Monthly Archives

April 2021

Treatments that work for you: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Therapy is one of the most important parts of a residential program at Retreat South. There are many types of therapy to help us in mental health treatment. So, finding the right therapy or combination of therapies is important to you.

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed that between 2014 and 2019 nearly seven thousand people had more than seven episodes of treatment for alcohol and other drug (AOD) issues.

AOD treatments help people reduce harmful AOD use. In the Institute’s report counselling was cited as the most common main treatment type. Treating substance dependancy can be difficult. Sometimes, people need more intensive treatment to develop strategies to help them on their path to recovery. There are many types of therapy they might encounter. One of the most often used types of therapy is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT for short is a ‘talk therapy,’ that is used to help people to change their behaviour or their feelings. It is based on the idea that our behaviours are influenced by thoughts. Often these thoughts can be ones we are not even aware of, but they can be negative thoughts that can make us thing the worst about a situation.

CBT has been shown to be effective for many mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, issues that many people seek to overcome by using alcohol or other substances.

With the therapist a person begins to rethink negative thoughts, examining how and why they are unhelpful, and then replace these with more realistic, positive thoughts. Call us to find out more about our treatment programs and the types of therapy that help you on your path to recovery.

Sleep routines for wellbeing

Thanks to COVID, 2020 was a year like no other. For a lot of 2021 is a year like no other as well (except perhaps, like 2020). The lockdowns and stay-at-home rules changed so much for so many people. That changed a lot of things in our own personal lives. One of them was our sleep. Working from home meant no travel time so we might have started going to bed later, knowing we didn’t have to get up so early to prepare and travel. Now, returning to the workplace means going back to the previous patterns and that can be a hard thing to do.

People are finding their sleep routines are so out of kilter, they are finding it hard to get to sleep or stay asleep. Just going to bed and trying to does not work for many of us. Not being able to or stay asleep can be a sign of poor ‘sleep hygiene.’  Find that time to stop whatever you are doing to get ready for bed. Cut back on caffeine, especially at night. Start limiting screen time on your computer and media devices. Making your room dark, quiet and comfortable. These are helpful things for good sleep hygiene.

Some of us don’t get to sleep as easily as others. Some of us have interrupted sleep and long periods of wakefulness. Sleep doesn’t come easily to some people too. In fact, trying to do all the things that can make us sleep has a reverse effect. Specialists note that sleep responds negatively to effort — the more you try to sleep the harder it becomes. Losing that nightly battle to get to sleep can cause negative thoughts about having insomnia and can cause problems like anxiety and depression.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

One of the best treatments for anxiety-fuelled sleeplessness is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. This type of therapy helps by changing the negative thought patterns that cause certain behaviours. CBT can help change the way we think about sleep by identifying the beliefs we develop about our inability to get to sleep or stay asleep.

Sleeping is just one of the ways therapy can help. Poor sleep can also be part of another health condition. But it is curable with treatments like CBT.

Avoiding risky drinking

In the three years leading up to 2019, nearly a third of Australians surveyed had reduced their alcohol consumption for health reasons. Despite that, there was been little change in the number of people drinking at risky levels. In 2019, one in four people drank at a risky level. Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) study the physical and mental health of the country.  The NHMRC has guidelines for safe alcohol consumption.  Because there is no change in the level of risky drinking, they revised the levels.

The recommended number of standard drinks was reduced from fourteen down to ten standard drinks a week (and not more than four on any one day), in order to reduce the risk of harm. Risky drinking is when a person exceeds those guidelines.

Risky drinking and problematic alcohol consumption still remain a major health problem for many Australians. Large amounts of alcohol are difficult for our bodies to process.  Long-term damage to the body can be severe, and regular drinking above recommended levels can lead to chronic illnesses such as dementia, liver, and heart disease and increased blood pressure.

It can also damage our immune system. With the increasing awareness of reducing the risk of infection during the COVID pandemic, we should be very careful about how much and how often we drink.

Sometimes that is harder to do because of alcohol dependency or addiction.  At Retreat South, we provide individualised program to assist you with dependency and other mental health issues.

For more information and to speak with someone about how Retreat South can help you,  call us on (03) 5568 4155 or contact us here.