Psychological Services

Psychological Services and Treatment Areas

Psychological Therapy I Assessment I Psychoeducation /Training I Organisations – Mental Health Support At Work I Anxiety Disorders I Addictions I Behaviour Change I Bereavement I Depression I Eating Disorders I Life Change Counselling I Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I Pain I Phobia I Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I Psychological Aspects of Physical Problems I Self confidence I Sleep I Smoking I Stress I Trauma I Weight management I Work rehabilitation

This is not an exhaustive list so if you do not see the issue you wish to discuss a member of our team will be happy to discuss your particular situation with you to see what we do to can help.

Psychological Therapy

Therapeutic input can be helpful but not just to address psychological problems.

We can also help you to face new life challenges if you wish to talk them over, to coach you in reaching personal goals if you are for example thinking of a career change, or help make behavioural changes which can aid health and wellbeing such as smoking cessation and weight management.
The following are a list of some of the issues we cover within our services. This is not an exhaustive list and if you do not see the issue you wish to discuss a member of our team will be happy to discuss your particular situation with you to see if we can help.

Assessment

Assessment is an integral part of psychological therapy and helps the client and therapist together to come to a joint understanding of needs and aims.
If required we can provide a report to the referrer after initial assessment and again at the end of therapy.
Assessment can also be provided as an occupational health psychology service as part of a getting back to work after a term of unemployment or as a work rehabilitation programme.
One off assessments are also available for example in the case of an industrial or legal dispute.

Psychoeducation /Training

Our team live in a wide variety of locations. Psychoeducational training may be available in person in your area. Please enquire if you have a specific request.

Organisations – Mental Health Support At Work

Development of mental health strategies within the workplace can be one of the most important decisions an organisation makes. A healthy and committed workforce is a key component of longterm success. At its most basic level an employer must meet the minimum requirements for access to support for its workforce. This may be difficult to supply in house for reasons of confidentiality or the expense of providing dedicated specialists within your company to meet these needs. Cairn OPS can be contracted externally to provide this expert support to help keep your workforce healthy.
As the OECD Mental Health and Work: United Kingdom (2014) report stated
⁃ Early intervention with psychological therapies is recommended whenever a mental illness is identified
⁃ Rapid treatment will reduce the major impact that mental health is having on people’s ability to work
⁃ Mental health issues are at present costing the UK around £70 Bn per year, 4.5% of GDP in lost productivity, sickness payments, staff turnover, and hospital costs
As 1 in 4 people over any one year will have a psychological problem this is an issue which may be taking its toll on your business.
Supervision
Multi-disciplinary supervision and supervision of external therapists may be available by special arrangement.

Anxiety comes in many different forms and is the most common form of psychological disorder. You may experience feelings of panic, tingling, shortness of breath, facial flushing and the feeling that you want to run away from the situation. There are many different names for anxiety such as panic attacks, phobia, and social anxiety. If you find that any form of anxiety is starting to control your life and to reduce the things you do then it has crossed from a normal experience of anxiety which we all feel from time to time into the area where psychological help is needed.

Addictions

An addiction occurs when a person cannot, any longer, control their use of a certain substance such as chocolate, tobacco, alcohol or drugs. It can also refer to a behaviour over which they feel a lack of control such as gambling, internet use, sex or shopping. These addictions tend to lead to feelings of guilt, shame, low mood, anxiety, rejection but the person continues as the substance or behaviour has become something they depend on to cope with their daily life. Addictions tend to offer the solution to some problem in the life of the person involved and identifying this problem area is a key element of this treatment.

Behaviour Change

At certain points in our lives we can find that we wish to implement a behaviour change to improve our well-being in some way. This is often brought on through an educational experience, through a perceived change in our status in age or health, by a change in awareness of some threat to personal well-being through a personal or family experience. Major life changes such as separation or job change can be times when we set ourselves new goals or following a relaxed holiday when we had time to think about life and how we might like to do things a little differently. Whatever the reason that brings you to this point it is useful to have some support and guidance to help you implement the changes you are planning. It is well proven that support during times of change can make all the difference to the outcome.

