Tag Archives: psychosis

The picture on the box

Making sense of mental health

Mental health work needn’t drive you up the wall!

Mental health work can seem so complicated… and not just for beginners. Many seasoned practitioners go on for years without a clear idea of how the different diagnoses, conditions and coping strategies fit together. It’s like trying to make sense of a 1,000 piece jigsaw without any real idea of what the overall picture is supposed to look like.

The confusion that arises can lead to workplace stress, unclear aims and difficulties in following care plans with different workers pulling in different directions whilst the service-user or client gets stuck in the middle of a whirlpool of confusion.

It’s always better when you can see the whole picture

This course is intended to provide the ‘picture on the box’. It shows clearly and simply exactly how the different types of diagnosis and conditions fit together and even maintain and exacerbate each other. Delivered either online or face to face (with appropriate distancing, of course) it’s available to staff teams anywhere in the world, just so long as they speak English and have a working internet connection.

The course involves…

Session 1

Anxiety (the gateway to mental disorder)

Freeze, flight and fight

Session 2

Depression (when you’re tired of trying)The opposite of the FIVE ‘F’S             

Psychosis (The Devil makes work for idle hands)

Session 3

Personality disorder (9 statements of vulnerability)

The symptom groups – are the same as the 3 clusters… are the same as the vulnerabilities    

3 models – All roads lead to the same destination   

Session 4

Dependence and self-reliance        

Therapeutic optimism Expressed emotion

Get in touch to book this training for your own staff. Go on, you know you want to!

Webinar: Psychosis and psychotic conditions

Thursday 18/2/2021 7pm GMT

Invitations by Email once £10 payment received.

Mention the word psychosis to most people and they immediately think of headline grabbing tragedies and untreatable, unmanageable people they’d rather not have anything to do with. This is inevitable given the way that the subject is covered in the press but it’s not really very accurate.

People diagnosed with psychosis, like people diagnosed with other mental health problems are more likely to harm themselves than others.

This hour long, online tutorial lifts the lid on the myths about psychosis and psychotic conditions like schizophrenia. It introduces participants to the practical, common sense things that they can do to support their relatives, their service-users and themselves. By breaking symptoms and problems down into manageable ‘chunks’ and by relating them to participants’ own experiences we build a clear understanding of what psychosis and schizophrenia really means.

The tutorial is open to anyone with an interest in the topic be they relatives, carers or, most importantly people with psychosis themselves.

https://www.tamtalking.co.uk/p/webinar-psychosis-and-psychotic-conditions-thursday-18-2-2021-7pm-gmt/

Carers in mind: It’s real for them

Caring for people with psychosis can be both stressful and mystifying. People who hear voices and respond to visions that the carer can neither hear nor see present particular problems and frustrations. It’s distressing for the individual voice-hearer and, for different reasons it’s distressing for their relatives and other carers as well.

“It’s real for them” is a common expression intended to promote empathy and understanding but there are very real drawbacks if that’s as far as it goes. We all know it’s real for them – that’s why they’re distressed, but if we simply accept that without question we give up a vital part of the recovery process.

In this video we explore the positive benefits that can come from refusing to accept that ‘it’s real for them’ whilst still accepting the other person’s experience. We look at the power of attribution in psychosis, especially in relation to hallucinations and consider the benefits of helping people to change their view about their hallucinations. It isn’t trivialising the problem to see it for what it is. A voice has no power unless the voice-hearer gives it some. However distressing and disturbing voices are they’re still only voices.

By helping people to reframe their interpretation of voices they hear we can reduce the power, the distress and the disruption of those voices.

Please feel free to comment either here on the blog or by using the contact form below and let me know how helpful or otherwise this video has been for you. Please also let me know if you’d like me to cover any other issues facing carers and relatives. I can’t promise to cover everything but I’ll do my best to help if I can.

 

Therapeutic risk-taking

It is possible to assist people with social care needs (complex or otherwise) to develop the quality of their lives and to enhance their coping strategies. In large part this is achieved by assessing and encouraging risk-taking.

Without risk, life becomes empty. We develop as people by stretching ourselves and by gradually pushing the limits of what has come to be known as the ‘comfort zone’. But there is a balance to be struck, both in terms of ensuring that risks are reasonable and also in motivating clients to take therapeutic risks with a high likelihood of success.

This involves careful planning in order to ‘factor in’ the possibility of failure so that setbacks are seen not as disasters but as learning experiences – grist for the mill in refining plans to enable future success. This process is known as ‘risk debriefing’.

An understanding and appreciation of risk in relation to personal development is a vital element in the provision of social care in any setting. The process of person-centred planning must involve personal development and a striving for increased independence. This cannot happen without appropriate risk-taking.

So what are the elements of risk assessment?

According to the Health & Safety Executive there are 5 elements of good risk assessment and management and 5 principles that risk assessment is not

Risk management principles

  • Ensuring that workers and the public are properly protected
  • Providing overall benefit to society by balancing benefits and risks, with a focus on reducing real risks – both those which arise more often and those with serious consequences
  • Enabling innovation and learning, not stifling them
  • Ensuring that those who create risks manage them responsibly and understand that failure to manage real risks responsibly is likely to lead to robust action
  • Enabling individuals to understand that as well as the right to protection, they also have to exercise responsibility

Sensible risk management is not about:

  • Creating a totally risk free society
  • Generating useless paperwork mountains
  • Scaring people by exaggerating or publicising trivial risks
  • Stopping important recreational and learning activities for individuals where the risks are managed
  • Reducing protection of people from risks that cause real harm and suffering.

