All in the Mind

BBC  |  Podcast, ±28 min episodes every 2 weeks, 6 days
All in the Mind examines how we think and behave. It’s presented by psychologist Claudia Hammond. She investigates the latest techniques being used by mental health practitioners, speaks to people with psychological issues and uncovers all the most recent research from the world of the mind. Every year there are 2 series of 8 episodes of All in the Mind, in the spring and autumn. Each programme is 28 minutes long.
20
JUN
Neurogenesis is the process where we create new brain cells. Many researchers believe that if someone has depression then neurogenesis is reduced. Could this in some cases even be the cause of depression? It's possible this idea could lead to the discovery of new drugs for depression, drugs which don't tackle mood, but which encourage the creation of new brain cells. Claudia Hammond brought together Timothy Powell, MRC postdoctoral research fellow, and Sandrine Thouret, Head of Neurogenesis and Mental Health, from Kings College London to examine the latest research.The Government has committed to make prisons not just places of detention, but of rehabilitation. Some prisons are hoping that yoga classes could make a difference. Research from Oxford University is beginning to suggest that yoga can help with prisoners' mental health. Claudia Hammond hears from lead researcher and psychologist Amy Bilderbeck, Sam Settle Director of the Prison Phoenix Trust and former prisoner Richard for whom yoga was to become a vital tool during his years as an inmate.This week's Insiders' Guides to mental health asks with all the guidance out there in the public domain, how do you decide what is best for you? We hear from Stephen Buckley from Mind, GP Daniel Dietch and before them Lisa Rodrigues, who's had mental health issues herself and long experience of managing services.Psychologists discovered long ago that most of us think we're better than average at most things - the Lake Wobegon Effect - and that we go round looking for information that ...
13
JUN
Claudia Hammond has been following some of the first tranche of trainee mental health social workers setting out on the Think Ahead scheme which is getting high-flying graduates into social work. As a 22 year old English graduate Al Toombs was one of the youngest people on the course. It's rare to be able to eavesdrop on actual sessions between mental health professionals of any kind and their clients, but Claudia spent the day with Al in Coventry on visits to clients such as Jo, who's lived with depression for several years whilst juggling a complicated family life.As we grow up we get better at tasks involving thinking. But there is something at which 5 year olds excel and that adults are really not very good at - and that is noticing things. New research by Vladimir Sloutsky, a psychologist at Ohio State University, shows that small children pay more attention to what's going on around them than adults do. It's a skill he thinks we've been underestimating and a finding that holds lessons for the appearances of our primary schools.In this week's Insiders' Guide to getting the best out of mental health services - what should you do if you're not happy with the mental health care you're getting? We hear from Stephen Buckley from Mind, psychiatrist Sri Kalidindi, GP Dr Daniel Dietch and Lisa Rodriguez, who has both experienced mental health problems and run services herself.Producer Adrian Washbourne.
06
JUN
For parents, it can be very hard to watch their child struggle with anxiety. Parents often blame themselves, thinking that it must be their fault that their child feels so worried. What can parents can do about it and how much of a genetic component there is in anxiety? Claudia Hammond meets Professor Cathy Creswell from Reading University who's done extensive practical research helping parents to deal with their child's anxiety, Thalia Eley Professor of Developmental Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, and Rachel - whose daughter suffers constant anxiety.When we see a photograph of a person we make instant judgements about how trustworthy or competent we think they are. But how reliable are these snap decisions? Claudia meets Professor Alexander Todorov from Princeton University who studies first impressions from faces and has brought his findings together in a new book called Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions.Politicians know people really care about mental health. So what are the different parties promising in their election manifestoes? We set Rachel Schraer from the BBC's political research unit, the task of scrutinising each manifesto and summing it all up for us.The next in our insiders' guide to getting the best out of your mental health services asks if it's a good idea to take a friend or relative along to an appointment with a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist?Producer Adrian Washbourne.
30
MAY
Claudia Hammond's guest today is Tim Dalgleish a clinical psychologist at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge.Transient global amnesia is a sudden, temporary episode of memory loss that can't be attributed to a more common neurological condition, such as epilepsy or a stroke. Following a letter from a listener who suffered an episode of this curious condition we were intrigued to find out how it is triggered and what's really occurring in the brain. Claudia Hammond spoke with Adam Zeman, Professor of Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology at Exeter University.Is the enthusiasm for mindfulness in schools running ahead of the evidence? The skill of learning to become aware of what's going on around you and in your body and mind at a given moment has been shown to benefit people who've had recurrent episodes of depression. An increasing number of schools are holding mindfulness classes. But when it comes to the research on its benefits in school, the results are mixed. Andre Tomlin started the blog Mental Elf which examines the evidence when it comes to mental health so we got him into the All in the Mind studio to help us examine what difference mindfulness does and doesn't make in school.The latest Insiders Guide to getting the best out of mental health services asks: how do you tell your friends and family that you are having difficulties with your mental health if this is something you've never broached with them before? We hear from Stephen Buckley, Head ...
