How is your therapist doing?

Many clients (and people in general) become curious about the therapists they are talking to especially as the therapeutic relationship builds.  Indeed sometimes a client may bump into their therapist outside the therapy room, out shopping, with their family etc.

All sorts of questions seem to emerge – has my therapist children?  what issues have they experienced themselves?  What brought them to this vocation? How much money are they making from this?

While in many modalities  limited self disclosure does occur within the therapeutic relationship the process is obviously not focused on the therapist.

This article explores the issue from the perspective of a practitioner in private practice in Ireland and highlights issues many therapists will relate to.  Might have some answers for those curious too!

 

Abortion, Choice & Mental Health

With a Yes vote now a reality for Ireland in terms of repealing the 8th amendment it is now important to reconsider how we support women no matter what choice they make when facing a decision around their pregnancy.

There are a multitude of studies which have provided results that look at both sides of the debate but what strikes me as most concrete is that it is a big life decision which carries a mental health risk for some women no matter what the choice.

My experience working with women who have made difficult choices around their pregnancy is that even when it seems clear cut it is often not a simple “yes” or “no” answer especially when explored on a more emotional level.

Talk Therapy Dublin aspires to help any client wishing to process a difficult life decision and views the process of counselling/psychotherapy as a useful resource that can help clients move forward with their lives after experiencing distress. .

Below are three links from the USA & UK that look as the topic of mental health & abortion.

http://time.com/4599806/abortion-doesnt-negatively-affect-womens-mental-health-study/

https://www.nhs.uk/news/pregnancy-and-child/abortion-and-mental-health/

 

 

Acknowledging race in mental health services

The 21st March marked International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The following article from the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland blog outlines how race & ethnicity is an area that poses a variety of challenges not only in terms of the mental health of ethnic minorities generally but also in terms of the provision of supports and differences in how that support is experienced.

Talk Therapy Dublin currently  has  40% of active clients born outside of Ireland and these clients often describe issues & experiences affected & augmented by almost constant minority stress.  

Sexuality & Gender are broadly discussed by the mainstream in Ireland and much has been done in terms of acknowledging minority stress in these areas but when it comes to ethnic minorities and their experience of Ireland in 2018 there is a long way to go. Our attitudes to and the experiences of our own indigenous ethnic minority, the travelling community is an example of this.

 

 

 

Parenting – child development & learning about success & failure

The below article from therapist & author Stella O’Malley explores the topic of achievement in children,  and the interaction of their resilience, mental health & exam pressure.

An interesting point is made on fostering a “growth” as opposed to a “fixed” mindset in young people – based on the work of Sanford professor of psychology Carol Dweck.

Talk Therapy Dublin meets clients presenting in their late teens and 20’s struggling with the results of this experience, often with significant depression, anxiety & substance abuse issues.

We also have regular experience of adult clients struggling to do right by their children but this very struggle being the source of issues. One common example is an over the top extra curricular activity schedule from a young age leaving little time for exploratory play, trial & error and indeed family time.  Another common theme is how “failure” is presented & handled within a family.

  • Is it an opportunity to learn & for support?
  •  Should it be avoided at all costs??
  • If a child shows an interest in music, should they immediately be enrolled in formal lessons multiple times a week?
  • What is like for working parents to have to bring children to multiple extra curricular events every week/weekend.
  • Is there much family time after parents work, school, homework & activities?

https://www.independent.ie/life/irish-psychotherapist-stella-omalley-success-isnt-everything-kids-need-to-learn-from-failure-too-36609373.html

Online Counselling – Who are you talking to??

The below article from the UK describes how the NHS is struggling to cope with the demand for online counselling services.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/online-counselling-therapy-mental-health-mentally-ill-exploited-unaccredited-nhs-a8123131.html

In Ireland online counselling & psychotherapy is also on the rise,  this demand provides an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage particularly using the internet to mislead and confuse vulnerable clients looking for help.

Here at Talk Therapy Dublin we adhere to the IACP ethical guidelines on skype/online counselling.

Anyone thinking of online or phone counselling should research their practitioner and

1: make sure the practitioner is qualified & has training to work with clients  using this technology,

2: That they are a fully qualified/accredited therapist with one of the main accreditation bodies

3: Are familiar with the pertinent ethical guidelines covering this area of counselling & psychotherapy.