February 16th, 2018
Reactive depression or depression associated with unresolved grief can be problematic during the legal process, divorce or making arrangements for your children. Gaining an understanding and seeking appropriate help can help improve a person’s day to day process quickly.
Google is launching an initiative to help its users learn more about depression. Google, in conjunction with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), have created an option that provides access to a questionnaire if you search for depression. In a blog post Google say they have developed a ‘knowledge panel’ which will bring you to PHQ-9. The PHQ-9 is a clinically validated screening questionnaire to test what your likely level of depression may be. NAMI state that one in five people may be suffering from depression but only fifty percent of those people will receive treatment. The aim of the link with Google is provide a private self-assessment that can then enable a more informed conversation with your GP. The PHQ-9 is a first step in terms of diagnosis – it is not a singular diagnostic tool and is not a substitute for seeing your GP. NAMI believe that by increasing awareness of depression, people can be empowered to access appropriate treatment more quickly.
You are the Priority.
During divorce proceedings people can often seem to prioritise everything other than themselves. The logistics or finances take over, or often people become consumed by managing their emotions to protect other people – children, friends or family members – or to show that they are ‘fine’.
Viewing yourself as the important person or the priority is often very far removed or can feel uncomfortable to those not used to doing it. But often if you are in a complex situation and you are prioritising everything else, eventually you will feel diminished. It is hugely beneficial during divorce or litigation to learn how to allow yourself to be a priority. Effective therapy is a good first step as it can provide you with a space in which to talk safely with complete honesty about your situation.
There are other things you can do to help you become a higher priority in your own mind. Taking twenty minutes every day to do something for yourself could be a reasonable place to start. Finding things to fill your twenty minutes can feel tricky at first. A good option is to get outside, being outside is well-documented as a way to look after your mental and physical well-being. Breathe, learn some mindful techniques to calm your mind – a short body scan meditation could be a good place to start (YouTube - ten minute body scan meditation).
Give some thought to what works for you. Practicing the things that you find useful in terms of spending time on yourself is essential as this is very person specific – some people feel regenerated in company, others need to be alone for a while. Think about, or talk with your therapist about, what might work for you. Becoming your important person can be transformative for you and often has positive repercussion on those around you.
September/October – identifying your emotions to create change.
September and October can be emotionally challenging months. It is the end of summer and people can often be experiencing mixed thoughts and feelings with children changing years at school or going away to university. Mixed emotions can be heightened if you are awaiting court proceedings or involved in a divorce. It can be a challenge to approach the autumn feeling positive. Autumn is often best viewed as being like a new year in which you can make changes – or not – to your life and possibly even your well-being.
An interesting, though challenging, thing to try can be to experiment with identifying your own emotions – on your own or with a therapist. This can help you improve how your regulate yourself. It can be a useful exercise to think about the specific emotion – so rather than labelling yourself as being ‘in a bad mood’ consider that you might feel sadness or guilt or envy…… there are many others. If you develop the capacity to identify your own emotions you are then better placed to help yourself feel better. Do you know how to soothe yourself if your bad mood is actually sadness? This may be different to if the feeling is of loneliness for example. Trying to establish a better understanding of your own thoughts and feelings is a hard but also rewarding place to start when looking to create positive change.
Counsellor / Psychotherapist
at Counselling Development
Emma Chamberlain is a respected and highly-qualified Counsellor / Psychotherapist based in Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes. Emma is experienced with successfully working with clients experiencing a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, stress, panic attacks, emotional distress, low self-esteem, relationship problems, work-related problems, grief, bereavement and loss, fear, anger, trauma, self-harm, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, bullying, suicidal thoughts and those struggling with life’s transitional times.
Emma has a strong academic background including a BA (Hons) in Psychology and an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy. Emma worked extensively as a Counsellor for MIND – the UK’s leading mental health charity. Emma is an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and works to their ethical framework.
Emma works from a humanistic relational perspective following the Clarkson 5 Relationship Model. This offers a flexible relationship based approach to counselling / psychotherapy and can include CBT/ DBT and a range of other approaches. Emma’s current research interests include exploring how counsellors and clients work together when the client has Asperger Syndrome and she is experienced in working with adults on the Autistic Spectrum.
Hawkins Family Law fields 'a very professional team that delivers a high-class service and has strength-in-depth from senior to junior level'. Managing director and team head Jo Hawkins provides 'clear and accurate advice and moral support through often testing times for her clients; she focuses on deriving the best long-term outcome for her client and other parties'. The practice has particular strength financial matters, including divorce and ToLATA proceedings. Other key figures include Loraine Davenport, who has strong collaborative law expertise and handles complex children cases and high-net-worth ancillary relief matters; Annabel Hayward, who focuses on complex financial provision and co-habitation matters; and Stacey St Clair.
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What the team is known for
Boutique family law firm that punches above its weight in terms of high-value and complex matrimonial finance instructions relating to business assets, pensions and substantial property portfolios, including assisting with the handling of assets abroad. Also represents clients in the negotiation of wealth protection agreements and private law childcare arrangements. Fields a team trained in collaborative law and alternative dispute resolution.
An impressed client says: "The team's personal service and individual care is a great asset,"adding that the lawyers are "always available to assist and understand the occasional need for immediate advice and guidance, providing a very reassuring service."
For more information please click here.