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Health Psychology

Health psychology focuses on how biology, psychology, behaviour and social factors influence health and illness. I use a biopsychosocial model of health to inform my assessment and treatment of chronic health problems.

Long term health conditions

Long term health conditions

This includes conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chron’s disease. I assess and treat the individual and help with adjustment issues to a long term health condition, including ongoing management of the diagnosis and everyday activities. Loss of function, low self-worth and self- esteem can all contribute to low mood and anxiety.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia

These conditions benefit from a number of techniques including management of overactivity/rest cycles, pacing, mindfulness CBT, distraction, visualisation, meditation and relaxation. Moving to Heal programmes can also be beneficial for helping to manage these conditions which are outlined in more detail on the mindfulness page.

Addictions and Cycle
of change

Addictions and Cycle of change

This includes making changes such as stopping smoking, regulating eating and reducing or stopping alcohol use. The well researched Cycle of Change (Prochaska and DiClemente) allows for relapse and helps individuals understand the process of change. Using a collaborative approach I can help with reduction or abstinence of a substance, drawing on approaches from impulse control, enhancing willpower and the cycle of change to help manage and maintain changes.

Understanding ...

Pacing and overactivity/rest cycles

A pacing approach linked to pain management involves monitoring activities using observation diaries to try and ensure a balance between activity and rest is achieved. This tends to be a typical pattern for relapsing remitting conditions, and the difficult part to manage.

Mindfulness and CBT for Pain Management

A mindfulness CBT approach can be helpful to manage pain. It encourages the individual to tune into bodily sensations, monitor their thoughts and beliefs about their pain, but not engage in them. It is an approach aimed at helping to recognise habitual patterns of negative thinking which can be self – limiting. In cognitive behavioural terms, this is known as a thinking distortion. The links with bodily sensations, behaviours, mood and thought processes are explored using a Mindfulness CBT approach.