GMA Weekly Blog 15th May 2020

Published: Friday, 15 May 2020 by Dunc

It’s been emotional! I don’t think for a minute that the public thought that lockdown would be coming to an end following the government’s announcement at the start of the week but I think having the prime minister confirm it has certainly affected the mood. We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel with some businesses re-opening, rules on exercise being relaxed and more importantly we are able to meet family (albeit one at a time, outdoors and 2 meters apart) but the reality that we still have weeks of home schooling, fridge raiding and pyjama dwelling to go, as we have discussed at GMA this week is daunting but hang in there! We will get through this. As with the rest of the country we are all grateful at GMA and send our best wishes to the frontline workers in all roles, working in such testing conditions to keep us all safe, Thank you! 

National Mental Health Awareness Week 

Monday is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and GMA will be supporting the theme of Kindness with information, activities and collaborations throughout the week so watch out for our updates on social media. We realise at GMA how tough this situation has been on our mental health, we have introduced mindfulness for our colleagues and given them all 3 hours a week to spend on themselves but more importantly we have been talking about our mental health and encouraging each other to be kind to themselves. We often forget to look out for our own welfare especially at a time when so many are in need. Think about the safety demonstration you get on a plane before take-off, make sure you put on your lifejacket before helping someone else with theirs…. It’s good advice! Below are some thoughts on being kind to yourself from Paul a member of the therapy team at GMA 

Looking After One “Self” 

Written by Paul Dent MSc PG Dip MBACP Clinical Manager at Gambling Therapy 

The “self” is a very important construct in therapy. Linking with the theme from Mental Health Awareness Week, it is important in these Covid times that we are kind to our “selves”. When dealing with the daily pressures of clients, the demands of the other staff and possible family it is very easy to put your own needs on hold. Booking meetings back to back or pushing boundaries may seem very efficient use of time but not building in breaks does give you an opportunity to recharge, refocus and think about the overall picture.  

No matter how much we hear the mantra of “we will get through this”, life is still for living – we will not get this time back. Covid is just another experience or “challenge” in life’s journey, depending on your mindset. Therefore, it is imperative to find time each day to be “kind” to yourself. Build in activities that you enjoy, that take you away from the activities and stresses of the day and that allow you to focus on why you are here. This can be physical (just taking a 30-minute walk has huge benefits) mental (listening to your favourite book or podcast) or even better do both at the same time (multitasking 

Only when you have been “kind” to your inner self will you be able to project confidently your values, beliefs, and true emotions to others as well as cope with the challenge that life can throw at you. 

As well as a Clinical Manger for Gambling Therapy, Paul is an experienced counsellor with many years of experience of working in private and non-profit settings. The tools he uses are primarily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) 


and psychodynamic counselling, delivered both face-to-face and online that focus on delivering positive solutions that enable the client to move forward.  His focus is how trauma can cause addictions in later life.  

Covid-19 

Our residential treatment programme continues to run, and we plan to be admitting new residents as soon as it is safe to do so, the safety of our colleagues and clients is at the heart of all our decision making. Refurbishments to our Beckenham facility are nearing completion and we look forward to sharing the transformation and welcoming new residents soon. Virtual support is being offered to our male and female clients, those waiting to enter treatment, affected others and our ex-residents. We have increased our outgoing interactions with our service users 10-fold in the last few weeks with over 200 calls being made each week a fantastic effort from the team. 

To apply for a treatment place at GMA visit www.gordonmoody.org.uk or call 01384 241 292 

For international, multilingual support for anyone affected by problem gambling visit www.gamblingtherapy.org or download the Gambling Therapy App. 

Thanks for reading, stay safe! 

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