CBT Dublin Winter Newsletter: A lot of changes, how to make the most of your brain and how to quit multi-tasking!
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Autumn CBT Dublin Newsletter
I love to start the New Year off with a bang, not fireworks but definitely action plans.  Usually, these might consist of learning something new, plan an adventure and find a new workout.  So far so dull.  I must have been thinking subconciously of how to 'liven things up' in my life when 'BAM'!  Right out of the blue my landlord sold my office building and decided to make it very hard to re-sign a new lease (I'll leave that to the imagination), oh, and just before Christmas too!  So, I was left practically high and dry clearing out my lovely top floor office, when, my original plan  was to partake in some Christmas shopping and mulled wine sipping...that didn't happen.  So, what does a CBT therapist do in such a situation?  Well, I could have wailed and beat the floor and shouted 'why me!' but, never one to look a 'gift horse' in the mouth, I set about putting my CBT into action. I got some perspective and proportion on it all.  Positive perspective number 1. No more climbing up 3 flights of stairs to get to my lovely office, this will save my dodgy right knee from that pain. 2. My clients won't have to climb up 3 flights of stairs anymore 3. I could become all 2017 and get with the programme and see my clients on Skype, who needs an office anyway? 

I started the New Year scouring Dublin city centre for a new office, to no avail.  There were dingy attic rooms, like Miss Havisham's cobwebbed room in 'Great Expectations', damp, mildew covered, basements with feet walking by the tiny windows, and wonderfully suitable offices at 3 times my old rent - ouch!  Meanwhile, I was getting rapturous feedback on how great the Skype sessions were from my old  'office visiting' clients.  Some loved not having to leave the comfort of their own home, others thought it great to not have to trek home after the sessions in the evening, others loved the tech system, which  I am investing the equivalent of my old rent money into and it really is fab.  So I got to thinking why?  Why do I have to find a new office? Why pay extortionate lease fees and have to up my client session fees to pay for a less than mediocre office?  Why be so old fashioned, when in 2017 we can have online therapy with clients all over the world.  I have run Skype sessions for the last 5 years with great ease and in 2016 I already had a client in Spain, 3 in the UK, 1 in Sweden and 1 in, of all places, Thailand, amongst lots of great Irish based clients too.

So my big, bold and possibly brave decision, based on rational thought, is to forgo the office set up and move to online, virtual face to face, therapy full time. Thus, saving my clients energy by them not having to get to me, and save them money and offer them in mine, and my Skype client's opinions, a better therapy format.   It doesn't get any better.  I have added heaps of info on this new format to the website if you want to read more about it.  I hope you wish me well in my new adventure.
Are you suffering from scattered brain syndrome?
So are you suffering from scattered brain syndrome?  What did you do before you opened this mail, what will you do after it, or even during it? This has become a 'thing'!  With all the social media and pop ups and distractions at our disposal on the internet we are damaging our ability to focus properly on the task at hand.   A number of researchers have found that  juggling multiple tasks makes people less productive and that you get more done when concentrating on a single task, rather than flitting between tasks, or websites, messages and emails etc.   What we may 'brag about' as being an ability to multi-task really isn't something to brag about at all.  Our brains are set up to only fully concentrate on one task and when we think we are 'multi-tasking' really our brain thinks it is completely changing back and forth between tasks. Which is why our brains get exhausted, it's too much cognitive flipping of concentration and, in extreme cases, a contributor to mental burn out. Multi-tasking “produces shallower thinking, reduces creativity, increases errors and lowers our ability to block irrelevant information,” according to Dr Sandra Bond Chapman, founder and chief director, Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas   "When we’re constantly shifting our attention from one thing to another, we inhibit our ability to learn and to get things done", Chapman says. While it’s fine to watch television while cooking dinner, for example, trying to answer email messages while focusing on a big project and answering calls is likely going to detract from performance on each.

The solution, provided by Chapman, is 5 minute time outs in the day to recharge the brain, step away from the desk and go outside for a fresh air break, or somewhere without distractions.  5 minutes will seem like an eternity when you do this but it really works, then get back to the task, one task at a time! Chapman has published a lot of other useful solutions  More here
How to reclaim your brain from addiction and start living!
You have to see this video. Not only is Dr. Pam Peeke a great character to watch, but the way she explains how the brain works, in no nonsense language, will get you looking at your lifestyle very, very, differently.  For all those out there on a New Year's diet you really have to watch this, even just to think about food differently, as any of my clients know I bang on about this with a fervour in the behavioural lifestyle change section of my CBT sessions, eat for your brain and your body will take care of itself. 
CBT Dublin's website has had a revamp!

On top of my ambitious new plan to revolutionise how CBT therapy is conducted (in Ireland anyway, online Skype therapy is pretty mainstream in most countries). I thought it best to rebrand my website and have it looking more modern.  Gone is the cold blue colouring and in has come more tranquil colouring, instead of icy blue.  Hmmm?  Anyway, more importantly, I have also added a free 15 minute on Skype consultation for anyone looking to have a chat about CBT therapy and how it's conducted online, so you get to use Skype and see if you like it.  Feel free to book in and/or share with those you think will find it useful.

Onwards and Upwards!
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