More examples of self-help...

In addition to the smartphone app, which isn’t suitable for everyone, we’ve tried to offer other ways to learn from some of the day-to-day work of clinical psychologists. Here, you can download some .pdf files that we prepared for the BBC which complement the advice given earlier.


Catch it, check it, change it

The smartphone app is designed to introduce key ideas from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). We’ve put the same material in a document which will both explain the concepts in a little more detail and allow you to step through the principles as a practical exercise in CBT techniques.


Activity scheduling

The first element of the ‘five ways to well-being’ is to keep active. Activity - especially purposeful, challenging, meaningful, pleasurable activity (like cycling) - is an excellent anti-depressant. But when people are depressed, they often find it difficult to motivate themselves to become active. So clinical psychologists often (in a very straightforward intervention) give their clients simple diaries to keep track of their activity. We’ve included an example here.


Graded exposure

Anxiety is a common problem, but it’s quite difficult to give advice that applies to everyone. For the BBC, we offered one well-tested therapeutic approach which can be packaged up into a .pdf file; graded exposure. The basic aim is to help people gradually build up their confidence in addressing a problem that causes them anxiety; step by step. This is difficult, and, because people are anxious about different things, it’s very difficult to give generic advice. But our graded exposure activity sheet may be helpful (or at least informative).


Structured problem solving

In our research, explained earlier, we found that rumination was a key problem, but we also found that it was very protective for people if they had well-developed skills in ‘adaptive coping’’ – being able to solve real-life problems more effectively. One approach to helping people develop these kinds of skills is called ‘structured problem solving’. This really means breaking down problems into their constituent components and generating possible solutions for each element. Again, for the BBC, we produced a simple worksheet which may be helpful.

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Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture

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