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What We Treat

Below is a list of some key types of therapy we frequently offer for Mental Health. It is not exhaustive and there are many sub-categories and other specializations we can provide on need or request.

Anxiety

What it is

Anxiety is feeling of unease, fear or worry which persists over time. It may be about specific things, or a more general feeling without a clear cause. Anxiety is a natural response to very difficult situations, especially whilst we are uncertain of the outcome or of how we will cope. However, some people experience anxiety regularly without a proportionate cause, and severely enough to be overwhelming. This can be part of a diagnosable disorder which requires help. 

 

Signs, Symptoms and Causes

These would vary according to the type of anxiety disorder experienced, however commonly experienced are:

  • Being unable to shake off thoughts about something which worries you.

  • Intrusive thoughts about things you fear.

  • Feeling fear without an immediate necessary cause.

  • Light-headedness not related to physical causes.

  • Sweating not related to surrounding heat or activity.

  • Physical tension, trembling or shaking not related to external causes.

  • Nausea not related to physical illness.

  • A sense of paralysis and inability to function in connection with the above feelings.

  • Restlessness.

  • Shallow or restrained breath due to emotional tension.

  • Disturbed sleep and bad dreams.

There seem to be genetic factors which make people more likely to have anxiety disorders. Sometimes anxiety disorders are brought on by traumatic events, or long-term stress, illness, bullying or abuse. Alcohol and drug intake can also be factors. Sometimes there are no clear causes.  

 

Common Types

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
‘GAD’ is when someone experiences anxiety symptoms very frequently for a long period of time, in response to many diverse things rather than a particular cause. It affects daily life to a debilitating degree.

 

Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is when a person has panic attacks regularly, often with no clear cause. Panic attacks involve an acute and sudden onset of the above symptoms, often with an accompanying sense of dread, chest-pains, and difficulty breathing.

 

Social Anxiety Disorder
Sometimes called ‘Social Phobia’, this is when someone is intensely preoccupied and anxious about socialising. They can feel unable to cope in social situations, worry about what people think about them, and begin to avoid social occasions to avoid these symptoms.

 

Phobias
A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal. Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object. If a phobia becomes very severe, a person may organise their life around avoiding the thing that's causing them anxiety. As well as restricting their day-to-day life, it can also cause a lot of distress.


A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. You may not experience any symptoms until you come into contact with the source of your phobia. In some cases, however, even thinking about the source of a phobia can make a person feel anxious or panicky. This is known as anticipatory anxiety. Symptoms of phobia may include:

 

  • unsteadiness, dizziness and light-headedness

  • nausea

  • sweating

  • increased heart rate or palpitations

  • shortness of breath

  • trembling or shaking

  • an upset stomach
     

Depression

What it is

Depression is a condition of persistent low-mood which is not just an emotional reaction to particular events but is present for weeks or months. It can affect your ability to function mentally or even physically, and to connect emotionally.  If it is unaddressed and worsens it can lead to significant or fatal self-harm.

 

Signs, Symptoms and Causes

Depression can present differently according to the individual and the type of depression they have. Most people will have several but not all of them. Typical signs and symptoms include: 

  • Feeling very low, empty, or sad.

  • Losing interest in things you used to enjoy.

  • Feeling disconnected from others.

  • Having unusual difficulty concentrating.

  • Feeling irritable or anxious.

  • Feeling hopeless about the future.

  • Low self-esteem. 

  • Feeling tired or low in energy without a physical reason.

  • Sleeping significantly more or less than usual.

  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide. 

There may be genetic factors which mean some people are more easily affected by depression. Often a sequence of negative events and responses can lead to depression, but the mental-illness is ongoing even after the triggers have become less critical. Difficult living circumstances and ongoing problems such as health issues can also increase the likelihood of depression.

 

Common Types

Major Depressive Disorder: This is an alternative name for what is commonly known as Depression, as described above. 

