How I Fought through my Anxiety for my Love of Film & The Avengers!


How I Fought through my Anxiety for my Love of Film & The Avengers!

“How I Fought through my Anxiety for my Love of Film & The Avengers!”

We are so proud to present an amazing guest blog from one of our client’s who over came her extreme anxiety to go and review the biggest film of all time to date, Marvel’s “End Game.” She kindly wanted to share her review and her experience with us and all of you.

“I’ve loved comics ever since I was a little kid, I would read them over and over, wherever I went. To my parents’ grimace, I would often neglect homework in favour of reading the latest issue! The movies are an extension of this interest, and since Iron Man hit the screens in 2008, I’ve been an avid fan of the MCU.

The appeal of these characters has always been consistent; an escape from the dreary reality of daily life, a repose for a brain which works overtime against itself; the tiniest hope that (super) human goodness still exists, in a world clouded by depression; an idea of righteous struggle when everything seems lost.

When I booked tickets to see Endgame, I did so with the intention of going with my mother. It just felt safer to do so; struggling with social anxiety and agoraphobia has made situations like this hard to deal with. I was intent on pushing myself to go out to a cinema I have never went to, in the middle of London, and I wouldn’t be alone.

Furthermore, Dr Mark Silvert, my Consultant Psychiatrist asked me to go and try and review the movie to help me motivate myself to leave my house, and I was more than happy to share my thoughts in an accepting space. Suddenly going out didn’t seem so bad!

You can imagine how distraught I felt when my mother cancelled on me on the day of the screening. The anxiety overloaded my brain and made my way there confusing- I nearly gave up and went home. However, part of me was determined; to push forward, to continue to struggle. I had to be my own hero and make my own day better! Mark counted on me! With this in mind, I eventually worked up the courage to ask a member of staff to direct me to the cinema. It took me half an hour longer than expected, but I was finally there. Victory.

After experiencing End game’s finale, after all the emotions settled, I got to think how, these characters shaped me in the course of a decade. Captain America showed me that power does not have to corrupt; Black Widow showed me the importance of redemption; Dr Banner taught me to accept my flaws instead of repressing them; the Guardians taught me that family is not where you come from, but where the heart lies; Antman showed me that, uh, ants are actually pretty cool insects!

Some of these might not connect to mental health directly, but let me pose this- when I felt lost, powerless, worthless, these heroes were an anchor. As strong as they were, they had to find inner strength and rely on their moral values to overcome evil. As I stepped out of my house that day, I had to find my own inner strength to overcome my struggles.

This inner strength wouldn’t manifest as quickly as a super soldier serum or a suit of armour. It took time. I had planned extra time to get ready because I had to mentally prepare myself to go out. I took my favourite roll-on scent and some chocolate with me for the journey there. I had a playlist that I could listen to distract myself. It felt like I was ready enough to endure whatever negative thought my brain could throw at me. The medication and therapy I had been undergoing recently really helped me consolidate what these coping skills. These small steps eventually led me to do something that felt so monumental to me.

Even then, superpowers don’t necessarily make a hero- it’s their sense of identity that does. What do they stand for? Who do they protect? And why? Having a strong sense of identity is empowering- but it is something I have lacked as a result of my poor mental health. My interests, connections and characteristics had been stifled by depression. It is something I had recognised within me; but it is only recently when I started to want to reclaim myself. To avenge my old self by fighting back mental illness with all the strength I could muster, to be myself even in the face of adversity or abuse.

Mental illness made me think like I truly lost myself- that my identity had been warped and deformed beyond recognition because of it. Much like Thor becoming unworthy of Mjolnir and then seeing it destroyed, I felt like I could never pick myself up again because I was unworthy of an identity. But what makes Thor isn’t his hammer- his identity as God of Thunder was still within him because of his bravery and goodness, and that could never be taken away from him. When he made Stormbreaker, he empowered himself through renovation. And I realised that I could do so too- even in my lowest moments, I still had worth, and that nothing about me was ever truly lost. I still had the power to piece myself together again, as long as I tried. This is what gave me courage to go out alone to a place I have never been before. It wasn’t easy, but it felt right. Even if part of me wanted to give up and go home under the safety of my blankets, even if my parents disapproved of my choices, I would enjoy myself for a few hours. I wouldn’t let anything get in my way of redemption.

