12 Jan

Digital mental health

posted by administrator

Digital mental health In the UK, 38 million adults access the internet every day.1 That's 76% of the adult population. On average, internet users aged 16 and over spends more than 20 hours online each week and more than 70% have a social networking profile.2 With this growth of the internet, online spaces and smartphone apps, healthcare services are beginning to use these developing technologies to help monitor health and prevent and treat any problems. Digital health (or e-health as it's sometimes known) is a wide and varying concept that includes the use of technology for digital record keeping, online booking systems, online repeat prescriptions and some more innovative uses of technology for direct treatment.3 While applicable to physical health, there have been strides towards the use of digital health for mental health as a way to use IT to support and improve mental health, including the use of online resources, social media and smartphone applications.4 Digital mental ...

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04 Jan

Professional Counselling and Help for Depression

posted by Máire Rían

Professional Counselling and Help for Depression (as published in the September 2016 edition of The Meath Coaster

by Em Ryan

Counselling is not a luxury. At certain times, we all hit roadblocks that we need to overcome. This is the adventure of life: peaks and valleys. Every now and then, we may feel overwhelmed, depressed or stuck by our situation. That is where a qualified counsellor can help.

There is no need to suffer in silence or self-medicate with binge behaviors or any other coping mechanisms.  Destructive behaviors simply numb symptoms but do not treat them. If you are religiously inclined, seeking assistance from your parish priest can be helpful.  Calling a hotline may offer temporary assistance, from well-intentioned individuals who may or may not have completed coursework in psychology.

Still, you will receive the best care from a university degreed professional counsellor or psychotherapist. For example, if you broke your leg, would drinking beer help you walk again? Would calling a free phone number, set the broken bones? Obviously, only a well-trained professional, such as a doctor, could help you mend what is broken. So it is with mental health. It is important that you put yourself first, at trying times in your life. Seek out the very best to help guide you to self-discovery and to help you heal what is broken within you.

Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health issues. There are quite a few holistic remedies available that complement one-to-one talk therapy with a qualified professional. A degreed social worker, psychotherapist, or counsellor can help you deal with behaviors arising from a depressed state. In extreme cases, a psychiatrist’s help may be necessary, for medication.  However, if you are feeling depressed for longer than a week or so, it may be time to seek professional help.

As you await your appointment, try these remedies to boost your mood and potentially lift the brain fog that is often associated with depression. Taking the daily recommended dosage of St. John’s Wort and Kava Kava are two of the best natural vitamins to help with moving through depression.  Often depression is accompanied by sleep disturbances – either too much sleep or too little. Valerian, holy basil, ashwaganda, Sam-E are other natural herbals that come in vitamin form or as a tea.

Immediate relief of some depressive symptoms can come from beginning a practice of daily meditation. Simply learning how to take deep, diaphragmatic breaths can help in alleviating mild depression.  There are even free apps for your smart phone that guide you in learning how to breathe deeply for relaxation and improved mental clarity. “Breathing Lessons” is most well known for training the breath.  Mindfulness and guided meditations are also complementary, holistic practices to talk therapy.

Seeking assistance from a well-trained professional is tantamount to fixing what is broken.  Be sure to check their credentials so that you are assured of receiving the best, most qualified care for your broken leg or heart or head, whether physically or mentally. It is important to put yourself first in times of stress and transition, so that you may heal and be there for family and friends.


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15 Dec

Depressions Dangerous Secret

posted by Bernadette

Depressions Dangerous Secret

A new study which is the first of its kind has been published this week, which looked at the state of Mental Health among airline pilots, the study was carried out by Harvard’s Public Health School after Andreas Lubitz steering of the Germanwings flight into the French Alps.

The results of the study found that one in seven pilots suffer depression, with pilots aged in their forties being at most risk, the reality of this means that a worrying 14% of pilots reach the threshold of for clinical depression, reporting symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, trouble with concentration and feelings of failure.

One of the most worrying facts which the research uncovered was that there is a veil of secrecy being drawn over pilot’s mental health. This can of course can not only lead to disaster for the pilots concerned but can even lead to tragic events such as the one in the French Alps last year. Although this particular study only covered one profession the veil of secrecy isn’t something which is confined to pilots.

Many people who suffer with depression from a wide variety of professions feel compelled to keep it to themselves, with many failing to seek help as they fear that in doing so it will affect their long-term career prospects. At One Stop Psychotherapy, we want to do all we can to lift that veil   and as long term and committed supporters of the stamp out stigma campaign we believe more can and should be done to offer support to those who are in need.

There are many people working in high risk environments where maintaining good Mental health can be a challenge, the Police, Armed forces, Medical, Aviation in fact any job at all where pressure to succeed is high or where lifesaving decisions are being made on a daily basis. The fact is that it is all of our responsibilities to ensure the  good mental wellbeing of those who ensure that we live our lives in safety, we cannot and should not expect them to deliver the important work they do alone and without support.

