Saturday, January 19, 2013

Things in simple language

There's a great website - http://splasho.com/upgoer5/halloffame.php - which encourages us to write about complex ideas in simple terms, using the 1000 most common words.
It's great, but challenging.

I put up my ideas about what I do - clinical psychology and mental health - you can read it below, and at  http://tinyurl.com/b3s5lfx

This is what I said:

"I try to help people who are sad or scared.

There are all kinds of reasons why people are sad or scared, but I am interested in the things that have happened to people.

I try to work out how the things that have happened to people might have changed the way they think about themselves, think about other people, think about how the world works or what might happen next.

If some very bad things have happened to you, you will probably think that bad things will happen again. If people have hurt you in the past, you will probably be scared that it might happen again. Some people get so sad or scared that they need help. Some people get so sad or scared that it changes the way their brains work. When people are very sad or scared, they sometimes ask doctors to help them. But this doesn't really work very well, and can cause as many problems as it helps.

I try to help people by understanding why the bad things that happen to us can make us feel sad and scared. I then talk to people to try to help them understand that they can do lots of things to help themselves. Most people can find better ways to help themselves. Usually, that happens when they come to understand that they can think about the world in different ways, and that talking to other people is the best way to learn how to think in new and different ways."


Have a look, look at other people's ideas, and perhaps try your own.

41 comments:

  1. I like how simple this is.
    I have bi polar rapid cycling and I still believe it was brought on by me environmental circumstances, which caused me to become so scared and sad that i experience full manic episode in 2005 after quite a few years of psychological trauma. Being then told who you are by doctors and it doesn’t fit with who you know your self to be causes so many more problems. Hence I took a degree in psychology got a 2.1 honours even though i was very ill for my first 3 modules. This was so challenging at first but it did give me a break in thinking, and I’d always been a pretty determined and forward moving person this is the part of my self that was still there but hiding the key is to not lose your self. And I learnt that thinking is just thinking it doesn’t mean its real and this can be changed, people don’t really understand that they can control their thoughts .. even if its just a little bit at first. The meds dont help like lithium, valproic aci, Depakene oral and Seroquel XR to name a few… all you can do is sit and watch your hands move when you have wanted them too .. and put on a ton of weight … my hair even started falling out at one point.. I told my psychiatrist what was I going to be a fat bald woman .. he said its better than the alternative.. well today I am a testament that I learning as much as you can about nutrition, exercise and your self can really change the situation.

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    1. Top marks for clarity! When I suffered from acute PTSD, having a clinical psychologist administer the CBT therapy was extremely helpful. However, when I read the technical description of a clinical psychologist, it was actually frightening. This description puts clinical psychology in a more accessible light for those who are terrified of what might happen to them in therapy. Thanks!!

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    2. I agree..that this is a much better description. Often all the long words can be so overwhelming.
      Like Tar, I was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was told that I had to be on medication for life. After 13 years on the meds and lots of personal research I was able to wean myself off. Learning about changing your thinking, nutrition and exercise are very important. So is increasing self-esteem, releasing trauma, and learning to take responsibility for your own health.

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    3. I found that CBT didn't work for me. I was resistant to the idea that I was misreading situations because then (In my mind) I would have to admit that my bipolar was winning.
      Dialectic behaviour therapy put me back in the drivers seat and it made 100% difference. I now have my life back (with the occasional hiccup and a number of medications), but it is such a relief.

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    4. The trouble is that we are all sad and scared at times. The problems start when these feelings take over and unbalance us. It's good to think that a Professor of Clinical Psychology recognises that one of the most important things is to be understood and listened to. I've had quite a lot of experience of living with someone with a mental health problem and it is not easy. In the 60's a member of my family was put on so much different medication that it became very difficult to deal with her. I am so glad to hear that a different approach is now an option.

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    5. My life long mental health issues are undoubtably rooted in my childhood. Poor even wicked parenting left me scarred and untrusting even of those whom I am aware love and care for me. Sadly I have never found an effective treatment.

