People may seek help for psychological therapy where the main problem is around their physical health difficulty/difficulties. Physical health conditions may be acute or chronic. The symptoms may come and go or they may be constant. We support people who experience a range of physical health problems, such as:
- Fatigue or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.)
- Cardiac problems
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Skin conditions, such as Psoriasis and Eczema
It can be difficult coming to terms with physical health conditions and knowing how best to manage them. Physical health conditions that alter appearance can lead to an individual lacking confidence with regards to their appearance and attractiveness.
Physical health conditions can lead to various emotional difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, stress, frustration, low self-esteem and anger. Physical health difficulties, sometimes together with the resulting emotional difficulties, may go on to have a detrimental impact upon relationships, leisure activities and work. Life can sometimes become restricted which further negatively affects an individual’s emotional wellbeing. In turn, higher levels of distress can lead to worsening of some physical health conditions.
A common problem that people may experience with physical health conditions that cannot be seen, such as pain and fatigue, is not being believed and understood by doctors, family, friends and colleagues. You may have received the message that “it’s all in your head”. Coming for psychological therapy for your struggles around your physical health difficulty/difficulties does not mean for one moment that we think “it’s all in your head”. We believe that they are very much real. As can be seen above, physical health difficulties do not just affect a person physically but can affect various aspects of their lives. Psychological therapy can provide the space and support to explore this, to help you find ways to cope better with both the physical symptoms and the impact that they have upon your life. We hope to help you to gradually take steps towards activities that are valuable to you, thus broadening your life once more whilst doing this in a manageable way.
Treatment for Physical Health Problems
There is good evidence to suggest that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are helpful for many people suffering from physical health difficulties. Therefore, your therapist is likely to draw upon such therapeutic approaches.