Catherine Mallorie, a Solution Focused Therapist, discusses treatments available for stress, depression and anxiety in families
An NHS report on teenage mental health published at the end of 2018 highlighted the impact of mental health challenges on families in the UK. Shockingly, one in four late teenage girls said they’d suffered from depression or anxiety in the previous year. And, with one in four parents also experiencing mental health issues, it’s clear that many families are struggling.
If you or any of your family are experiencing the anguish that comes with mental health problems, you can be sure you’re not alone. Research shows that teenage mental health difficulties are on the rise and, with one in four parents also experiencing stress, anxiety or depression, it’s helpful to understand the different kinds of therapy available.
For adults seeking help through the NHS, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been the therapy on offer to date. CBT works to help people identify negative thought patterns, with the idea that they can then begin to change them and the effect they have. For some, results are rapid – 6-12 sessions – but many say CBT doesn’t address the emotional aspect of their experience and ultimately doesn’t work for them.
If you’re looking for help in the private sector, there are a range of psychotherapies designed to help you see how negativity from the past affects your thoughts and behaviour now. These include the Humanistic, Person-Centred and Integrative approaches. Any of these – as well as CBT – may also be on offer to young people through Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Such ‘past-focused’ therapies deliver positive outcomes for about 70% of children, teens and adults. However, it can take months – even years – to get results and the process of reliving past problems and trauma can be negative and painful to go through.
As a Solution Focused Therapist, I have seen an increase in the demand for Solution Focused Therapy, which works to help people find positives they need to increase their happiness day-to-day. The positive focus encouraged by Solution Focused Therapy is typically difficult to achieve for those who struggle with stress, anxiety or depression. Solution Focused Therapy works to solve the problem by helping individuals uncover strengths, attitudes, resources and goals they can use to get the happier future they want.
Solution Focused Therapy is suitable for people of any age, who are often surprised to find their experience in counselling is actually enjoyable, allowing them to feel more empowered and happy at the end of a session than when they went in. And, although there’s space to talk through past difficulties when needed, the focus on finding happiness for the future is proven to bring rapid results: often in just six sessions or less. At a time when mental health problems are on the rise, positivity is certainly what’s needed.