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    Six years ago, I received a life-altering diagnosis: bipolar disorder type II. Little did I know that this pivotal moment would set me on a path of self-discovery, resilience, and, ultimately, the creation of a documentary that unveils the reality of living with this challenging condition. This documentary was created by my long-time friend Lera Zavyalova. With a heartfelt determination, I am compelled to share the story of my recovery journey, as I fervently believe it holds the power to ignite hope within others who may be facing similar struggles with this condition. Recognising the utmost importance of keeping an ongoing dialogue surrounding mental illness open, we have created this film to extend support not only to individuals living with this diagnosis but also to their cherished loved ones and friends, who serve as unwavering allies on this shared journey.


    It's not uncommon for therapy clients to hit a wall at some point in their sessions. They may feel like they've talked about everything there is to talk about, or they may feel like they're not making progress. It's important to remember that this is a normal part of the therapeutic process, and there are ways to work through it. One thing to consider is that deeper issues or underlying feelings may still need to be addressed. It can be helpful to take a step back and reflect on what's really going on beneath the surface. Ask yourself, "What am I feeling right now?" or "What do I really want to talk about?" It's also important to communicate with your therapist about your feelings. Let them know if you need help with what to talk about. They may have suggestions for topics to explore or techniques to help you get unstuck. Remember, therapy is a collaborative process, and your therapist is there to support you. Finally, it's okay to take a break from therapy if you need it. Sometimes a hiatus can give you time to reflect and come back with a fresh perspective. Just make sure to communicate with your therapist about your plans and discuss when you plan to return.


    In recent years, there has been a surge in films and TV shows that explore the world of therapy and mental health, and for a good reason - watching these types of media can be incredibly beneficial for our mental health and well-being. Films about therapy help to gain insight into the therapy process and can provide a window into events happening behind the closed doors of the counselling office. By watching how therapists interact with their clients, we can understand the different approaches that therapists use, the types of issues that people bring to therapy, and the potential benefits of seeking therapy. In this blog post, we offer five recent TV series about different types of therapy: The Patient is an American psychological thriller limited series created and written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg and aired in October 2022. It’s always good when somebody seeks therapy, but it’s less good when they take their therapist hostage and demand they silence their urge to kill. In this psychological thriller, a serial killer named Sam Fortner takes a therapist, Alan Strauss, hostage. Alan must attempt to stop Sam from killing again — and avoid becoming his next victim. In Treatment (season 4). Set in present-day L.A., this reimagining of HBO's enthralling drama series follows observant, empathetic, and complicated therapist Dr Brooke Taylor (three-time Emmy(R) winner Uzo Aduba) as she helps a captivating trio of patients navigate complex issues--from the pandemic to sexuality, relationships, and major social and cultural shifts--while dealing with her own demons. Season 4 of In Treatment was aired in May 2021. Couples Therapy Australia (season 1). This series follows three diverse couples over ten weeks as they meet with a registered clinical psychotherapist to resolve long-standing conflicts and strive to reinvigorate their relationships. At the helm of the show is psychotherapist Marryam Chehelnabi, who will be leading the couples through this course with the aim of finding new connections and compassion with one another. Season 1 of Couples Therapy Australia was aired in July 2022. The Shrink Next Door. Inspired by true events, this series details the bizarre relationship between psychiatrist to the stars Dr Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf (played by Paul Rudd) and his long-time patient Martin “Marty” Markowitz (played by Will Ferrell). Over the course of their relationship, the all-too-charming Ike slowly inserts himself into Marty’s life. The series explores how a seemingly normal doctor-patient dynamic morphs into an exploitative relationship filled with manipulation, power grabs, and dysfunction at its finest. The show was released in November 2021. Group (2 seasons). You don't really know yourself until you look through someone else's eyes. In a room with Dr Ezra, eight New Yorkers explore hidden truths about their intimacy, loneliness, sexuality, and fears. Inspired by Irvin Yalom’s novel “The Schopenhauer Cure”, GROUP is a fly-on-the-wall experience of a kind you've never seen before. Both seasons have been available on YouTube since April 2020.


    Despite its prevalence, there is still much misunderstanding around depression that often prevents individuals from seeking help or receiving appropriate treatment. Here are some of the biggest misconceptions about depression: Depression is just feeling sad: While sadness can be a symptom of depression, it is not the same thing as depression. Depression is a complex illness that involves a range of physical, emotional, and behavioural symptoms. Depression is a sign of weakness: Depression is not a weakness or a personal failing. It is a medical condition that can affect anyone, regardless of strength or character. Depression can be cured by positive thinking: While positive thinking and self-care can help manage depression symptoms, they are not a cure. Depression is a medical condition that requires professional treatment, such as therapy or medication. Depression is always caused by a traumatic event: While traumatic events can trigger depression, it can also develop from a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors. Depression is just a phase: Depression is not a temporary condition that can be brushed off or ignored. It is a chronic illness that requires ongoing management and treatment. Antidepressants are addictive: Antidepressants are not addictive, although some individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. However, the benefits of medication often outweigh the risks of withdrawal. It's important to understand that depression is a serious illness requiring professional treatment. By recognising and debunking these misconceptions, we can help reduce the stigma surrounding depression and encourage more people to seek the help they need.


