Self help materials
The activities and information on this page may be used to help you develop your skills in various areas or to manage various difficulties in your life. The menu below includes information, exercises, work sheets, experiments and activities, all of which can be tried at home and require no additional help. You may however find it helpful to have some guidance with the materials, in which case, feel free to contact the Counselling Service for advice or (if you are a student) to arrange an appointment.
The Centre for Clinical Interventions (Western Australia) has developed this workbook to provide you with some information about body dysmorphic disorder - how it develops, how it is maintained and how to address this problem.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) - guidance and support resources (for students)
ACTO - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Advice: Advice for individuals in counselling, or about to start counselling, online or over the phone.
BABCP Lets talk about CBT: What can we learn from CBT for health anxiety that might help us with feelings of anxiety during the pandemic? In this podcast episode, Dr Lucy Maddox interviews Dr Jo Daniels from Bath University about things we know are likely to help.
Calm.com: Without a doubt, many of us are feeling anxious as we navigate the uncertainty of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Enjoy a free curation of meditations, sleep stories, music and more, all hand-picked to support your mental and emotional wellness through this time.
Developing a Growth Mindset: Should you tell your kids they are smart or talented? Professor of Psychology Carol Dweck (Stanford University) answers this question and more, as she talks about her groundbreaking work on developing mindsets. She emphasizes the power of "yet" in helping students succeed in and out of the classroom.
Down-regulating meditation for fear: A short guided meditation, facilitated by Lael Keen of Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, on how to self-regulate when experiencing fear - very relevant for all of us in the age of Coronavirus.
EstherPerel.com: Psychotherapist and speaker Esther Perel shares several support resources on how to manage the lockdown. The resources focus on emotional regulation and practical tools; they range from workshops, available on YouTube, to free yoga classes and theatre productions.
Free Psychotherapy Network: The Free Psychotherapy Network are offering online groups for people living in the UK who are isolated during this coronavirus crisis. The network particularly reaches out to people who have few resources or opportunities for support, conversation and connectedness during this uncertain and frightening time.
How to counter the effects of social distancing: A video of Stephen Porges, developer of the Polyvagal Theory, talking with Serge Prengel about countering the effects of social distancing. Good tips throughout!
MindSET Livestream (Body & Soul): A live, weekly 45-minute session that helps provide DBT skills to young people in emotional distress. To register for each session, simply fill in the short form using the link above. Anyone registering will be given a link to the next session and links to view recordings of any previous sessions. The first session can be here.
NCL Suicide Prevention and Bereavement Support Service (Rethink): An exciting new service for people aged 18 years and over who live, work or study in the 5 London Boroughs of Camden, Islington, Enfield, Barnet and Haringey who are affected by suicide (students and staff would be able to use the service). The service is free and confidential, and no referral is required.
ORCHA: A health app evaluation and advisor organization. On their website, they offer free helpful apps to help children and young people with the Coronavirus
Protecting your family during the pandemic: Dr David Price of Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City shares information in a Mar. 22 Zoom call with family and friends on empowering and protecting families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Self-injury Support: A nationwide organization providing support to individual who self-harm/injure. Their services are still being offered remotely during the lockdown.
Step up (Rethink): This is a link to an online resource for students, created by students in collaboration with Step Up/Rethink Mental Illness. They have created an interactive "magazine" full of tips on how to cope with the current Covid-19 situation, inspired by CBT techniques and insight into the challenges students can face.
Step up Universities Zine (Rethink) an interactive "magazine" full of tips for students, created by students in collaboration with Step Up/Rethink Mental Illness.
- Issue#1 explores ways to cope with the current Covid-19 situation, inspired by CBT techniques and insight into the challenges students can face.
- Issue#2 explores looking after yourself, while also supporting your friends. This guide will be useful during these uncertain times, and we include sections about supporting your friends from afar, but they are also useful outside of these current circumstances.
- Issue#3 explores the impact of procrastination on different areas of life, its link with mental health, and ways to combat it in a none stressful manner.
