Wellbeing

Diagnosed by Dr. Google

I thought I’d share with you a case study from my work with clients to raise awareness that sometimes in our need to understand what’s happening with us we rush into drawing conclusions and put labels on our thinking and behaviour that can be very detrimental to our wellbeing.                            xxx She wanted to see me as soon as possible. When I hear that request I am tempted to imagine an emergency situation and prepare for it. I see a young, beautiful woman, slightly shy (or perhaps embarrassed to reach out for help). She is articulate and has a very warm and engaging voice. I’m thinking that she would make a great radio host if she would speak with a bit more confidence. She has nothing to do with media though. She is an entrepreneur in the fashion …

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Mental Wellbeing between Mental Health and Mental Illness

I am being asked often why I don’t talk about mental health and mental illness that much and I use the concept of mental wellbeing instead. It’s a good question considering that at the beginning of my career I was a very passionate mental health practitioner. So what changed, what shifted in my mindset and implicitly in my work? Let me tell you as little story that might challenge your perception of mental health and mental illness altogether.  I started as a clinical psychologist and, naturally, I followed the medical model, looking at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as my bible. I used to spend my consultations writing long, detailed life histories for my patients and doing standardized test to measure their cognitive processes, mood, and emotional functioning, but I soon realized  that I was more interested in talking to people and easing their distress than doing tests …

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Making mental wellbeing a priority in life

I’m reflecting every day on my work and I am thinking why do people stay in unhappy and unpleasant circumstances when they could change their lives easily and improve their wellbeing massively. The reality is: we all have a genuine desire to be well in life, only that putting it into practice can be a bit of a struggle. Imagine you have a dilemma… Or a little upset.  You are “too busy” to deal with this problem or you think it’s nothing and will go away.  It remains unresolved. Another issue added to the heavy weight of negative experiences you carry within your heart. In time, they overwhelm you and one day you collapse.  That can be a tough moment. I lived it in my own personal life and I’ve seen it many times in my client’s lives too.  How do you pick up your pieces? How do you create time and space to finally …

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Wellbeing tips for the weekend

Everybody loves weekends, don’t we? Yet, some of us can’t fully enjoy this precious time for various reasons.  A conflict with a partner, family member or a dear friend… A difficult work situation, money worries, so many things missing that we cannot see what we actually have, bad weather or, sadly, illness, distress, exhaustion, discomfort and tiredness of it all. Does it sound familiar? These are our common struggles in life, but there are ways of dealing with them when we really wish to. All we need is to learn other ways of being. To reprogram the way we function. I know it is not easy. Change is hard, but it is very possible and you can do it, too. I’m going to share with you a few ideas that can trick your worrying mind. Here are 3 tips to clear up the path for a peaceful, relaxing and enjoyable …

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10 steps towards healing

We get hurt in life constantly and we repair our being as we go along. Healing comes in many shapes and forms and through a large variety of channels.  Healing is in fact right there, within us, in front of us, around us… all we need is to allow our senses to connect with it. 1. Art Art is a free and very powerful avenue for healing. Immersion in arts connects us with our senses in ways that no other activity can replicate, and art is in everything. Music, dance and other forms of performing art expression like movies, theater, opera, ballet are all amazing instruments of education but, also avenues for inner healing. Listening to music that resonates within us allows our hearing to open its doors to the beautiful message of the melody and lyrics which helps us make sense of our experiences, reach understanding, forgiveness and move …

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Here is the medical model seduction

Mental health is a trendy topic in our conversations nowadays. Numerous charities as well as governmental and world organisations are campaigning to “reduce stigma” around mental illness, making a clear distinction between mental health and mental illness and implying that only some of us are affected. To differentiate between mental health and mental illness our world is still using the medical model which involves an assessment, diagnosis and a treatment plan, based obviously on labels and categorisations. We know there are many flaws in the mental health assessment and diagnostic system, yet we continue to follow it. We know that no label can possibly describe the large variety of human experience, also that it is very difficult for the medical professionals to capture the unique and subjective nuances of our inner worlds. Looking at how the medical system is organised today and the time allocated for an appointment, we understand …

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Now we can talk about Mental Wellbeing

Most people in our western world will get a lot of education as they go through life. Mandatory school years, college and university and in recent times masters and PhDs, also a lot of work related training. Yet, none of these studies will teach us about human mental wellbeing. What does it really mean to be mentally well? Generation after generation we live our lives in the same darkness, following the crowds, sometimes surrounded by neglect, abuse, unrealistic demands, uncertainty, loneliness, inadequacy, fear, isolation, and so on. Our modern society has made unimagined progress in a variety of areas, but we have not still reached an agreement around what mental wellbeing is about. Wellbeing = realise human potential? There is no definition for mental wellbeing yet, and the closer we can refer to is the World Health Organization definition of mental health. This changed in recent years from “the absence of mental …

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