23
MAY
All in the Mind has been following the progress a scheme called Think Ahead, which trains high-flying graduates to become a new generation of mental health social workers. A bit like Teach First, they are taught mostly on the job with a lot of special support. Not everyone in the field supports the idea but there has been no shortage of applicants. One of the first trainees, Charlotte Seymour who used to work in the legal field, is now based in east London where her clients' needs vary - from very practical help with sorting out rent arrears to emotional support when they fear their mental health is deteriorating. She met Emma during a stay in hospital, under section and her mental health is now vastly improved. But a family bereavement has affected her deeply. Despite not eating or sleeping for days she keeps her appointment with Charlotte to discuss how to keep herself safe at this difficult time. In our Insiders' Guide series - if you've been referred to mental health services, what can you expect to happen at that first appointment? Lisa Rodrigues who has had mental health issues herself and has long experience managing mental health services and Sri Kalidindi, a psychiatrist with South London and Maudsley NHS Trust explain what's involved. This includes building up a good rapport and the taking of a full medical history - including traumatic life events and social circumstances. This helps to establish a diagnosis. Making a list might help if ...
16
MAY
We are all guilty of making instant unconscious decisions about other people. Could a greater awareness and a practical approach help to overcome this common hurdle at work?Claudia Hammond hosts a special edition recorded live in front of an audience at the Royal Institution in London to discuss something that happens to all of us - when our minds make snap judgments about other people without us even realising it. It's known as unconscious bias - it doesn't mean bias in any deliberate way. The whole point is that we don't even know it's happening. How does it play out in real life? Claudia Hammond is joined by a panel of experts to discuss what effect the bias in our decision making has on the lives of each and every one of us and what we can do about itTaking part are business psychologist Binna Kandola; Jessica Rowson, from the Institute of Physics who's been examining why more girls don't choose to study physics at school; Emma Chapman, a Royal Astronomical Society fellow; and Louise Archer, Professor of Sociology of Education at King's College London.
09
MAY
Whether you're seeing a psychiatrist, a psychologist or another kind of therapist, the tradition has been that the information all goes one way. Professional boundaries tend to be closely guarded, but social media is changing all that. A quick search online might tell you all sorts about a therapist. Should you engage in this kind of cyber snooping and how about the other way round? Claudia Hammond speaks with Louise Chunn, the founder of welldoing.org, an online directory of independent counsellors and psychotherapists and Susanna Hailstone-Walker, a psychotherapist.How can you overcome performance anxiety? For musicians and music students performing in front of audiences and audition panels, the experience can be terrifying. But this is where a digital simulation of the event could help. We visit the Royal College of Music where researchers have designed a concert hall which even includes a nerve-racking waiting area, and grim-faced judges reacting on a screen, to give students a chance to experience what it's like and to try putting the coping skills they've learnt into practice. The next in our insiders' guide to getting the best out of your mental health services asks what can you do if you're worried about the mental health of someone you know, but they don't want to go for help.We tend to think of the descent into corruption as a slippery slope where people do one small thing wrong and then gradually it gets more serious. But psychologists in the Netherlands have discovered that people are more likely ...
02
MAY
900,000 people in the UK suffer from heart failure - where the heart can no longer pump sufficient blood around the body. Symptoms can include a combination of breathlessness, fluid retention and tiredness - enough to have a severe impact on a person's quality of life. Getting a diagnosis of heart failure can be frightening, but there is good evidence that psychological input can make a difference. Claudia Hammond hears from patients and Dr John Sharp, Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service, on recognising and dealing with the unique mental health challenges of this increasingly prevalent condition.The second of the All in the Mind Insiders' Guide to Mental Health Services asks what can you do if you think you're not getting the best from your GP, and, if you think you're waiting too long for treatment, should you seek a private referral? Our 'insiders' this week are service user, mental health campaigner and retired chief of an NHS Trust, Lisa Rodrigues, GP and All in the Mind Awards finalist Daniel Dietch, and Head of Information at Mind Stephen Buckley And Claudia Hammond talks to psychologist Ariana Orvell from the University of Michigan on why we use the word "you", instead of "I", more frequently than we realise. It's emerging as a useful tool to distance ourselves psychologically - and extract meaning - from negative experiences.Producer: Adrian Washbourne.