With this in mind we would like to invite you all to join us in being vocal about stamping out the stigma of Mental Health, you can start by sharing this and other stories and by joining us on Facebook and twitter to spread the word, no person should be left to feel isolated and alone when dealing with any form of mental health problem, it’s the very essence of why was formed, so that there would always be a place people can go 24/7 to seek help and assistance. 

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25 Nov

Stories About Social Stories

posted by Holly Melrose

Stories About Social Stories

Using visual imagery has always been an easier way for me to communicate. I often explain psychological concepts in counselling using analogy and metaphor, such as energy feeling like a rollercoaster, or emotions being like a balloon filling with water. This is particularly useful with children, as they don't tend to talk about their problems, they act on them. 

As many adults know, children can be incredibly resistant to discussion of 'problems' where they are the starring character. This is where story telling can play a wonderful role in improving the way adults communicate to children. I use stories in play and personalised Social Stories for a range of children and young people with and without disabilities where traditional 'talk therapy' isn't appropriate. 


Communicating using story telling has been useful for my practice in three ways:

1. Clear rules are developed and communicated to the child and parent,

2. Parents learn and start helping the child generalise the story by using consistent language with their child, and

3. What I am teaching the child and parents in sessions can travel home with them.


Carol Gray, a teacher, developed the concept of 'Social Stories' in 1991 for use with children with autism. A Social Story is a short, simple story that provides information about a social situation and the appropriate behaviors needed for that situation. It can also be defined as short descriptions of real life situations that help someone understand what they might expect from a specific situation or event, or how to better interpret the circumstances surrounding something they may be experiencing.

Other picture-based approaches commonly used by psychologists include the Picture Exchange Communication System, and Comic Strip Conversations. All approaches have mixed evidence for their effectiveness for autism. This means that there is evidence for their effectiveness, but researchers are still working on figuring out exactly what parts are most effective, and to what extent. 

I make social stories on the fly in sessions using Comic Strip Conversations, and formally, using high quality images and tools. Below is a example of a formal Social Story that was developed for a teenager with moderate autism. (Zoom to see them adequately, or right click and save the file)


The social stories were developed after a period of time where I got to know the teenager’s skills and their family. I used a mixture of ShowMe images and comic making software, which were then placed into a word document with text. You can see that I have clearly communicated specific language that the child and parent can learn and use. The child's parents can now respond to situations where the child is having trouble being flexible with rules by communicating the right type of law, rule, or guideline that applies. 


Parents and teachers who want to use Social Stories would benefit from considering:

- The child's reading comprehension skills and interest in visual content,

- The complexity of the information needed,

- To what extent the child thinks rigidly (black and white) or in a concrete (over-simplified) manner,

- The most important concepts they would like to communicate,

- Time limitations, and

- The quality, flexibility of use, and licensing of the images they are using.

Holly is a registered psychologist practicing in Melbourne, Australia. She is available to be booked through OneStop for counselling and general consultation Monday to Thursday from 11:00 GMT to 8:00 GMT.

References and further reading: (PDF attached)


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17 Nov Crossing International Borders

posted by Bernadette Crossing International Borders

It’s been a little while since we checked in to give you all an update on how things are progressing with the team at the One Stop Psychotherapy Shop, so today I thought it would be a good idea to let you know about international developments and how we are now moving towards being a truly international provider of “online psychotherapy”  

For those of you who have been following our progress into the world of online therapy and video counselling, you will already be aware that our service is aimed at providing treatment without borders and in the last few weeks the One Stop Psychotherapy Shop, has truly become an international provider of online video counselling.

We have seen a spike of enquiries from a number of countries around the world from clients who are seeking late night instant counselling sessions, our research tells us that the vast majority of people who find us are in need of instant access to counselling and psychotherapy and thankfully they are managing to find and connect with us 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Our research also tells us that we are not just crossing international lines with countries just like the UK, but we are crossing borders into countries from all parts of the cultural spectrum, people in need of late night instant counselling sessions and who are specifically looking for online video counselling and psychotherapy come from counties such as:

·         America

·         Canada

·         Australia

·         China

·         Russia

·         India

·         France

·         Brazil

·         Spain

·         Germany

·         Malaysia

·         Austria

One interesting statistic that has caught our eye at head office, is the fact that since the result of the US election on the 9th of November, we have seen the number of visitors from the USA almost triple overnight and that number has remained static for a week.

Our aim is to become a world leader when it comes to providing online therapy and counselling, and to do this we need the support of people like you, we would like to thank each and every person who uses the site, whether you are a client or a therapist providing counselling and therapy online, and we look forward to sharing with you news of our continued growth and success in the months to come.



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24 Oct

Our friends over at the web site posted this informative article concerning life insurance for mental health patients

posted by Bernadette

Our friends over at  the web site  " Doesn't grow on trees"  posted this informative article concerning life insurance for mental health patients. 

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24 Oct

Our friends over at the web site " Doesn't grow on trees" posted this informative article concerning life insurance for menta

posted by Bernadette

Our friends over at  the web site  " Doesn't grow on trees"  posted this informative article concerning life insurance for mental health patients. 