I would like to end this post with this quote from Captain America: Civil War

“Compromise where you can. Where you can’t, don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say ‘No, you move’.”

As much as I would like my issues to dissolve with a Snap, I’m afraid that no gauntlet exists for that. I have to take the long road and tell my own superhero origin story.”

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Impostor Syndrome | The Blue Tree Clinic


What is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that occurs in individuals who experience intense anxiety and self-doubt in their abilities, even when there is no evidence to support this. It often occurs after a high achievement, which the individual feels was wrongly issued or undeserved, resulting in a fear of being exposed as an impostor or fraud for accepting its merits. Unlike other forms of anxiety, despite external validation for the accomplishment, one continues to question their competence and dismisses their status by attributing it instead to external factors such as luck. In turn, this minimises their belief in their internal capabilities, reinforcing the fraudulent feeling and increasing their anxiety that others will find out that they don’t belong. In reality, these individuals are often successful, high achievers and the belief that their merits are undeserved is almost always adopted unjustifiably.

How do I know if I have it?

Research shows that while it might be more prevalent in women than men, impostor syndrome often goes undetected. Individuals are less likely to admit their suffering and more likely to overwork to ensure they succeed and aren’t discovered by others as unworthy. Feelings of being a fraud are mislabelled as modesty and, more often than not, one who experiences impostor syndrome will also carry traits of low self-esteem or perfectionism. For instance, people tend to report that their success is due to external factors such as luck or lack of competition, rather than attributing it to their innate abilities or competence. This is commonly seen in those with low self-esteem. Self-esteem is the term used for how we think about ourselves, based on our beliefs about how other people see us and how we are in comparison. This often leads to us overestimating others and negatively evaluating ourselves e.g. I’m not good enough, what if they think I’m incompetent, I can’t do this, I don’t belong here. These thoughts can quickly spiral into the worst possible scenario, from simply feeling incompetent, to losing our job because of it, to not having enough money to pay the bills and so on and so forth. It impacts not only how we think, but also how we feel and subsequently, how we act. In those experiencing impostor syndrome, these feelings may include insecurity, shame, being on edge or anxious about others exposing you to be the fraud you perceive yourself to be, and becoming withdrawn or defensive as a result.

Individuals with impostor syndrome also report high levels of perfectionistic traits. This isn’t just wanting things to be perfect, but actually putting excess pressure on ourselves to reach the high standards we set. Often it starts with a fear of failing if things are not done quite right. However, it can develop into a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby striving for something unattainable makes us more likely to procrastinate or self-sabotage as we fear we can never reach it. It may often be the case that ‘perfect’, as a subjective term, allows us to move our own goal posts. So, even  if we achieve our initial target, we can keep finding room for improvement and stress over the prospect of having missed something out or having made a mistake. In fact, though perfectionism can seem helpful in detecting errors and avoiding negative evaluation of our work from others, the consequent distraction, isolation and self-criticism can be much more harmful to our wellbeing.

Traits that are common in impostor syndrome are present in everybody, but it is the extent to which they are experienced in an individual, and the impact that is had on their daily life that makes it problematic. However, this will differ from person to person. As such, it can be really difficult to distinguish between what a typical amount of self-doubt is and what is considered detrimental.

What can I do if I think I might have it?

