Free carers therapy for positivity
A GROUND-BREAKING free course is running in Dunstable to help carers to overcome anxiety and depression.
Central Bedfordshire Council is pioneering the six-week course, which uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help carers look at their situation and their emotional response to it.
Therapist Allison White, who runs the scheme at the local authority offices in High Street North, said: “CBT creates a positive space for carers to talk about how they are feeling and gives them some useful coping mechanisms. It’s all about increasing their self worth and quality of life.”
“The course provides an insight into anxiety and depression, their effects on the body, thoughts and behaviour.
“A technique that is used is a ‘thought diary’. The aim is to help carers recognise and challenge unhelpful thinking and behaviour and give them practical skills to respond in a different, more positive way.”
Carers often worry about becoming ill and how this could impact on their roles, which is not surprising as according to national research one in five carers report that their health suffers as a direct result of them looking after a loved one.
Carers often find they have little time to themselves and the endless planning and arranging for the smallest activities can be exhausting.
One carer said: “This course gave me confidence and helped me to see things in a more constructive way and the aftercare was so helpful.”
The programme, run by the council, health professionals and Carers In Bedfordshire, also offers general relaxation exercises as well as information on maintaining fitness to enhance well-being and happiness.
A relapse prevention plan can also be worked on to help carers maintain the positive changes they achieved on the course. Attendees can continue receiving help from their trainer if they find themselves falling back into old habits.
Councillor Carole Hegley, executive member for adult social care, health and housing at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Carers play a vital role in supporting local vulnerable people.
“But by targeting this course purely for carers, it can make a difference in reassuring them that they are not alone, that there are other people who feel the same and support is available.”
For more information on any forthcoming carers courses, contact Carers in Bedfordshire on 01767 315079.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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