“Defragging” Is not only for computers (4) very simple steps to start the mental clean up on your own

Your mind is your bodies most power source, your brain’s remarkable ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural connections and pathways, depending on our experiences and thoughts. Your brain is the structure, you need your mind to activate (light up) the brain.

Allow me to me explain is Laymans terms: If your brain was taken out of your head and placed on a table, it would be lifeless, there would be no thoughts, no movement the term “Brain Dead” no oxygen to the brain, no mind. However, when the brain is in your head as part of your living body, your mind comes to life. Oxygen to the brain is a “living brain” it (Lights up) the mind comes to life, full of YOUR experiences, memories, trauma, dreams, senses etc… Everyone has a mind with its very own individualised hard drive, no two minds are the same.

If you look after your mind, your mind will look after you.

In practical terms, this means that by engaging in positive thinking and challenging negative thought patterns CBT we can effectively rewire our brains for healing and growth. Therapy is a “mental detox” where we consciously uproot negative thoughts and replace them with constructive and empowering ones.

Negative thought patterns and stress can lead to the release of harmful chemicals in the body, which can have adverse effects on our health. On the other hand, positive thoughts and a healthy mindset can trigger the release of beneficial neurotransmitters that promote healing and overall well-being.

What is Neuroplasticity :  

Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity or neural plasticity, refers to the brain’s remarkable ability to change and adapt throughout an individual’s life. It is the brain’s capacity to reorganise its neural pathways, forming new connections between neurons (nerve cells) and modifying existing ones. This process allows the brain to learn, recover from injuries, and adapt to new experiences, all of which are crucial for our cognitive development, memory, and overall functioning.

How Neuroplasticity Works:

Neuroplasticity occurs through various mechanisms, and the brain’s ability to change is influenced by age, genetics, and environmental factors. While the brain’s plasticity is highest during early development (critical periods), it remains present throughout life to varying degrees.

The process of neuroplasticity can be stimulated by several activities and experiences, including:

1.     Learning and Education: Engaging in new learning experiences and challenging cognitive activities can promote the formation of new neural connections and enhance brain plasticity.

2.     Practice and Repetition: Repeatedly performing a particular task or skill strengthens the neural circuits associated with that activity, making it more efficient over time.

3.     Physical Exercise: Regular physical activity has been shown to support brain health and enhance neuroplasticity.

4.     Mental Stimulation: Activities like puzzles, games, and reading can keep the brain active and encourage synaptic plasticity.

5.     Emotional and Sensory Experiences: Strong emotional experiences and exposure to various sensory stimuli can also influence neuroplasticity.

6.     Recovery from Brain Injuries: After injuries or strokes, the brain may rewire itself to compensate for damaged areas and regain lost functions.

Neuroplasticity is a fundamental concept in neuroscience that continues to be extensively researched. Understanding this adaptive nature of the brain opens up new possibilities for rehabilitation after injuries, treatments for neurological conditions, and strategies for

Therapies that target and harness neuroplasticity have gained significant attention in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and rehabilitation. These therapies aim to promote adaptive changes in the brain, facilitating recovery from injuries, improving cognitive functions, and treating various neurological and psychological conditions. Some of the key therapies that utilise the principles of neuroplasticity include:

1.     Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely used psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on identifying and modifying negative thought patterns and behaviours. By challenging and changing maladaptive thinking, CBT can promote positive changes in brain circuitry and help individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms.

2.     Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT): CIMT is a rehabilitation technique primarily used for individuals with stroke or brain injuries that have resulted in motor impairments. The therapy involves restraining the unaffected limb and encouraging the use of the affected limb to promote the reorganisation of brain areas responsible for motor control.

3.     Virtual Reality (VR) Therapy: VR therapy utilises immersive virtual environments to stimulate the brain and promote neuroplasticity changes. It has shown promise in various rehabilitation settings, such as treating phobias, improving motor skills, and aiding in pain management.

4.     Neurofeedback: Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that allows individuals to observe their brain activity in real-time. Through this process, individuals can learn to self-regulate and modify their brainwave patterns, leading to potential improvements in attention, mood, and cognitive functioning.

5.     Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate specific brain regions. It has shown potential in treating depression and other mood disorders by promoting changes in neural connectivity.

6.     Mindfulness-Based Therapies: Mindfulness practices, such as mindfulness meditation, have been associated with changes in brain structure and function. These therapies can enhance emotional regulation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

7.     Language Therapy (Aphasia Rehabilitation): For individuals with language impairments, language therapy can promote neuroplasticity changes in language-related brain regions, helping them regain language skills and communication abilities.

8.     Music Therapy: Music has the ability to engage various brain regions and promote emotional and cognitive changes. Music therapy can be beneficial in rehabilitation settings, supporting recovery and improving cognitive functions.

