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BBC Radio 4 report on bad practice in rehabs

March 19th, 2018

BBC World at One news programme has reported on poor and unsafe practice in the private rehab sector.
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World Sleep Day

March 16th, 2018

Today is world sleep day and poor sleep is one of the most common difficulties people face when recovering from mental health problems.

Improving the quality of your sleep during difficult times can bring some very welcome relief to other symptoms ( depression and anxiety ). It’s clearly a two-way street and everything you can do to help get a better nights sleep will give you great rewards.

As part of our “Recovery Lifestyle” series we have invited specialist writer, Rachel from ‘Pillow Picker‘ to share how choosing the correct pillow can make such a difference to the quality of your sleep:

How to Choose the Right Pillow for your Sleep Position

In this article, Rachel, a sleep specialist from Pillow Picker shares with us her top tips for choosing the right pillow and getting a better night’s sleep.

Having suffered with neck pain and insomnia most of my adult life, I know how badly a lack of sleep affects us. When we suffer from discomfort, often, the first thing people do is blame their mattress and begrudgingly spend hundreds of pounds on a new one. I’m here to tell you, you might want to consider upgrading your pillow first! Here’s why…

The Effects of the Wrong Pillow

Sleeping 8 hours every day with a misaligned spine is a shortcut to chronic neck pain. Not only that, it can put pressure on your hips, back and shoulders, causing issues later on. Choosing the right pillow for your sleep position is one of the best ways to ensure this doesn’t happen!

Side Sleepers

Sleeping on your side can bring a whole host of benefits, so if you’re a regular side sleeper you’re in luck! Improved digestion and better circulation are just a couple of the benefits you can expect to see from regularly sleeping on your side. However, if your pillow doesn’t support you properly, your back, shoulders and neck will pay the price.

If you’re a side sleeper, I recommend a medium to thick pillow. This is because when sleeping on your side there is a larger distance between your neck and the mattress, which needs to be filled in order to keep the spine straight. Thick and firm is the way to go when it comes to side sleeping – shredded memory foam is a great choice of material as it holds its shape throughout the night but doesn’t get too hot.

See our best recommended pillows for side sleepers!

Back Sleepers

Back sleeping is another healthy and comfortable sleeping position, and there’s a huge array of pillows on the market specifically designed for back sleepers.

If you sleep on your back and don’t suffer from any sleep-related issues (such as sleep apnea, or snoring), a whole range of pillow materials will suit you. The most important thing is to make sure your pillow is thick enough that your spine is aligned, but not so thick that your head is forced upwards. A material that keeps its shape throughout the night is another essential, as this’ll prevent the sinking feeling which, although seems comfy, isn’t very good for you long term!

If you suffer with sleep apnea, indigestion or even sciatica, a wedge pillow could be your knight in shining armour! These allow you to prop your torso up while keeping your spine straight, which can help ease symptoms of a whole range of sleep-related issues including snoring – something I’m sure any bed sharers will be happy to hear!

See our best recommended pillows for back sleepers!

Stomach Sleepers

Sorry stomach sleepers, but your choice of position is widely reputed to be one of the most damaging positions if you have the wrong pillow. Something too thick will cause your neck to jut back at an awkward angle, which will almost always result in neck and back pain.

Thick pillows with a high loft are an absolute no-no if you are a regular stomach sleeper. Instead, go for something thin. 3-5 inches is a good range to go for and there’s plenty of these on the market. While they may take a little while to get used to, especially if you’re used to something thick and lofty, the decreased pressure on your neck, spine and shoulders make the switch more than worth it. Give it a few days and you’ll wonder how you ever used anything else!

See our best recommended pillows for stomach sleepers!

Combination Sleepers

If you find yourself switching positions throughout the night, you’re a combination sleeper. Unfortunately, combination sleepers will have the toughest job of finding the right pillow, as when it comes to sleep positions, anything goes!

Combination sleepers should go for something specifically designed for a variety of sleep positions, although you may need to shop around for the one that suits you best. Good options are pillows with both a soft and a firm section, or perhaps one which is lower in the centre and higher at the sides. While specially-made pillows can be more expensive than the average, the effects on your body, posture and quality to sleep are second to none.

See our best recommended pillows for combination sleepers!

PROMIS’s Philippe Cavaroz gives a talk at iCAAD addiction conference in Paris

March 13th, 2018

Philippe Cavaroz presented on behalf of the PROMIS French team at the prestigious iCAAD conference in Paris today. There were speakers representing all aspects of care for people with addiction problems.

Philippe was supported by French team member and psychologist, Lisa Schoorl and by Lucy Britton and Fran.

Lets be more careful with the language we use to describe addiction problems

March 1st, 2018

In this last couple of years, I have seen Dr John Kelly speak a few times and I am always impressed with what he has to say. I want to share a few ideas he has brought up and to begin with, I’d like to share his ideas about the language we use to describe addiction problems, both as lay people and professionals.