  • Start recognising the thoughts you have. Often there will be more negative ones about ourselves than positive. It’s important to remind ourselves that thoughts are not facts and that we have the ability to challenge them when they arise. Ask what the evidence is for and against the statement, while trying to be as objective as possible. Being self-critical can be important for personal development, but only so long as it’s constructive rather than damaging, and we balance it out with some self-compassion. For instance, listing the qualities we do have that we should value in ourselves, qualities that we would likely admire if we were to see them in others, qualities that most likely contributed to our success.
  • Address the things you might avoid. Whether it’s about shutting down compliments and congratulations after a promotion you believe you don’t deserve, or avoiding taking positive risks in situations for fear of failing. Challenging ourselves can have a positive effect on our sense of achievement, regardless of if we succeed or not.
  • Talk about your experience. Some people find it hard to open up about their difficulties, especially if they are suffering with impostor syndrome. Admitting to needing help or having doubts, might make things feel worse or even reinforce the notion of not being good enough. However, talking about it to either a trusted friend/family member or to a mental health professional can make all the difference. It helps to identify where this distress is coming from and also to distinguish the objective reality of the situation from the subjective perception of it.

If you find yourself relating to any of the content mentioned above and would like some more information about what to do next, contact us at Blue Tree. Our multidisciplinary approach means that there are options to moving forward. Whether you’d like to explore how experiences in your past have contributed to the development of the syndrome, or you would like to learn tools and strategies for challenging these beliefs, we can offer treatment tailored to you.

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How Do I Find the Right Therapist for me?


How Do I Find the Right Therapist for me?

After making the decision to start attending therapy sessions, the next task should be to choose a therapist suited to you, your needs and your desired outcome for the process. Choosing the right therapist can be anxiety-provoking, especially if you’ve never engaged in therapy in the past. Here are a few things you should consider before going ahead:

1. Are they registered?

One of the key things to look out for when selecting your therapeutic match is to ensure that whomever you’re working with is registered with a regulatory board in their field. This will automatically let you know that they have the appropriate qualifications to practice in the field. By pertaining to a regulatory body, they are required to adhere to and uphold the ethical standards that the board keeps in place, and they must continue to maintain up-to-date knowledge of the type of therapy they are providing.

It is important to note that there are different professional bodies depending on what type of therapy that individual is qualified to practice in and there are a number of different approaches that may suit your therapeutic needs.

2. What therapy are they trained to provide?

Here at the Blue Tree Clinic we understand that the process of starting therapy can be daunting enough without having to syphon through endless literature on all the different types of therapy that exist. That’s why when you first join us, you will be provided with a consultation from one of our psychiatrists and they will endeavour to get to know you and explain some of the different approaches we offer so that you can make a collaborative decision about which person or people from our team might be able to help provide you with the type of support that would be suited to you.

We have a highly reputable team that offer a wide range of treatments, from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Psychotherapy to Hypnotherapy and many more.

3. Do you think you could grow comfortable with them?

In conjunction with all the aforementioned points, it is as, that you get on well with your therapist. Therapy can be a daunting process and not feeling entirely supported and comfortable with your therapist can make the experience even more overwhelming. We know that trusting people with potentially quite intimate details of your life can be a bit unnerving. So, we’ve built a team of highly-qualified and, more importantly, approachable professionals who have the skillsets to tailor a treatment plan to suit your individual requirements. It is also important that they can provide a private and calming environment that is conducive to the therapeutic process.

Needless to say, it may take some time to build up a therapeutic relationship, so do give it a few sessions, but make sure that their style and manner works for you. If not, you are well within your rights to ask to try another therapist or even another style of therapy. Be honest with yourself; these sessions are designed to support you and ensure you get exactly what you need, so if something doesn’t seem to fit right, then voicing it can help us address some of your uncertainties and maximize your satisfaction.

