Psychology Melbourne Blog

News and Insights from the Science of the Mind

More than one way to work on worry

Edited by Jill Wright,

This being what journalists call "the silly season", when news is scarce and journalists prepared to do more than token research are even thinner on the ground than usual, it's perhaps understandable that even a respected newspaper like The Guardian and its "Science Desk" should have come up with a less than rigorous piece on overcoming worry.

Daniel Freeman, a clinical psychology professor at Oxford University whose work focuses on delusions and hallucinations, seemed to be advancing one approach - cognitive behavioural therapy - as a simple solution to worry. 

The article encourages the view that "the evidence is strongest" for the use of "an adapted form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)" for the treatment of worry, not just in generalised anxiety disorder, but also in other areas where Freeman says it plays a significant role: "in the development and persistence of paranoid thinking, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug dependence and insomnia and even eating disorders.

Many of Psychology Melbourne's team of psychologists have a great deal of experience in CBT, but there are many people for whom other approaches to psychotherapy, such as mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy might be more helpful. And better diet choices and regular exercise can also be beneficial, particularly when combined with psychotherapy. Together, they are more effective than drugs without the harmful side effects.

What particularly interested me, however, was not the somewhat superficial approach to the topic as the comments. You'd expect psychologists to pick up the "quick fix" approach and the implications for patients of a decided bias for a particular approach - and of course some commenters clearly had a background in psychology - but several quite helpful and intelligent remarks were made by people who had, or were currently dealing with anxiety.

I'd like to think, as we begin another year, that it might bring greater involvement by the community at large in discussion of mental health issues. If you'd like to book an appointment with a Melbourne psychologist please contact us at Psychology Melbourne 

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About the editor, Jill Wright

Jill Wright (MAPS, AAFT, AICD) is the Director and Principal Psychologist at Psychology Melbourne. Jill was twice elected General Director of the Australian Psychological Society and established the Study Group Network. Find out more about Jill Wright.