In Fear of coffee I mentioned the renowned American CBT therapist, Christine Padesky. One of the recurring themes in her work has been to counter the notion that CBT is just about providing helpless patients with techniques for solving their problems, by emphasizing that patients always come to therapy with capabilities and strengths of their very own.

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Fear of coffee

A few days ago someone commented on an old post here. Actually, they’re all old posts now 😦 Anyway, it was a reminder to me that this place still exists, so I thought I might bring things up to date a little.

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Patients and bloggers often complain about their GPs’ lack of understanding of mental health, so I was interested to come across an article recently that suggests some ways in which the work of GPs (primary care) could be better aligned with mental health care.

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I lifted the lid of the photocopier only to find a page already there, as you do. On the page was a graph illustrating the relationship between pressure and ability to cope, and the unusual word rustout. Under pressure to copy something else, I coped by binning it.

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Parents never really understand, do they? They just go about their business. But anything could happen. It’s as if they don’t realize how important they are. And then, later, it’s as if they don’t realize how unimportant they are.
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Arriving late at night, exhausted after a long journey, you find your hotel room smells of vomit and is crawling with cockroaches. In the morning you check out early and complain, but the concierge only shrugs and gives you a customer satisfaction questionnaire. Ticking boxes to questions like, “Was your room number easy to read?” and “Did the bath have a plughole?” you realize you have been forced to give the hotel a 95% satisfaction rating, squeezing your complaints on to the one line allowed for “Other remarks” at the bottom.

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If you’re a therapist, how much of yourself do you invest in a session with a patient who’s hard to reach?

If you’re a patient, how much effort does your therapist make to understand what it’s like to be you?

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In a recent TED talk, an expert in the management of chronic pain in children explains neuropathic pain, a form of chronic pain in which the nervous system itself becomes faulty and creates the experience of intense pain, both the sensation of pain in the brain and the side-effects of injury in the affected (but not actually injured) part of the body.

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Where is Timbuctoo, I wonder, that opulent city of legend, it’s shaded squares alight with the vivid yellow blossom of a thousand Jacaranda trees? In far away China, I suppose. But how shall I convince you? Perhaps I will take you on a journey of discovery.

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There’s a neurological model of colour perception that leads to surprising conclusions about colours, and interesting parallels with emotions.

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