Taking control of your PhD

Taking control of your PhD

by Bill Sheate

Building good mental health while doing a PhD

Studying for a PhD can be demanding, challenging, sometimes exhilarating and sometimes deeply stressful.  Starting out on a PhD is like no other academic study you will have done before.  On the one hand you seem to have a long time ahead of you to get things done, and on the other milestones, deadlines and sometimes competing demands create pressures that you never faced as an undergraduate, on a Masters programme or even in an outside working environment…….. 

Social anxiety in class?

Social anxiety in class?

by Bill Sheate

Ask a question - you know you want to!

Does even the idea of asking a question in class make you break out in a sweat? For some, anxiety over asking questions in class, even in small groups, let alone making a presentation in front of all your peers, triggers such a strong avoidance strategy that they can go through their entire time at university without ever asking a question, even though they often have questions they would dearly like answered…….

Self-awareness or awareness of 'self'?

Self-awareness or awareness of 'self'?

by Bill Sheate

What do we mean by self-awareness?

Increasingly educational psychology recognises the importance of students developing self-awareness competency - the ability to reflect on one’s own role in society, to be able to evaluate one’s actions and to deal with one’s emotions and desires.

Typically, this involves five key aspects: ……..

Tension: a physical manifestation of anxiety?

Tension: a physical manifestation of anxiety?

by Bill Sheate

Tension: a physical manifestation of anxiety?

Do you find yourself feeling tense at the end of a day, or even from the very start? Maybe this tension is accompanied by headaches or other muscle aches, or grinding of your teeth. What's going on with tension?

Tension in the body - tightness and contraction of the muscles -  is often a physical manifestation of stress and anxiety ……….

Mindfulness workshop now booking

Mindfulness workshop now booking

by Bill Sheate

Practical Mindfulness for Everyday Living workshop now booking for 15 October 2018 6.00-8.30pm

An evening (2.5 hours) practical workshop that introduces you to simple mindfulness techniques and practices that you can integrate into daily living, and that doesn't require you to meditate every day! The workshop complements the self-hypnosis half-day workshop that was run earlier in September, but is also standalone……..

Seek help early if anxious or stressed at University

Seek help early if anxious or stressed at University

by Bill Sheate

Seeking help for anxiety early can make all the difference to your life at University - don’t leave it to get worse

As students begin a new life at University over the coming weeks (September/October 2018), or return to continue their courses of study, many will already have previous experience of mental health issues while some may develop them at University, often in response to the stresses and strains that come with university life (work, relationships, being away from family, finances etc). Typical problems include: ……..

'Failing' at exams isn't the end of the world

'Failing' at exams isn't the end of the world

by Bill Sheate

Exam performance is not the only  - and may not be the best - measure of success

Rob Rinder - in his recent comment piece (17 August 2018) for the London Evening Standard "Failing to get the exam results you want could be the best thing that happens to you — just look at me" - hit the nail on the head.  As he said:

"I am convinced that the more pressure we place on the single moment of exam results, the more we detract from nurturing the intellectual and emotional range that turns young people into successful adults and good citizens…….”

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How much does CBH therapy cost?

How much does CBH therapy cost?

by Bill Sheate

Can I afford private therapy?

If you are considering seeking private therapy of any kind an immediate consideration is likely to be cost - can I afford it?  Unlike some forms of therapy cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy (CBH) is typically a short-term programme of treatment, because it is focused on specific issues and on helping you help yourself through developing skills and using techniques for greater self-efficacy. A short-term programme is likely to be around 4 - 6 sessions; ………..

University staff suffer stress too!

University staff suffer stress too!

by Bill Sheate

Stress is rife throughout universities

Rightly, student mental health is often now making headline news, with the need for better provision for students' well-being as they move from home to university settings, and throughout their time at university and in response to the demands and expectations upon them.  Sometimes forgotten in all this is the fact that university staff - academic, research and administrative staff - also suffer from stress, anxiety, depression and a host of other mental health issues………

Universities UK report on student mental health

Universities UK report on student mental health

by Bill Sheate

Universities UK publish Minding Our Future report on student mental health

Universities UK - the umbrella group for universities - have just published (11 May 2018) a new report Minding Our Future: starting a conversation about the support of student mental health which sets out proposals for creating 'place-based' local partnerships among universities, local authorities, local NHS providers. and third sector services. This is a worthy ambition to create more joined-up mental health services for students at university and to try to prevent people slipping through the net………….