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28 Aug

Half Day Practical Cyber Security Course: Tailored towards Counsellors and Practitioners of Therapy.

posted by administrator

Half Day Practical Cyber Security Course: Tailored towards Counsellors and Practitioners of Therapy. 

Price inclusive of certificate of attendance: £75.00  


Price inclusive of certificate of attendance plus test and security certificate & seal  £95.00    

 Location Stratford upon Avon                :  9. a.m to 1.30  on “23rd September 2016

The One Stop Psychotherapy Shop Ltd, has worked hard and listened to the needs of many therapists to bring together the content for this quality-endorsed, Cyber Seal of Security certification  course, designed to meet the needs of Psychotherapists, Counsellors and Therapists wishing to achieve higher levels of security in their work. The certification will encompass the work stations and other devices used in the provision of online video counselling services. If you are not 100% sure about the security of your work station at home or in the work place then this workshop is for you. Don't worry if you know a little or a lot about security on your PC or Laptop we will advance your knowledge weather you are a pro or a starter. 

We offer practitioners of online video counselling and therapies, the opportunity to gain Cyber Security certification..  Our Cyber Security accredited assessment will help therapists to exceed the basic standards laid out in the general guide by Cyber Essentials. Our prestigious seal is a beacon of excellence for therapists to display and is a trusted seal in client confidentiality within the online video counselling industry.

Course will cover:

Safety online protecting your clients’ data classification

Data protection (HIPAA Compliancy)

Skype v Web RTC (Real time communication) fundamental dangers between free skype counselling calls and Web Real time communication secured video calls

Encryption, what it is and how to apply it to files and folders

Spyware, all about spyware.

Passwords, how to make great passwords and implement password systems

Viruses, common viruses, how they work

Firewalls, what are they and how to set one up

E mail security, a look at email security

Web pages security HTTP v HTTPS

Geek and terms,

Cyber security seal certification test ( delegates taking the  test can now decide to sit the test or make arrangements with us to take the test from their workplace or home.)


Numbers are limited for this very popular course so early reservations are much appreciated:

 E Mail:  info@tosps to find out more information or book a place.


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11 Jul


posted by Bernadette


posted by TOSPS

New Changes to our web site and launch of new courses coming this summer and winter at Tosps 

We have listened carefully to the needs of our members and worked hard to implement some new modules and changes on the web site.

New courses coming soon at TOSPS

Tosps will be launching its series of new training courses across a wide variety of topics this Summer.

Starting in July at the Isbourne Holistic center in cheltenham we will roll out our bespoke cyber security course to counsellors working online. Please see our forthcoming events page for more details.

During August we will see the launch of the "Without prejudices" 6 week course, covering workshops on how to deal with your own prejudices and client prejudices, this deep and taboo subject with cover counseling in multicultural society, nationwide and overseas

Our train the trainer courses will launch in September and I will write in more detail about this endorsed course shortly.

Also in September we are launching a workgroup for young people 17 to 21 to teach them adult life skills and offer a safe place to meet to be taught essential skills like banking, baking, form filling, and all the essential practical skills that so often do not get taught in school or in the home. watch out for more information on this.

Our web site has also recently developed a new module that will allow your clients to contact you with any questions they might have for you prior to making a booking with you, clients will also be able to send you a file and you can respond to them instantly to help secure the booking. The new module will be found on your profile page under your blogs, but a link to it will be clearly displayed under your green "book this therapist" link

The launch of our new Cyber security seal award certificate and exam is now on the site, you can take the test any time just click on the link for cyber security. 

Why not visit our Cyber education hub and learn more about internet security .

Members will also notice in their admin area that they can now set their payment currency into different foreign currencies. making it easier for them to accept payment in euro and usd along will all major currencies.


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21 Dec

'Endings...Life is full of them, mine included...'

posted by Sandra Wright

Endings with clients is an amazing  experience for those who stay the course.....seeing a smiling and confident face leave the premises for the last time leaves me with an endearing smile and a warm feeling inside. A client who left about a month ago recently wrote to me and gave me permission to quote her in my blog....."I look at life situations with a completely different, calmer attitude, and now whenever I am confronted with difficult situations, I can use all my techniques that I have learned...When I started to feel ready to look at finishing my was a mixture of emotions; proud of myself for getting to a better place, however sad for having to say goodbye to someone who had given me so much support and changed my life for the better... I found the experience life-changing...I have reached my end goal, which I thought I would never do, I also have become happier in my every day life."

What do I have to say to this client and the many others I have seen...'Well done. You committed yourself to a process of discovering your own potential and finding your own answers.'  

Together we carefully took off a lot of the sticky plasters which covered the many wounds. Some of them grazes; some of them deep and painful. You learned how to notice, listen to and nurture yourself which enabled the healing process. It is not to say that this is it, you are now the perfect creation, but it is fair to say that this process can recycle itself whenever it is needed.


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