Certificate in Basic Therapeutic Skills and Interventions

skills-blog

A unique skills course for people interested in Therapy Training

Equilibria, the leading Glasgow psychotherapy centre in Park Circus, is running a unique skills course for people interested in therapy training.

The Certificate in Basic Therapeutic Skills and Interventions will be taught in a 10-week course.

When: Every Thursday from 1pm to 7pm
From: 12th January – 23rd March 2017 for 10 weeks (break 16th February)
Where: Equilibria, 11 Park Circus, Glasgow G3 6AX

No specific pre-entry qualifications or requirements are necessary, but an informal interview will take place to ensure the course is suitable for all applicants.

Those taking part will gain an understanding of the therapeutic process, therapeutic skills and interventions. The course, administered by experienced psychotherapists, will cover the main therapeutic models currently in use, with an emphasis on CBT.

The cost of the course is £1450, with a £250 discount for those booking by the end
of October 2016. A Non refundable deposit of £290 is required to confirm a place.

For further details please contact Equilibria:
E – info@equilibriahealth.com
T – 0141 331 2764

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View full Terms and Conditions

Can social media contribute to depression?

social_mediaCould Facebook be making you sad, or worse, depressed? It might seem a strange claim to make, since social media has enabled people to keep in touch with friends and family around the world in a way that could never have been imagined a generation ago. However some folk who log on simply see people who seem permanently happy, enjoying fulfilling lives, which then leads to thoughts of inadequacy.

As one Facebook user commented: “The thing I hate the most is how usually everyone is doing funnier things than me, or having a better life, or how lucky they got, or what cool holiday they are on.”

Another said: “I’ve noticed myself getting more depressed and feeling lonelier after being on Facebook. All I see is pictures of children and grandchildren, and I was never blessed with either. I then made myself feel even worse by looking at pictures of my ex with his new partner.”

It is sometimes hard to realise that people are presenting an idealised portrait of themselves on such sites, and are disguising the fact that they have the upsets and difficult times that everyone else has.

An American study of students found that the longer people spent on social media sites, the more they believed that other people had happier lives. The researchers concluded that if you were feeling down you should log off and call your best friend instead.

Nor is it just social media causing such thoughts just now – when the weather improves in the spring, it is easier to believe that some people are happier and shedding off the drabness of winter far easier than others.

In some cases this can add to a person’s depression. Depression is not simply a passing mood or something you can convince yourself not to feel. It is a health disorder, that fortunately can be treated with counselling, medication, or a combination of both. The most important step towards treating depression is asking for help.

The symptoms of depression can be complex and vary widely, but generally, if you are depressed, you feel sad, full of hopelessness, and with no interest in things you normally enjoy. If they persist, they can interfere with your work, family, and social life.

You are unlikely to suffer from all those, but the psychological symptoms can often include low moods, sadness, low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness, guilt and anxiety. You may have no motivation, find it difficult to make decisions, get no enjoyment out of life, feel irritable and become guilt-ridden and intolerant of others. You may also have thoughts of harming yourself or even suicide.

Physical symptoms can include changes in appetite or weight, moving or speaking more slowly, unexplained aches and pains, lack of energy, lack of interest in sex and disturbed sleep.

Socially your work may suffer, you take part in fewer social activities, avoid friends and have difficulties with your family life.

Depression can come on gradually, making it difficult to spot something is wrong, and it is often a friend or family member who suggests something is not right. If such symptoms persist for over two weeks then you should seek help from your GP or consider contact a counselling firm, such as Equilibria.

In the meantime it may help if you become more active, don’t withdraw from life and keep in touch with friends you can talk to when feeling low. There is evidence that exercise can help lift your mood, even if it is just walking for 20 minutes every day if you have not exercised recently.

Don’t avoid the things you find difficult as this can lead to a loss of confidence – and don’t drink too much alcohol as alcohol itself can become part of the problem.

Be aware that when you are down, you can get into poor sleep patterns, staying up late and sleeping during the day. So try to get up at your normal time and stick to your routine as much as possible.

If you are still down or anxious after a couple of weeks talk to your GP or consider if the help available from Equilibria would suit your own circumstances.

How to not hate Valentines Day

valentines day

St Valentine’s Day should be a time of love, affection and happiness. Often though it can descend into a day of tears, sullenness and disappointment, with many people hating Valentine’s Day because expectations have not been met.

Even the simplest things can go wrong. A husband knew that his wife had always wanted a Porsche and so at some expense he hired one for the Valentine’s weekend and parked it outside the house for her to see when she opened the curtains on St Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately she assumed he had actually bought it for her, and what should have been a lovely moment descended into a disagreement when she realised she had to hand it back in a couple of days, leaving her husband feeling embarrassed at letting her down.

In another example, a wife who bought her husband an incredibly expensive present on Valentine’s Day was disappointed when he wasn’t as enthusiastic about the present as she had hoped, and he questioned the wiseness of spending so much money. “But I wanted to make you happy,” she exclaimed. Her husband replied: “It’s not your job to make me happy. That’s my job.”

