Welcome to the Avenue Therapies blog!

We all have physical health. We all have mental health. We are all in the same mental health boat so to speak, rowing as best we can with the ores, instruction, supplies and guidance we have acquired on our journey so far.  Just as eating well, keeping active, good sleep and a good routine are important to our physical health, there are things in life that are important for supporting good mental health too.

This blog is for everyone – you, me and anyone who is interested in mental health, mental wellbeing and recovery. We would like to use this space to share with you information, skills, guidance and research related to maintaining and improving mental wellbeing.

We want to write this blog for you, for everyone. So if there is anything you are particularly interested in knowing more about, get in touch, let us know and we'll blog about it if we can!

Thanks for stopping by. We hope you find this blog useful.

With warm wishes,
Nicole, Pete and Anna

  • This thing called "Acceptance": how do I do that?

    In the last blog we started to explore what acceptance is. I first came across the concept when I was working as an Assistant Psychologist (many years ago!) with people who had dementia.  If I’m honest, I was struggling to hold hope in my work with people who I couldn’t make “better” and my supervisor started to discuss the importance of acceptance and finding meaning in things that might at times seem ‘meaningless’. She recommended that I read Viktor …

  • This thing called "Acceptance"

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Even though I ‘teach’ acceptance as a skill, it’s something that I have sometimes struggled with myself; to ‘accept’ some of life’s events. When I hear about some of the things that my clients have been through, are going through and might continue to face, I’m sometimes amazed at how they keep going. 

    So I thought I’d try to learn more about it. Marsha Linehan coined the term “ …

  • Coping with Grief Part 2: The multiple challenges of grief

    Part 2: The multiple challenges of grief

    by Katy Woolf

    In the last blog, we saw that grief is not an easy process to pass through, and many obstacles can come up along the way which can make this more difficult. Grief is a normal and expected response to loss, and we can think of it a bit like a wound healing. This takes time, and might involve pain, suffering and patience. However, sometimes that wound can become infected, and its ability to heal can become complicated. At these times we …

  • Coping with Grief Part 1: How can I make sense of my grief?

    Part 1: How can I make sense of my grief?

    by Katy Woolf

    Loss is a universal experience, and yet it is among one of life’s most challenging and painful experiences.  When we lose someone we love, we are faced not only with the pain of the loss itself, but also the struggle of understanding and making sense of our grief reaction and the impact of the loss on our emotional world. This can feel extremely confusing and unpredictable, especially when our experiences don’t fit …

  • How to cope with traumatic memories

    OK, so now we have some idea as to why our past feels like our present, but what do we do about it?!

    When experiencing some of the effects of trauma such as intense fear, anger, nightmares, and flashbacks, it can be difficult to stay focussed on the present, what is going on around us. Our thinking goes ‘off line’ while the brain goes into protection mode (the fight-flight-freeze stuff we talked about in the last blog.  These can sometimes lead us to cope in ways that might …

  • Why does my past feel like my present?

    Why do I sometimes feel like I’m six years old again when I’m scared? Why am I still so distressed by something that happened years ago? These are questions I often get asked in my practice. Well, research has indicated that this is due to the way our brains function and how the memories from the past are stored. To help explain, I want to borrow the example that Francine Shapiro uses in her book: ‘Getting past your past’ (Shapiro, 2012).  So, think of the sentence: …

  • The Challenges and Benefits of the ‘Compassionate Mind’ (Part 2)

     

    How do I develop my ‘compassionate mind’?

    By Katy Woolf

    In part 1 of the blog, we talked about what we mean by the ‘compassionate mind’ and why we might struggle with this at times.  Whilst we all have a compassionate mind, we can lose touch with this, perhaps allowing it to shrink away amongst the chatter of our threat-focused mind. But we can begin to turn the mind towards compassion and practice being kinder towards ourselves, and in turn …

  • The Challenges and Benefits of the ‘Compassionate Mind’ (Part 1)

     

    By Katy Woolf

     

    What is compassion?

     “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too…”(Kipling, 1895)

    Self-compassion can be an abstract concept for many of us, perhaps because it seems like letting ourselves off the hook, because we feel we don’t deserve it, or perhaps it simply gets forgotten amongst the …

  • Sleep Part 5 – How to improve sleep

    By Pete & Anna

     

     

    So to recap, we’ve talked about what sleep is and why we do it. We thought about how much sleep we’re supposed to get, sleep difficulties and the things that can get in the way of our sleep. Now we’re going to focus on the things you can do to improve sleep.

    We’ve split this section into two – the things you can do to promote your own sleep and the things that you could do to support others to sleep.

     

    1) …

  • Sleep Part 4- What can get in the way of our ZZZZZs

    By Pete

     

    There are so many reasons why people struggle to sleep.

    What follows is a list of common things that make it harder to get to, or stay, asleep. Sadly it reads a bit like a list made by the fun police!… but these things are important to consider in the context of what you can do to improve your sleep.

     

    Environment

    This can make a massive difference. Having light in your sleeping space and having your room too hot or cold can make it harder to get …

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