- Issue#4 explores the impact of academic stress, how it differs to 'normal' stress, its root causes, and ways in which we can combat it. The perspective of students of colour is also explored along with the impact of studying in a Covid-19 world.
London Met Uni guide for the bereaved (Covid-19) This guide is intended to signpost bereaved people, and those caring for bereaved people, to appropriate support and help which is free and easily accessible during this difficult time.
The Help Hub: The Help Hub has been set up to support individuals who find themselves with limited contact due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus. It is led by a group of qualified therapists who are giving their time freely to help people in this situation offering 20-minute chats on Skype, FaceTime or on the telephone.
What Therapists tell Clients who are anxious about Coronavirus: A Huffpost article with a few helpful strategies on how to manage anxiety during the outbreak.
WHO (World Health Organization) Coping with Stress guideline: A friendly and brief guide on things to bear in mind during the outbreak.
What is the difference between Depression and just being Sad?
The following video outlines the main symptoms of depression and explains the difference between depression and sadness.
NHS portal with a variety of self-help resources from general information about low mood and depression to links on healthy diet, reducing your alcohol intake and getting regular exercise. There is also available a trove of self-help techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises and learning ways to think about problems differently.
Another great NHS portal with a variety of self-help flyers covering from abuse to depression, anxiety and alcohol misuse. The flyers can be downloaded for free as pdf or purchased for a minimal fee in a hard copy format.
The Centre for Clinical Interventions (Western Australia) has developed this workbook to provide you with some information about disordered eating - how it develops, how it is maintained, and strategies to start to change the problem behaviours associated with disordered eating.
Why is it so hard to avoid distractions? And how can you get better at it? Here are five tips to help you focus in a brief and clear video presented by BBC and author Nir Eyal.
Bet Blocker is a free tool to help you control your gambling. Install it on as many devices as you like and you can block yourself from accessing over 13613 gambling websites. You can select how long you want to be blocked for
Happiness & Money
This short talk, by psychotherapist Hugh Clarke, looks at the relationship between happiness and wealth. It also looks at some of the qualities that psychologists have identified as important in achieving happiness.
Homesickness and loneliness
Studying abroad and feeling down?
University can be difficult. For international students, the extra obstacles that come with adjusting to life in a new country, often in a new language, can heighten feelings of homesickness, sadness or depression. Please check the following website for more information on how to support youself.
What holds us back from being more confident at work is often a sense that we are fundamentally different from those who succeed. We suffer needlessly – from The Impostor Syndrome. Please read the illuminating video produced by the School of Life, an organisation helping people live more fulfilled lives.
Creating Confidence is a useful guide to international students, getting to grips with life in the UK.
Loss and bereavement
Death is generally thought of as an almost intolerable idea that requires us to keep as much distance from it as possible. Our leaflet on bereavement and loss , gives you some information about the psychological issues involved in bereavement and dying. It also gives some practical suggestions about what to do.
Please check our 'Mind your head' student guide to mental health.
This booklet is produced for students by the Public Health Authority (PHA). It is full of practical tips and information on managing stress and achieving and maintaining positive mental health and emotional wellbeing. It also contains a list of helpful local organisations and websites which offer support.
If you suffer from a condition that is affecting your mental health and are looking for specific information about different types of problems then the ‘workbooks' or sets of modules in this website designed by the Centre for Clinical Interventions (Western Australia) may be relevant to you. Some of the modules can be used on their own, while others are best used as part of the series; each workbook will have its own suggestions.
Mindfulness and meditation techniques
Mindfulness-based Progressive Muscular Relaxation is intended to help you become more aware of where your tension lies, to slow down and to feel more relaxed. It may also help you to identify, monitor and release your body tension. However, this is not an instant fix. It is important to practise daily for at least 15 minutes.
