Digital Distraction or Addiction?

It's real! The design tricks and techniques that keep you hooked on your phone, Facebook, video games, etc. is known as 'Persuasive Design' and it influences the parts of your brain responsible for forming habits and addictions. We all know someone who's fascination with their phone or other gadget has become excessive and is seriously impacting their relationships, work, education, etc. The WHO (World Health Organisation) now recognises gaming addiction as a mental health disorder - and, the NHS has opened the country's first specialist clinic to treat children and young adults who are addicted to social media and playing computer games. So - what can you do? At least learn more about 'Persuasive Design' in this short BBC videoIf professional help is needed to help a person combat their addiction, we have the professionals at Asana, like Nicola Todd and Petar Rodic, who are used to treating habits and addictions. We also have therapists who specialise in treating children. Click the blue links to find out more.


Bereavement and Loss

Bereavement is a distressing but common experience. Sooner or later most of us will suffer the death of someone we love. Yet in our everyday life we think and talk about death very little, perhaps because we encounter it less often than our grandparents did. For us, these losses usually happen later in life. So we do not have much of a chance either to learn about grieving - how it feels, what are the right things to do, what is 'normal' - or to come to terms with it. In spite of this, we have to cope when we are finally faced with the death of someone we love. Of course, we grieve after any sort of loss, but most powerfully after the death of someone we love - and it is not just one feeling, but a whole succession of feelings, which take a while to get through and which cannot be hurried. These various stages of mourning often overlap and show themselves in different ways in different people. Many of our therapists are experienced in helping those who seek bereavement counselling and especially those who seem stuck in the grieving process. You can read more about bereavement, how we experience grief and what happens if grief is unresolved on the Royal College of Psychiatrists website here. Read the profile of one of our specialist therapists - Nikki Macpherson.

Children’s Mental Health Week

Around three children in every primary school class has a mental health problem, and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement. Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity that provides counselling, mental health support and training in UK schools, using tried and tested methods backed by research. From 3-9 February 2020 schools, youth groups, organisations and individuals across the UK will take part in Children’s Mental Health Week. This year’s theme is 'Find your Brave'. Bravery comes in all shapes and sizes and is different for everyone. Bravery can be about sharing worries and asking for help, trying something new or building confidence and self-esteem to make a child feel good about his/her self. You can also find out more about the professional help for troubled children and their parents at Asana Health - here. Take time to explore this wonderful range of children's mental health resources from the BBC.


The True Origin of Stress - by Stress and Anxiety Management Practitioner, Giselle Monbiot - is a simple yet powerful guide to what stress is and how to manage it. Download your free copy here! 


Which Therapist do I Choose?

The many therapists at Asana may all have their own areas of expertise and specialisms - but, they work as a team. This means that they will cross-refer clients to each other if it is felt that a client's concerns fall better into another therapist's area of expertise. Joanna Benfield, one of our senior therapists, explains how referrals are managed at Asana Health, in the 'Talking Point' section of the April issue of Therapy Today - the voice of the counselling and psychotherapy profession.


Specialist Addiction Counselling

Petar Rodic specialises in Addiction Counselling (substance misuse, drugs, alcohol, behaviours, digital) and has previously worked as a Recovery Practitioner for the NHS helping adults of all ages affected by a range of addiction issues. He is an Integrative Counsellor focusing on Psychodynamic, Person Centred and Existential-Transpersonal theories, but can draw on many other therapy modalities to suit the needs of his clients. Another area of focus is Family Constellation work - an approach that goes beyond therapy as it explores life events and traumas in previous family generations that is able to affect the lives of concurrent and future generations, often manifesting as physical illness or disruptive life patterns. Working with and understanding these influences can bring about transformation and healing. Petar speaks English, Russian and Serbo-Croation. Click here to visit Petar's own website and send him a direct message, or call: 07505-104266.

Mental Health First Aiders in the Workplace

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has launched best-practice guidance for employers on how to implement Mental Health First Aid in the workplace. This follows the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) recent enhancement of its First Aid guidance to clarify the existing need to consider mental health alongside physical health when undertaking a ‘needs assessment’. Click here to access more information and download the separate guides for employers and employees.

The Healing Power of Nature

How can nature benefit your mental health? It can:

  • improve your mood.
  • reduce feelings of stress or anger.
  • help you take time out and feel more relaxed.
  • improve your physical health.
  • improve your confidence and self-esteem.
  • help you be more active.
  • help you make new connections.
  • provide peer support.

AND ... Nature isn't just wilderness - benefits can be found in our parks and green spaces. Asana is located centrally in the vibrant Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. But, what first drew people to this area? You may be surprised to learn that it was The Hogsmill - a globally rare chalk stream. So even if you can't get out into nature today, grab a cuppa and sit back for ten minutes to watch 'The Hogsmill River' wildlife film. Join actor, Griff Rhys Jones, as we journey along the Hogsmill River in South West London discovering some of the incredible species which call it home. We meet local conservationists and volunteers who work tirelessly to save and enhance our wealth of biodiversity. Film director, Tom Hooker captured beautiful shots of an array of charismatic species including the enigmatic kingfisher to the bats which patrol our moonlit skies. This film was entirely shot on the river and opens people’s eyes to the natural world that surrounds us in the heart of suburbia that is rarely noticed, showcasing how community led conservation can enhance our environment... and our mental health. The Hogsmill River : Narrated by Griff Rhys Jones

Sex Addiction - Let’s Debate!

Cecily Criminale, MS, MEd, MA, MBACP (Reg.), Sex and Relationship Therapist and former neuroscience graduate, steps back into the debate on whether sex addiction 'exists' or is 'out of control sexual behaviour' with her new blog which looks at the scientific method of 'exploring an observable phenomenon'. Read it here.


Sex Addiction Treatment Strategies

Joanna Benfield, our Psychosexual Therapist, has a new article published online for 'Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity', The Journal of Treatment and Prevention - which is The Official Journal of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health. The article is a study examining the lived experiences of 6 sex addiction therapists who incorporate an attachment-informed approach in their work. The study aims to elaborate key components of an attachment-based approach that could potentially be incorporated into sex addiction treatment strategies for therapists working across different modalities. View the article here. View Joanna's informative website here.

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