If you are interested in thinking about modern approaches to mental health then welcome.
If you want to join the debate than please leave a comment.
I am a specialist child and adolescent psychiatrist, and have been working in this field for over thirty years.
During this time there has been a rising tide of depression and complex trauma in young people. This is seen in the increases in both emotional dysregulation in girls and antisocial behaviours in boys. Both of these have a common antecedent in early adversity and relationship trauma.
I believe that mental health services should concentrate on fostering mental health to a much greater extent, and not focus so intensively on treating mental ill-health.
An ounce of prevention……..
I am interested in treating, and hopefully in preventing, mental health disorders in young people, and see mindfulness, stoic philosophy and the associated lifestyle change contributing to better outcomes.
I believe it is time to move away from a descriptive, syndrome based diagnostic system, towards one that is based on the integration of current knowledge about how the brain works, and applying this with knowledge of the personal experience of the person with the ‘disorder’.
A society that supports parents in helping young people develop resilience, and in finding ways to help them flourish, is a vital part of this process
I have been practicing mindfulness for over thirty years. In this time I have seen benefits from this practice, both for myself and others. I am pleased to see the results of recent research supports my experience.
Prevention in medicine is increasingly important.We should concentrate our focus on working with the brain’s plasticity to produce positive change, and this should then help increase resistance to psychological distress.
Vaccination to prevent infectious disease is topical with the fight against the COVID19 pandemic.
This highlights the effectiveness of working with the mind’s natural systems to prevent mental health difficulties. There is even some evidence that our gut bacteria can influence our mood!
I believe that changes in out modern lifestyle, such as the increased social mobility and urbanisation that has gone hand in hand with changes in how society and our economies affect us.
The loss of the small, supportive communities in which we lived for thousands of years, has contributed to the increasing incidence of mental health problems that has been particularly apparent over the last hundred years.
Understanding these changes will lead to improved mental health and a better quality of life for many, if not all, people.
Making adaptive changes to our current lifestyle plays a key role in treating, and preventing, mental health problems in young people. It can add a great deal to their quality of life. This is where a lived philosophy can contribute so much.
I follow a buddhist and a stoic path, and from time to time will post about mindfulness, and compassion, and how they relate to life, well being, and mental health.
If you find something of interest please feel free to follow my blog to receive updates when new posts are published.
Constructive feedback is always appreciated.
Many thanks for your interest.
25/01/2015 at 9:58 AM
I just wanted to say that it’s really nice that you’re sharing your specialist knowledge in the public domain for free. This is a rare thing to see a therapist doing.
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25/01/2015 at 10:11 AM
It probably comes from being trained in the UK with the National Health Service.
I have an aversion to private practice in my area, it always needs a team approach to be truly helpful.
Medication is too easy to prescribe if you have no team.
Nothing wrong with medication in its place but rarely ever the answer, and usually a help to let other methods work more rapidly.
Time to get off my soap box😨
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22/06/2015 at 8:02 PM
I am so happy to have found your blog as I’m currently doing my masters in psychotherapy and am very interested in the connection between mental health and mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. Can’t wait to read more of your thoughts on these subjects 🙂
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20/08/2015 at 5:45 PM
Pleased to meet you.
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09/12/2015 at 5:20 AM
Dear Sandy, I live in the USA, and I was wondering, do you offer sessions via Skype or the like? I’d love to learn more about your treatment. Although I’m not a teen, I feel as though your approach would be great for me. Thanks!
09/12/2015 at 8:42 PM
Thanks for the post.
I am afraid I can’t use Skype etc for legal reasons.
There are many people using a trauma informed approach to treatment.
If you try an internet search should highlight a few in your area.
If that doesn’t work local psychology/psychiatry register should.
Best of luck.