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CBT & Mindfulness for Depression & Anxiety

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The power of non-medical management of disease is gaining popularity; no less than in Mental Health where psychotherapy, mainly in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), has been used for many years. A more recent concept utilized in treating stress and depression has been adapting the practice of meditation to assist recovery in psychological suffering; a practice called mindfulness.

At least 30% of GP patient encounters have some form of psychological element to them; be it low mood, stress, insomnia or some cases of pain. I am always keen to uncover these issues and listen but am also very eager to provide a fix for peoples’ mental stress, which is not so simple.

People who are stressed or depressed quite often, and through no fault of their own, get stuck in a pattern of negative bias in their thoughts and persistently interpret events in this way to maintain themselves in a state of psychological struggle. Consequently people find themselves in an emotional haze, clouding their perspective and judgment and often missing out on opportunities. The answer to a lot of psychological stress does not always lie in prescription medications but careful guidance by a trained professional to nurture a person’s inner strength to deal with being overwhelmed by painful thoughts.

CBT is utilized by many Psychologists to assist people to unhook themselves from painful, negative and unhelpful thoughts, giving them perspective, acceptance of stress, and freedom to chose alternative coping strategies. Mindfulness skills can be learnt to prevent us from getting caught in the emotional haze by allowing our minds to be more aware of and engaged in the here and now. Mindfulness exercises are available on the internet and require training and discipline, but if practiced regularly can provide a person with a skill to persistently relax in potential adversity. These skills give people at least an alternative way to cope with their distress, yet does not aim to generalize nor trivialize the traumatic causes or experiences of a person’s suffering.

People can access these therapies under Medicare by visiting their GP who may perform a Mental Health Care Plan to gain funded visits to a Psychologist.

To read more, visit the Black Dog website here.

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