9.     Computerised Cognitive Training: Utilising specialised software, computerised cognitive training aims to improve cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, and problem-solving. Consistent training can induce neuroplasticity changes in the brain, leading to enhanced cognitive abilities.

It’s essential to note that the effectiveness of these therapies can vary depending on the individual, the specific condition being treated, and other factors. Moreover, in many cases, a combination of different therapies may be more effective than relying solely on one approach. As research in the field of neuroplasticity continues to progress, we can expect to see even more innovative and targeted therapies that harness the brain’s capacity for change and healing.

Top of Form

Below are four (4) very simple steps you may like to start implementing as part of your everyday routine.

1. Mindful Meditation: Take a few minutes each day to engage in mindfulness meditation. Focus on your breath and let go of any negative thoughts that may arise.

2. Positive Affirmations: Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Regularly remind yourself of your strengths and capabilities.

3. Gratitude Journaling: Maintain a daily gratitude journal, noting down things you are thankful for. This practice can help shift your focus to the positive aspects of life.

4. Healthy Lifestyle: Adopt a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep, as these factors also play a crucial role in brain health.

What is a safe amount of Alcohol to drink while pregnant? Answer: NIL- ZERO

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a life long mental and physical diagnoses, it is on the rise and it is TOTALLY preventable by mums abstaining from drinking alcohol whilst pregnant. If you are planning to become pregnant abstain from drinking alcohol whilst trying to become pregnant.

What are the problems of a baby born with FAS? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5plu6_L6_lY

https://www.fasdhub.org.au/fasd-information/understanding-fasd/fasd-and-alcohol-policies/

Physical defects may include: Distinctive facial features, including small eyes, an exceptionally thin upper lip, a short, upturned nose, and a smooth skin surface between the nose and upper lip. Deformities of joints, limbs and fingers. Slow physical growth before and after birth NB: not all FAS babies show distinctive facial features.

What is a safe amount of Alcohol to drink while pregnant? Answer: NIL- ZERO

​Does FASD shorten life expectancy?

Depending on early diagnosis and support, life expectancies can increase; however, on average, people with FAS are estimated to live 34 years (95% CI: 31–37 years), which is around 42% of the life expectancies of their general population peers 11 Nov 2020
Many people, Adults and Children are being treated for ADHD who have been misdiagnosed, who actually have FASD.

How long do the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome last?

FASDs last a lifetime. There is no cure for FASDs, but treatments can help. These include medicines to help with some symptoms, medical care for health problems, behavior and education therapy, and parent training. A good treatment plan is specific to the child’s problems.

What is a safe amount to drink while pregnant? NIL

There is no known safe level of alcohol exposure during pregnancy.

There is no safe time, no safe amount, and no safe type of alcohol. Alcohol can harm a developing fetus at any point during a pregnancy, even before the pregnancy is confirmed. As 50% of Australian women experience an unplanned pregnancy, many are prenatally exposed to alcohol before the family becomes aware of the pregnancy. If you could be pregnant, or are planning a pregnancy, health professionals advise that abstinence from alcohol is safest. If you choose to drink alcohol, effective contraception is important to prevent unintentional prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcohol use during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm (early) birth, and SIDS, and can also result in FASD, which is a lifelong disability. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) advises that “maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby”. NHMRC Guidelines recommend: A. To prevent harm from alcohol to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest for their baby. Healthy pregnancies are not the sole responsibility of women. A fathers’ alcohol consumption impacts the health of his developing baby and partners play a strong role in supporting alcohol-free pregnancy. Ceasing alcohol use together has been proven to be the most effective way to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Read more about what men can do to support healthy pregnancy or read about this couple’s plan for an alcohol-free pregnancy. Follow this link to download The Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol.

Useful apps: The Daybreak app by Hello Sunday Morning helps people change their relationship with alcohol.
Chat with health coaches and access a supportive community with their free app. Mind the Bump is a free Mindfulness Meditation App to help individuals and couples support their mental and emotional wellbeing in preparation for having a baby.

Where alcohol exposure has occurred, lowering stress levels reduces the likelihood of negative outcomes for the baby. The Swipe app is a personalised brain-training app that aims to reduce alcohol consumption and cravings. The results of the study have now been published (showing significant reductions in drinking days, standard drinks, alcohol craving and dependence after 4 weeks of using swipe)   To review the results please click here  For more information regarding the SWiPE app for download go to www.swipebraintraining.com.au

Useful links: The latest research-backed information on the healthiest options for you, your partner, and your baby– from Telethon Kids Institute Questions & Answers about Alcohol Use & PregnancyTrue and False FASD Fast FactsIt’s not just Mums who need to avoid alcohol when trying for a babyWhat men can do – alcohol, pregnancy and prevention of FASD Alcohol & Breastfeeding from the Australian Breastfeeding Association Busting the myths on alcohol and breastfeedingFeed Safe – alcohol & breastfeeding app free download Hello Sunday Morning – helpful resources for changing your drinking behaviour

The disabilities associated with FASDs are said to be lifelong, but we know relatively little regarding outcomes beyond childhood and adolescence. Many of physical, brain, and neurobehavioral features that are present in children with FASDs will endure to adulthood.

