If you break your leg, you see a doctor, or if you develop a tooth- ache, you simply arrange a visit to the dentist. But why isn’t it the same when we struggle with our mental health?
One in four people in the UK will experience mental health issues each year, with one in six reporting a common problem, such as anxiety and depression, in any given week, according to official figures.
With our hectic lifestyles, increased workloads and the difficulty of achieving a work-life balance, it’s no surprise we’re so stressed. But despite the high numbers of people suffering anxiety and depression, many don’t realise that dealing with a mental health issue is similar to dealing with a physical issue – the problem is unlikely to resolve by itself and it’s best to seek out professional help.
Reflections Bespoke Therapy Centre, in Edgware, specialises in treating a variety of mental health issues, from addiction to obsessive compulsive disorder.
It offers a range of therapies, including humanistic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, systemic, psychodynamic, body therapy, art therapy, somatic experience, trauma therapy, neuroscience and psychi- atric support.
The approach at Reflectionsis to take into consideration all aspects of the self, offering bespoke programmes that also include nutri- tion, personal training, meditation and Tai Chi.
On their first visit to the centre, the patient will go through an in-depth assessment and then be assigned either one or a number of the specialists who work at the centre.
“We realised that a group of therapists working together can achieve more than an individual therapist, so we started to hire a group of therapists that wanted to work as a team with complementary skillsets,” says clinical manager Zahava Bloom.
Reflections follows the philosophy of American writer Ken Wilber, who believes different types of therapy are appropriate for different individuals.
He also believes in a holistic approach, combining exercise, nutrition, spirituality and sometimes medication to give people the tools to cope better.
How do people know if they need to see a therapist? According to Bloom, the answer is complex.
“There’s a difference between ‘needing’ a therapist and finding it useful and helpful to go to a therapist,” she says. “If we compare therapy to physiotherapy, you ‘need’ to go to a physiotherapist if you are not functionally capable of doing normal activities. However, you might also go to a physiotherapist to improve your personal health or strength.
“So too, there are some people who need to go to a therapist who are not able to function in a healthy way, for example when it comes to controlling their anger or taking drugs. However, most people find
it useful to go to a therapist for various issues because it can help them, for example having a better relationship with their spouse.”
According to Bloom, there are three steps to consider before choosing a therapist that’s right for you and booking a session.
“Consider the personal characteristics of the therapist you would prefer: male or female, older or younger, someone of the same faith, and so on,” she says. “Consider the appropriate level of experience for the therapist, and then consider, with a professional, which is likely to be the best type of therapy for your specific issues.”
But for some people, there’s a barrier before even getting to that point.
“There are various reasons why people are reluctant to undergo therapy,” Bloom adds. “Mostly they feel it is unlikely to be effective, takes up a considerable amount of time and money, or will be an uncomfortable or painful process even if it does work.
“We reassure them by saying that although not all therapy is successful, this is only true when either people do not click or get on with their therapist, or that they have the wrong type of therapy for their issues.
“At Reflections, we believe that different types of conditions need different specialists and different types of therapy. For this reason, we do an in-depth assessment of each individual when they first come into therapy and then choose the most effective therapy and therapist for each person.”
Reflections has helped several hundred people over the years, with clients of all ages, demographics and backgrounds.