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10 things to lighten the load for your teenager during this pandemic.

"Britain is sleepwalking into a mental health crisis as the government struggles to deal with the monumental effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.Health experts and charities have told the Observer the coming winter will devastate the mental wellbeing of the nation as lockdown uncertainty, fear, isolation and loneliness are exacerbated by the colder and darker months ahead"That was the headline yesterday in the Guardian newspaper warning that 1.5 million children will need mental health support during this pandemic. What are we to do with longer waiting times and higher thresholds for the children needing support? I have thought about launching a support forum facilitated by myself (a dedicated adolescent BACP therapist) through zoom. Would this work? I would like to know your thoughts.Separate to this I wanted to suggest some small daily things that might be helpful for teenagers to stave off the low mood and anxiety, these are not therapy related but are small changes that cou…
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To all the burnt-out mums, who’ve already done nearly 17 weeks at home. You need to do the following!

“Can you drop me off at …”“I’m hungry, why have we not got any ham”“where are the trainer socks”“what’s wrong with the internet, Mum can you reset the box”I keep reading lots of news articles about children’s mental health during the COVID pandemic, these articles are very rightly pointing out that our children are struggling during the lockdown. They are highlighting the very real danger of some children at home in abusive families. These articles are very important, but what is also important is highlighting the ever-increasing toll on parents, the parents that are holding their own worry about the virus, while trying to care for their children as well. The children that have additional needs, the weed smokers, the depressed teenager, the lonely teenager, the children going through a divorce, the teenage girl with an eating disorder etc. This pandemic is hard and takes 40% of your thought process without the above issues. WE have now done the equivalent of nearly 3 summer holidays a…

I only want to advise about one thing during this pandemic…This one thing is fundamental and effective

I only want to advise about one thing during this pandemic…I have refrained from posting about routine or helping your teen with anxiety, staying calm or being active outdoors. There is too much of this on Facebook and the internet generally.

You see, the things mentioned above and also the other topics addressed by parenting blogs are all fundamentally supported/helped/improved by decent sleep quality.

Get better sleep = feel more energetic

Get better sleep = anxiety is lessened

Get better sleep = make better food choices

Get better sleep = better focus, stay on task

Get better sleep = more patient

Get better sleep = more creative


How can we deal with big emotions and close contact in the house when we are at the very end of our tether? We can’t, we have to feel robust as much as we can, and for that, you need to plan for what is effective.

There used to be a culture of ‘I can survive on 6 hours sleep, all the greatest leaders do i…

A.S.M.R - an effective relaxation resource that can help anxious teenagers. The tabloids sometimes portray it wrong.

When A.S.M.R first became popular on the internet, the press choice to sexualise it with descriptions such as brain-gasm within sexual language. This resulted in parents thinking it was maybe risky and weird.

Lots of teenage clients I have seen over time report using it as a relaxation resource during times of increased stress and anxiety such as exams or returning to school after prolonged periods away such as holidays or illness.

It doesn’t work for everyone, but if it does work for you it seems to be a game-changer in regards to sleep.

I don’t fully understand when watching it how it can induce sensory relaxation and if I’m honest I find the whispering very irritating, but it works for my daughter and below are a few paragraphs written by her explaining what it is and the benefits she has felt when using this valuable resource.

“ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos are something I watch every night before I go to sleep or when I’m anxious and dysregulated. I watch ASMR …

Why some traumatised people feel near the tipping point during lockdown and what we can do to help… just one thing!

I wanted to write this short piece for people to gain a greater understanding of what the challenges may be for some people who have experienced developmental trauma or a traumatic episode.
Why would this be so?
One of the aims of therapy for the traumatised client is to try and live within a window of tolerance re emotions and sensations. This is a difficult thing for the client to master as they are frequently triggered by implicit and explicit memories that hijack the central nervous system. Early on in therapy clients either live in a state of hyperarousal or hypo-arousal. Early and middle stage work is helping the client to dampen down this highly dysregulated state.

Clients often feel a huge level of responsibility for things that are usually far out of their control, as well as the people-pleasing they output for personal aspects that are within their control. They live with a high level of hypervigilance and a continuous dread of terrible things that may be about to happen. Some …

Why removing the mobile phone may make the problem worse. 3 minute read

It is difficult to know what the right thing is to do; we are the first generation as parents to experience addictions to technology. We are the first generation to tackle the use of Snapchat, TickTock and Instagram.

Also, Facetime is a gamechanger, they can be connected to their friends in the privacy of there own homes, but that alters our levels of privacy within the family. How many parents have said ‘were you just on call when I was talking to your sister, were you just on call when I’m shouting for your brother to be ready?’

We are the second generation of parents where mental health in children and parents is acknowledged.

We are in a terrible position; we have a greater awareness but with no solution.

Two things are at play here, phone removal may be for two different reasons. First let’s look at what phone usage may or may not be doing to teenagers.

Research has suggested that more than 23% of young people have a dysfunctional relationship with their smart phones. Findings sugg…

New Year exercise? It needs to involve the following element to be an all-round healthy pursuit.

It has been believed for decades that the mature brain was incapable of growing new neurons; it was understood that as we reached adulthood, we began to lose neurons rather than gain them. However, it has been extensively researched and proved that exercise in particular can create new neurons, helping to defend against conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Physical activity improves the function of many systems in the body, but the effects are usually about athletic performance, but what sort of challenge improves brain function?

Researchers at Salk Institute showed in the 1990’s that running increased the hippocampal neurons in mice. It increases BDNF (a protein called ‘brain-derived neurotrophic factor’) that is produced throughout the body and brain, it promotes nascent neurons. BDNF lead to an increase in size of the hippocampus thus improving memory in adults.

Research has also proven benefits of exercise in the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for planning…