The importance of telling the difference between guilt and shame

Two of our strongest and potentially most crippling emotions are also two of our most easily confused emotions: guilt and shame.

The issue at play here, though, is more important that simply discovering the dictionary definitions of two words because the causes and effects of – and responses to – guilt and shame are markedly […]

Is the use of antidepressants really rising dramatically?

The increased use of antidepressants over the past two decades has usually been seen as a pointer towards higher rates of depression or an over-diagnosis of depression.

In the US, especially, figures reveal that more than one in 10 teens and adults use antidepressants and prescriptions had quadrupled between 1988-1994 and 2005-2008.

But researchers in Canada […]

White Ribbon Month

How to tackle violence and anger in New Zealand society

For all our beautiful landscapes and belief that we are a peaceful society, New Zealand remains an angry country.

And that’s why, every year, November 25 is celebrated as White Ribbon Day – the pinnacle of a month-long drive to raise awareness and provide a call-to-action […]

What Are Core Mindfulness Skills?

Core mindfulness skills are one of the sets of skills taught by Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Unlike other behaviour therapies, DBT focuses not so much on changing behaviours as on accepting your feelings, and learning to observe them and let them flow away from you. Core mindfulness skills teach you to do just that, […]

What is Al-Anon?

Alcoholism, like any form of addiction, rarely limits its effects to the life of the alcoholics themselves. Even if they are high-functioning alcoholics and can manage to keep up the appearance of control, their dependence will inevitably affect their relationships with their family and friends.

If you are an alcoholic, help is at hand in […]

What is a Personality Disorder?

We are not all born the same, all you need to do to see this is to observe infants: some are calmer, some more sensitive, others more sociable. As we grow, our personality is shaped by our environment but it doesn’t fundamentally change. Rather, it develops to adapt to our life so that we […]

Why Do People Self-harm?

Self harm is a distressing behaviour where people physically hurt themselves or engage in risky activities as a way of coping with overwhelming emotions. There isn’t a typical profile to identify people more likely to self-harm, or a typical pattern. Some people will self-harm once or a few times, some stop when a specific […]

Relationships and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

While some people seek psychological help to keep their mind “tidy”, the vast majority of patients who come to counselling or psychotherapy do so because of a crisis in their life. Perhaps it is a specific challenge such as marriage breakdown or a generalised sense of dissatisfaction that they can’t quite explain to themselves, […]

How Can Psychotherapy Help?

We can sometimes be our own worst enemy, repeating patterns even though we know the end result, forming relationships which cannot make us happy over and over again, or sabotaging ourselves through unhelpful behaviours. And even when we have identified the problem, we often find ourselves almost unable not to create the conditions which […]

How Can a Psychiatrist Help Me?

Even people who are open to counselling and psychotherapy can be reluctant to go and see a psychiatrist. What will people think? Surely, the nest step is a straightjacket and padded walls?! Far from it, seeing a psychiatrist is nothing but a wise and courageous decision which will set you on the path of […]