How Can Talking Help My Problem?

Article excerpt

Byline: DR GARETH SMITH

Q I HAVE had problems with friendships and relationships for years and my doctor wants me to talk to a psychotherapist. What does it involve as my GP wasn't clear?

A IN a nutshell, psychotherapy is a talking therapy and is a way to help you understand your problems without using medication.

There are various forms of psychotherapy ranging from cognitive behavioural therapy, which looks at the way you think and the effects this has on your behaviour, to psychodynamic psychotherapy, which was invented by Sigmund Freud and looks at how traumatic events from your childhood may be influencing the way you see the world as an adult.

It can be very useful for people with relationship problems but it does take time and can be quite a difficult process. Go along and see how it goes, you never know till you try.

Q I HAVE just found out that I am pregnant and I am overjoyed. I have also been trying to get my husband to stop smoking for the last three years since I gave up. Can you tell me if passive smoking can harm the baby?

A MANY congratulations on your good news - especially if it persuades your husband to kick the habit.

Being exposed to cigarette smoke - either actively or passively - can cause harmful effects on your baby so he really should try to quit.

Research has shown that the unfiltered smoke that comes from the end of a lit cigarette is especially toxic. It can lead to an underweight baby and there is a small increased risk of miscarriage.

You are going to have to give up things such as alcohol so it's only fair he should share the burden and stop smoking.

Q MY eight-year-old son keeps getting throat infections and the specialist says he probably needs to have his tonsils out. We are worried about our son having an operation so young. Would it be better to wait until he is older?

A TONSILLECTOMIES are routine operations although, like all surgery, they do carry a degree of risk.

It is worrying leaving your son's well-being in the hands of a surgeon but remember these guys do this every day. …