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    6. This is simple and yet effective. I dont think that mental health only stems from childhood. I have suffered from cerebal palsy since I was born. I think in itself this has as I have got older caused trauma to my way of living. A near death experience difficulty raising my twin sons through several failed rel;ationships. A stress induced phycosis.

      All these have contributed to my mental health. Something I cannot 'run' away from.

      bad parenting, visible invisible disabillities. It doesnt matter the severity of the issue. It will affect us mentally in the end and have a detriment to mine and anyone who suffers from .

      You can think up of fancy new names for things like PTSD etc etc. It is lets face it. Just plain old mental health

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  2. Interesting piece to see the clarity there when ideas are stripped down to the bare bones. I'm going to try this exercise myself...

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  3. I really enjoyed that. Thanks for the website suggestion. I'm having a great time with your online course, btw. :) Thank you for doing this for us.

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  4. I am all for translating technical language into plain English. However, just because something is in layman's terms, it doesn't mean that it has to be "dumbed down. Unfortunately, I think that parts of the example above could be considered as veering towards being slightly patronising, which ends up putting off the very people that you are trying to engage with.

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  5. Hi Myself,
    I agree that just because using simpler terms doesn't mean that it should be 'dumbed down'.
    But I think that you've missed the point of this blog, it was simply an exercise that Peter did to see if he could express what he did using the simple language suggested on the website.
    I don't think that any of it is patronising and I can be hypercritical in that respect.

    So what do you think he should have written?

    BTW I'm not a professional but write a blog about my OCD recovery and try to keep it simple so that even when distressed people are able to follow it.

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  6. This makes it all seem so simple, gps should be made to follow this blog

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  7. Very simple and meaningful explanation even my 7 years old can make sense of this. Thank you am loving this course.

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  8. The simplification makes this body of words seem poetic. It must have taken quite some time to clarify your thoughts and yet still retain comprehension. Bravo!

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  9. I like the way you explain something so complicated can be so simple to be accepted :)

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  10. nice article...

    Obat Bius | Obat Bius Wanita | Jual Obat Bius


    thank you for the information regards success only father / mother

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  11. I would add that clients are either Sad, Scared, or CONFUSED. I see a lot of clients who are confused.

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  12. Quite articulate, simple and easy to assimilate. I've been there before. To be sad or scared is part of human nature that can be triggered by nurture. The complexity of twixt and turns of everyday life can change the way we approach issues. Getting suitable help early is the best solution we need to remain positive and focused.

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  13. I am liking this. And it basically does come down to these ideals, ideas and support. I experienced a series of traumatic events in close succession and these had a negative effect on my mental health, although thinking back my predisposition was always there. Recovery has been slow and consists of peeling back layers of my self, my formative years, my experiences, my values, beliefs and prejudices even. Real change occurred for me when I turned distressing situations on their head and looked at the flip side, what did I learn, how does that person feel, what answer could I have given instead, how could I have acted differently. There was a psychological lightness as a result and the feelings were soothing. So for today it's good and I'm still here, still breathing, still smiling with people and friends who love me. I don't have everything but I have more than enough. Let's see where I go next

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  14. this is a more understandable conscript, I thank you for the link on the course page, and i can get my head araound this easier .

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  15. I would like to thank you.This article is very helpful and it was very easy to understand. While we are writing article it must be understandable. Thank you.

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  16. this comment has made it easy to understand, i will try to use this in my work

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  17. this comment has made it easy to understand, i will try to use this in my work

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  18. Very good, agree that the simplicity could come across as patronising but only if you hadn't read the way the site works. Also agree with the confused. Might also add another word - angry. I have spent a lot of my life frustrated, I have only recently learned this is a form of anger. I am personally scared of being angry because of levels of anger I have seen when growing up, so I just got frustrated instead.

