Archive

for July, 2019

How much sleep does your teenager need?

Posted on July 31, 2019 in Uncategorized - 0

Researchers have identified that sleep deprivation in youth is on the rise with an estimated 25% of adolescents affected by some form of sleep disturbance. Much like babies, during adolescents our biological sleep patterns change meaning we don’t fall asleep until later, making that 6am alarm clock a real killer!

According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers required between 8-10 hours of sleep a night for their minds and bodies to function at optimal levels but due to lifestyle factors only 15% of teens actually sleep this much.

It’s a well-known fact that teenagers have delayed melatonin secretion at night and then elevated in the morning, meaning their body clocks don’t match their lifestyles with school commitments expecting them to rise early.

So how do we prevent sleep deprivation in our teenagers and help them achieve their best at school and maintain good mental health?

Tips for Sleep in Teens

  • Allow sleep ins on the weekend
  • Encourage early nights
  • Make Sundays early to bed night
  • Try to limit screen time within 1 hour of bed
  • Avoid scheduling activities early in the morning
  • Talk to your child about good sleep health

Allowing your teenager to relax and take time to be in the present, will also help them unwind and prepare for good sleep. Encourage taking 10 minutes during the day to be mindful of daily stress and pressure and try to put it in perspective.

Taking some time to sit, relax, take a walk or do yoga can help unwind and focus on the present. Getting regular exercise but not within a few hours of bedtime also has proven to improve sleep in children, adolescents and adults alike.

Lastly, practice what you preach. Set an example by being present yourself, reducing your own screen time and focusing on healthy lifestyle habits.

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How to deal with adolescent depression

Posted on July 25, 2019 in Uncategorized - 0

It’s a well-known fact that during puberty your child will experience a large surge of hormones, which leads to a variety of intense and unpredictable moods.

A term known as “doom and gloom” is said to be a normal part of teenage development, whereby hormone fluctuation causes them to have low mood, disrupted sleep and low energy levels.

The difficulty for parents is recognising the difference between “doom and gloom” and clinical depression, as many of the symptoms are the same.

It is difficult to separate the symptoms but typically clinical depression will present as a longer lasting low mood (longer than 2 weeks); be more likely if you have a family history of depression; present if your teenager is experiencing very low self esteem and his behaviour is dangerous or riskier than usual.

Depression is also more likely in certain personality types, for example those who seek perfection or have very high standards, or those that do not communicate well and bottle everything up.

It is important to not underestimate your parental intuition when assessing your teenager’s behaviour. You may know if something is just “not right” and be able to recognise that its more than just teenager moodiness. If this is the case, or you are unsure, it is important to seek professional help from your local GP who will make an assessment and put a mental healthcare plan in place. Depression can be caused by many different factors, including heredity, biochemical imbalances in the brain, personal and work-related stress, bereavement, trauma or long term personality traits. Not all people who feel sad are necessarily depressed and the severity and frequency of symptoms will vary from one individual to the next.

How a Psychologist can help?

The teenage years can be a challenging time for parent and child and communication may be broken. A psychologist can assist teens with a range of concerns from mood disorders like anxiety and depression through to social and emotional challenges, equipping them with practical coping strategies for every day life. We have Clinical Psychologists at Newmarket and Morningside who specialise in adolescent counselling, including, Dr Mark Wetton, Miranda Mullins, Dr Stan Steindl (16+) Danielle Corbett, Elizabeth Galt, Cathy Dart and Kylie Layton.

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What is CBT Treatment for Anxiety

Posted on July 17, 2019 in Uncategorized - 0

One of the most well-known psychological practices for overcoming irrational thoughts and anxieties is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This involves challenging irrational thoughts as they enter the mind and shutting them down as to change action and behaviour. Once the thoughts are being cognitively challenged, the next step as a part of CBT is to overcome the specific phobias is by facing them front on. For many people, confronting the fear in real life situations, as stressful as it may be, is the only way out.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is evidenced based form of therapy used by our team of Brisbane Psychologists. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapy which focuses mostly on the way people think about things (including their attitudes and beliefs) and the way they behave. CBT is based on the understanding that thinking negatively is a habit, and, like any other bad habit, it can be modified. It helps people identify where their thoughts and actions are negative, and then to replace these “bad habits” with more helpful thoughts and responses.

CBT utilises both cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy. Cognitive therapy aims to identify and evaluate the unhelpful thoughts (or cognitions) that lead to negative feelings (e.g. depression, anxiety) and behaviours (e.g. avoiding friends). The treatment focuses on questioning thoughts and restructuring these with positive ways to think about difficult situations. Behaviour therapy is goal-oriented and aims to help people change unhealthy or unhelpful behaviours that cause them to suffer or lower their quality and enjoyment of life. For example, people who are depressed often enjoy fewer pleasurable activities and so your psychologist would work with you to identify pleasurable activities and develop a plan to increase your participation in them.

Finally, CBT not only helps you to understand, manage and challenge thought and behaviour patterns, but can also provide you with a range of useful and practical strategies to enhance your productivity, well-being and your ability to cope with various situations in everyday life.

Exposing people or animals to things repeatedly so that they become so familiar and unstimulating, is what psychologists refer to as ‘Exposure Therapy’. This form of therapy is widely considered the most effective treatment for anxiety disorders and specific phobias. Essentially, the theory is based on facing your fears directly, not only by challenging the thoughts but by carrying out the feared action or immersing yourself in the feared situation to gradually decrease your sensitivity to the fear; in the end make it ‘boring’.

