Knowledge Base

Psychosis & Schizophrenia

Psychotic illnesses such as Schizophrenia can involve the sufferer experiencing a range of different symptoms. A person experiencing psychosis may see or hear things that other people cannot (hallucinations). They may have unusual thoughts and believe in things that others find implausible, such as conspiracies, or thoughts that someone is controlling their mind or behaviour. Such delusions may intensely preoccupy the sufferer and take up much of their time, and impact tremendously on their day-to-day life. Psychotic phenomena are almost always unpleasant, and often cause fear and anxiety. People suffering a psychotic illness are also at increased risk of depression due to the distressing nature of the symptoms and the negative impact on their lifestyle.

Psychological treatment for psychotic illnesses can involve numerous approaches. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis can help individuals understand their experiences and behaviour, and learn to cope with distressing symptoms much better. Additionally, treatment can target comorbid experiences of anxiety or depression. Alcohol or drug use often plays a role in maintaining the symptoms of psychosis, and can also be targeted in therapy. Social skills training is another approach that has been shown to be beneficial for some sufferers, which teaches individuals how to make friends and interact with others in more successful and meaningful ways.

For more information on what Psychosis is please click here

Anxiety

Anxiety is the persistent sense of apprehension and feelings of worry, nervousness and uneasiness, particularly when there are uncertainties in aspect(s) of life or doubts about one’s abilities. It can occur in or following stressful situations, and usually consist of anxious feelings (e.g. stressed, worried), thoughts and physical sensations (e.g. rapid heartbeat, numbness or tingling sensations, nausea).  The treatment of anxiety includes Cognitive behaviour therapy, Exposure therapy, Mindfulness-based therapy as well as problem solving, cognitive restructuring and relaxation strategies.

Grief & Loss

Grief and loss are part of the human experience. When we lose a loved one we may feel disconnected from what gives our lives meaning. So grief work is about making sense of our loss through the 3 tasks of mourning: shock; accepting that the inner landscape of our lives have changed; and re-engaging with life.

Trauma

Trauma refers to an emotional wound or shock often having long lasting effect, and is a state in which you are unable to function normally. Symptoms of trauma may include intrusive thoughts or memories related to the event, poor concentration, numbness, irritability, distress and problems with sleep. In trauma therapy we manage disruptive emotions by learning new coping strategies, and recondition memories by juxtaposing old negatives with new positives.

Child Trauma

Child trauma occurs when significant harm is inflicted on children, by means of intentional violence or natural causes, resulting in detrimental effects on their physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing. This involves emotionally abusive behaviours, physical abuse, neglect, natural disaster, accidents, war, traumatic stress from medical procedures, or the sudden loss of a significant caregiver. The effects of child trauma is often minimised, as most children who are affected have significant difficulties in expressing themselves, despite experiencing both behavioural and physiological symptoms associated with trauma. They may suffer from nightmares, new fears, anticipation of danger or self-blame as a result of the traumatic events. Treatment varies according to the ages of the children or for adults that wishes to deal with the effects of their child trauma

Next issue

June 2017