Mindfulness-based muscular relaxation
Mindfulness based progressive muscular relaxation instructions on using the audio track can be downloaded and used on a regular basis, to help you ease tension in your body and to settle your anxiety. You should read the accompanying notes before completing the exercises. The session lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Guided sensory meditation
This guided meditation lasts about 30 minutes and is based upon sensory and inner body experience.
As you follow the instructions, be aware that you are not attempting to achieve anything in particular. You are not seeking enlightenment, happiness nor peace of mind. You are merely observing what is happening and at four levels: (a) your senses, (b) your feelings, (c) your thoughts and (d) your inner body experience.
Audio files of relaxation techniques developed by NHS professionals that can help relieve stress and gain a sense of well-being. Available in both male and female voices.
This manual, produced by the NHS (UK), is designed to help you understand and overcome your panic attacks. You should read it through and slowly complete the activities included.
NHS portal with a variety of self-help resources from general information about stress and panic attacks to links on improving general wellbeing through Regular exercise, eating healthily, avoiding substance misuse, e.g. caffeine, alcohol and smoking, or seeking support through support groups such as No Panic.
The Centre for Clinical Interventions (Western Australia) has developed this workbook to provide you with some information about panic attacks and panic disorder and suggested strategies for how you can manage your panic and anxiety.
The Centre for Clinical Interventions (Western Australia) has developed this workbook to help you understand what is helpful and unhelpful about being a perfectionist. The goal is not for you to give up your high standards altogether but to learn to pursue healthy high standards rather than unrelenting high standards that negatively impact your life.
Physical and sexual violence
Rape & sexual assault
Video of a student who was raped in her first term at university, and spent years asking herself what she could have done to prevent it. After therapy, and now studying for a masters in trauma psychology, she explains why so many rape survivors blame themselves. And, she argues, situations like hers are more common than we think...
The Centre for Clinical Interventions (Western Australia) has developed this workbook to provide you with some information about procrastination and some suggested strategies for how you can address this problem.
Relationships and group work
This information sheet tells you about some of the relationship dynamics which commonly happen in groups of all kinds and explains how to manage these dynamics better.
Self-esteem and confidence
The ten tips included, give you advice on how to be more assertive in your life. The session also explains the differences between being assertive and being aggressive. It is helpful to look at these tips in conjunction with the tips on working in groups. Give it a go!
The Centre for Clinical Interventions (Western Australia) has developed this information package to provide you with some information about low self-esteem - how it develops, how it is maintained, and how to address this problem.
Sex & Sexual Orientation
A frank and open guide to sex, love and you. It is for people who are (or are thinking about) having sex and relationships. Hopefully it is for all genders and sexualities, people with disabilities and asexual people. It is also aimed at people from different backgrounds, with varying beliefs and values.
The following information and activities are intended to help you gain a better understanding of relaxation and your sleep patterns and to find ways of resolving any sleep problems you may have.
The Centre for Clinical Interventions (Western Australia) has developed this information package to provide you with information on the sleep function, sleep hygiene and sleep problems.
Stress and anxiety
If followed diligently, these 10 tips will possibly help you manage exam preparation and stress better, leading to better success.
Working towards exams can creating feelings of worry and being under pressure, especially at university where you are aiming for a degree. However there are a range of things that you can do to help deal with the stress that you might be feeling...
NHS portal with a variety of self-help resources from general information about recognising anxiety symptoms, accessing therapeutic support, e.g. CBT, Counselling, to links on improving general wellbeing through Regular exercise, eating healthily, avoiding substance misuse, e.g. caffeine, alcohol and smoking, or seeking support through support groups such as No Panic.
Social anxiety is a very common experience, yet many people make it worse by believing it to be unusual. This document talks you through some of the issues involved and suggests some strategies for tackling the difficulty.
This information and self-study guide has been written for the Centre for Clinical Interventions with information about social anxiety and strategies for managing your anxiety in social situations. It is organised into modules which are designed to be worked through in sequence. It is recommended that you complete one module before going on to the next. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.