Shirley Reynolds

Shirley Reynolds

I'm a clinical psychologist. Most of my work has been research on depression and anxiety and how to improve treatments. We need to make effective treatment available to everyone @DrS_Reynolds

Location University of Reading


  • by the way I'm @cbtreach if you are on twitter

  • I've taken note of this an just had the chance to directly interact on twitter with one of our followers...we just need more of them...any tips?

  • Biggest commercial impact surely equals the biggest turnover and market reach - so Coca Cola comes to mind as available everywhere....then all the e-companies that have near perfect international reach. Social purpose - much less obvious - I am a cynic about some of their avowed aims and generally see these as a way to reduce taxes....but perhaps Patagonia...

  • Before I go any further I realise that I am a bit of an anti-brand person - not that I don't appreciate the attachment people have to some products but I find it a bit off putting to have that identified in such a deliberate way - I'm hoping that this course will open my mind a bit - and in fact it already has to some extend as I had never appreciated that...

  • Hi, that is a risk factor but of course lots of children who have parents with depression do not get depressed - as said above there are a lot of different factors and they all interact with each other @IreneBaxter

  • Very very hard Karen

  • Wow that's powerful as they can see the wooden blocks stack up - Do you find they respond to praise and attention as well?

  • that's an additional benefit - non monetary rewards are also important don't you think?

  • What you highlight is just how important it is to consider each family and each individual on their own merits. Parenting is hard hard work and sometimes we all slip up

  • Thanks Chaz and Thais - there absolutely is a firm theoretical basis (and good evidence) for thinking about how to use rewards to increase behaviours we want to see more of - thanks for highlighting this

  • Absolutely - listening and paying attention is the ultimate reward

  • yes - ideally rewards would come from activities or spending time with people and sharing something fun - as you say that can be very hard to get someone who's depressed to start ...we need to be not too ambitious!

  • Yes absolutely - and rewards don't have to cost money - they can include shared activities as well as praise and attention.

  • Great point - we show our children how to behave so it's quite possible that learn directly from us as well as from friends and other people. It's knowns as 'modelling' and the general advice is model what you want them to do / how you want them to behave.

  • Yes i think that is generally the case - our need for sleep changes throughout life - and it's great you don't worry about it - that definitely wouldn't help!

  • Interesting idea Elina. As psychologists we are focusing on what we know best - but wouldn’t it be great to see some sociologists develop another course?

  • Sorry Mary I don’t know

  • I don’t think it does - sounds perfect

  • I guess it’s a continuum - so more simple and more complex

  • Good luck @AlessandraB It’s a tough period. Sleep when you can and walk when you can (with the pram). Survival is the aim!

  • Yes it's not easy - sometimes makes more sense to build into everyday life .e.g not giving lifts to schools (within reason!)

  • that's great to hear - do you run alone or with other people? or both?

  • it's quite possible that might be better for you - most people find it much harder to wake even earlier and then get up and less difficult to stay up later .....however it's reducing the time asleep that is critical here....

  • If you are quick going back to sleep it really doesn't matter....but if it is ages and ages you are awake we'd probably suggest getting up, doing something quiet for 10-15 minutes, and going back to bed....

  • The world simply sometimes is not organised around our children's needs - is there any way this could be changed if other parents and young people also found it a struggle?

  • Sleep difficulties are often a concern in anxiety - however, our research suggests that young people who are depressed have more problems with sleep and they are more consistent i.e. they struggle to get to sleep at weekends as well as during the (school) week.

  • I agree that schools can really help in this regard = but they need decent funding to provide healthy meals and teach children how to eat and how to shop and cook

  • quite right - correlation does not equal causation - @PhilippaThomson There is a massive need to do experimental studies but as you can imagine these raise a few logistical and practical problems. I'm pleased to say we have started - and taking flavonoids for 4 weeks does seem to improve mood compared to a placebo....but it is early days

  • Hi, i think this will violate the guidelines as advertisements are not allowed. I have flagged so the moderators can take a look

  • I wonder if there might be very small steps you could try for a while (say 2 weeks) and then see if there is any effect ?

  • It certainly true that it's hard to get teenagers to take 'good' advice - but sometimes they will follow steps to deal with a very specific problem like poor sleep -

  • Taking the whole picture is important - however, Faith and I have just published a study which shows that treating sleep problems (and only that) can improve both low mood and this is an area well worth our time and attention.

  • Is that 'Sleepio" by the esteemed Professor Colin Espie? If it is you did well to find it as it is a great online treatment - hope it helped

  • This is a very lively area of research and one we are all taking an interest in - in our team we've been looking at the effects of flavonoids on mood - it's fascinating but we have so much yet to learn.

  • yes there really is increasing evidence of the direct positive effect of exercise on low mood - but so hard to take such active steps when the last thing you can imagine is making that kind of effort

  • Shirley Reynolds made a comment

    If you've got here well done - hope to see you next week.....sometime later, whenever you get the chance to join us again

  • Let us know how that goes? Good luck

  • That is a huge problem in the UK

  • Thank you!

  • yes the school would be part of the young person's environment - @ClaireFoston

  • Sorry to hear about your difficulties getting help but glad you were able to help your daughter

  • Yes it can be very difficult to spot depression in young people - partly because many symptoms are not visible and because depression looks very different in different people. A sustained change from 'usual' behaviour is a good hint

  • Yes and it's very important to bear in mind that thinking about death and dying is something that many young people do and it doesn't necessarily mean anything ominous - it can be part of just thinking about life and identify and the world in general and part and parcel of growing up