Where to go when you're feeling stressed in summer
Living as an expat away from your family, dealing with a stressful job, finances, busy traffic and more can all lead to a high risk of anxiety or depression. What’s more, recent research at Zayed University has found that by avoiding the summer sun, many of us become vitamin D deficient, which also increases your risk of feeling down.
Yet there’s no shame in seeking help – in fact, it’s one of the bravest things you can do – but finding where to go and what to try can be bewildering at best. To help you begin your road to recovery, we’ve broken down the basics of four different therapies. Read on to learn how to make a difference in your life.
What’s it about? Psychology is a broad term for a group of fields that study human behaviour in an attempt to understand and improve it. Health psychology comes from the framework that there are many things that can affect your mental health – everything from genetic predispositions and your social environment to psychology and behaviours. Proponents believe that when mental health is out of sync it affects your physical health, and vice versa. Practitioners focus on improving health long-term.
Who is it for? While health psychologists often treat patients with general anxiety and depression, those suffering from physical ailments such as sleeping problems, diabetes, eating disorders or cancer will find the therapy particularly helpful as practitioners have a deeper knowledge of treatment protocols and the affect they have on the body.
Time Out recommends: Melanie Schlatter, a New Zealand consultant health psychologist licensed to work in Dubai. Consultations start from Dhs500. www.healthpsychuae.com
What’s it about? Psychiatrists are medically qualified doctors who choose to branch off and specialise in the treatment of mental health, and as such they can prescribe medication. They will often speak to your GP and take blood tests to rule out other health conditions that may be affecting your mental function, and they may refer you on to another form of counselling.
Who is it for? Psychiatrists can help to treat everything from insomnia to personality disorders, and are ideal for those who feel the need to discuss the option of taking medication, as well as explore their general health.
Time Out recommends: Dr Ilse Horacek at the German Centre for Neurology and Psychiatry in Dubai Healthcare City comes highly recommended. A consultation is Dhs640 for the first 45 minutes, while half-hour follow ups cost Dhs340. (04 429 8578)
Cognitive behavioural therapy
What’s it about? Unlike many forms of therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses more on a patient’s current world, rather than looking to the past to solve problems. It seeks out practical solutions through healthier thinking (cognitive) and actions (behaviour). The method is used by a range of psychologists and practitioners and will generally require between five and 20 sessions once a week (usually with ‘homework’).
Who is it for? Some call CBT ‘therapy for healthy people’ – it will break down your thoughts and behaviours and teach you behavioural techniques to help you cope with life more effectively. It’s great for anyone suffering from anxiety and depression, or anyone with negative influences around them that they want to learn to cope with (bad mother-in-laws and the like). Unlike some medications, it’s a long-term solution if applied properly.
Time Out recommends: American psychologist Dr Rachelle Amini Robinson at the Human Relations Institute in Dubai Knowledge Village focuses on marriage and family therapy and utilises cognitive behavioural therapy to help patients. Sessions cost Dhs750 for the first hour-long visit; Dhs650 for follow-ups. (04 365 8498)
What’s it about? Hypnosis comes from the Greek word ‘hypnos’, meaning sleep, and hypnotherapists aim to bring about a deep state of relaxation to tap into the subconscious and reprogramme negative and learned reactions to certain trigger situations. They will go back to the first memory that created a negative reaction (your mum criticising your body while you ate something, for example, which may associate negative feeling with food), then disassociate this from your reaction and replace new, healthier thoughts.
Who is it for? Hypnotherapy is a particularly good for those trying to quit addictions (from smoking to food) or those who have anxieties or phobias about something in particular – flying, for example. Note that believing in the process is very important: if you’re a cynic, you may struggle to relax into it.
Time Out recommends: We’ve had good experiences with Abeer Ayash at The Third Eye on Sheikh Zayed Road. A session costs Dhs400. (055 552 9213)