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World Mental Health Day 2019

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

This, very simply, is a post letting you know the range of things that are out there. On this World Mental Health Day, you should have the opportunity to understand and find out about the different types of therapy, help and support that there is so you can work

out what's best for you or someone you know and love.

While it may be ok not to feel ok, quite a lot of us don't feel ok quite a lot of the time. It's great that there is more talk around mental health - now, let's begin to engage more deeply and try and take real action.

Before you formally want to get help (maybe you just want to speak to someone right now without committing to regular sessions) here are some useful contact numbers:

Samaritans: 116 123

Young Minds: 0808 802 5544 or text 85258

Rethink: 0300 5000 927

Mind: 0300 123 3393

CBT is widely available on the NHS (albeit often with a long waiting list). The average number of sessions is usually 6-12, and uses structured, task-based methods in an attempt to change behaviour and thought patterns. To get CBT, contact your GP.

Psychotherapy - well, it's a bit of pot luck as to whether it'll be in your area on the NHS or whether you'll need to think about going private. There are three different types:

- Psychodynamic psychotherapy (once a week)

- Psychoanalytic psychotherapy (two or three times a week)

- Psychoanalysis (four or five times a week - yes, some people really do attend therapy that frequently)

All have their advantages, but I think that level of detail calls for a separate blog post. Basically, if you want something that looks more deeply into your issues in a root-and-branch style, go for psychotherapy. The content of most sessions deals with what's going on in the session, and references childhood events rather than getting stuck there.

You can have sessions anywhere between 12 weeks to 12 months, and privately you can enter into an open-ended agreement, as in you can have as much therapy as you need. Contact your GP, the Institute of Psychoanalysis, the BPC, the BPF or the BACP for more info.

Arts therapies - that's us! As well as music therapy there's also art therapy, dramatherapy, and dance & movement therapy. All these types of therapies use a creative medium as well as talking for self-expression, because sometimes talking can feel too difficult, or too traumatic. Get in touch with us here for more info.

Other types of therapy

While I will attempt brief explainers, their websites will give you much more detail.

- Gestalt therapy: using similar techniques to psychotherapy to focus on our relationships with others in a direct, practical way.

- Transactional analysis: a new form of therapy developed from psychotherapy emphasising equality between therapist and patient, and with a few key concepts as part of the work.

- Counselling: It's a bit of a catch-all term, with loads of different qualifications, theory bases and recommended session allowances. Research and schedule meetings with different people if needed to find a counsellor that's right for you.

- Social Horticultural Therapy: Using gardening and being outdoors for mental health, with an increasing evidence base for its impact. From the Thrive website, "the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills."

- Solution Focused Hypnotherapy: Marrying two disciplines together in one very practical, straightforward method of support, this type of hypnotherapy (nothing like what's on the telly/in movies, more like a naturally altered state through guided relaxation) uses structured techniques to promote change in a short period of time.

Remember - it's ok to try a few different therapists until you've found a therapist and approach that you click with, and it's normal to feel anxious about getting this bit right. A good therapist will take you as you are and will help you come to the best decision for you.

Contact North London Music Therapy any time for more info or a bit of a chat. Our contact details are here.

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