17 August 2016

The Use of Cannabis Extract in Treating Anxiety

I was sent the following press release which I found interesting and thought was relevant to this blog. It talks about the therapeutic use of the cannabis extract CBD (cannabidiol) for treating anxiety. Unfortunately, most of today's street-available cannabis tends to be hydroponically grown Skunk weed which has a proportionately lower amount of CBD (the calming chemical) than THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which can induce anxiety and paranoia. So self-medicating might not be the answer in this case. There is also an interesting article on using cannabis to treat psychosis here.

- Natural cannabis extract CBD tackles symptoms of panic and anxiety
- One in three adults in UK will suffer from anxiety at some point

An entirely natural food supplement derived from the hemp plant could help thousands of people suffering from anxiety while reducing the need for medication. Cannabidiol (or CBD) is a naturally occurring extract produced from the cannabis plant which has been associated with a number of health benefits and has been found to have a positive effect on the symptoms of anxiety.  
Numerous scientific studies have shown the beneficial effects of hemp extract on people suffering from anxiety.  Anxiety is one of the most common neurotic disorders and affects a huge number of people every day. Around a third of people will experience episodes of anxiety or panic attacks at one point in their lives, while one in ten will be affected by severe symptoms.
Studies have shown that CBD extracts play an important role in reducing anxiety. In a double-blind experiment carried out at the University of São Paulo, the extract was given to a randomized group of people preparing for a public speaking event. Compared to the control group, those given CBD were found to feel significantly less anxious and more comfortable both in the run up to the event and during. They also reported thinking more clearly than the control group.[1]

Other studies using neuroimaging have shown that CBD can affect the limbic and paralimbic regions of the brain including the amygdala, which play a role in the fear response. When exposed to stressful situations, subjects who had been given CBD showed less activity in these parts of the brain and felt less anxiety.[2]

Neurologist Professor Mike Barnes said: “Anxiety is an issue that affects millions of people every day and CBD can have a real, positive impact on their lives.  There is a great deal of scientific literature on Cannabidiol but it’s only in the past few years that we’ve begun to fully realise the potential.  Much like the way Dopamine has revolutionised the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, I am sure the role of Cannabis extracts will expand into modern medical practice.  CBD is now credible and continues to surprise the scientific community.  This is a very exciting time for Cannabis research and whilst international studies are ongoing, there is strong evidence to support the treatment of other major issues such as Epilepsy and PTSD.  I believe we will see CBD becoming much more widely accepted as its beneficial properties are better understood.”

“There are so many misconceptions around this market and we’re a long way behind other places like the US where hemp extract has a mainstream acceptance.” said Tom Rowland, co-founder of CBD Oils UK.   “Every week, we hear from customers that our products have improved their wellbeing.  Whilst we would not advocate CBD as an alternative to professional advice, there is a growing weight of scientific evidence to support its use.”

It is estimated that the global CBD industry is already worth around $200million and the UK market is expanding rapidly.  CBD Oils UK is the first company to offer high strength 40% (4,000mg) oil which adheres to strict UK regulations.

Tom added:  “Some people may be concerned because the products are derived from cannabis but CBD does not have psychoactive properties and is entirely safe.  It’s a fast growing market and we are proud of our products. The feedback from our customers has been overwhelming.”

Visit www.cbdoilsuk.com for more details.
FAQ available here: https://www.cbdoilsuk.com/about-us/f-a-q/

[1] Cannabidiol Reduces The Anxiety Induced By Simulated Public Speaking In Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients”
MM Bergamaschi, Department of Neuroscience and Behavior, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Neuropsychopharmacology, May 2011

[2] “Distinct effects of {delta}9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on neural activation during emotional processing”
P Fusar-Poli, Neuroimaging Section, Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, London
Archives of General Psychiatry, January 2009

