Resources

In my work as a  clinical psychologist, I am always on the lookout for resources that my clients may find helpful.   These videos are a few of the favourites.  

Recommended videos

Brene Brown and "Boundaries"

PolyVagal Theory

Brene Brown and "Empathy versus Sympathy"

Self compassion and the "old brain" and "new brain"

Russ Harris's "struggle switch"

"Passengers on the bus"  - understanding acceptance and commitment

Russ Harris's Values Versus Goals (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

Sam Harris (Neuroscientist) on anxiety 

Self-Help Resources

Where to turn for mental health support in a crisis

If you or a loved one are experiencing a crisis, such as: feeling overwhelmed to the point of not feeling able to function, feeling out of control, thinking about self-harming, feeling that you can’t go on, considering suicide, feeling in need of urgent help...you can:

 

  • call NHS 111 for advice or 999 in an emergency

  • call your local NHS crisis service (find it via your preferred search engine)

  • call The Samaritans free on 116123 from any phone.  They provide a confidential listening service 24/7, where you are able to talk to them about what is troubling you.  You can also email: jo@samaritans.org

 

Sleep and Insomnia Resources

 

Sleep problems are often one of the first signs that your mental health is deteriorating – if so, it is important to address the underlying problem.  Insomnia may also be a problem in and of itself.   Here are some links to helpful resources:

 

A series of pamphlets guide you through practical steps to improve your sleep.  These are free to download.

 

https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Sleep

 

Sleepio

Sleepio is an online sleep improvement programme which is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy.  This programme has been proven to  help a significant number of people who complete the course and can therefore be prescribed for free on by your NHS GP. You can also pay for the programme yourself by signing up on their website here.  I have tried this one myself and I did find it helpful.

 

Sleep Station

This is another online course that addresses insomnia.  It is a 6 week course which starts with completion of a 7-day diary then provides personalised advice to improve your sleep.   Currently this course if available free to certain groups such as NHS workers.  Otherwise, Some people can access the course for free (such as NHS workers).  Courses start at £95.

 

Pzizz

Pzizz is an app that has been developed as a tool for calming the anxiety and racing thoughts that are often associated with insomnia.  It is  NHS-recommended. It uses a combination of music, speech and sound effects. The app is free but with in-app purchases.

 
 

Self-compassion resources

Psychologists now recognise that our ability to relate to ourselves in a self-compassionate way is an important aspect of emotional wellbeing -  more so than high self-esteem, which was traditionally seen as a key marker of positive mental health.  If you have blocks to developing self-compassion, you may benefit from seeing a psychotherapist who specialises in compassion focused therapy to help you to work through these blocks.  There are also lots of very useful self-help resources that can help you develop self-compassion:

The Centre for Clinical Interventions offer free access to a helpful set of self-compassion worksheets here

Kirstin Neff, an American psychologist who is a leading researcher into self-compassion offer a series of self-compassion audios - exercises and meditations that can help you to cultivate an attitude of care and warmth towards yourself.  I particularly like her Self-Compassion Break exercise.  You can listen to her audio recording of it here.

The Compassionate Mind Foundation, which was set up by British clinical psychologist Paul Gilbert, provides a range of useful self-compassion resources.  Professor Gilbert recommends the use of a breathing technique he calls “soothing rhythm breathing” as a foundational practice for developing self-compassion.  Male and female voice recordings of soothing rhythm breathing are available here