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Antidepressant effectiveness rated

February 26th, 2018

This week a research study was published in the medical journal “The Lancet” which aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of many different antidepressants. This wasn’t new research per say, but a huge study of lots of published and unpublished papers.
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10 of the best: Products to aid sleep

January 29th, 2018

Sleep was the antithesis to my addiction. The concept of an assigned task to be completed in a specific time frame – simply unrealistic. The closest I came to restfulness was a mild neurological siesta, usually at the most inopportune moment.

For me, literature (specifically literary nonsense) glamorised the idea of a fantastical REM state. I believed that mind-altering substances would provoke a fictional prowess that would otherwise lie (ironically) dormant. In my stupor, I would find Wonderland or Hogwarts. Of course, this was not, in fact, the case and, more often than not, the sleep I did get would be short-lived and dreams rarely remembered.

Part of my recovery has involved making amends to people I have harmed, repaying my debts. The sleep debt I have reaped on myself and those closest to me is cavernous and, being intangible and evasive in nature, I cannot (yet) replace time lost or ill-spent. I can, however, look at ways of optimising the time I now have at my disposal – with a view to a really good snooze.

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10 of the best: Free-from beauty products

January 22nd, 2018

Once we’ve done the hard bit and banished the nasties from our bodies, we can start to be more conscious of what products we’re using on our skin – from the value of their properties to the repercussions of their manufacture. Here’s our pick of the 10 best free-from products, what they do and why we love them.

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Interesting perspective on depression

January 12th, 2018

We read an interesting article in the Guardian last weekend in which Johann Hari explains how his understanding of depression has evolved. He makes a good point that depression isn’t simply a biological problem to be treated purely by medication.

Unfortunately, Mr Hari isn’t a totally reliable source, having been involved in a plagiarism scandal, and he also now possibly overstates and oversimplifies the social and psychological factors but he is still a good read and enriches perspective and understanding of depression.

The Fundamental Attribution Error

September 13th, 2017

What can Psychology teach us? 

A series of short articles about useful ideas from psychology.

The Fundamental Attribution Error

This is a psychological phenomenon coined by the Stanford Psychology professor Lee Ross based on a psychology experiment by Psychologists Jones and Harris (1967).

The fundamental attribution error describes a tendency we have to excuse our own behaviour as being a consequence of external factors whilst at the same time blaming other people’s behaviours on their personality and internal disposition or character.
An example might be that while we excused ourselves for having a fight because we needed to defend ourselves from the aggression of others, we might describe someone else having a fight because they are by their nature aggressive and violent.
When we studied this in psychology at university there was a clever saying to describe this. It went: ‘I’ am a freedom fighter, ‘you’ are a guerrilla and ‘he’ is a terrorist”. In other words, the more distant our relationship to the people, the more likely we are to negatively judge their character as a result of their actions.

I think this is a really interesting phenomenon because you can see this play out in so many different situations. Think about international conflicts, for example. Our nation has gone to war to defend human rights, but that ‘other’ country has gone to war because they are an aggressive bad nation etc.

Putting this into the context of mental health then you can imagine that this may well be some subconscious process going on that mean that all the evidence that family, friends, therapists might bring to someone’s attention to evidence the existence of a problem might very well be being discounted and excused because of the fundamental attribution error. The individual may constantly discount all their concerns because, in their minds, all these things that happened can be perfectly reasonably explained by outside influences. “I didn’t crash the car because of my addiction ( arguably an internal personality disposition ), I crashed the car because the light was poor, the other guy didn’t get out of the way etc.

People who work in the field of addiction describe a phenomenon called ‘denial’ where addicts don’t seem to be able to recognise that they have a problem and, instead, keep blaming it on outside influences. It is worth considering that the Fundamental Attribution Error has something to do with this phenomenon and it may not be a phenomenon restricted to addiction but perhaps a piece of human nature which is brought into sharp relief in the context of the series of crisis that addiction often precipitates.

You may well wonder how someone can overcome something so seemingly instinctual and subconscious as this but one way to help people might be by bringing this phenomenon into their consciousness by showing them clearly that it exists. Once we have started to recognise this obviously in our own nature, it’s hard not to notice it more and be aware of it gradually so we become more prepared to consider that it is our own values and decisions that need to be reevaluated and real therapy towards changing can be done.

New maintenance team member Kayleigh drives the Hay Farm makeover

September 11th, 2017


Our newest maintenance team member Kayleigh has the best painting skills of the group and is doing a fantastic job with us already!

A clinic like Hay Farm has a relentless maintenance schedule that feels a little like trying to paint the Forth Bridge. No sooner do you get to one ‘end’ than you need to start again. Currently, the team is repainting the Annex and also replacing the lighting there too. The Guest bathroom has also been completely stripped out and replaced. Finally, new carpets are on their way and the Annex will be just like new again!

We have some exciting plans for the gym next 🙂


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