Sometimes ‘failing’ is the best way to learn

Sometimes ‘failing’ is the best way to learn

by Bill Sheate

Mindful learning is fun......

As Holly Bradshaw prepared to compete in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia she revealed why what might seem to be failure can be the catalyst for a whole different way of looking at life.  In an article in the London Evening Standard yesterday (12 April 2018) she revealed how important crashing out of the World Championships in London in 2017 had been in rediscovering a love of her sport and the process of competing...........

Imagination Therapy now also in  Bloomsbury

Imagination Therapy now also in Bloomsbury

by Bill Sheate

Imagination Therapy now readily accessible to academics and students across Central London

I'm delighted to announce that from April 2018 I will be running a weekly clinic on Friday mornings (between 8.30am - 2.00pm) in Bloomsbury.  Located right next to the British Museum, Museum Street is right in the heart of London academia, surrounded by the University of London, UCL, and Birkbeck among others.........

Use ‘active revision’ to re-frame your approach to exams

Use ‘active revision’ to re-frame your approach to exams

by Bill Sheate

Shift your whole approach......

Most university students’ approach to exams is shaped by their experience of exams at school, but this means that most are often poorly prepared for the different style of learning at university and the way in which exams are used, from undergraduate through to postgraduate level.  Other forms of assessment are also increasingly utilised at university to assess the attainment of learning outcomes intended by the curriculum.  But exams still have a role .............

Mental health crisis at UK Universities

Mental health crisis at UK Universities

by Bill Sheate

A cry for help.....

A recent IPPR study reported in The Guardian has found suicides among UK university students at record levels (The Guardian, 2 September 2017 - Suicide is at record level among students at UK universities, study finds).

We have known for a long time about rising demand for university counselling services and a common assumption is that it is a response to rising student debt due to tuition fees and that universities need to invest more in those services.  Well, yes, they do, but the issue is far more fundamental than that on at least two different levels.......... 

Self-hypnosis half-day workshop

Self-hypnosis half-day workshop

A half-day practical Self-Hypnosis Workshop 

Saturday, 23 September 2017 from 13:30 to 17:30 (BST) - London

A half-day (4 hours) practical Self-Hypnosis Workshop that takes you a step beyond mindfulness and relaxation. No previous experience necessary, however, as this is a standalone workshop equally suitable for complete beginners and those experienced in other forms of relaxation/mindfulness. The workshop uses a cognitive behavioural, fully evidence-based (non-state) model of hypnosis........... 

Resilience Skills are Transferable Skills

Resilience Skills are Transferable Skills

by Bill Sheate

Mental Health Awareness Week 8-14 May 2017 – Resilience Skills are Transferable Skills

This week - in Mental Health Awareness Week - I’ve concluded the last of six core sessions of what is now an annual programme of resilience skills training for our one-year MSc course in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London.  I see the programme as an integral part of transferable skills training – those skills and attributes now seen as at least as important by employers as the qualifications our students leave with.  Indeed, by seeing mental health resilience skills as part of transferable skills we can begin to break down the reluctance of some to even consider going to a mindfulness or relaxation class..........

Twelve simple steps to mindfulness

Twelve simple steps to mindfulness

by Bill Sheate

Mastering mindfulness is key to reducing anxiety

Mastering mindfulness is a key technique in helping to reduce anxiety, but is surprisingly simple to do, if you understand some basic principles. It should never be a chore. Here are 12 simple steps to mindfulness: .........

Do you suffer from insomnia?

Do you suffer from insomnia?

by Bill Sheate

I was awake half the night......

Insomnia is often linked with stress, anxiety or low mood/depression, but not always.  It can exist as an ongoing chronic problem which can seem quite unresolvable, going on for many years despite numerous attempts to find a solution.  A defining feature of insomnia is the sense of having slept badly and of suffering as a result....... 

Exams - it's all about technique!

Exams - it's all about technique!

by Bill Sheate

Changing your approach

At advanced levels - especially postgraduate - exams are less about what you know and more about how you apply your knowledge and understanding to problem-based situations.  They’re not there so much to test your knowledge, as to be part of making learning possible, for example as opportunities to apply higher order learning skills like analysissynthesis and evaluation (and creativity).  There are some very simple hints and tips that can make all the difference to your exam technique, especially for essay-type questions – the whole way in which you perceive an exam, approach it, prepare for it and sit it..........