Bereavement

Bereavement can occur through the death of a loved one but can also occur through other losses such as the loss of your health or the health of your partner. Endings can also cause feelings of grief such as separation or divorce, retirement resulting in the loss of your work role. Grief is a normal, healthy response to loss but it can also be helpful to talk things through. Sometimes family and friends can only listen to a limited amount of what you want to say and a therapist can provide adequate space to work through the experience. Everyone’s reaction to grief is different and there are no set time periods for the experience. In some situations the grief reaction can become stuck and the person feels unable to move forward. Traumatic circumstances surrounding a death can also result in reactions which feel overwhelming. These can also develop into a PTSD reaction. In any situations where things feel stuck it can be helpful to have some psychological input.
Coping with Physical Diagnoses
Loss of your health can result in a shock or bereavement reaction. There is often a period of adjustment as the implications of a diagnosis are digested and any necessary life changes occur. There may also be issues of compliance with medication and treatment regimens and the impact on other aspects of life such as work, social and home life. Psychological support can be extremely useful as you and your family make these adjustments. Maintaining psychological health during treatment can also have a positive effect on your mood, how your body copes and how it recovers.

Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health problems. Many of us will experience feeling low at times but when depression strikes it is more than feeling a bit fed up. It can lead to feelings of isolation, lack of control, an inability to function in day to day life and in extreme cases to suicidal feelings and behaviour.
The common signs of depression are difficulty concentrating and making decisions, anxiety, fatigue and decreased energy, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness, feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism, insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping, irritability, restlessness, loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex, overeating or appetite loss, persistent aches or pains, back pain, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment, persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings, thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms it important to seek help as soon as you can. Depression can be treated with psychological therapies but without help the feelings can start to be overwhelming.
If you are feeling actively suicidal seek help immediately. We are not an emergency service so please go to your local GP, Emergency Hospital Service or phone the Samartitans Tel: 116 123.

Eating Disorders

It is often thought that eating disorders only affect women but the incidence of male eating disorders has considerably increased over recent years. An eating disorder is a serious and complex emotional and physical addiction which can lead to mood swings, depression, physical problems, and in extreme cases potential death. There are a range of conditions that involve an obsession with food, weight and appearance to the extent that a person’s heath, relationships and daily activities are all affected. Whether a person restricts food intake, binge eats, binges and purges, abuses laxatives, compulsively overeats, or excessively exercises these behaviours often are symptoms and not the problem. They often develop as a survival mechanism to help cope with emotional pain, feelings of worthlessness, identity issues, family communication problems, conflicts related to separation, low self-esteem, depression, stress or trauma. Psychological therapies can help provide alternative coping strategies but it may be necessary in certain cases that the person attend a hospital based treatment facility.

Life Change Counselling

At certain points in our lives we can find that we wish to implement changes to improve our well-being in some way. This may be a crossroads where we feel we wish to try another life path or it may occur after an educational experience, through a perceived change in our status in age or health by a change in awareness of some threat to personal well-being through a personal or family experience. Major life changes such as separation or job change can be times when we set ourselves new goals or following a relaxed holiday when we had time to think about life and how we might like to do things a little differently. Whatever the reason that brings you to this point it is useful to have some support and guidance to help you implement the changes you are planning. It is well proven that support during times of change can make all the difference to the outcome.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) feel the need to check things repeatedly, or have certain thoughts or perform routines and rituals over and over. The thoughts and rituals associated with OCD cause distress and get in the way of daily life. The frequent upsetting thoughts are called obsessions. To try to control them, a person will feel an overwhelming urge to repeat certain rituals or behaviors called compulsions. People with OCD can’t control these obsessions and compulsions. Most of the time the rituals end up controlling them. The rituals do not as hoped reduce the feelings of anxiety for more than a short time and can in fact increase feelings of distress. The most successful psychological therapies address both the obsessions and the compulsions and can result in a marked improvement for the person concerned and can help them regain a more normal life.

Pain

There is a well recognised link between depression and some physical problems such as back pain, continual headaches, stomach aches and other forms of chronic pain. It is of course always important to rule out any physical cause but within this it should be recognised that a cycle can develop of seeking the physical cure to what has developed in to a psychological issue. This reclassification can cause distress to the person experiencing the pain as they can interpret “psychological ” to mean imaginary when it is anything but imaginary. If you feel the pain then the pain is real. Pain is experienced in the brain and messages travel up to the brain from the original area of damage and back down from the brain. They pass through a pain gate which before the damage and psychological reaction used to open and close but is now jammed on open. Experience of depression contributes pain gates staying open. Psychological treatment of the low mood and feelings of helplessness which often accompany pain can greatly improve the person’s quality of life.