4. What commitment do they require from me?

You don’t need us to tell you that society is becoming increasingly more fast-paced and demanding of our time and resources. Booking weekly appointments does take a commitment to the therapy in itself. However, Blue Tree offers a number of options to ensure that this can fit tidily into your schedule in order that it remains a priority for you. For instance, our London base at Wimpole Street is fairly central and is only a short distance from multiple transport links. However, if making the journey would prove problematic, we offer both telephone and Skype appointments in order to ease the burden on your schedule. Don’t hesitate to ask for these options, if it would make it easier for you to commit.

We strive to provide a service that is accessible to all and will be as flexible as possible to make sure that you can get the most out of your time with us. For this reason, we also offer various concessions like Student Discount and are also registered with most major health insurance companies, so your treatment may even be covered.

5. How much experience do they have?

Experience can be high on the list of criteria for some clients. Newer therapists may not have necessarily had as much contact with a wide range of conditions or client work, but it may be that their particular style may suit you better. It is also worth mentioning that anyone we bring in to our team will have had a number of years training in the field and will need to have had previous experience in health care. We do however offer trainees the opportunity to work with us, but under these circumstances, clients will be notified to ensure that they are happy to be seen by a trainee and sessions will be offered at a discounted rate. While experience is important and can make some people feel more comfortable, what counts is whether or not you can get on with your therapist and whether you trust that they may be able to offer you the support that you require.

Here at the Blue Tree Clinic, we endeavour to help you make the task of finding the right therapist for you as easy as possible and support you as best we can to ensure that you receive the very best care. All of our therapists are vetted and registered with their respective professional bodies after completing the required qualifications in their fields. When our specialists are selected to join the Blue Tree team, we also ensure they complete mandatory additional training, have up-to-date insurance and a clean professional record in order to maintain the highest quality of care to all of our clients.

All members of our team are required to receive supervision to enhance their development and in turn, the level of care that they can provide to their clients. Supervision is a time to discuss potentially challenging cases and remain mindful of their role in the client’s life, all the while respecting the ethical and professional boundaries. Nonetheless, we appreciate that some people may feel uneasy about details from their sessions being shared, so do mention this if it is of particular concern to you. Your therapist will explain how confidentiality is maintained in the first session and remind you of this throughout your treatment. This is common and good practise, especially if a challenging situation arises and they may need extra support from the team to determine the best way to support the individual through this.

For further information you can read more about what to expect when you first join us, visit our website or contact us now for free with any questions you may have.

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How do we deal with failure?


How do we deal with failure?

Blue Tree intern Maddy Lykourgos outlines possible reasons why we deal with ‘failure’ so badly…

Given the current aftermath that’s following the recent exam results season and a new start to the academic year, failure and success are juxtaposed terms that seem to be constantly cropping up at the moment. As subjective as the term is, we all deal with ‘failures’ at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a missed exam grade, a rejected job application or an unsatisfactory outcome from a piece of work, failure can impact us on more than just a surface level.

As humans, we are instinctively driven by things that seemingly add value to our lives. The more value we assign to a target, the larger the emotional repercussion if we don’t meet it. That’s why missing our targets can feel profoundly devastating, and we expand that to mean that we have failed in every domain of our lives. Many of us will find that our previous negative experiences of striving to achieve make us automatically catastrophize future outcomes; we believe with total conviction that if we aim high we will inevitably fail. Through this repeated feeling on various occasions in our lives, anxiety can build and we may eventually stop trying altogether. It’s not necessarily that we care too much about the opportunity and its outcome, but rather that we have given a great deal of power to what the hypothetical consequential impact could be on our character.

Social psychology establishes that a possible way around this is to create more ‘selves’; that is, to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each of our individual roles within different domains of our lives. Once identified, it is easier to remember that a weakness in one aspect of life doesn’t necessarily bear any consequences for other parts. For instance, a rejected job application does not make us ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ or whatever other derogatory terms we come up with for ourselves. It shouldn’t detract from facts like our academic achievements or any of the previous successful applications we have had that would disprove these thoughts that we are somehow failing intellectually.