So the main thing to do on such a day is to manage expectations. Despite the unrealistic expectations thrust upon us by films and television, love does not depend on gift-giving and huge romantic gestures. It is the day-to-day details of being there for someone else, helping each other, showing appreciation, and yes, even putting the bins out without being asked.

What can help in a relationship is realising what are unrealistic expectations and seeing instead what would be the realistic expectations.

Making love every night, expecting your partner to know what you are thinking, and being showered with expensive presents may be your unrealistic expectations. A healthy sex life, a partner who listens to you when you say what you want, and gifts on birthdays and anniversaries that don’t put you in the red at the bank, might be more realistic, and lead to a more harmonious life.

If couples can agree on what is essential for a loving relationship and bring these values into everyday life then they are on their way to establishing a relationship based on love rather than on expensive trinkets chosen in the middle of February.

SAD, season affective disorder, deperession, winter blues

Beating the Winter Blues

There are many benefits to living in Scotland – but the winter weather is not one of them.  Living in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere means longer hours of darkness.  We often go the work in the dark, we come home in the dark and trudge through the most miserable of weather.  No wonder people feel depressed.

It is know as Seasonal Affective Disorder, and for many people it means inability to concentrate, sluggishness, no desire to get out of bed in the morning, weight gain from eating the wrong foods, and a desire to withdraw from communication with friends and family.  You will often feel more tired, anxious and moody.  Even your sexual activity decreases.

Scientists tell us that this is caused by disruption to our circadian rhythms – the daily biological rhythms which regulate our eating, feelings, sleeping and exercise.  Without sufficient daylight our bodies do not feel awake, leading to the lethargy that causes mood swings and depression, leading to SAD.

We can’t unfortunately change the weather and daylight hours in Scotland, but we can make some lifestyle changes which will improve how we feel.

Get outside – Our lives are drawn more and more indoors these days, often because of working at a computer, but even a daily one hour walk, especially around noon when there is at least some limited sunshine, will help tackle the winter blues.  Seek out the sunlight whenever you can, even if it is just sitting in the window seat of a restaurant.  Light boxes have also helped some people beat off the winter blues.

Eat healthily – Bin the sweets left over from Christmas and concentrate, not on the carbohydrates you crave, but on fresh fruit and vegetables.  The Vitamin D in fish and eggs will also help.

See your friends and family – Socialising has been shown to improve your mental health so even when you are tempted to turn down invitations, push yourself to go, even if it is just for a short while.

Rediscover your hobbies, or take up a new one – Keeping your mind active can help ward off SAD, so if you ever thought of joining a choir, going to night classes, learning a language or playing bridge, then now is the time to start.

Exercise - Not only will it help you to lose the extra pounds you may have been putting on, it also relieves stress and releases the body’s natural feel good hormones.

Treat yourself -  Plan an outing or a special event to look forward to and plan it with your friends.  But don’t make it one that involves a huge amount of alcohol.  Binge drinking, while tempting for some, will often just make you feel worse afterwards.

Finally, if you are still struggling to cope, consider asking for support or contact Equilibria where we can talk to you about effective treatment.

Tips for a stress free Christmas

It is strange that Christmas, a time when people should be at their happiest, can often turn out to be a miserable time for many, with the reality falling far sort of the idealised family gatherings portrayed in advertisements and television programmes at this time of year.

The reality is that tremendous strain can be put on everyone within families, many members of whom are harbouring tensions with other members of the gathering, and they are artificially put together for hours on end when many would rather be elsewhere.

There are though, little adjustments that you can make to avoid unnecessary stress this Christmas.

If you are hosting, plan the day in advance with people knowing what tasks they have to do on the day.  That way resentment won’t build up making you feel you have all the wok to do and are being taken for granted. Ask others what they want to do so that everyone feels their views have been taken into account.

Weather permitting, plan some outdoor activities, such as a long walk, especially for the children so that they can get tired naturally, rather than tired through arguing.

And of course, don’t drink too much, as this can lead to the wrong things being said at the wrong time.

If the financial cost of Christmas is proving too much, then talk to your family in advance about agreeing a price that people spend on presents, or agree only to give them to the children.  Don’t wander about the stores aimlessly when Christmas shopping, take a list and stick to it, or shop on the internet well in advance.

If providing Christmas lunch for everyone is stretching your budget then ask family members to each bring an item, such as ice-cream or soup with them, especially if you praise their soup-making capabilities.

Trickiest of all, of course, is relationships with other members of the family.  First, be realistic.  Don’t expect a miracle, even if it is Christmas.  So if there are members of the family that you normally fall out with then avoid the triggers.  Don’t discuss religion, politics or football if those have been the flash points at previous gatherings.  Change the subject if they crop up.  Keep everyone busy with a walk or simple games.  Don’t serve too much alcohol.

Use simple relaxation techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing or progressive muscle relaxation if you feel your tension mounting.  If that fails, have a list of small tasks you can use as distraction techniques that will take you away from the situation for a  few minutes, feeding the dog, putting food out for the birds, dropping off a late Christmas card at a neighbour’s house.

But most of all try to relax.  It is not your job to make sure that everyone has a fabulous Christmas – that responsibility does not lie with one person. Remember, it really is just one day of the year.

Have a great Christmas, from everyone at Equilibria.