Menopause causes discomfort for many women, but by adopting some of the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT for Menopause) techniques taught Online training sessions; you’ll have the tools to alleviate many of its side effects.
So, what is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? CBT is a treatment approach that highlights negative and unhelpful thought (cognitive) and behavioural patterns. By learning these patterns, you can change them and develop healthier habits that will help you eliminate unnecessary and solvable issues.
When applied to menopause, it’s common to find that worry over your appearance due to hot flushes, feeling uncomfortable in public spaces, and other negative thoughts and feelings have their basis in psychological patterns. Few of us can control biological factors, but we can adapt our thought processes to minimise any external stressors.
Hot flushes, night sweats, problems with memory, vaginal dryness and low mood and anxiety are some of the most commonly cited symptoms.
Due to a decreased production of progesterone and oestrogen in the ovaries and changes in the anatomy of the hippocampus in the brain, around 75% of women will experience hot flushes, which is why tackling them forms a key part of our training sessions.
Triggers And Stressors
There are a number of triggers and stressors that can bring about the onset of symptoms, which can often cause a self-fulfilling spiral.
For example, having night sweats, which leads to interrupted sleep, daytime tiredness, and irritability – a process that repeats itself in a cycle as the irritability induces night sweats, and on and on without reprieve.
Anxiety, while not directly caused by menopause in most cases, can manifest due to the life challenges commonly experienced by those at the average age of its onset – be it ill or bereaved parents, children leaving the family home or the pressures of work life.
When experienced in conjunction with menopause, the anxiety and discomfort can be acute.
At times of stress, we believe a situation is overwhelming and that we don’t have the ability or the resources to cope with it, which causes adrenaline to pump through the body, quickly sending blood and oxygen to the muscles to prepare for a fight-or-flight event – hence, the hot flushes, as this surging blood reaches the surface of the skin.
This usually isn’t a suitable response to most everyday stresses, which is why The Menopause Management focuses on the links between physical symptoms, and how they correlate with patterns of thought emotion and behaviour. We help you to identify common – but non-threatening – triggers that can be tackled more appropriately.
Hot flushes, as the main symptom of menopause, are covered in-depth during our third session in the CBT for Menopause programme. Flushes are often accompanied by bouts of shivering, palpitations, and even general anxiety or embarrassment.
As your oestrogen levels diminish, the changing hormones can lead to erratic temperature control mechanisms in the body. These flushes are actually an attempt to help you ‘cool down, but as your threshold narrows, they can fluctuate according to changes in your environment that would have previously gone unnoticed.
We encourage relaxation and paced breathing, using proven techniques to reduce stress levels while helping you develop healthy thought patterns (‘This is normal and manageable’) as opposed to negative ones (‘Everyone is looking at me’).
Our CBT For Menopause Sessions
In our CBT sessions, you’ll learn how to use adaptive and neutral patterns of thinking to specifically target these symptoms.
This is by no means an exhaustive outline of the tools we will give you to cope with your symptoms, but they do give a good overview of how you can make significant changes without the need for medical intervention.
While it’s not simply a case of mind over matter, these techniques equip you with an understanding of how to recognise your thought patterns and halt them in their tracks, while internalising a more positive, problem-solving approach to face these challenges head-on.
Available during the day or evening, these Zoom sessions will help you assume control of your menopausal management.
Sign Up For CBT Today
Sign up to get started on your CBT journey today. Fill in the enquiry form on our ‘contact‘ page to receive your full 15-minute consultation.