Phobia

Anxiety comes in many different forms of which one is phobia. A phobia is when a person has an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that in reality is not a danger to them.
In contrast a significant fear of something which does cause potential of danger is entirely reasonable as a warning which aids in our protection. A phobia will result in overwhelming feelings of anxiety and the desire to avoid the phobic situation or object. Unlike the brief anxiety most people feel when they give a speech or sit an exam, a phobia is longer lasting, causes intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally. There are many types of phobia such as fear of going out of the house, large open spaces, heights or phobias of specific things such as wasps. Other types include inability to function in certain social situations.
If you feel that an overwhelming fear is having a detrimental effect on your daily life or is stopping you achieving a goal psychological therapy can help you overcome it.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop following exposure to a traumatic event that poses a threat to the person’s safety or the safety of others present at the time. The event is often unpredictable, uncontrollable or overwhelming and makes them feel helpless. PTSD can affect those who personally experience the catastrophe, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including those in the emergency services and hospital staff. It can also occur among the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma. Symptoms include feeling on edge and anxious,, hyper-vigilant to any danger, difficulty relaxing, difficulty sleeping, avoidance, low mood, irritation which can affect your relationships with others, difficulty concentrating, increased use of alcohol or other substances, flashbacks or vivid dreams and a feeling of increased vulnerability. Both CBT and EMDR ( Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) are recommended for treatment and can provide a good recovery.

Psychological Aspects of Physical Problems

There is a well recognised link between depression and some physical problems such as back pain, continual headaches, stomach aches and other forms of chronic pain. It is of course always important to rule out any physical cause but also to recognise that chronic pain can develop into a negative cycle of seeking only the physical cure to what has developed beyond that in to a problem with a psychological element. This reclassification can cause distress to the person experiencing the pain as they can interpret “psychological ” to mean imaginary when it is anything but imaginary. If you feel the pain then the pain is real. Pain is experienced in the brain and messages travel up to the brain from the original area of damage and back down from the brain. They pass through a pain gate which used to open and close but is now jammed on open. Experience of depression contributes pain gates staying open.

Loss of your health can result in a shock or bereavement reaction. There is often a period of adjustment as the implications of a diagnosis are digested and any necessary life changes occur. There may also be issues of compliance with medication and treatment regimens and the impact on other aspects of life such as work, social and home life. Psychological support can be extremely useful be as you and your family make these adjustments. Maintaining psychological health during treatment can also have a positive effect on your mood, how your body copes and how it recovers.

Self confidence

Self-confidence is a quality which we all desire and admire in others. It can sometimes be tricky to acquire if we feel we are not doing as well as we would like to in a certain situation and this can lead to avoidance where we reduce our chances to improve our feelings of positive coping. Positive coping or a feeling of self -efficacy develops when we see ourselves mastering skills and achieving goals that matter to us. It is also helpful to watch people you perceive to be similar to you masters skills, as this improves your self- belief that you too can manage. These experiences build a feeling of confidence that the effort you invest is worthwhile and that you can cope with the next challenge which life presents.
The other aspect of self –confidence is self-esteem which is more about feeling comfortable in our own skin, feeling we have the right to be loved and appreciated for who we are and that we are managing adequately with our lives on a day to day basis. This comes partly from a feeling of validation and acceptance from those around us but also the feeling that we have the right to have both give and receive, to have needs and to have those needs met as long as they are not damaging to others and that we play an integral part in our community of friends and family.
Lack of self-confidence can have a major impact on day to day life, friendships and work. Psychological therapies can help provide ways to improve your coping in this area and significantly increase your quality of life.

Sleep

Insomnia is the most common of sleep problems. Many of us will have experienced difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep from time to time due to some life circumstance, through travelling or jetlag. This will usually pass on its own. Insomnia becomes more serious and is considered to have become chronic, if it happens at least three nights per week for three months or longer. At this point it has become an unhelpful behaviour pattern and may require treatment. Your brain works on a sleep cycle and a waking cycle and you may not be creating a routine which sets your body up for the sleep cycle to kick in. Your mental health has a significant effect on how you sleep so it may be that there is a mood disorder which is affecting your sleep. The symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, periods of sleep where you wake up still feeling unrested, low energy, difficulty concentrating during the day, changes in your mood, feelings of irritability which may affect your relationships with those around you. Working with a therapist to look at your mood, stress levels and sleep habits can have a significant positive effect on your sleep.

Smoking

At certain points in our lives we can find that we wish to implement changes to improve our well-being in some way. The desire to stop smoking is one of the most common aims. There are few people who smoke who truly wish to continue smoking but breaking the habit on your own can prove difficult.
The reason for looking at this issue at the current time will vary from person to person. The readiness to change will also vary depending on motivation and the perception that it is indeed possible to stop.
With therapist support and guidance which taps in to your motivation and uses techniques of mindfulness to increase awareness of behaviour it is definitely possible for you to stop. You will significantly improve your chances of success by having support to help you make these changes.