The life expectancy of people with FAS is considerably lower than that of the general population. As the cause of FAS is known and preventable, more attention devoted to the prevention of FAS is urgently needed.

What is Parental Alienation- Are you allowing your unresolved divorce/separation/personal issues to turn you into an alienating parent?

NOTE: There are many variables to consider in separation, however all decisions should be made with the best interests of the child/children front of mind

Working in the field over the years as a Counsellor, Mediator and Family Group Facilitator, it can be tough to call out Parental Alienation behaviours and report on this to the court when required, through court orders. In many circumstances the person doing the alienating may have little consciousness of their behaviour and the phycological harm they are causing the child/children long term. I do my best to encourage parents to place their anger and dislike for one another aside and to remain child-focused. This is not always easy, as most couples are going through the courts already, fighting over the financial settlement, goods and chattels and custody. This environment does not set the stage for a harmonious meeting of any sorts. However in all areas of life there needs to be personal responsibility and if behaviours do not change there will be accountability.

What is parental alienation and how does the Family Court see it?

Parental alienation refers to a situation in which one parent, usually in the context of a divorce or separation, deliberately or unconsciously tries to undermine or damage the relationship between a child and the other parent. This behaviour often involves speaking negatively about the other parent, making false accusations, limiting contact or visitation, and manipulating the child’s emotions to turn them against the targeted parent. The goal of the alienating parent is to make the child feel anger, fear, or hatred towards the other parent.

Parental alienation is a highly contentious and emotionally charged issue, as it can have significant negative effects on the child’s well-being and the parent-child relationship. The psychological and emotional harm caused by parental alienation can be long-lasting and may lead to estrangement between the child and the targeted parent.

As for the Australian Family Courts, their stance on parental alienation may vary depending on individual cases and circumstances. The courts are generally concerned with the best interests of the child and aim to ensure the child’s well-being and safety. In cases where parental alienation is suspected or proven, the courts may take various measures to address the issue. Some possible actions that the courts might take include:

Mediation or counselling: The court may order the parties to attend mediation or counselling to work through the issues and improve communication.

Parenting orders: The court may issue specific parenting orders that outline the responsibilities and rights of each parent to prevent further alienation and protect the child’s relationship with both parents.

Supervised visitation: In extreme cases, the court may order supervised visitation for the alienating parent to ensure that they do not engage in harmful behaviours during their time with the child.

Parenting programs: The court may require the alienating parent to attend parenting programs aimed at promoting healthy co-parenting and minimizing conflict.

Change of custody or residence: In severe cases, if it is determined that one parent is consistently engaging in alienating behaviours and causing significant harm to the child’s relationship with the other parent, the court may consider a change of custody or residence to protect the child’s well-being.

It is important to note that parental alienation is a complex issue, and each case is unique. The courts will carefully consider the evidence and the specific circumstances before making decisions that are in the best interests of the child. If you are dealing with parental alienation or a related issue, it is advisable to seek legal advice and support from professionals experienced in family law matters.

Parental alienation can cause significant harm to a child’s psychological, emotional, and social well-being. The negative effects can be long-lasting and may continue into adulthood if the issue is not addressed. It is “Child Abuse” Are you allowing your unresolved divorce/separation/personal issues to turn you into an alienating parent?  While you wouldn’t do anything to directly harm your children, your behaviour regarding the other parent can be detrimental to your children.

Some of the potential harms of parental alienation on a child include:

Emotional distress: Children caught in the middle of parental alienation may experience intense emotional distress, including feelings of sadness, confusion, guilt, and anxiety. They might feel torn between their parents and struggle to understand the reasons behind the conflict.

Low self-esteem: Being subjected to negative messages about one of their parents can lead the child to internalize those messages, resulting in lowered self-esteem and a negative self-image.

Identity confusion: Parental alienation can create confusion for the child about their own identity and their place within their family.

Difficulty forming healthy relationships: Children who have experienced parental alienation may struggle to form healthy relationships in the future, as they may have difficulty trusting others and fear getting hurt or abandoned.

Increased risk of mental health issues: Alienated children may be at a higher risk of developing mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and even personality disorders, due to the emotional turmoil they experience.

Academic and behavioural problems: The stress caused by parental alienation can affect a child’s academic performance and behaviour at school, leading to a decline in their overall well-being.

Long-term impact: Parental alienation can have lasting effects on the child’s ability to cope with stress and relationships throughout their life, affecting their overall quality of life as adults.