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  19. Yes, your blog is on point Peter. Nothing beats old communication. One day I waiting for a bus and this woman got off the bus and stood next to me. Our conversation started with the weather and she ended up telling me her problems. It was quite serious stuff but it left me thinking that I may have been the only person she was able to speak to that day. Some people live isolated lives and can go for days without conversing with another individual.

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  20. Pretty much spot on and (hopefully) explains what a good therapist will be doing in their practice, there is so much science in psychology and psychiatry and with the training the disciplines require, it can become easy to sound complicated.

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  21. Pretty much spot on and (hopefully) explains what a good therapist will be doing in their practice, there is so much science in psychology and psychiatry and with the training the disciplines require, it can become easy to sound complicated.

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  22. Simply explained, easy to understand. It is exactly that 'scared and sad'. Helping to understand why they feel the way they do and change the thought process.

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  23. Simply explained, easy to understand. It is exactly that 'scared and sad'. Helping to understand why they feel the way they do and change the thought process.

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  24. I like the simplicity of words used.As a counsellor one of the major points facing me are how to explain counselling to a client who is clueless in an acceptable way."Scared and sad" are easy to understand, even to a child.

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  25. Waoow marvellous piece of article.Thanks for the insight

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  26. This i am becoming more aware of by the minute, i have been practising positive thinking for around 6 years fully, and as Tar says.....thinking is just thinking it doesn’t mean its real and this can be changed, people don’t really understand that they can control their thoughts .. even if its just a little bit at first. Making the decision to think positively and sticking to it makes all the difference, i would go as far as to say we are able to talk to our bodies to help heal orselves.

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  27. I really love this course its never ending the things I have learnt are amazing everyday life in some cases are a real struggle bipolar is something they really want to over come but they need help the more research the more support they will receive, across the nation mental health is a big issue lack of integrity, compassion, self love ect.. is due to mental health unfortunately.

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  28. it is very important to understand 'why' life experiences are making us sad or scared. And it is very important to go into deep inside with a Professional guide and see the source of our individual sadness and scares..than we could 'understand' why our life experiences are birnging us to sadness.Once we start to feel the reason then we could look at the life from different point of view and understanding ourself could make us more open to accept the sad experiences of life..as long as we see the dark side of us it gives us also to see the light sides of us and life too. so, it is really importand key words 'why' and 'understand'.
    Thank for this simple but very important article..ruhane kosar

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  29. it is very important to understand 'why' life experiences are making us sad or scared. And it is very important to go into deep inside with a Professional guide and see the source of our individual sadness and scares..than we could 'understand' why our life experiences are birnging us to sadness.Once we start to feel the reason then we could look at the life from different point of view and understanding ourself could make us more open to accept the sad experiences of life..as long as we see the dark side of us it gives us also to see the light sides of us and life too. so, it is really importand key words 'why' and 'understand'.
    Thank for this simple but very important article..ruhane kosar

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  30. I like the way it was written. Simple yet educational! Excited for more ideas.

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  31. The problem with psychotherapy is that we are all in individuals. So what works for one will not work for the other. Like the comment above I myself found CBT or CBT-E didn't quite fit, but DBT for me was a life changer. Yes that is probably down to my BPD, where CBT was enhanced/manipulated to DBT, which is specifically aimed at BPD. But having said that DBT is increasingly used for eating disorders, especially for those where CBT didn't quite fit. There are so many types of psychotherapy, and each has its merits. Scheme for instance also appears to be a better "fit" for some people, where again CBT didn't quite help. I think that the best type of treatment is one that is tailored to each person. This of course requires psychotherapist to know a lot about the various therapies, which is quite an undertaking.

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  32. sometimes traumas cannot be understood, they just happen and psychologists do not help merely with the reasons why that trauma happened (bc they do not know it) but they help by listening to people and making them clear that experience is over, the next step, help humans to see the world differently and even thank for those bad things as they represent human/ spiritual awakening

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