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If you often feel dissatisfied, you need to do something

Everyone has problems, and problems come and go, so how do you know if you need to do something about your problems? Well, if they often make you feel dissatisfied – depressed, anxious, angry or stressed – then it’s time to take action. If you do nothing, your negative feelings could well continue. In one study, 80% of depressed people who didn’t get help, were still depressed four years later. Plus, feeling negative could make it harder for you to solve your problems.


Solve your underlying problems and the bad feelings will go away

Feelings are not the main issue. People talk as though depression, anxiety and stress were the problem.  But bad feelings are just effects of the problems that cause them. It’s OK to get help to feel better, but what will make bad feelings go away is fixing the underlying problems. Medication can sometimes make bad feelings go away for a while, but unless you use that time to solve those underlying problems, the bad feelings will come back when the medication stops. So you need to understand and problem-solve.


We help you approach your problems in the most effective way

If you’ve been feeling bad for a while, you’ve probably tried or considered various solutions. There’s a lot of help available: medication, self-help books, voluntary groups, training courses, and complementary therapies, as well as psychotherapy and coaching. It can be difficult to choose. So at Kipapa we point you in the direction of other resources in addition to therapy or coaching. We do that after assessing all your problems – biological, psychological and social – and making suggestions of things to do or people to see. We don’t do everything at Kipapa: we specialise in personal development, but we’re trained to spot issues that other professions can help resolve, and to tell you how to access other resources as necessary.


Psychological thinking is your master skill for problem-solving

Psychological therapy, counselling and coaching are great ways of approaching any life problem, because to solve any life problem you need to think well about it, and good thinking requires good psychology. You may not know whether therapy or counselling can help your particular issue, but at Kipapa we know that all human life has been studied by psychologists, so we know  there will be ways psychology can help. For example, consider also that almost any problem you face will be helped by observing it, understanding it, setting goals, planning, getting help, and taking systematic action. That’s what Psychology can help you do, and at Kipapa, our Progress Wheel process is designed to make that problem-solving more effective.


You’re complicated, so knowing a diagnosis is not enough

You may have already found names on the internet for the problems you face, or you may have got a diagnosis, such as “Major Depression” or “Generalised Anxiety”. Some people like a diagnosis to name their problem. Others hate a diagnosis, as it labels them. At Kipapa we see the usefulness, but also the limitations of diagnosis. Getting a diagnosis is like being told which area you live in: diagnosis is a label that confirms your general position and helps you access services, but it’s quite vague, it doesn’t say how you got there, and it doesn’t tell you how you can get out of your situation. Plus, diagnosis only covers a limited range of problems, just as a map of London leaves out the rest of the country.


Psychological help can be effective for many problems

At Kipapa we believe that good therapy and coaching is not just idle navel-gazing: done right, it is systematic problem solving that begins with a thorough assessment, a plan and the right approach for you. And research shows that people who get psychological help generally feel better than 80% of those who don’t.


Your problems are not disorders or abnormalities…they’re just differences!

Diagnosis has another drawback: it implies that you have a medical disease, or that you and your problems are “disordered” or “abnormal”. At Kipapa, we believe that a lot of the stigma behind “mental illness” comes from clinicians’ insistence on the medical analogy, which has associations with sickness, abnormality and dysfunction. But emotional problems are not like medical diseases: they have many non-medical causes, including thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and relationships. In most cases, people with emotional problems are functioning physiologically as just nature intended. And far from being disorderly, most emotional problems have predictable causes. As for abnormality: people are so varied that very few people are entirely normal. So we think it’s better to understand your problems as just that – “problems”. Life is full of problems. Problems are normal. No-one is born or raised to solve all their problems by themselves. So getting help is the natural and sensible thing to do.


You need a formulation for your problems

If you think about the problems you face, you’ll probably see that they’re connected: health problems could be causing problems at work; work problems could be causing problems in relationships, and so on. A good formulation not only says how you came to be in the situation you’re in; it also says how your problems are connected. If a diagnosis names your “area”, then a formulation is your “route in” through each of your problems to that area. It’s more precise than a diagnosis. This knowledge of how you came to be in the situation you’re in, is vital to show us how you can take different turns at each stage in future, which will lead you to a better situation.


We offer you a more complete understanding of your problems

That’s why at Kipapa we have built our unique PsycNav software to map your problems into a formulation that updates as we learn more about you. That map also shows us how you can take a better path in life. But we go further, doing something that no-one else does. PsycNav creates a matrix describing your life, which works like a grid map. Because we know where you are on the map at any moment, it’s easier for us to help you get to where you want to go, no matter where you happen to be on any given day.

PsycNav also helps to put different theories about your problems together. Psychologists have lots of ways to explain human problems: there are twelve competing schools of thought, including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural and so on. Each school can give you a partial understanding of your problems, but each school leaves out significant aspects of life. At Kipapa, with PsycNav we can offer a more complete understanding, because PsycNav covers the biological, psychological and social, plus it maps out every one of your needs from basic survival to perfect harmony. PsycNav allows us to unite different schools of thought to offer you a fuller understanding, and hence a more complete solution.


We make understanding your problems simpler

Psychology is full of jargon, and many “mental health” professionals have traditionally got respect by sounding clever, so engaging in psychological work can seem daunting for clients. But at Kipapa we don’t want to impress you with long words. We believe that underneath that jargon there is a universal language of change, which you already know, because it’s shared by all humanity. We call it JourneyBuilding®. If you’ve ever found yourself “in a hole” or “at a crossroads”; if you’ve faced a “mountain to climb” or “run away from your problems” you know that language. And it’s a language shared by every school of psychology, because they all built their theories using those same metaphors. By using JourneyBuilding language in our work together, and helping you to use it to frame your problems, we help you to put all those theories together, and find the kind of solutions that will work for you.


We can help you get out of the hole you’re in

Take “depression” for example: it’s no coincidence that the word refers to both a hole as well as a state of mind, because when you’re “stuck” in a situation you can’t get out of, and you can’t get what you need, you’re going to feel “down”. Your predicament in a metaphorical hole is just like your mental state:. After struggling to “get out” of depression, you may feel exhausted. You probably feel anxious about being “trapped” in this state, just as you would if you were trapped in a hole. You may feel “small” or “weak” because you’re “down” and exhausted. You’re unlikely to see far ahead into the future: all you can see is your current predicament. You may keep going round in circles in your head, like someone trapped in one place. You may start to attack yourself in frustration.

The metaphor is vital because it suggests the solutions. Medical theorists will say you need sleep, something to reduce inflammation, supplements, and exercise. These give you the physical energy and strength you need to get out of the hole. Behavioural theorists will say you need to make your environment less punishing,  to reward yourself for successes, and have something to look forward to. These are the step ladder helping you climb out, and the mountaintop that you can see in the distance. Psychodynamic theories say you need to find hidden motivation and stop fighting with yourself. They are like the friends who uncover a wellspring and help each other out. Systemic theories say you need to find other people to support you, who are like the people outside the hole who can help you up. And so on…

This is just an example of how different ways of thinking about problems can be translated into simple stories you can understand, remember and use to find your way out of the problems you have.  So get in touch with us, tell us your story, and let us show you how we can help you make it a story about getting away from past problems and moving towards personal fulfillment.

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