How Anxiety Works

How an Anxious mind works – The Short Version All living creatures have an inbuilt survival system. This system is activated by threats coming from our environment – emotional and physical. This system activates our autonomic nervous system, harnessing all available energy and dispersing it to areas of the body where it can be galvanised […]

Disordering Anxiety

I didn’t set out to be critical of Bio-medical approaches to the treatment of anxiety. Like many other people my position shifted based upon my own experience. When I first experienced the anxious state, I had no idea what was happening to me. I had a degree in Psychology, was a trained counsellor, but had […]

Alternative Global Mental Health

Building social and emotional spaces into policy in Global Mental Health – what can we learn from local grassroots organisations? With the growing Global Mental Health movement increasingly wielding a model based on the psychiatric and psychological paradigm that developed in high income bio-medically driven cultures, is it time to question if this diagnostic and […]

Seeking Help

Experiencing anxiety can be such an isolating experience. As well as dealing with the uncomfortable way that we feel on the inside, we also use a lot of energy trying to disguise how we are feeling from those around us. There are lots of reasons for this. We feel afraid that they will think we […]

More Than a Number

In my professional life I’ve used many different types of assessment and evaluation forms over the years, but I’ve always thought of them as impersonal, intrusive and inaccurate in their findings. People who are feeling anxious find them particularly challenging to fill in for obvious reasons (who wants to be ticking boxes about their private […]

Stories

The mind loves a story. Stories, myths and legends play a really important role in our sense-making experience as human beings. Among other things their universality reminds us that those who have gone before us have faced adversity, challenge, and have had to draw upon resources they didn’t know they had in order to overcome, […]

Cause and Effect

In order to make sense of our experiences the brain uses a mechanism of attributing a cause to an effect. It’s a sensible and logical system designed to let us know what is ok and what isn’t. We know from research (as well as the fact that it’s rather obvious) that structural, social and economic […]

Epistemic Injustice, Medically Unexplained Symptoms and Mental Health

For many years I worked with men and women who had been subjected to sexual abuse when they were children. Over time it became more and more obvious that the mishandling of childhood trauma can sometimes just be the beginning of a lifetime of encountering ‘epistemic injustice’ (Fricker, 2007). Epistemic injustice is the description Miranda […]

What’s an Expert by Experience?

Expert by experience is a fairly new term to be adopted by the field of mental health. An expert by experience is someone who brings their knowledge and expertise to a subject, which they have gained from first hand lived experience. In its endeavour to respond to the ‘mental health’ needs of people in Low […]

Flashbacks

I’m a trained Counsellor with a Psychology background, however most of my work has focussed on working with anxiety. In my third sector work I have conducted multiple research projects into the benefits of working alongside counsellors and psycho-therapists to specifically address the high levels of anxiety, panic, trauma symptoms and flashbacks experienced by their […]

Disordering Anxiety

I didn’t set out to be critical of Bio-medical approaches to the treatment of anxiety. Like many other people my position shifted based upon my own experience. When I first experienced the anxious state, I had no idea what was happening to me. I had a degree in Psychology, was a trained counsellor, but had […]

Tea

Many years ago, I worked with a client who was afraid of tea. Now this might sound strange to you at first, but once you understand how anxiety functions, you will notice that you can replace the word tea, for anything that triggers anxiety in your life.