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Why is Saying no so Hard?

Why is Saying no so Hard?

Do you know how to say “no”? It’s such a small word but often one of the most difficult to say. Those of us who feel uncomfortable saying no are actually doing ourselves are disservice and often struggle with healthy boundaries. So what are boundaries? Boundaries are a way in which we keep ourselves mentally healthy and safe. We can see and feel physical boundaries. Have you ever had the experience of speaking to someone and feeling he or she was just too close? You move away and he or she still moves in on your space. We can see and feel these boundaries but...
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Why Christmas Makes Me Really Anxious

Why Christmas Makes Me Really Anxious

Bing Crosby delicately sings that he’s dreaming of a Christmas that he used to know and for so many years, this longing for a reenactment of the past has kept me down. I’ve set myself up for a fall, over and over again. Christmas seemed like angels and gingerbread men dancing in my heart when I was a child. This is probably the most obvious statement I could make, of course Christmas was better when I was a joyful tot who hung on to Santa’s every word. My problem is that I haven’t been able to leave this in the past. Every year I gear myself up for the ‘perfect’...
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Should We Embrace Excess at Christmas?

Should We Embrace Excess at Christmas?

There are only 12 shopping days before Christmas, but I wonder if it’s time we all called time on the mad rush of thoughtless consumerism that seems to have overtaken the season. Confronted with heaps of packaged gifts, and adverts encouraging us to ‘buy , buy , buy’, the expressions that come to my mind as Christmas approaches are not ‘good cheer’ and 'merriness’ but   ‘enough’ and, ‘too much’. Before the Christmas turkey has even hit the table I’ve lost my appetite, overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of stuff. Yet these feelings aren’t straightforward....
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5 reasons anti-depressants are not the answer to women’s problems

5 reasons anti-depressants are not the answer to women’s problems

One in 10 women in England take anti-depressants, according to a report released this week by the Health Survey for England. This shockingly high figure - nearly twice the level for men, and higher than figures for Europe overall – should make us pause for thought. Does this mean that 10 percent of women in England are suffering from severe depression? Because that is what NICE recommends anti-depressants for. Whereas, for mild to moderate depression, the advice is not pills, but talking therapy, which is not nearly so easy to get hold of as an easy-to-write...
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Can I Adopt? 9 Common Misconceptions about Adoption

Can I Adopt? 9 Common Misconceptions about Adoption

Jadwiga Ball, CEO of Clifton Children’s Society (CCS) Adoption explains the impact of the new Government changes which are being brought in to make the adoption process easier, and dispels some of the myths around adoption. The Government Action Plan In response to the length of time that children were waiting in the care system for a new home, the government set up an expert working group in December 2011, comprising key partners from across the adoption sector to help redesign and speed up the process from initial enquiry through to assessment, with a view to...
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Man up for Psychotherapy

Man up for Psychotherapy

When it comes to the talking therapies, it is definitely not a man’s world. Not only are women far more likely to opt for a talking therapy when feeling distressed, but as Andrew Samuels pointed out in a previous post, more than 80% of BACP members are female. In this simple context it’s no wonder some men may wonder if therapy was really for them. Wouldn’t it be better to just “man up”, like their fathers did? “Getting on with it” is certainly a British trait, one which many trace back to distant fathers returning from war unable to speak about their...
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Sex: Have You Ever Regretted The Night Before?

Sex: Have You Ever Regretted The Night Before?

Is there a topic more emotive, fraught and confused than sex and consent, versus sex and coercion? Impaled on the shameful histories of silencing women and violence against women, many solutions are value driven but goal blind.  How far will the recent call for explicit consent go in protecting women from being victims of rape and men from being perpetrators of rape? One in seven students who responded said that they had experienced serious physical or sexual assault at University. In an NUS survey conducted four years ago, one in seven students who...
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Politics, Psychotherapy and Boarding School

Politics, Psychotherapy and Boarding School

“You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps,” read the sign in the ‘greasy-spoon’ café behind whose steamed up windows I had sheltered from the dissolving heavens. Yes, I must be bonkers, I thought. While normal psychotherapists open their doors to all-comers I had somehow ended up specialising in gender – where you always end up treading on someone’s hallowed post-modernist turf – in couple relationships – where the difficult road to intimacy challenges not only the clients – and ex-boarders! For a quarter of a century I have been pioneering a...
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Movember Moves Men's Health into Spotlight

Movember Moves Men's Health into Spotlight

For the past few years November has lost its harried run-up to Christmas feel and become a must-do month. Why? Movember, of course, when any self-respecting man forgoes a razor to grow a moustache (and only a moustache, no other beardy bits allowed). The money raised (by getting friends, colleagues and family to sponsor him) goes to men’s health - but more all these moustachioed men tell others what they’re doing, and - man to man - they talk about things that men rarely talk about. This week, at the Good Day at Work Conference which focused on wellbeing in...
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iAi Debate: Madness Incorporated

iAi Debate: Madness Incorporated

In our post today, Welldoing brings you a video from the Institute of Arts and Ideas. In this video, President Elect of the World Psychiatric Association Dinesh Bhugra debates the nature of mental illness with psychiatrist David Healy and clinical psychologist Richard Bentall. While we commonly think that psychiatric diagnoses like depression and bipolar disorder are real, many now argue that they have little basis in reality. Should we abandon psychiatry and its classifications? Would this usher in a new era of effective health care or cause widespread...
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