However, it is, of course, easier said than done. The automaticity with which our thoughts occur can feel completely out of our control. Hence, the most common interventions used to overcome such difficulties, tend to revolve around the cognitive process. For instance, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often used to try to make sense of the perception and interpretation of these types of thoughts. Additionally, it might be used to pick apart the biases we hold when judging ourselves, in order that we don’t interpret things in a way that confirms potentially quite negative underlying beliefs about ourselves. The theory is that when situations arise that might make us adversely appraise ourselves, we look for factual evidence both for and against these notions. Hopefully, without our opinions and perceptions of the event clouding the judgment of the situation, the emotional consequence would reduce.

Other forms of talking therapy can also explore the factors that contribute to forming the reasons behind why so-called ‘failures’ can be so detrimental to us. It may be that there was a pressure from others to achieve from a young age or that a personal drive to reach ‘success’ was influenced by a number of life experiences along the way. In any case, it is often useful to delve into these in an open and non-judgemental forum, where a professional can guide discovery and lend support throughout.

For more information on possible interventions to reduce the distress associated with meeting undesirable outcomes, contact us at The Blue Tree Clinic.

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How psychiatrists and psychologists work together?


How psychiatrists and psychologists work together?

What is the difference between psychiatrists and psychologists?


– Trained medical doctors who later specialize in the field
– Can prescribe and review medication
– Often consult and oversee a mental health team
– Usually, work with people with severe mental health disorders
– Primarily use the biological/medical model of mental illness


– Train as non-medical doctors by completing extensive clinical experience and completing an academic doctorate
– Cannot prescribe medication
– Integrate different models for treatment:
– Biopsychosocial (biological, psychological and social)
– Train across different types of therapy before specializing

How are they similar?


– Use diagnostic systems to cluster symptoms and create an effective treatment plan
– Can perform assessments for mental health conditions
– Treat mental illnesses of people of any background or age
– Understand the link between the brain and emotions and physical sensations

Working together:

– Create a well-rounded view of clients
– Multidisciplinary teams
– A psychiatrist might initially assess then allocate to a psychologist for treatment
– Manage risks

Provide holistic care:

– Medical
– Social
– Emotional

Treat a wide range of people with complex conditions:

– Schizophrenia
– Bipolar Affective Disorder
– Personality Disorders
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Phobias
– Anyone suffering with suicidal ideations
– Behavioral Problems

Which one should I see?

– Depends on the situation
– Depends on the type of treatment
– May see both
– May have an initial consultation with a psychiatrist
– A psychologist may initiate and continue the treatment plan
– Whoever you are comfortable with
– Ensure the process is fully explained to you before starting with a new clinician

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CBT: Cognative Behaviour Therapy Treatment | London, UK

CBT Therapists based in London offering specialist treatment and counseling to help individuals manage problems, thoughts, and symptoms. The Blue Tree Clinic specializes in the treatment of individuals experiencing anxiety, Chronic pain, Addiction, PTSD and more.

The therapist will explore your issue and begin to make you phase it by exposing you to situations which may cause your symptoms. The therapist will teach you ways to cope with this and give you techniques to manage your symptoms.

Hypnotherapy London | The Blue Tree Clinic


Take Hypnotherapy in London, UK From Professional and Highly Skilled hypnotherapist at The Blue Tree Clinic. Helping you to overcome Stress, Eating Disorders, Anxiety and Phobias, Addictions, Depression and Sleep Disorders. Discover The Solution To Your Issues and Create positive change Today.

Hypnotherapy is a psychological technique that induces a sleep-like state and can be used in conjunction with other therapies such as psychotherapy to promote positive changes in the mind. In simple terms, Hypnotherapy allows one to ‘override’ initial negative responses to stimuli or ideas, in order to ease symptoms for a range of issues. In this way, when faced with the stressful scenario in the future, the hypnotic response can be applied and the stress or pain-response is reduced. Here at Blue Tree, we have a highly-trained hypnotherapist that may be able to help.