Debunking Psychological ‘Talking’ Therapy. By Dr Liza Morton, Chartered Counselling Psychologist


Mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, affect more than a third of the population each year.  Unfortunately, many people face barriers to finding help such as discrimination and a lack of understanding.  Thankfully, attitudes are changing and mental health difficulties are being better recognised and supported than ever before, whilst evidence based therapies are becoming increasingly available.

Psychological Therapy, or “talking therapy” aims to help people develop strategies and tools to  deal with their difficulties so they can function at their best in everyday life.   Therapy offers a confidential, safe and supportive relationship, with a qualified professional.   Psychologists draw on psychological theories, approaches and techniques to deliver an individualised approach for each client.

Evidence suggests that the best treatment approaches, for mild-moderate common mental health problems, are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT),  Behavioural Therapy,  Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) and Mindfulness.

Counselling Psychology is a relatively new branch of applied psychology, which focuses on a holistic understanding of psychological wellbeing. Counselling psychologists apply psychological therapies to working collaboratively with  people across a diverse range of human difficulties, including mental health problems and life issues. They work with the individual’s unique psychological experience to empower their recovery, improve psychological functioning and to alleviate distress.

All Chartered Psychologists (Clinical and Counselling) must be accredited by The British Psychological Society and the Health and Care Professional Council and anyone using this title must be fully qualified, registered with these professional bodies and adhere to their ethical and professional codes of practice.


What is CBT?

Sometimes, as a result of life experiences, you can get stuck in unhelpful patterns of feeling,  thinking and behaviour.  This might develop into  vicious cycles.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach which  aims to modify these patterns any unhelpful beliefs underlying them.


What is IPT?

Humans are very social beings and we need good quality relationships to maintain our mental health and wellbeing.  Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) focuses on improving the quality of relationships to ensure all of your needs are being met.  It focuses on patterns of communication and it is particularly useful following significant changes to your social network such as loss, retirement or an ongoing dispute with a significant other.  


Working Together

Therapy is not done to you.   A therapist works with you, in collaboration.  Therapy offers a safe space to explore, process and discover better ways to manage your difficulties.



Scottish Government, Mental Health Strategy for Scotland 2012-2015.

The Matrix (2015) A Guide to Delivering Evidence-Based Psychological Therapies in Scotland

Dr Liza Morton is available for consultation at One Allan Park Wellbeing Clinic on Mondays and Tuesdays each week. Please call the clinic on 01786 359 188 to make an appointment or to explore further.



Blog on the impact of Essential oils on Osteoarthritis

Chamomile and Osteoarthritis of the knee


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition that affects the joints, causing pain and stiffness. According to Arthritis Research UK, it is ‘by far the most common form of joint disease, affecting people all over the world and approximately 8 million people in the UK’.1

In traditional Persian medicine textbooks, dating back as far as 980 to 1037 AD, chamomile has been highlighted as a tonic of the nervous system. It has also been used to help alleviate rheumatic and arthritic pain by different traditional medicines. As a rich source of terpenoids and flavonoids, chamomile is said to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-nociceptive effects.2

Eighty-four patients with OA of the knee attending an outpatient clinic in Iran were randomly allocated to one of three groups, receiving topical chamomile oil in a sesame oil carrier; diclofenac gel (a anti-inflammatory drug); or paraffin (a placebo). They were instructed to apply the preparation to their knee and surrounding tissue three times a day for three weeks, and not to massage it into the affected area. They were also allowed to take acetaminophen as an analgesic. Outcome measures included the need of a supplied analgesic, along with self-evaluation scores for pain, physical fitness and stiffness.

The results of the study showed that the chamomile preparation significantly reduced the patients’ need for acetaminophen compared to the diclofenac or placebo. In addition, the chamomile preparation showed some beneficial effects on pain, stiffness and physical activity in patients and no adverse effects were reported.

Study limitations highlighted by the authors include the use of sesame oil as the carrier oil, as sesame oil has ‘demonstrated anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic activity, and beneficial effects in a compound herbal medicine for knee OA’. In addition, the study looked at the short-term effects of a chamomile intervention, when OA is a chronic (long-term) condition. Finally, only 15 percent of the patients were male.