Task debriefing

We all learn by our mistakes. Everything that you have achieved has been the result of trial and error – often the most valuable and effective lessons are learned precisely because of our errors in judgement. This is as true for our service-users as it is for us. If we give up on our plans at the first hurdle then we are doomed to fail. If we give up on our service-users when they make mistakes we doom them to failure just as surely.

Autobiography in 5 chapters (Anonymous):

Chapter 1

I walk down the street. There’s a hole in the road. I fall in the hole. It’s deep and I can’t get out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the street. There’s a hole in the road. I see the hole but I fall in it anyway. It’s deep and dark and I can’t get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the street. I have my ladder with me. There’s a hole in the road. I see the hole but I fall in it anyway. I use my ladder to get out.

Chapter 4

I walk down the street. I have my ladder with me. There’s a hole in the road. I see the hole and I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down a different street.

Complete the contact form below to arrange training for your staff.

Psychosis 4: Thought disorder

The third in the ‘big 3’ trilogy of psychotic symptoms is, for many people, the most difficult to understand. Unlike delusions which are all about ‘what’ we think, thought disorders are about ‘how’ we think. It is thought process, not thought content.

There are two main ways to identify thought disorders. Both rely upon the way that we represent thought symbolically to others. They are language, either written or spoken, and imagery. Let me explain what I mean by this…

To arrange training for your social care or mental health staff please complete the contact form below…

Psychosis 3: Delusional case studies

Sometimes the easiest way to make sense of a topic is to put it into story format.

Jamie and Janice don’t really exist but their experiences are typical of many who do. Their stories, fictional though they are, illustrate the non-chemical aspect of delusion formation as a way to boost self-esteem and save us from despair – even if that ‘salvation’ comes at a very high price.

If you’d like to arrange training for your staff fill in the form here…

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Psychosis 2: Delusions, illusions and hallucinations

Don't let yourself off the hook thumbnailPart 2 of the psychosis mini-series looks at delusions (AKA ‘Fixed, false beliefs – not amenable to reason’). Delusions are more than just vague ideas – they’re the things people hold to be most certain. Here we look at some of the ways that delusions form, the relationship between delusions, illusions and hallucinations and we begin to think about some of the ways that we can help delusional people.

I have long maintained that this connection is vital to our understanding of psychosis and yet not a word about it was uttered during my nurse training.The student nurses of 1992-95 never heard a peep about these vital links. The student nurses of 2017… well… We consider the role of memory and familiarity in perception and how the self-fulfilling prophecy of expectation can create mistakes, not only in our five senses but in the beliefs we form that so often rely upon that sense data to begin with.

If you’d like to arrange training for your staff please fill in the form here…

Psychosis 1: Hallucinations and society

This is the first of a mini series on psychosis. Here we introduce psychosis in general before talking about hallucinations (the 1st of the ‘big 3’ psychotic symptoms) and how society’s conventions shape the inconsistent way we respond to voice-hearers.
Axe weilding murderer 2
If you’d like to arrange training for your staff please fill in the form here…

What’s it like to hear voices?

What’s it like to hear voices?
Early on when I first started trying to make videos I made a very poor version of this. That video is no longer available but I liked the concept so I’ve had another crack at it. I think this one’s a lot more satisfactory in getting the point across to non voice-hearers.
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Voices can be single or multiple, internal or external and complimentary or abusive. Often they’re mood-congruent and they always take some time to get used to.
Some people never get used to the voices they hear. That’s when mental health services step in. It’s OK to talk about voice-hearing as a fairly common part of the human experience. About 15% of people hear voices. The vast majority of those people never need any help at all to deal with them. But for some – for the 1 or 2 percent who do have problems with their voices the assistance of mental health services can be a life-saver.
So the next time you see someone in the street shouting at nobody, cut them slack., They’re dealing with something you’d probably find pretty hard to handle yourself.
To arrange training for your staff please complete the contact form below…

Mental health recovery: A care workers’ guide to the stress and vulnerability model

If you enjoyed this tutorial please subscribe to my youtube channel. Lots more videos on mental health and social care to come. You can subscribe to the website and Facebook too. Just click on the left of the screen or scroll down if you’re viewing this via mobile.

This video tutorial outlines the stress and vulnerability model as a tool for mental health recovery. It’s intended for anyone with an interest in mental health and recovery as well as workers at all levels in mental health and social care.

We begin with an overview of the 3 main symptom groups of mental disorder before outlining the model itself and the progressive role of anxiety, depression and psychosis.

Next we consider categories of vulnerability and stressors before defining recovery and providing a brief overview of how it might be achieved.

Finally a collection of slides are included for download. Screenshot the images and save them in a word document to make handouts for reference.

To arrange training for your staff please complete the contact form below…