25
APR
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often thought of as a condition of childhood, but up to 3% of the adult population also experience it. Impressionist and comedian Rory Bremner is one of those. He discusses his experiences with Jonna Kuntsi and Jessica Agnew-Blais from Kings College London who study how childhood and adult versions of the condition differ, whether we can predict which children continue to experience symptoms in adulthood, and a new proposal that the majority of adult ADHD might not have begun in childhood at all.The first two parts of the All in the Mind Insiders' Guide to Mental Health Services ask how do you know when you have a mental health problem, and what should you say to your GP in order to get help. Our 'insiders' are service user, mental health campaigner and retired chief of an NHS Trust Lisa Rodrigues, GP and All in the Mind Awards finalist Daniel Dietch, Head of Information at Mind Stephen Buckley, and psychiatrist Sri Kalidindi.And Claudia Hammond talks to Kavita Vedhara about a new study that shows once more that simply writing about how you feel can speed up wound healing. Although this effect has been known since James Pennebaker's landmark studies in the 1980's, this is the first study to demonstrate that expressive writing after an injury can aid healing as much as doing it in advance of a wound. An important finding since we don't always plan our wounds in advance.Producer: Lorna Stewart.
13
DEC
2016
The Boomerang generation.Many parents are finding that with the cost of housing so high in some areas, coupled with job insecurity and more years spent studying - the kids are back home, except that they're not kids anymore. But however much parents might moan,from the perspective of mental health for the parents at least, there is an upside. This comes from an analysis of 50,000 people across 27 countries by Emilie Courtin from the London School of Economic. All in the Mind Awards When we had the All in the Mind Awards for the first time two years ago, there were some people we met who were faced with a future that was uncertain, to say the least. One of those was Tony, who had nominated his Clinical Psychologist Alan Barrett from the Military Veterans Service for helping him to turn his life around. He had post traumatic stress disorder after his time serving in the army in Northern Ireland.Two years later he's giving back and working with veterans. The Lipstick Effect.When there's a recession fewer people buy luxury goods but the sales of lipstick goes up. It might not be an essential, but it's cheap enough for people buy themselves a treat. This is known as the lipstick effect and the reasons for it have been debated for years. One idea is that during tough times women are keen to make themselves look better to attract a mate with money. Now psychologists have conducted a new series of experiments ...
06
DEC
2016
ADHD - or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - tends to be characterised by difficulties in concentrating, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Claudia Hammond talks to Philip Asherson, Professor of Clinical and Molecular Psychiatry at Kings College London and a consultant at the Maudsley Hospital in London, who has recently published research that shows that excessive mind-wandering might be at its core. She also hears from two teenage girls with ADHD about their experience of mindwandering during school lessons.it's not at all unusual for people with depression to have difficulty sleeping. Now a trial has focussed on treating the insomnia in the hope that it improves the depression, rather than vice versa. Professor of Mental Health, Helen Christensen, and Dr Aliza Werner-Saidler, a Research Fellow and Clinical Psychologist at the Black Dog Institute at the University of New South Wales in Australia, showed Claudia Hammond how an online programme called SHUTi - developed by the University of Virginia and commercially available - helped people with insomnia and depression.Two years ago on All in the Mind we debated the merits of a new scheme to get more high-flying graduates into the mental health field. Called Think Ahead it follows in the footsteps of similar schemes like Teach First. This time top graduates train, mostly on the job, to become mental health social workers. Claudia finds out how two of the first graduates are getting on in the their first placements.
29
NOV
2016
Claudia Hammond's guest is Mathijs Lucassen - lecturer in mental health at the Open University.Pathological demand avoidance is a developmental condition where children resist the demands of everyday life, and they can have extreme reactions if they feel they are being made to do anything. Although they might seem sociable, these children can end up ruling their families and even refuse to go to school for months at a time. The professionals who use this diagnosis consider it to be part of the autism spectrum. But is it a discrete condition? Claudia Hammond hears from Liz O'Nions at the University of Louven about its history and new research into teasing out PDA's traits.Is there such a thing as a wise person or does wisdom all depend on the situation? It appears as though some people have more of it than others. But new research suggests it might not be quite like that. Psychologist Igor Grossman of the University of Waterloo assessed the wisdom of individuals in their real lives, rather than in a lab and found some intriguing results.If you've ever arrived at a comedy gig to the terror of realising that the only seats left at the middle of the front row, where you might well get picked on, then you might like Sofie Hagen's approach to gigs. She is creating anxiety safe spaces. People can contact her in advance to let her know what they need at the gig to stop them from feeling anxious. Claudia Hammond headed ...