Substance misuse

An addiction occurs when a person finds it difficult or impossible to control their use of a certain substance or behaviour. What is used varies greatly from tobacco, alcohol or drugs to gambling, sex addiction or shopping. This tends to lead to feelings of guilt, shame, low mood, anxiety and isolation. As the addiction has become a vital survival strategy for daily life it is given priority over all else and a negative downward cycle can occur. Finding a way out of the negative cycle without help can prove challenging.
Addictions tend to offer some solution to the person involved and identifying the problem they are attempting to solve is a key element of any treatment. There are many underlying factors including lifestyle factors, stress and untreated mental health problems which can contribute to this developing as a coping strategy. The focus is not therefore on the substance misuse as an isolated issue but on treating the whole person. Motivation is also a key element of successful treatment and psychological interventions maintain an awareness of the person’s feeling of readiness to change.

Stress

Stress occurs when we feel that our available resources are not sufficient to cope with what is being asked of us. Although being challenged in an environment where we feel we have a good degree of control can be stimulating and lead to feelings of achievement, being put under pressure in an environment where we feel as if we have little control can lead to stress which is damaging to our health.
Pressure and challenge can be positive but stress is never helpful. If it is a work based situation or situation as a carer for example, where we feel obligation to continue, we can feel both unable to cope and unable to do anything about it or remove ourselves from the situation. When our bodies perceives a threatening situation the automatic defenses kick in and it gets ready for “fight-or-flight-or-freeze”. This is a survival instinct which would have been very helpful in the stone-age when faced with a dinosaur but in the modern day environment can be less so. We can end up working hard to suppress this automatic urge which in itself becomes an exhausting process.
If the stress continues it starts causing major damage to our health. Physical and psychological problems may develop as a result, mood may drop, and feelings of anxiety may emerge as we continually scan the environment looking for threat. Ability to function, productivity, relationships, and quality of life are also likely to be affected.
Psychological therapies can help individuals review their situation and to build personal coping strategies.
At an organisational level psychological input can help with clinical services, training and policy development to provide a psychologically responsible work environment. Provision of rapid access to therapy for staff suffering from stress in combination with a positive environment will facilitate staff well-being, increasing staff commitment, productivity while reducing sick leave and the associated staff turnover and retraining costs

Trauma

One type of trauma reaction is Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This can develop following exposure to a traumatic event that poses a threat to the person’s safety or the safety of others present at the time. The event is often unpredictable, uncontrollable or overwhelming and makes them feel helpless. PTSD can affect those who personally experience the catastrophe, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including those in the emergency services and hospital staff. It also occurs in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma. Symptoms include feeling on edge and anxious,, hyper-vigilant to any danger, difficulty relaxing, difficulty sleeping, avoidance, low mood, irritation which can affect your relationships with others, difficulty concentrating, increased use of alcohol or other substances, flashbacks or vivid dreams and a feeling of increased vulberability. Both EMDR ( Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) and CBT are recommended for treatment and can provide a full recovery.
Trauma can also result from more chronic exposure such as childhood neglect or abuse. In these situations the person can develop various entrenched psychological issues which may result is long term contact with mental health services over the years or alternatively an overwhelming lifelong feeling that something is wrong with them. There is good research evidence to support the use of Schema Therapy in these instances. This is a longer–term therapy (see details in the therapy section) which has been found to help a significant number of people with these issues which otherwise often result in lifelong problems.

Weight management

At certain points in our lives we can find that we wish to implement changes to improve our well-being in some way. One of the most common changes is the desire to lose weight and achieve a healthier fitter body. Sometimes the target is achieved but often the results are temporary and lead to feelings of frustration. Major life changes such as separation or job change can be times when we set ourselves new goals or following a relaxed holiday when we had time to think about life and how we might like to do things a little differently. Whatever the reason that brings you to this point it is useful to have some support and guidance to help you implement the changes you are planning. It is well proven that support during times of change can make all the difference to the outcome and our therapists can help work with your motivation and keep you heading towards your goals.

Work rehabilitation

Working together with a therapist to plan a return to work which matches your current aims and capacities is extremely helpful following any length of time away. Whether the time off is due to illness, accident or caring duties there can be effects on your mental health. Regardless of cause, time away from the work environment can remove a chance for positive rewards, role recognition and feeling of purpose and this can result in feelings of low mood, lack of self-efficacy and reduced self-confidence making it more challenging to attempt a return to work without support. Research findings show clear benefits of work either paid or voluntary in maintaining good mental health. A successful return is most likely to occur with the proper planning and input and this help can be offered as part of our psychological therapies service.