coordinating the first in a series of workshops at the Camden Centre in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Sarah is an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and a UKRC Registered Independent Practitioner. She is an experienced and qualified counsellor and cognitive behavioural therapist with many years’ experience working in voluntary, educational, public and private sectors. These include The Priory, at both Brighton and Hove and Ticehurst, working with individual clients as well as facilitating CBT groups.

She provides consultancy to various Barnardo’s projects in Tunbridge Wells which includes working with young people and their carers covering issues of attachment and sexually harmful behaviours. She has worked in a local grammar school providing individual and group work over a period of five years whilst working with Fegans, a charity offering low-cost counselling to families, couples and individuals.

Friday 28 March 2014 

  • 2 pm — 3 pm prompt start 
  • The Camden Centre
    Market Square, Royal Victoria Place
    Tunbridge Wells TN1 2SW 
  • Please email or phone to secure your place as numbers are limited. 

Write for Your Mental Health Matters

File:Blog (1).jpg

Your Mental Health Matters was founded in 2013 as a community committed to promoting mental health, ending stigma and supporting people affected by mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and other mental health related difficulties.

It is also aimed at promoting mental health in general, for example where individuals might be experiencing conditions such as stress and worry. It also embraces the wider context of improving well-being by highlighting global concerns such as rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, risks of violence and physical ill-health and human rights violations.

It is intended to be a forum in which like-minded people can contribute and share experiences within a supportive community through blogs, daily news and mental health information. It supports all other communities, organisations, charities and forums. It does not discriminate between voluntary, charitable, NHS or private providers of mental health care or mental health promotion.

We welcome guest blog submissions and encourage you to write about mental health in all its shapes and forms to share on our facebook site.

 We would like to request that when you submit your blog article that you avoid the following:

  • Use of language which could cause distress
  • Advertising or commercial promotion
  • Requests for financial support
  • Being disrespectful to others
  • Rudeness or badmouthing others

We reserve the right to edit blogs or not publish. We reserve the right to do so without explanation. We hope that we can help you to have your say and will endeavour to use appropriate images to support your blog or include your photographs where desirable.

With all good wishes Steve

Please email your submission posts to stevecliffordcbt@gmail.com 

Visit us @  www.steveclifford.com                                                                                      Like us @ www.facebook.com/yourmentalhealthmatters                                                Tweet us @ cbt4you

Image ref: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABlog_(1).jpg

Ten steps to greater self-confidence

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Here at my practice in Bexhill I see lots of people who struggle with self-confidence. This isn’t a problem unique to Bexhill as I frequently discuss confidence issues with clients all over the world via Skype.

Why is it that low self-confidence is such an issue?

There can be many reasons. Often low self confidence has it’s roots in our early relationship with our parents or siblings; sometimes bad childhood experiences such as bullying and abuse serve to shape the way we view ourselves. The cumulative effect of “put downs” and ridicule lead us to form a view that we are somehow less worthy than others. .

This view of ourselves becomes a rigid template upon which we hang our identity. Yet, so often, these, what I consider to be, “false beliefs” are never challenged or even questioned. More often than not they are accepted as established facts, yet these so called “facts” are just “opinions”.

It is time to challenge and re-shape these opinions. Here’s how:

1. The first step in improving self-confidence is to accept responsibility for change and growth. By this I mean, to make a decision to change the patterns of behaviour and thinking that keeps you locked in a cycle of insecurity.

2. Stop spending time aimlessly drifting; stop procrastinating and do things on time. Recognise your own needs: sleep, relaxation and a good diet.

3. Are you a dreamer? If so, make some goals so that your dreams can come true.

4. Take risks, share in groups, give feedback to others. Don’t be too proud to ask for help and admit you’re wrong. Don’t refuse help when it is offered.

5. Start asserting yourself and stop saying yes when you really want to say no. Stop being a “people pleaser”.

6. You are an OK person. You do not need to depend on others for a sense of importance. You are of equal worth.

7. Speak up, believe in yourself. Remember, no one can insult you or put you down unless you allow them to so. It is how you feel about yourself that really matters.

8. Behave towards yourself as you would a friend you care about. Listen to your inner compassionate voice not your inner critical voice.

9. Lower your expectations of yourself. No one has to be perfect. Avoid self pity at all costs. Poor me, poor me.

10. Remember you are unique; you have a lot to offer, you are special and there is only one of you in the world. You are a worthwhile person.

Begin to make changes now. Improve your life by changing your outlook.

Good luck.

Until next time, Steve Clifford, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist

Visit us @  www.steveclifford.com                                                                                      Like us @ www.facebook.com/yourmentalhealthmatters                                                Tweet us @ cbt4you

image ref:http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AGreat_smiles.jpg

How to become more resilient in 2014

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Resilience is the term used to describe a person’s capacity to cope with changes, face challenges and bounce back during difficult times. Most of you reading this will know someone who always manages to smile despite adversity. Indeed, you too will at times have demonstrated resilience in the face of difficulties. Look back to a time when you faced problems in your life and somehow managed to cope using your own resources? How did you manage it? What kept you going?

What I aim to convey in this piece is how to shore up and galvanise your resources to help you develop greater resilience. It may be that you are doing this already, then well done. What better to time to give it some thought though than the beginning of 2014.

Here is a description of the qualities of resilience we are aspiring for:

“The person who is resilient will be able to recognise and manage their own emotions, and acknowledge that others too have feelings and understand what they are going through. The person who is resilient will be able to stand alone, with a strong sense of self and self-worth. They will be able to make decisions, solve problems and be able to rely on their own resources to do so. They will have a clear sense of direction and purpose in life.”

Does this sound like a tall order? Well, this is something to aspire to, and should be viewed as “work in progress.” If you understand the principals it will be a set of skills you can aim to master (a bit like learning to ride a bicycle or driving a car).

Here are ten tips:

1. Even in the face of setbacks try to develop a “positive mental attitude”. Step back and look at the bigger picture if possible. Is there another way of looking at this? Can you see any other way of looking at this setback so as to draw some positive from it?

2. Believe in your own abilities and trust your own judgement. Be open and honest with others.

3. Communicate with others whenever you can and try to give positive feedback and encouragement. Try not to be critical, harsh or judgemental. Remember, they too are trying to do their best and just like us, they might get it wrong sometimes.

4. Work to build, maintain and develop support networks. Find someone you can turn to who can become a role model or mentor. Find someone to trust and confide in. Support those around you and allow them to support you.

5. Aim to foster mutual respect between those around you and the wider world. Recognise the pressures and outside influences on others. Take time out to explore new places and meet new people.

6. Take every opportunity to learn and develop yourself. Assist in the learning and development of others.

7. Strive to foster inclusion and belonging. Involve others in decision making wherever possible, celebrate diversity and promote mental well-being in your community.

8. Take time to have fun and be fun. Learn to laugh at yourself and see the funny side of things. Try to take life “less seriously” when you don’t have to.

9. Involve yourself in community projects and activities to help others. Seek opportunities to think and act in enterprising ways.

10. Remember, above all, you are “good enough” just as you are. Expect that some days won’t be great. Stop comparing yourself and embrace your failures as opportunities to learn, we all have to.

Until next time, Steve Clifford, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.

Visit us @  www.steveclifford.com                                                                                          Like us @ www.facebook.com/yourmentalhealthmatters                                                      Tweet us @ cbt4you

Image ref: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AThonet_-_demonstration_of_the_strength_2.jpg