Mental Health Problems
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 likely to face at some time or another.
For psychologists the question of whether or not feelings of anxiety, depression and stress are normal experiences or signs of something wrong has been a major issue of debate for at least the last 40 years.
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) are 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 mental 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 than a normal human response is highly contested.
Furthermore, mental health problems modelled in this way take NO account of the context in which a person experiences their lives. This is due to the objective nature of the approach (as opposed to the subjective nature of mental health issues).
The psychosocial 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.
Psychotherapy for Mental Health Problems
Because mental health problems have been modelled as both biological and psychosocial 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, psychotherapy and psychological 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.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Mental Health Problems
If you’re committed to overcoming your mental health problems then we highly recommend following our Tranceformental CBT 10 session programme.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic psychotherapy 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.
The programme is also available as an online self-help CBT programme.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an empirically supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Self-Help CBT Course for only £149!
Our online self-help CBT course has been designed to teach you the fundamental tools and techniques of clinically proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy without having to see a therapist.
Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, this course will provide you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience your mental health problems from the comfort of your own home.
Click Self-Help CBT to find out more.
Alternative Therapies for Mental Health Problems
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.
Free Initial Consultations for Mental Health Problems
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss your mental health problems prior to commencing any treatment plans.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various therapy options 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 therapy service.
At Tranceform Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss any therapy treatments BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.