Archive for April, 2012

Severe childhood Abuse may treble schizophrenia risk

April 23rd, 2012

Prof Richard Bentall of the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society and his research team have shown that the risk of developing psychosis increased proportionately with the amount of abuse or trauma a child suffers.

About 1-3% of the population suffer Schizophrenia and it is one of the most severe types of mental illness.  It is characterised by hearing voices, bizarre beliefs and loss of motivation.

Read more

See also Cannabis use and schizophrenia

Download  Lancet article

Black and minority ethnic mental health patients ‘marginalised’

April 23rd, 2012

My work has as one of its key features the principle of being mindful of  the context of  the clients’ life.  In the paper,  ‘Learning as a context for differences and differences as a context for learning’,  Burnham,  Palma and Whitehouse write of the various differences that ought to be taken into account when practicing psychotherapy, namely the GRRAACCEESS’, which stands for; Gender, Race,  Religion, Age, Ability, Class, Culture, Ethnicity, Education, Sexuality and Spirituality.

And what can happen when these factors are ignored or not taken sufficiently serious?

In her piece for The Guardian psychiatrist Suman Fernando argues that in making NHS mental health making policy the government has not taken into account ethnicity and race and despite years of  lobbying various governments to accept the  facts they have ignored them and allowed there to be disproportionately poor outcomes for people whose ethnic background is black and minority ethnic groups.

And….. what of those other substantial factors that are part and parcel of social living? They too are frequently ignored or not given their appropriate attention and here I am talking of;  Gender, Race,  Religion, Age, Ability, Class, Culture, Ethnicity, Education, Sexuality and Spirituality

Further reading click the Guardian


Louis Theroux on autism: A very different sort of school

April 19th, 2012

Louis Theroux on autism

National Autistic Society

Facts and Statistics

Autism – the Guardian



Bullied Autistic boy killed himself

April 18th, 2012

Part of my work with children and young people has involved me in a lot of work dealing with bullying and related problems.

In the  Gareth Oates story we can have some insight into the tragic effects of bullying and bullying generally.

See BeatBullying for more information and support and also ChildLine on Bullying

For bullying and adults also see Bully Online




Over 20% of Irish children ‘hear voices’

April 16th, 2012

Research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry study sates that more than one in five Irish children between the ages of 11 and 13 have reported hearing voices. Some experts believe this can be evidence of  a risk factor in future mental illness. Lead researcher, Dr Ian Kelleher, – stated:  “Auditory hallucinations can vary from hearing an isolated sentence now and then, to hearing ‘conversations’ between two or more people lasting for a several minutes.”

For most of these children, the hallucinations stop as they get older – but those who continue to hear voices may be at risk of more complex mental illnesses.

The research team assessed nearly 2,500 children aged between 11 and 16 years in four separate studies. They found that 21-23% of younger adolescents (aged 11-13 years) had experienced auditory hallucinations. Just over half (57%) of the younger adolescents who heard voices were found to have a psychiatric disorder following clinical assessment. In older adolescents (aged 13-16 years), just 7% reported hearing voices. However, nearly 80% of the older adolescents who heard voices were found to have a psychiatric disorder – showing a clear association between auditory hallucinations and serious mental illness.

“For many children, these experiences appear to represent a ‘blip’ on the radar that does not turn out to signify any underlying or undiagnosed problem. However, for the other children, these symptoms turned out to be a warning sign of serious underlying psychiatric illness, including clinical depression and behavioural disorders, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Some older children with auditory hallucinations had two or more disorders. This finding is important because if a child reports auditory hallucinations it should prompt their treating doctor to consider that the child may have more than one diagnosis.”

Professor Mary Cannon, also of the RSCI’s Department of Psychiatry, said: “Our study suggests that hearing voices seems to be more common in children than was previously thought. In most cases these experiences resolve with time. However in some children these experiences persist into older adolescence and this seems to be an indicator that they may have a complex mental health issue and require more in-depth assessment.

If you’d like to read more click here


Postcards from another person’s reality

April 16th, 2012

We all think we know the meaning of the word ‘Reality’. We all believe that what we see, hear, taste, feel, smell touch and love are all real. Sometime our ideas of reality are challenged, but we dont worry because it happens in the cinema, on a computer and on 3D screens. Yet others have their reality challenged because of alcohol and drugs while for some reality is a challenge because of the way they think, because of their altered states of consciousness.

Working with people living with this  ‘altered’  thinking has made me re-think many notions connected with the medicalised concepts of  ‘mental health’ and helped me to create new ways to be of help.

If you would like to know more, why not pay a visit to ” Postcards from another person’s reality ” by Rachael Buchanan of the BBC

See also Rethink Mental Illness.

Children’s and Young Person’s Services on the Isle of Wight

April 13th, 2012

To find out more about  Children and Young People’s Services on the Isle of Wight click here.


April 13th, 2012

My clinical work involves working with children, teenagers and young adults. All too often I meet with children who suffer physical and emotional abuse so if you have a moment or two take a look at the NSPCC website where you can find a lot of useful information. Click here – NSPCC

Keeping Children Safe

  • If you are a young person who needs to talk with someone  either call   0800 1111     or click  here – CHILD LINE
  • If you are worried about a child’s safety  and you want to speak with an NSPCC counsellor for free, 24 hours a day. Call 0808 800 5000
  • If  you want NSPCC LEAFLETS AND RESOURCES  please click


New Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

April 12th, 2012

While undertaking some meta research concerning the various interventions and treatments for PTSD I came across one theory of therapy that connected strongly with my own theories of mind and clinical practice.

To learn more click on ‘Use of virtual reality in PTSD treatment’.

The Works: helping others to free themselves from alcohol and drugs addiction

April 12th, 2012

As a psychotherapist a sad yet all too frequent challenge is meeting with clients, of all ages, whose lives are ravaged by  addiction. So to come across an organisation and a team of people dedicating themselves to combating the problem and supporting the suffers of these twin destructive diseases  is inspiring. Well done John Elford and the rest of the team.

To learn more click on  ‘The Works’ and to read the article see, ‘A way out of the black hole of addiction’