The authors concluded that the efficacy of chamomile oil on knee OA should be further evaluated, using a larger sample size and longer follow-up period. They also highlighted that the effects of chamomile on other painful joints could be an interesting area for further research.

1. Arthritis Research UK (2012). Osteoarthritis [Information booklet.]. Accessed online 30 August, 2015. This information leaflet is free to download and contains exercises for people affected by osteoarthritis.

2. Shoara R, Hashempur MH, Ashraf A, et al (2015). Efficacy and safety of tropical Matricaria chamomilla L. (chamomile) oil for knee osteoarthritis: A randomized controlled clinical trial, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 21: 181-187. Click here to read abstract.

Thanks to the Federation of Holistic Therapists for publishing this article

Our experienced Aromatherapist Linda Buick is available in the Clinic for consultations and Aromatherapy Massage. 




Discover Mindfulness!   posted by Britta Schuessler 4th May 2015

Have you heard about mindfulness?

If you have, do you wonder what it actually is? And, if you have not heard of it, would you like to know more about it? If yes, then read on!

Life is pretty demanding these days. We have busy jobs and busy social lives. We work hard and we play hard. The advances in social media, the internet and communication technology give us access to information 24 hours, seven days a week. The more technology advances the more we feel under pressure to do more things in less time. We do a lot of multi-tasking and our heads are spinning. They are spinning so much that we lay awake at night with anxiety or obsessive thoughts that simply do not want to stop. Our minds are full and it shows. Rather than being focused when we need to be focused, we are distracted. Our emotions get the better of us in the most inconvenient moments. In some cases we feel everything is getting out of control – we are out of control. This is the opposite of being mindful.

So what is it?

Mindfulness is an ancient practice to enhance mental health and wellbeing. It is a means to help you to rest in the present moment and become aware of what is. Quite simply it is an invitation to come out of a mode of doing into a mode of being for a while.

There are two aspects to mindfulness.

The first aspect is that of focusing awareness to what IS in the HERE and NOW. This can range from observing the environment we are in, to our body and its sensations, our thoughts, behaviours and feelings.

The second aspect is that of adopting a particular attitude toward our experiences in the present moment. This attitude is characterised by curiosity, openness, and acceptance as well as compassion.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? 

Yes it is simple, but it is far from easy to actually do. Try it and see how long you manage to stay really present without your mind shooting off in all kinds of directions… Our minds are habitually fixed on the future or the past. Being present in the moment is something we rarely do. And yet, the moment is the only true time we really ever have. It is the only place where we can affect what will happen next. We do this all the time of course simply by living our lives, but we do not do it with awareness. We are getting carried along by our habits, routines, fears and expectations. This is one of the reasons why we are getting the feelings of being overwhelmed, not being in control and feeling life somehow slips by day after day, year after year.

If you find that this is not how you want to be anymore, you need to break through the force of your routines, fears and habits. The best way to do it is by learning to stay present through mindfulness. When you practice mindfulness, it will give you an opportunity to wake up out of your habitual behaviours and your routines. It allows you to become more conscious about what choices you are making and why. It gives you the space to examine what is happening at every moment in your life.  When we are mindful we have a chance to understand more fully what is driving us and then make decisions about our next steps with awareness. This  is hugely empowering and liberating. Because of this mindfulness has been shown in research to be particularly helpful with any form of obsessive thinking or behaviour, and for people who suffer from stress, anxiety or excessive worrying. It has been used successfully with depression, chronic pain issues, and addiction.

Are you intrigued yet, are you interested?

Here is another good reason why you might want to start learning about mindfulness.

Through mindfulness you learn how to just be and rest in the moment. It gives you room and inner space. It frees you up to notice what went unnoticed. It brings you back to yourself and the only point in time where anything ever happens: HERE and NOW! Because of this it is a powerful tool for healing, transformation and growth.

I will run two six week Mindfulness workshops in May and June. Check out the events page  for more information.