Difficulty in future co-parenting relationships: Alienated children may find it challenging to have healthy co-parenting relationships with their parents in the future, perpetuating the cycle of conflict and alienation.

It is crucial to recognise the signs of parental alienation and address the issue as early as possible to minimise the harm caused to the child. Professional counselling and intervention, along with the cooperation of both parents, can help mitigate the negative effects of parental alienation and support the child’s emotional well-being. Family courts may play a role in identifying and addressing cases of parental alienation to protect the best interests of the child involved.

Ted Talk on Parental Alienation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu4XXnKPwCM

Are you suck? Are you having difficulty getting out of your own way!

Sometimes you need to get outside of your own head to get ahead.

The below are some general strategies that may help you overcome being stuck. I would like to say you could gain control over your life with the following tips and strategies, but you and I both know there is really not a lot we can control in this world. If you start with self-management, you are on the right track.

Tip: Like going to the gym, you will not improve unless you do some work… the heavy lifting! Your mind is no different, it’s a part of your body, you need to give it a good workout consistently with a trainer, at least to start with or it gets stuck in a belief, behavioral loop.

Self-management is key.

Set clear goals: Clearly define what you want to achieve in different areas of your life, such as career, health, relationships, etc. Having specific goals can motivate you and give you direction.

Break tasks into smaller steps: large tasks can be overwhelming and contribute to procrastination. Break them down into smaller, manageable steps. This makes them less daunting and helps you stay focused.

Prioritise and plan: Make a to-do list or schedule to prioritise your tasks. Determine what needs to be done first and allocate time accordingly. This helps you stay organised and prevents feeling overwhelmed.

Create a routine: Establishing a consistent daily routine can provide structure and help you develop discipline. Include time for work, exercise, leisure, and self-care. Stick to your routine as much as possible.

Manage your environment: Create an environment that supports productivity. Minimise distractions, organise your workspace, and eliminate unnecessary clutter. A clean and organised environment can help you stay focused and motivated. Tip: Your car is a thinking space most people are in their car on average 1hr a day, keep it clean and tidy. A cluttered space can contribute to you feeling overwhelmed and overwhelmed can be a catalysed for feeling stuck

Practice self-managment: Train yourself to overcome the urge to procrastinate or engage in unproductive activities. This may involve setting deadlines, using time management techniques, or implementing strategies like the Pomodoro Technique (working in focused bursts with short breaks).

What is the Pomodora Technique?

Tip: If you have been diagnosed with ADHD and find it hard to start something, this may help.

  1. Identify a task or tasks that you need to complete.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  3. Work on a task with no distractions.
  4. When the alarm sounds, take a 5-minute break.
  5. Repeat the process 3 more times.
  6. Take a longer 30-minute break and start again.

Find your motivation: Understand what drives you and find ways to stay motivated. This could be visualising your goals, rewarding yourself for accomplishments, or seeking support from others.

Tip: Create a vision board for some people it is hard to hit a target they cannot see.

Take care of your physical and mental well-being:  Feeling stuck can sometimes be a result of physical or mental exhaustion. Prioritise adequate sleep, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and practice stress management techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises.

What is an example of a Deep Breathing Technique?

The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise

  1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

Remember that overcoming feeling stuck, requires effort and consistency. Implementing these strategies may help you develop self-management skills and that will feel amazing! It’s always a good idea to consult with a qualified professional, for personalised guidance and support.

You may need to drill down on other areas of your life like Nutrition, Exercise, Self-growth, learning and social interaction.

Healthy diet: A nutritious diet that includes whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can provide essential nutrients for brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, nuts, and seeds, have been associated with improved cognitive function. Avoid excessive sugar and processed foods, as they can have a negative impact on brain health. Good quality non processed food plays a huge part in good mental health and QOL Quality of Life

Note: A study our of SA University Exercise more effective than medicines to manage mental health – News and events – University of South Australia (unisa.edu.au) On the back of this study I have introduce Walk and Talk Counselling Therapy. Perfect for those people who are time poor, who want to seek professional help, but they don’t have time to exercise and get out in the elements. Not everyone wants to be an athlete. Gentle exercise is better than no exercise for your physical and mental health.

Learning and intellectual stimulation: Engage in activities that challenge and stimulate your brain, such as learning a new skill, solving puzzles, reading, or engaging in creative pursuits. Continuous learning and intellectual stimulation can promote neuroplasticity and enhance cognitive abilities.

What is Neuroplasticity?

It is defined as the ability of the nervous system to change its activity in response to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli by re-organising its structure, functions, or connections.

Social interaction: Regular social interaction and meaningful connections with others have been linked to improved brain health and overall well-being.

Tip: Your environment and the people you mix with will have a huge impact on who you are “Being” not necessarily” Doing.

