Category: treatment

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When it comes to mental health, it pays to be friends with a fish

9 April, 2021

posted in commentary, research, treatment, wellbeing

Eating fish is linked with better mood. 

Okay, it’s supposed to be oily fish like salmon, trout, tuna, swordfish, mackerel, sardine, or herring.  Not sharks because they’re endangered but you get this gist.  Oily fish contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to lowered rates of depression and anxiety, better brain function, better memory, and decreased inflammation.

Fish 2-3 times per week (tinned, you don’t have to be fancy pants) ought to do the trick. read more »

Heroines and Heroes

8 May, 2020

posted in commentary, treatment

These words…..What sort of images do they usually conjur up? Amelia Earhart? Knights with swords? A fireman saving someone from a burning house? Mr Incredible? Some sports star? Nurses on the frontline fighting COVID-19? Willie Apiata? Who would you want to put in this throne?

My heroines and heroes are invisible. Often overlooked. Sometimes misunderstood. Will probably never be given any prestigious award or join the Queens Honours List. But in our work as psychologists, we see them everyday. People who have experienced childhood abuse and neglect.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls: the most massive characters are seared with scars” – Kahlil Gabrin

The human spirit amazes me. How children survive the horror, terror and deep abyss of their abusive or barren neglectful childhoods is truly incredible. The courage, creativity and fight in the teenage abuse survivor. The strength, courage, patience, toughness, wisdom in the adult now grown.

Our clients are heroes. They start therapy feeling the opposite. Broken, ashamed, weird, weak, bad, failure. I AM THE PROBLEM and IT IS MY FAULT and I AM BAD is etched in their skin. But slowly the work is done and they can own their right to LOVE, HAPPINESS. JOY AND ESTEEM. For survivors of childhood trauma, therapy is a test of their patience, hope and steel core. It can be a long and frustrating drag up a muddy, bloody hill and by god, it takes guts. But it just so happens that they are the gutsiest people I know.

Tara Clark, Clinical Psychologist, Psychology Associates

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble (apologies to Shakespeare)

1 May, 2020

posted in commentary, treatment, uncategorised, useful resources, wellbeing

Of course, the Witches in Macbeth actually said ….

“Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble”.

But it made me think about how our bubble runs the risk of turning into a bubbling cauldron after five weeks of Alert Level 3 and 4. We can begin to feel a bit like one of Shakespeare’s witches. Even their recipe (including eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog) begins to sound quite tempting after you’ve run out of cooking inspiration.

But on a more serious note, one of the positive aspects of COVID-19 has been the increased discussions about mental health. It seems like it has finally become mainstream to acknowledge that all of us experience mental distress at one time or another.

One of my favourite websites is the Mental Health Foundation – NZ

Over many years, the MHF has been supporting Kiwis and they have amassed amazing resources which are always practical, science-based and compassionate. Today, they have published a free downloadable poster which focuses on the 7 essentials of keeping mentally well in Level 4 and 3 Lockdown. Drum roll please……the 7 essentials are……

  • Give
  • Get moving
  • Take notice
  • Connect
  • Stick to a routine
  • Relax
  • Stay curious

Click the link below before you start noticing a wart growing on your nose or you’re spotted in the garden scavenging for a newt.

They’re gonna find me out! The curious case of the Impostor phenomenon

4 November, 2018

posted in help me, treatment, uncategorised

Did you know about 70% of people will experience the impostor phenomenon (fear of failure, fear of success, a sometimes obsessive perfectionist drive, and an inability to accept praise and achievement, combined with a genuine belief that you, the ‘impostor’, will be found out for being a fake).  To put it simply, it is the experience of feeling like a phony or a fraud.  It is particularly prevalent among high achieving women.

Common thoughts and feelings include:

  • I must not fail
  • I feel like a fake
  • My success was pure luck
  • I don’t deserve to be in this job

Common behaviours include: read more »

Living well with Type 2 Diabetes

5 March, 2018

posted in help me, treatment, useful resources, wellbeing

There are over quarter of a million people in Aotearoa diagnosed with diabetes (mostly type 2 diabetes) and perhaps another 100,000 with diabetes who don’t know it yet (Ministry of Health, NZ).  Diabetes is about 3 x more prevalent in Maaori and Pasifika people and is also strong in South Asian populations.


You can still live a great life with diabetes if you take control of the things you can control. read more »