A blue information sign, with leaves in the background
A blue information sign, with leaves in the background

We often believe that people who seem extremely confident in their abilities, have high powered jobs, speak multiple languages or win olympic medals must feel so proud of themselves.

Or that people who are confident in their opinions and have lots to say on every matter they are presented with, must hold themselves in high regard.

Yet, have you ever met someone who looked like they were killing it on paper, so good at their job, so loved by many, always in control of any scenario they find themselves in, and then found out they were insecure, and unsure that…

We are a society obsessed with productivity, status and job roles. For many of us, work is a core part of who we think we are. We define ourselves through our title — “I’m a psychologist”, “a chef”, “a librarian”, “a CEO”.

We define others in the same way. Hence why “ what do you do?” is one of the first questions we ask the people we meet.

If we define ourselves in this way what happens when work stops going well? Or we change jobs? Or lose our job?

This blog post will tell you:

  • what identity is and…

Boundaries are a hot topic. Over the last few years, society’s understanding of the need for boundaries has expanded hugely. Books are being written on them by the dozen, and if you follow mental health professionals you will never get through a morning of scrolling through your Instagram feed without seeing at least one post dedicated to the topic.

But the question that is rarely ever discussed in full is: Are boundaries selfish?

Usually, when this question is asked, the response is either a blanket “ No way!” or a “ Yes, they’re terrible”.

As I am a therapist you…

Photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash

I was recently asked to do a podcast with the journalist Alex Beard. The pocast was called The Honesty Box, and I was brought in to answer the question “Am I allowed to be angry at my depressed husband?”

My kneejerk response to this question was… “Can I have another one?”

Why? Because questions like this are very tricky to answer. They are taboo. No one chooses to be depressed. And therefore, the idea that someone could be angry at the person who is depressed is thought to be unkind, unfair, and unacceptable.

Questions like these often involve guilt, shame…

How is anger useful?

All emotions have a purpose. They provide us with the physical energy and drive we need in order to avoid the things in life that could endanger us and to turn towards the activities and items that could help us thrive — If you have been following my blog for a while, you already know this but if you haven’t read my blog on emotions yet, click here .

You and I are here today because anxiety caused our ancestors to worry about what could go wrong in the future. This in turn helped them prepare for and avoid anything…

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If you are struggling to make breathing exercises work for you, or find breathing exercises make your anxiety, stress, anger or other emotion feel worse rather than better, this blog post is for you.

Why your breathing exercises aren’t working

Your therapist or friend (or someone else) has told you that you need to do breathing exercises to manage your anxiety, anger, or other emotional responses. You have tried them but they just do not work for you. Sound familiar? If so you are not alone.

I am a clinical psychologist and I teach many people each week to use breathing exercises to manage their anxiety…

Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

Are you in a country where lockdown is starting to ease?

Are you worried about overdoing it once you are able to go outside and get back into your activities? Or, are you the opposite, thinking “I don’t want to get back out there yet, I’m not ready!”?

If you said yes to either of these questions, this article is for you. I will give you 9 steps to help you look after yourself, prevent burnout and manage anxiety as lockdown ends, wherever you are in the world, and whenever it is that your local area starts to open up.

Whatever you are feeling it’s ok

In some countries including the…

COVID-19 has changed our lives. One of the many things it’s changed is how we attend our therapy sessions. Gone (temporarily) are our weekly trips to our therapist’s office, replaced instead with a new method of communication: Video call, voice call, instant messaging, text or email.

For many, this transition can feel anything from odd to really damn scary. I keep hearing questions such as will it feel the same? Will our relationship change? How will I manage this new way of connecting? What if I can’t manage the technology? Mostly, the question I get is: Please can you give…

Photo by Olav Ahrens Røtne on Unsplash

When anxiety, stress, jealousy, rage or any other fight-or-flight based emotion comes knocking at our door our problem-solving abilities shut down. We slip into ‘fight for your life’ or ‘run for it’ mode, which means that we are suddenly unable to see any kind of solution to the problem in front of us. More than that we often become passive witnesses to the automatic and often volatile responses that fly out of us during those times.

Have you noticed this? Can you think of a time recently when you felt stressed or worried and you felt like you had no…

If you have just received a new mental health diagnosis (or have had one for a while) this letter is for you…

Dear You,

Today (or recently) you had some news. I don’t know how you felt about it. I don’t know how you feel about it. However, there are some things I know to be true:

You are no different to who you were prior to the diagnosis. You are the exact same person you were yesterday. You are still that same person who has lived your life, has had your experiences, who knows what it is to be…

Dr Soph

Clinical Psychologist and Yoga Teacher. Writing about mental health and effective strategies for improving your wellbeing.

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