There are several variations of exposure therapy and your psychologist can help you determine which strategy is best suited to you. Exposure therapy can be a stress provoking experience and is best practiced under the guidance of a psychologist who will create a safe environment for you when undergoing this treatment. A gradual approach is often recommended with each confrontation or experience revealing new realities, building confidence and gaining power over those irrational thoughts and fears.

However difficult confronting those fears may be, the long-term benefits, far outweigh the short-term discomfort, setting you free to live life to its fullest. If you are a prisoner to your fears, take action today by seeing a psychologist. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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Caring for the Carer

Posted on July 9, 2019 in Uncategorized - 0

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a massive responsibility and although it can be rewarding it can also take a major toll on the mental and physical health of the carer. Statistics show that 1 in 10 people over 65 years have dementia, ranking the disease as the third leading cause of national disability burden.

Carers are often strapped aboard a rollercoaster of emotions experiencing an array of feelings from love and tenderness to guilt, despair, anger and intense worry. The weight of responsibility gets heavier for the carer as the patients loses their independence and the journey often bring great sadness to those who bear witness. During this journey it is of utmost importance that carers ensure they are prioritising their own physical, mental and emotional health.

Dementia is terribly sad for friends and relatives to witness, as the degenerative state of the disease closes all windows of hope. As humans we naturally seek out positives as we grapple at snippets of the sufferer’s former self. When it comes to degenerative disease, seeing the positive rather than weighing in on the negatives, is crucial to emotional health. Children are often wondrous in these situations, taking a fresh and unique perspective. Rather than shy them away from the person it can be helpful to encourage their visits and allow them to understand what is transpiring.

Communication is the key when it comes to expressing feelings in all situations but particularly when it comes to caring for someone with dementia. Denying feelings, even if they are ones of anger, guilt or exasperation, will not be helpful in the long run. Confiding in a friend or a professional about how you are feeling, will not end in judgement. This is a great life challenge and practicing self-compassion is vital to your mental health. Cry, talk to a friend or a professional, write a journal; just let the feelings out, they cannot heal when they are trapped inside.

Taking time out from carer duties to enjoy something you love is one way you can be kind to yourself. Exercise and meditation are both effective outlets, helping you to relax and improve mood, sleep and cognitive function.

Learn to find some joy in a time that may not seem like your happiest and remember, the person may not remember who you are, but you can still honour and remember who they are.

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Mindful Self-Compassion Training Workshop

Posted on July 8, 2019 in Uncategorized - 0

Presented by Dr Christopher Germer and Tina Gibson 4-5th September 2019

For someone to develop genuine compassion towards others, first he or she must have a basis upon which to cultivate compassion, and that basis is the ability to connect to one’s own feelings and to care for one’s own welfare…caring for others requires caring for oneself.

– Dalai Lama (2000) –

About the Workshop

This workshop is an introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported training program based on the clinical perspective of Chris Germer and the pioneering research of Kristin Neff.

MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. Mindfulness is the first step—turning with loving awareness toward difficult experience (emotions, sensations, thoughts). Self-compassion comes next—bringing loving awareness to ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warm, connected presence during difficult moments in our lives.

Burgeoning research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, coping with life challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying, compassionate relationships. Self-compassion includes the capacity to comfort, soothe and validate ourselves, but also to protect and provide for ourselves, and to motivate ourselves to achieve our goals.

Learning Objectives

Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned by anyone. After participating in this two-day workshop, you will be able to:

* Practice self-compassion in daily life

* Understand the science of self-compassion

* Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism

* Handle difficult emotions with greater ease

* Manage caregiver fatigue

* Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation

* Teach simple self-compassion exercises to clients

Program activities include talks, meditation, experiential exercises, and group discussion. Participants will directly experience self-compassion and learn practices to evoke self-compassion in daily life. No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend the program.

About the Presenters

Dr. Christopher Germer is a clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. He is a co-developer (with Kristin Neff) of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program which has been taught to over 50,000 people around the world. Dr. Germer is also the author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, co-author of Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program and The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, and co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy. He is a founding faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy as well as the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Germer teaches and leads workshops internationally on mindfulness and compassion, and has a private practice specializing in mindfulness and compassion-based psychotherapy. https://chrisgermer.com/

 

Tina Gibson is an experienced and passionate Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and Mindfulness Teacher, having facilitated programs within the Education System, Cancer Support, Women’s Health and the general community. She has a sound knowledge of health and education stemming from years of experience working with diverse populations in the roles of Kinesiologist, Health Care Worker, Rehabilitation Counsellor, Health Educator and Emergency Paramedic. Tina is currently the only Certified MSC Teacher Trainer and Mentor in Australia, having taught alongside both Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. She currently offers MSC programs and workshops. Tina also provides ongoing support to past MSC particpants and community practice sessions. Tina is a member of the International Advisory Council for MSC and the Mindfulness Teachers’ Network SA. http://www.adelaidemindfulness.com/

 

 

Workshop Dates and Times

Wednesday, 4 September – Thursday, 5 September 2019.

8.30am arrival and registration for a 9am start.

Workshop concludes each day at 4.30pm.

Workshop Costs

Early Bird Rate: $650.00 (before 5 August 2019; this rate will be applied automatically at checkout when making a booking)

Student Rate: $399.00 (contact the event organiser for a student code to enter at checkout when making a booking)

General Admission: $695.00

Fees include GST

Location

Victoria Park Golf Complex
309 Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006

Contact Details

Dr Stan Steindl: stan@psychologyconsultants.com.au 

Cancellations

$50 cancellation fee up to 14 days before the workshop, $100 cancellation fee for within

Book Tickets Here

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