Mental Health Problems
Mental health problems – what actually are they and what can I do about them?
Mental health problems refers to those problems that are associated with the way that we feel, think and behave that are negative for us in any way.
As psychologists we recognise that NO one person experiences mental health problems in the same way as another and so, from this perspective, all mental health problems are subjective.
What this means is that each person interprets or makes sense of their own experiences and so what for one person may be a source of anxiety, for another, may be a source of inspiration!
Is there something wrong with me?
Life in contemporary times is full of challenges and difficulties which almost everybody is going to face at some point or another.
This long running debate about the causes of mental health problems has led to the splitting of scientific understanding into two distinct streams of thought, what we now refer to today as the medical and psychological models of mental health.
The medical model of mental health problems
Medical models of mental health problems hypothesise that the cause of problems such as anxiety and depression (for example) is due to some sort of faulty biology inside the brain, the most common concept being that of ‘chemical imbalances’.
Note how we describe this as a hypothesis rather than as a fact as there has never been any definitive research to show that chemical imbalances are the cause of menal health problems, only that they are present inside the brains of people who are suffering mental distress!
It is true, of course, that in many other areas, such as viral interactions within the body, or the fixing of broken limbs or even heart surgery, that the medical models of human biology make total sense and have been tremendously effective, but the modelling of depression (prolonged sadness) as a ‘disease’ rather then a normal human response is highly contested.
The psychological model of mental health problems
People live their lives within a ‘context’ or set of unique circumstances and so to suggest that depression has exactly the same cause (faulty biology), regardless of that person’s life circumstances, seems rather ridiculous.
The difference, for example, between the symptoms (the experience) of grief and the symptoms of depression is nil. On paper, they have exactly the same symptoms, but would you say that somebody experiencing the feelings of grief at losing a parent is ‘mentally ill’ or has a ‘disease’ of the brain?
Thought about like this it seems absurd to think about normal human responses as being an illness.
In psychological terms, we argue that mental health problems are normal responses that people may find difficult to manage due to a range of other factors within their lives, including:
- Cultural & racial influences
- Social influences
- Economic influences
- Life experiences to date
and any number of other unique, highly personal characteristics.
Overcoming mental health problems
Because mental health problems have been modelled as both biological and psychological phenomena, two principal methods for overcoming them have also emerged.
On the one hand a medical practitioner such as a GP or psychiatrist is likely to argue that you need medicine to ‘correct’ the chemical imbalances you have due to your mental disease. For most people this will be anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication.
On the other hand, mental health or psychological counselling and talking therapies are used by psychologists to address thoughts and feelings in new and more useful ways that can lead to the diminishing of mental distress.
Talking therapies, by the way, have been clinically proven to be more effective for mental health problems than medication, although for some people in extreme distress, medication undoubtedly has some value.
Here at Tranceform Psychology we subscribe to the psychological model of mental health and largely reject the bio-medical modelling of mental distress. It is our view that describing normal human emotions as pathological is both inaccurate as well as being an obstacle to overcoming those difficulties.
Transform Your Thinking & Overcome Mental Health Problems
If you’re committed to overcoming your XXX problems then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul. Tranceformental CBT is available as Online Therapy if required.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic mental health counselling course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Alternative Therapy Options for Mental Health Problems
Although our preferred approach to mental health problems is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
- Psychodynamic therapy which focuses more on emotional problems and relies on the Therapeutic Relationship to bring about change. Available with Paul.
- General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
- Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.
Free Initial Consultations for Mental Health Problems
We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your mental health problems prior to commencing any kind of counselling.
The consultation is free and last around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various types of psychological therapy that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available as part of our online counselling service.
At Tranceform Psychology we emphasise the importance of the therapy relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking mental health work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Mental Health Problem Pages
Do You Have a 'Mental Illness'?
Why not try out these mental health quizzes to see if you have the symptoms of Depression or Anxiety.
These two tests are used throughout the mental health profession as indicators of mental illness.
NOTE: These quizzes do NOT diagnose mental illness, only that you have associated symptoms.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a proven, evidence-based form of mental health counselling for developing a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of your problem, but also for learning new coping skills and strategies for sustainable change over your life.
The full course costs £795 which you can pay for on our fees page.
Tranceformental CBT is available On-line as well as a one-to-one format in the clinic.
Visit Online Counselling for more details.
Contact Joan Lee D. Hyp.
I specialise in the following therapies:
I also offer a complete programme which combines mindfulness, mediation and hypnotherapy
Call Joan on: 07434 776504