    Depression is a mental illness that affects millions of people around the world. 1 in 7 Australians will experience depression in their lifetime, and 1 in 16 Australians is currently experiencing depression. Depression can cause significant disruption to daily life and significantly lower its quality. Also, when untreated, depression can induce various physical health problems, strain relationships, increase the use of substances and alcohol, and, worse comes to worst, increase the risk of suicide. Thus, it is critical to identify depression symptoms early, take them seriously and seek professional help. But how do you spot these symptoms and distinguish them from situational sadness that comes and goes and is normal for a human? It is quite straightforward. You need to pay attention to two major things: Depressed, sad mood most of the day, nearly every day. Markedly diminished pleasure in all or almost all activities most of the day, nearly every day. These two signs should be observed by yourself or others during the same 2-week period and represent the significant change from the previous functioning. If you notice both or one of these symptoms in two weeks, it is enough to book a consultation with your GP. However, you can also pay attention to the following additional signs of depression: Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (5% of body weight in a month) or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day. You become unusually fast and restless or, vice versa, your movements become slow and sluggish nearly every day. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others). Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying); recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan; a specific suicide plan. If you can account for four or more signs from the above seven in addition to the first two, you might meet the full criteria for major depressive disorder. However, it must be confirmed by a medical professional. Remember, depression is a treatable illness, and seeking help is the first step towards recovery. If you are feeling depressed, know that you are not alone and that there are people and resources available to support you through this difficult time.


    Counselling is a process that involves a trained professional helping individuals work through personal issues, emotional challenges, and other difficulties. But what exactly makes counselling "good"? While many factors contribute to effective counselling, some key elements include empathy, rapport, and expertise. One of the most important aspects of good counselling is empathy. A skilled counsellor should be able to empathise with their clients' experiences and provide a safe and supportive environment to explore their thoughts and feelings. This helps individuals feel heard and understood, which can be incredibly validating and empowering. Another critical component of good counselling is the establishment of rapport between the counsellor and the client. Trust is vital in any therapeutic relationship, and a good counsellor will work to create a connection with their client built on mutual respect and understanding. When clients feel comfortable with their counsellor, they are likelier to open up and share their experiences honestly and openly. Finally, expertise is another important factor in good counselling. A trained and experienced counsellor will have the knowledge and skills to help individuals effectively work through their challenges. In psychodynamic counselling, the frequently used skills are active listening, reflection, clarification, interpretation, holding and silence. Ultimately, good counselling is about creating a supportive and empowering environment in which individuals can work through their challenges and find a path forward. With empathy, rapport, and expertise, skilled counsellors can help their clients overcome obstacles, build resilience, and live more fulfilling lives.


    There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding therapy, which can prevent people from seeking the help they need. These myths often perpetuate negative stigmas around mental health and therapy, which can be harmful to those who could benefit from these services. This post will explore and debunk five common myths about therapy. Myth #1: Only “crazy” people go to therapy. The truth is that therapy is for anyone who wants to improve their mental health and well-being. It’s important to recognise that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and therapy can benefit anyone struggling with emotional or mental health concerns. Myth #2: Therapy is too expensive. While therapy can be costly indeed, it also could be a valuable investment. It is proven that therapy can lead to improved communication skills, better self-esteem, and a greater sense of overall well-being. Investing in therapy can positively impact an individual's personal and professional life, as it can foster personal growth, resilience, and a more fulfilling life. Myth #3: Therapy is only for people with severe mental health issues. Therapy can benefit a wide range of concerns, from managing stress and anxiety to navigating relationship issues or life transitions. Therapy is not just for individuals with severe mental health issues but for anyone looking to improve their mental health and well-being. Myth #4: Therapy is just talking, and it doesn't really work. While therapy involves talking, it is much more than just conversation. Therapists use evidence-based techniques and approaches to help clients understand and manage their emotions and behaviours. Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of therapy in improving mental health outcomes. Myth #5: Therapy is a quick fix. Therapy is a process that takes time and effort. It’s important to recognise that change doesn’t happen overnight and that therapy requires commitment and consistency. However, the benefits of therapy can be long-lasting and transformative. It is important to challenge these common myths about therapy and recognise the value and benefits of seeking mental health support. Therapy can be a powerful tool for improving mental health and well-being, and it’s essential to remember that seeking help is a sign ofstrength, not weakness.

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