May you thrive in life!


Britta Schuessler MA,  Counsellor and Life Coach, accredited & registered member of BACP


Chamomile and Osteoarthritis

Posted by Fiona Gavine on the 14th October 2015

Chamomile and osteoarthritis of the knee Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition that affects the joints, causing pain and stiffness. According to Arthritis Research UK, it is ‘by far the most common form of joint disease, affecting people all over the world and approximately 8 million people in the UK’.1 In traditional Persian medicine textbooks, dating …read more

Mindfulness Course June 2015.

Posted by Fiona Gavine on the 29th May 2015

Following the success of the previous 2 Mindfulness courses, Britta has just announced dates for her 3rd block of Mindfulness courses. Chose between : SATURDAY 20th JUNE 2015 or SUNDAY 21st June 2015. EARLY BIRD SPECIAL …. SAVE £25 on Course Fee if booked before 14th June 2015 . jmindfulness june poster PDF

The trauma of childbirth left me like a soldier with shell shock, says mum who received therapy fit for troops

Posted by Fiona Gavine on the 26th August 2014

This article was published in the Mail on Sunday . EMDR is available from Shirley MacKenzie who practices at the clinic on Tuesdays and Saturdays each week. Aug 17, 2014 08:18 By Maggie Mallon .  MUM Sheila Brill tells how therapy used to treat war veterans helped her after her daughter was left brain-damaged by …read more

It’s Summer, but I still feel Rubbish !….How can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( CBT) help me ??

Posted by Fiona Gavine on the 15th August 2014

Here’s an interesting Blog from our Cognitive Behavioural Therapist ( CBT) Fiona Potter-Irwin.   With all the glorious sunshine during the holiday season  it seems a strange time of year to be thinking about our state of mind – of course everyone’s happy, aren’t they?  Well actually no, this can be a difficult time of …read more

Natural Remedy for Hayfever

Posted by Fiona Gavine on the 24th June 2014

Hay fever is treated homeopathically in the winter!  Weird or wonderful? Homeopathic remedies have incredible success when used holistically and when the homeopath can select a remedy based on your history, symptoms and lifestyle.  However that doesn’t help now! Are you suffering from hay fever?  Summer shouldn’t be miserable.  During the hay fever season carefully …read more

Alternative to Antibiotics for Children ??

Posted by Fiona Gavine on the 08th May 2014

  New Mums and their babies can benefit from the gentle, yet effective system of medicine that is homeopathy.  Homeopathy is safe to use in the very young and can be supplied in soluble granules to use pre-weaning.  Colic, coughs and colds, teething and ear infections are all easily treated with homeopathy.  High quality research …read more

Gluten…Should we all be giving it up ??

Posted by Fiona Gavine on the 02nd April 2014

  A very interesting article in You Magazine featuring our own Dr. Elena Leschen. Dr Elena specialises in nutritional and functional medicine and practices from One Allan Park Wellbeing Clinic each Wednesday or other days by appointment. Call or email for a Nutritional Assessment Form and appointment to see Dr. Elena.       …read more

Menopause Made Easy . Tips from our Homeopath Joanne Brown

Posted by Fiona Gavine on the 18th March 2014

 A bit about Homeopathy : Homeopathy is a system of medicine which involves treating the individual, usually in tablet form.  Based on individual symptoms I will match the most appropriate remedy to each patient.   Remember homeopathy can be used safely alongside conventional medication and is completely non-toxic and non-addictive. How Homeopathy can help Menopause …read more

Menopause Made Easy !

Posted by Fiona Gavine on the 14th March 2014

Did you know …..”81 % of 102 women at an NHS Well-Woman clinic in Sheffield reported improvement of menopause symptoms after homeopathic treatment.” Our Homeopath Joanne Brown will be writing about ways  Homeopathy can help you manage your symptoms …..See Blog soon …..      

Grand Opening as featured in Scottish Woman Magazine

Posted by Administrator on the 28th February 2014

We are featured in this months edition of Scottish Woman Magazine. Article and Photos below .