Do you have health anxiety or social anxiety? Are you drinking alcohol to excess or overeating? Are you getting frustrated, angry and hard to live with?  You may need help to understand your

BE- DO- ME equation.

Engaging in social activities, join clubs or groups with shared interests, and maintain healthy relationships.

Boosting serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain can have a positive impact on mood, motivation, and overall well-being.

However! Spiking dopamine levels consistently will have a negative effect on your mental health and your personality, effecting others around you. If you are constantly craving and feeling you need more of something… you may be unbalanced, check your eg; sugar intake, online shopping, porn use, gaming time screen time, to start with.

What’s NEW? Walk and talk therapy, also known as outdoor therapy or ecotherapy

Most of us work inside with little time to enjoy the outdoors. Walking and talking is a great way to feel relaxed whilst getting a few things off your chest. The sessions can be divided up into 30mins walk & talk and 30 mins talking in the DIPAC office, it is up to you. This session is not designed to be a marathon, it is a gentle walk around the suburb of Barton suitable for all fitness levels. We have discovered that people get a natural energy boost and feel more positive from being outdoors

Let’s talk it out, outside ** Private health rebates may apply (see website) Affiliated Employee Assistance Programs are list below and NDIS is welcome

 Walk and talk therapy, also known as outdoor therapy or ecotherapy, is a form of therapy that combines traditional talk therapy with physical activity outdoors, typically walking. Instead of sitting in a traditional therapy office, the therapist and client engage in sessions while walking together in a natural environment in our case around the beautiful suburb of Barton.

The benefits of walk and talk therapy can include:

Physical well-being: Engaging in physical activity while receiving therapy can have positive effects on physical health, such as improved cardiovascular fitness, increased energy levels, and reduced stress. If you are anxious when walking alone, you may feel more secure walking with your therapist. There are also many seating areas around the suburb of Barton to stop and take a rest.

Mental and emotional well-being: Being in nature and engaging in physical movement can have a positive impact on mental and emotional well-being. It can help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress while promoting a sense of relaxation, improved mood, and overall mental clarity.

Enhanced self-reflection: The act of walking and being surrounded by nature can create a calming and contemplative atmosphere, making it easier for individuals to reflect on their thoughts and emotions. This can facilitate deeper self-reflection and introspection, leading to increased self-awareness and personal growth.

Increased creativity: Being outdoors and exposed to natural elements can stimulate creativity and problem-solving abilities. The change in environment and sensory input can inspire new perspectives and fresh insights.

Therapeutic alliance: The informal and relaxed setting of walk and talk therapy can foster a sense of collaboration and equality between the therapist and client. Walking side by side, rather than facing each other in a traditional office, can create a more informal and comfortable atmosphere, enhancing the therapeutic alliance.

Connection with nature: Spending time in nature has been shown to have numerous mental health benefits. It can reduce symptoms of stress, improve mood, and increase feelings of connection and well-being. Walk and talk therapy allows individuals to experience these benefits firsthand, fostering a sense of connection with the natural world.

It is important to note that walk and talk therapy may not be suitable for everyone or every therapeutic need. Some individuals may have physical limitations that prevent them from participating, while others may prefer the privacy and structure of a traditional therapy setting.

Counselling Therapy is a 60min appointment Walk and Talk Therapy is on your terms. You may like to walk for the whole 60mins or split the session in half 30min in the Therapy Office and 30mins out in the elements.

Our walk together can be a stroll or more on the brisk side.

Book your Walk and Talk here:  https://dipac.au1.cliniko.com/bookings?appointment_type_id=1192230644269188281#service

Therapy is like going to a mind gym, you have to do the work to achieve what you want. High performing athletes understand the importance of challenging limiting thoughts, beliefs and behaviours.

Many people see working on their body at the gym with a trainer acceptable but working on their mind with a Therapist as unacceptable.

What is Cognitive Dissonance?

example: Cognitive dissonance can arise when a person perceives working on their physical fitness at the gym as positive or valuable, while considering working on their mental well-being or personal development as less important or even negative. This creates a conflict between the values placed on physical improvement versus mental or emotional growth. Yet the mind drives the body, makes no sense really when you reframe the original thought and belief…There are compelling studies in favour of working on the mind to improve physical & mental health. High performing athletes understand the importance of challenging limiting thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. You may even find some of your limiting, thoughts beliefs and behaviours stem from way back in your childhood.

Note: Therapy is like going to a mind gym, you have to do the work to achieve what you want

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach utilised mostly by Counselling therapists and Psychologists that focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It is a widely used and evidence-based therapy for treating various mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, phobias, eating disorders, and substance abuse. I found after Covid many people developed health anxiety and CBT has been very helpful for those people.

CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts (cognitions) significantly influence our emotions and behaviours. It suggests that distorted or negative thinking patterns can contribute to emotional distress and problematic behaviours. By identifying and challenging these unhelpful thoughts, individuals can develop healthier thinking patterns and subsequently experience improvements in their emotional well-being and behaviour.

During CBT sessions, a therapist works collaboratively with the client to identify negative or maladaptive thoughts and beliefs. The therapist helps the client examine the evidence supporting or refuting these thoughts and encourages them to develop more balanced and realistic perspectives. This process involves learning various cognitive restructuring techniques, such as cognitive reframing, where individuals reframe negative thoughts into more positive or neutral ones.

Additionally, CBT emphasises behavioural interventions to promote positive change. Clients are encouraged to engage in behavioural experiments, exposure exercises, and skill-building activities to confront fears, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and improve problem-solving skills.

CBT is typically structured, goal-oriented, and time-limited. It often involves homework assignments to practice and apply new skills outside of therapy sessions. The ultimate aim of CBT is to empower individuals to become their own therapists, equipped with the tools to manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours effectively.

It’s important to note that while CBT has been extensively researched and found to be effective, it may not be suitable for everyone or every condition. It’s always recommended to consult with a qualified mental health professional to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for individual needs.

When can CBT be useful?

Anxiety disorders: This includes generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Depression: CBT can be effective in treating mild to moderate depression. It focuses on addressing negative thought patterns, improving mood, and enhancing coping strategies.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): CBT, particularly trauma-focused CBT, is often used to help individual’s process traumatic experiences and manage symptoms associated with PTSD.

Eating disorders: CBT has shown effectiveness in treating conditions like bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and some cases of anorexia nervosa. It targets distorted body image, unhealthy thoughts about food, and maladaptive eating behaviours.

Substance abuse and addiction: CBT can be utilised to address the underlying thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours related to substance abuse and addiction. It helps individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and prevent relapse.

Sleep disorders: CBT for insomnia (CBT-I) is a specialized form of CBT that focuses on improving sleep patterns, addressing sleep-related anxieties, and promoting healthy sleep hygiene.

Chronic pain: CBT can be beneficial for individuals experiencing chronic pain by addressing the psychological aspects of pain perception, improving coping strategies, and enhancing quality of life.

While CBT is suitable for many individuals, it may not be appropriate for everyone or every condition. It’s important to consult with a qualified mental health professional who can assess your specific needs and determine the most suitable treatment approach for you. They will consider factors such as your individual circumstances, preferences, and the nature of your condition to guide treatment decisions.

Let’s break it down a little more…

 What is Maladaptive?

The term “maladaptive” refers to thoughts, behaviours, or patterns of functioning that are not helpful or adaptive in meeting one’s needs or achieving positive outcomes. In the context of mental health, maladaptive thoughts and behaviours can contribute to distress, interfere with daily functioning, and negatively impact one’s well-being and relationships.

Note: Many marriages fall apart when one or both partners do not taking responsibility for their own maladaptive behaviours by reaching out and seeking help.

For example, maladaptive thoughts might involve distorted thinking patterns such as catastrophising (exaggerating the negative consequences of a situation), overgeneralising (drawing broad negative conclusions from isolated incidents), or personalising (attributing excessive blame to oneself for negative events). These types of thinking can perpetuate anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

Maladaptive behaviours can manifest as avoidance of challenging situations or responsibilities, excessive substance use, self-harm, or social withdrawal. These behaviours may temporarily alleviate distress but can have negative long-term consequences and hinder personal growth and well-being.

Your quality of life QOL and the quality of life of your family and friend is important. Many time people are suffering when their internal wars could be treated.

In the context of therapy, identifying and addressing maladaptive thoughts and behaviours is an essential aspect of treatment. Through techniques like cognitive restructuring, individuals can challenge and replace maladaptive thoughts with more accurate and helpful ones. Similarly, behavioural interventions aim to replace maladaptive behaviours with healthier alternatives that promote adaptive functioning and well-being.

It’s important to note that the term “maladaptive” is used to describe patterns that are not beneficial or adaptive in a given context. What is considered maladaptive can vary depending on the individual, cultural norms, and specific circumstances.CBT therapy is considered suitable for a wide range of individuals experiencing various mental health conditions. It has been extensively researched and found to be effective in treating numerous disorders. Some of the common conditions for which CBT is recommended include:

Why is “Shame” a show stopper?

Shame can often play a significant role in why some individuals may be hesitant or resistant to seeking therapy or mental health support. Shame is a powerful and deeply rooted emotion that involves feelings of embarrassment, unworthiness, or self-disapproval. It can stem from various sources, such as societal stigma around mental health, cultural beliefs, personal experiences, or internalised negative beliefs about seeking help. Cognitive Dissonance maybe?