 

Post-Natal Depression: Maternal depletion, hormonal changes, and the pressures of looking after a newborn can trigger depression in mothers after the birth of a child. 

 

Bipolar-Disorder: This is characterized by periods of feeling depressed, alternating with episodes of high spirits, energy and often impulsiveness. 

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder: This type of depression is connected to the seasons and light levels, and tends to occur during winter months specifically. 

Grief or Loss

What it is

Grief is the emotional response to bereavement, and a normal process which is not per se an illness. However, it can cause great distress and professional support from therapy can help people who are grieving. In some cases, grief is sustained in its intensity beyond what would seem to be a normal period of time, and causes significant difficulty in daily living long after the loss occurred. Sometimes help is needed to cope with the thoughts, mood and inability to function ‘normally’ again. 


We can also feel grief for things we lose which were deeply important to us, such as: the loss of someone close to us who moves far away, or the ending of a long-term relationship; the loss of hopes and dreams following a serious diagnosis for ourselves or a family member; the loss of self identity and esteem from redundancy. 

 

Signs, Symptoms and Causes

The experience of grief is often similar to that of Depression. It also tends to involve frequent or constant thoughts about the person or thing lost to us. 

Trauma/PTSD

What it is

Trauma is when we experience very stressful, frightening or distressing events that are difficult to cope with or out of our control. It could be one incident, or an ongoing event that happens over a long period of time. Most of us will experience an event in our lives that could be considered traumatic. But we won't all be affected the same way. Trauma can happen at any age. And it can affect us at any time, including a long time after the event has happened. 


There's no rule about which experiences can be traumatic. It's more about how you react to them. Traumatic events can include a wide range of experiences, including acts of violence, natural disasters, accidents, sexual assault or other events including where you feel frightened, threatened, humiliated, rejected, abandoned, invalidated, trapped, ashamed, powerless or witness harm to someone else. When someone experiences trauma, their brain processes the event differently, leading to memories and thoughts that are difficult to control and can cause significant distress. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop in some individuals following a traumatic event.

 

Signs, Symptoms and Causes

Other people can't know how we feel about our own unique experiences or if they're traumatic for us. Typical signs and symptoms include: 

  • Intrusive thoughts or memories of the traumatic event. This may include ‘flashbacks’ where aspects of a traumatic event are relived, or it feels as if it's happening now.

  • Avoidance behaviours, such as avoiding places or people associated with the trauma.

  • Negative changes in thoughts and feelings, such as feelings of guilt, shame, or anger.

  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.

  • Suicidal feelings or self harm.

  • Increased alcohol or substance use.

  • Panic attacks.

  • Dissociation or ‘zoning out’.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What it is

OCD is a mental health condition where a person has unwanted thoughts and fears known as obsessions. These obsessions lead you to do repetitive behaviors called compulsions. These obsessions and compulsions get in the way of daily activities and cause a lot of distress. Ultimately, you feel driven to do compulsive acts to ease your stress. Even if you try to ignore or get rid of the intrusive thoughts or urges, they keep coming back. This leads you to act based on ritual creating a vicious cycle of OCD.


OCD often centres around certain themes, such as being overly fearful of getting contaminated by germs. To ease contamination fears, you may wash your hands over and over again until they're sore and chapped. OCD often begins around puberty and early adulthood. OCD can be distressing and significantly interfere with your life, but treatment can help you keep it under control.

 

Signs, Symptoms and Causes

  • If you have OCD, you'll usually experience frequent obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease. 

  • A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to do to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought. For example, someone with an obsessive fear of being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave their house.

The above are not an exhaustive list of MH conditions we treat at Flourish. If you would like advice on or help with your mental health, do reach out and book a 20 minute consultation and we can explain how we might help!

Registered Address: Quayside House, Chain Caul Way, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston PR2 2XS  

©2024 by Flourish Therapy Clinic. Company number: 14374958

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