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Changing of the seasons…

24 Apr

It seems that many of us notice a change in our moods with the changing of the seasons. Many of us find the winter, well a little depressing. It’s cold, the days are short and it can get very cold. We find that spring brings with it new hope…We have posted a number of blogs about how spring is a good time for us to clean out our minds and take up new challenges….In this post we wanted to have a look at the very real effect that Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Many of us suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder


What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is the scientific name for what we call winter depression, or the winter blues. However SAD is not just related to winter, it can be associated with any season, with many people getting depressed in the summer (suffering with the summer blues). SAD is essentially a mood disorder, in which people experience depressive symptoms based on a particular season.

Some of the symptoms

There are a number of symptoms associated with SAD, these can include difficulty waking up in the morning, morning sickness, tendency to oversleep and or to over eat. When over eating, this is typically craving carbohydrates which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty in concentrating on or completing tasks and can even include a withdrawal from friends, family and social activities.  Other symptoms can be found for “the summer blues”, such as insomnia, anxiety, irritability, decreased appetite and ultimately weight loss. No matter if you suffer SAD in the winter or the summer, these symptoms ultimately may lead to depression.


Help and treatment

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) can help combat SAD.  CBT aims to help individuals identify the expectations and interpretations that can lead them towards depression and anxiety; adjust to reality and break through their avoidances and inhibitions. Implementation of CBH can help people change their cognitive processes, which leads to changes in their feelings and behaviours.

Some of the CBT / CBH skills a therapist can deliver to an individual who suffers with SAD can include:

  • Development of a repertoire of wintertime leisure interests
  • Using diaries to record automatic negative thoughts
  • Improvement in time management
  • Solving problems that could potentially initiate negative thinking
  • Setting goals and plans for maintaining gains and preventing relapse



Why CBT to treat SAD

CBT is a great way to combat SAD because the effects have been shown to be long lasting for the individual. This longer lasting effect is brought about because the individual is given the skills and tools to delay or prevent relapse of depressive symptoms…For more information on treatment of SAD or on how to use CBT and CBH to treat SAD, please contact

Helping with Insomnia

17 Jan

Many of us suffer with Insomnia or a form of sleep disturbance. For many of us this sleep disturbance is a short phase, at a particular time in our lives, but for others it can be a chronic condition. Deprived sleep can make us feel tired, lack lustre, and sometimes unable to face the day, but it is strongly linked with anxiety and depression. So what can you do?

How to deal with insomnia

How do you deal with Insomnia

Drugs not the only solution

Often the first thing many of us do when facing long term sleep disturbance is turn to sleeping tablets, particularly for short bouts of insomnia. However, if your insomnia continues for longer periods, then it may be more effective to address the underlying causes of your insomnia. We have to remember that each of us are unique, so what is causing my sleep disturbance, is not necessarily the same cause of yours…

If there underlying psychological reasons behind your insomnia, CBH (Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy) /CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) helps you address these reasons (possibly in combination with medication). Using CBH in this way can also help people move away from medication dependency when dealing with longer bouts of insomnia. In a recent BBC article by Tim Muffet, the use of CBT for treating insomnia is investigated and highlights the call by many experts for the Government to do more – in making CBT and CBH more easily available to people suffering with insomnia.

How to improve your sleep – a master class

Our minds are powerful tools, and as such have massive influences over everything in our lives, including our sleeping patterns. But the mind is complex, and reading an article on addressing insomnia isn’t going to fix your sleeping issues alone. Because of this, there are classes available to help you take control of your insomnia and tackle sleep deprivation.

The College of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CCBH) in London runs all manner of Master Class workshops, helping people deal with a range of issues, from anxiety and depression to sports performance and insomnia.

On May 20th, 2012, CCBH will be holding a one day Master Class in “Improving your Sleep”. In the master class you will discover the main causes of sleep disturbance and how to change your mindset and improve your sleeping experience. There are many factors that influence sleep and this workshop will help you identify them and deal with them. Using CBH you will learn effective techniques and strategies that all help improve sleep patterns.

Improving your sleep supports a healthy lifestyle and helps combat stress – learning how to turn off that inner chatter and still the mind is a valuable skill in our ever changing lives of the 21st century.  The master class will teach proven methods that will enable you to relax rest and sleep refreshingly to achieve a greater sense of well being and health.

So if you are suffering with insomnia or some form of sleep disturbance, then we would recommend trying CBT and CBH. This will provide you with the tools to tackle this problem over and over again in the future.

For more information on the CCBH master class “improving your sleep”, please visit or call 0207 034 7049