Here are a few reasons why shame may prevent individuals from seeking therapy:

Stigma: Mental health stigma still exists in many societies, and individuals may fear being judged, labelled, or treated differently if they admit to having emotional or psychological struggles. This fear of being stigmatized can generate shame and prevent them from seeking therapy.

Perceived weakness: Some individuals may associate seeking therapy with being weak or incapable of handling their own problems. They might feel shame in admitting they need help and perceive it as a personal failure or inadequacy.

Self-judgment: Shame can also arise from self-judgment and self-criticism. People may feel ashamed for experiencing certain thoughts, emotions, or behaviours, believing they should be able to overcome their difficulties on their own.

Vulnerability and fear of judgment: Therapy often involves sharing personal and vulnerable aspects of oneself. The fear of being judged or misunderstood by a therapist or being seen as “broken” can trigger shame and hinder the willingness to engage in therapy.

It’s important to address and overcome shame-related barriers to seeking therapy. Here are some strategies that can help:

Education and awareness: Learning about mental health, therapy, and the common experiences of seeking help can help challenge misconceptions and reduce shame.

Normalising seeking help: Promoting conversations around mental health, openly discussing therapy, and sharing personal experiences can help reduce stigma and normalise the act of seeking therapy.

Self-compassion: Cultivating self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness and understanding, recognising that everyone has struggles and seeking help is a sign of strength rather than weakness.

Supportive environments: Creating supportive and non-judgmental spaces where individuals feel safe to express their emotions and seek help can contribute to reducing shame and encouraging help-seeking behaviours.

It’s crucial to remember that seeking therapy is a courageous and proactive step towards personal growth, healing, and well-being. If shame or other barriers are preventing someone from seeking therapy, reaching out to supportive individuals or professionals who can provide guidance and reassurance can be a valuable starting point.

I hope this helps someone somewhere 🙂

What’s new & what’s back?

New: Walk and talk: For those who are couped up in offices and need to get their exercise or for those who are uncomfortable with sitting in a Therapy office for 60mins. Whatever the reason getting outside can be beneficial in so many ways.

Back: Men’s and Women’s Groups- These groups were popular before Covid like most things during that time we had to end them.

Counselling- Positive Psychology -Therapy -Mediation -Coaching

PRIVATE PROVIDER Partner for:

  • AHM
  • ARHG
  • Medibank
  • Police Health
  • Emergency Services Health
  • Phoenix Health
  • St Lukes Health
  • Doctors Health
  • NDIS

Bookings can also be made via Psychology today & HotDoc

Employee Assistance Programs are: Converge, Clear Head, Prima Career

“FOCUS” is the most important skill you will need to be successful in business & your relationships

Anyone who has worked with me across their business & personal life will know I am big on the power of focus. Where your mind goes your energy flows and most of us have a mind like a butterfly. What do I mean? We allow our minds to take us on sporadic journey of unplanned thoughts every second, minute, hour, daily. Many of us are not good when it comes to focus.

Yet “FOCUS” is the most important skill you will need to be successful in business, in your career, in your relationship and in your family.  Secondly is the power of intention…

Dr. Stephen Covey, a renowned author and leadership expert, emphasises the importance of focus in his work. He believed that focus is crucial for personal and professional effectiveness. Here are a few key insights and quotes from Dr. Covey regarding focus:

The Power of Focus – Dr. Covey believed that focus is the key to achieving results and making progress. He stressed that by directing our attention and efforts toward our highest priorities, we can accomplish more and lead a fulfilling life.

Importance of prioritisation – Covey advocated for identifying and focusing on the most important tasks and goals. He introduced the concept of the “Time Management Matrix,” which categorises activities based on their urgency and importance. According to Covey, focusing on tasks that are both important and not urgent helps prevent crises and allows for proactive, effective action.

Eliminating Distractions – Covey highlighted the need to eliminate or minimise distractions that hinder our ability to focus. He recognised that the modern world is filled with distractions, such as technology, interruptions, and busy schedules. By consciously managing these distractions and creating an environment conducive to focus, we can enhance our productivity and performance.

Clarity of Purpose – Covey emphasised the importance of clarifying our values and purpose. By having a clear sense of what truly matters to us, we can align our focus with our core principles and make decisions that support our long-term goals and aspirations.

Developing Concentration Skills – Covey recognised that focus is a skill that can be developed and improved over time. He encouraged individuals to practice techniques such as meditation, deep work, and single-tasking to enhance their ability to concentrate and maintain focus amidst distractions.

Overall, Dr. Stephen Covey believed that focus is a foundational principle for personal and professional success. By identifying our priorities, eliminating distractions, and aligning our actions with our values, we can harness the power of focus to achieve meaningful results.