16 August 2016

The Palace Gate Counselling Scandal - Why it was right to blow the whistle

2 years ago today The Mail on Sunday published an article exposing the scandal of the Palace Gate Counselling Service and the owner John Clapham's abusive behaviour as a therapist and owner of the service and that of his colleague/supervisee/employee/client Lindsey Talbott, whom he promoted to Director of the service in the midst of the crisis. 
Tina and I braced ourselves for the backlash and the ridicule and more worryingly, the impact on our private practice. We also risked losing our homes as we were threatened with being sued.
2 years on I can gladly say that I wholeheartedly stand by the decision to expose this abuse and to protect others from enduring likewise.
Sadly, Palace gate Counselling, Clapham and Talbott are still operating. I'm happy to say that most of the referral sources are now obsolete. However, NHS Torbay Trust still signpost to the service, which is ridiculous and quite disturbing.
I am also pleased to say that the push for regulation is gaining momentum (thanks to joining forces with Philip Doré) and our paper on regulation via the campaign, 'Unsafe Spaces' and the Palace Gate case were referred to in Parliament.
I have also gained a bit of a niche speciality in working with people who have had abusive experiences in therapy. Some have found me via that article which gave them hope that they would believed and that I would get it. It is a shame that we live in a  world where this niche area is required but sadly, without regulation, far too much of this goes on and remains in the shadows.
It's pretty much behind me but I must confess that the behaviour of Talbott in particular got under my skin. She knows what he did. She knows it was wrong. But chose to make mine and Tina's life as hellish as she possibly could and tell the world that we were liars. Very scary. And she's a therapist...out there...as is he...
The good news is that it wasn't only the BACP that validated our truth; the Catholic Church cancelled Clapham's imminent ordainment, the Rosen Method bodywork organisation cancelled his internship and the police, although unable to prosecute, were very validating. 
And finally, my business is thriving and I have made this a viable and fulfilling career. As is Tina's. Some potential clients might read about my experience and be put off. However, many have stated that it is because of my stance and experiences that they chose me.

8 August 2016

For therapists; Compete or Collaborate? by Cathy Towers

This has been reblogged with kind permission from a blog by Cathy Towers published on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/compete-collaborate-cathy-towers-mbacp-senior-accred?
It is hard enough promoting yourself as a therapist ... then you see all the other therapists.  Traditional marketing can make us look at all others as competition, but I think that causes huge stress for therapists who are, by the nature of the healing work they do, more inclined to creating relationships than competing.
I have had people interested in renting a room at my clinic then saying "oh, you already have a reflexologist/counsellor/life coach so we would be in competition".  I believe this is a thought pattern which hinders us in the business of private practice.  Our professions are already high up on the scale of isolated working, why add to that?  
Look around the area you live: similar types of business congregate in the same street or industrial park.  Restaurants cluster together, car sales cluster together.  Yet they are in competition - so how does that work?  Well that area of town gets known for cars, so it is the place that everyone goes to when they want a car.  By having their sales units close together, they make it easy for the customer to look around, rather than give up and stick with what they have. It encourages a sale as the customer has choice. The decision is which car is right for me rather than shall I have a car or not?
I believe that together we therapists are stronger and better.  I like to take things a step further - cooperate, be helpful to each other, share knowledge and expertise generously and it comes back to you. Collaboration is a professional way forward.  My peer group has provided advice, supervision, cross-referrals, recommendations, ideas, emergency back-up... in fact a whole host of practical and emotional help.
The team at my clinic have also worked together at conferences, fairs, talks, written articles and peer-led learning. This also presents us as clearly client-focused, as we ensure that the right referral gets to the right person.  Result? Happier client, better word-of-mouth reputation for the group as a whole.
Look kindly at your colleagues.  I feel blessed to have such excellent 'competition'.  Their support helps me raise my game, act with integrity and also creates a safety net for clients. 
Want a therapist-friendly approach to marketing?  Check out www.cpdfortherapists.co.uk Call 07989 564660 for more information

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