Dr. Stephen Covey introduced the Time Management Matrix in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” The matrix is a tool that helps individuals prioritise their tasks and activities based on their urgency and importance. It consists of four quadrants:

Quadrant 1: Urgent and Important – This quadrant represents activities that require immediate attention and are also crucial for achieving our goals. They are often associated with crises, deadlines, or pressing issues. Examples include important deadlines, emergencies, or health issues. Covey suggests that we should aim to minimise the time we spend in this quadrant by being proactive and addressing important tasks before they become urgent.

Quadrant 2: Not Urgent but Important – This quadrant focuses on activities that are important but not necessarily urgent. These activities contribute to our long-term goals, personal growth, relationships, and planning. Examples include strategic planning, relationship building, personal development, and preventive maintenance. Covey suggests that we should invest more time in this quadrant to be proactive, prevent crises, and increase our overall effectiveness.

Quadrant 3: Urgent but Not Important – This quadrant contains activities that are urgent but do not align with our long-term goals and priorities. They often involve interruptions, distractions, or other people’s priorities. Examples include unnecessary meetings, some emails, phone calls, or other people’s requests. Covey advises minimising the time spent in this quadrant and delegating or eliminating tasks that do not contribute to our goals.

Quadrant 4: Not Urgent and Not Important – This quadrant represents activities that are neither important nor urgent. These activities are often time-wasting and provide little or no value. Examples include excessive social media use, mindless web browsing, or other forms of distractions. Covey suggests that we should eliminate or minimise the time spent in this quadrant as much as possible.

The key principle behind the Time Management Matrix is to prioritise Quadrant 2 activities (important but not urgent) to prevent crises and increase effectiveness. By investing more time in activities that align with our long-term goals and values, we can become more proactive, reduce stress, and achieve greater success.

Business and Marriage requires different skill sets and mindsets.

Success in business and success in marriages are two distinct areas of life that involve different dynamics and factors. While it’s challenging to make generalised statements, here are a few factors that can contribute to the perception that people succeed more in business than in marriages:

Different Skill Sets and Mindsets – Business success often requires a specific set of skills, such as strategic thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, and goal setting. Many individuals invest time and effort into developing these skills and adopt a success-oriented mindset in their professional endeavours. On the other hand, success in marriages requires different qualities, including effective communication, empathy, compromise, emotional intelligence, and commitment. These skills and mindsets may not be as widely emphasised or actively developed as business-related skills.

Social and Cultural Factors – Society and culture often place a significant emphasis on individual achievement, financial success, and career advancement. As a result, individuals may prioritise their professional pursuits, invest more time and energy in their careers, and receive more recognition for their achievements in business. Marriages, on the other hand, are often viewed as personal relationships, and success in this area is not always as visible or celebrated by society at large.

Complexity and Personal Dynamics – Marriages involve complex interpersonal dynamics, emotional intimacy, and the merging of two individuals with different backgrounds, personalities, and expectations. Nurturing a successful marriage requires ongoing effort, effective communication, conflict resolution, and a commitment to personal growth and relationship development. Business success, although challenging in its own right, may appear more straightforward and goal-oriented by comparison.

Different Metrics of Success – Success in business is often measured in terms of financial performance, market share, career advancements, or recognition. These metrics provide tangible and quantifiable indicators of success. In contrast, success in marriages is subjective and varies from one relationship to another. It may be measured in terms of emotional connection, trust, mutual support, fulfillment, and the ability to navigate challenges together. These aspects can be harder to quantify and evaluate objectively.

It’s important to note that success in both business and marriages requires focus, dedication, effort, and a willingness to learn and grow. While the factors influencing success may differ, it’s possible for individuals to excel in both areas with the right mindset, skills, and commitment to personal and relational development. Additionally, it’s crucial to remember that success in any domain is not solely determined by external measures but also by the individual’s own definition of what constitutes a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Professionally I have succeeded in many area. However, no career aspirations or success will ever give me the feeling of fulfilment I get when I look at the success my husband and I have achieved together as a team. When we look at the family we have created we have created we have nurtured good humans, who are good community members, who are happy, safe, successful women now raising children of their own with our wonderful son in-laws.

Tip: We all get it wrong before we get it right, I am no exception to this rule

Note: We live life forward but we understand it backwards

In closing: I will ask you to be intentional with your thoughts and actions daily.

YOU WILL get what you focus on…

Wisdom is doing & being today what you will be proud of in the future…Who do you need to be for you, your partner and your family?

Counselling – Positive Psychology – Therapy – Mediation – Coaching

PRIVATE PROVIDER Partner for:

  • AHM
  • ARHG
  • Medibank
  • Police Health
  • Emergency Services Health
  • Phoenix Health
  • St Lukes Health
  • Doctors Health
  • NDIS

Bookings can also be made via Psychology today & HotDoc

Employee Assistance Programs are: Converge, Clear Head, Prima Career