The Anxiety Disorders Service is delivered by a multidisciplinary team catering for adult anxiety sufferers, offering service users a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy, psychiatry, pharmacology, occupational therapy, psychology, social work and systemic psychotherapy to assist you to manage the disorder.
The aims of the programme include increasing knowledge and understanding through psycho-education and group psychotherapy. Additionally, it provides anxiety sufferers with the opportunity to learn skills and strategies to help overcome their difficulties.
About the programme
The Anxiety Disorders Programme was established by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services in April 2005 and caters for a wide range of anxiety disorders. It is delivered by a multidisciplinary team catering for adult anxiety sufferers, offering service users a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy, psychiatry, pharmacology, and occupational therapy to assist them to manage the disorder.
In addition, specialised anxiety disorder assessments and individual cognitive behavioural psychotherapy is provided at the Dean Capel Clinic. The aims of the programme include increasing knowledge and understanding through psycho-education and group psychotherapy. Additionally, it provides anxiety sufferers with the opportunity to learn skills and strategies to help overcome their difficulties.
It focuses on addressing the physical, psychological and behavioural aspects of the anxiety disorder using group psychotherapy. The therapeutic framework of the programme is based on cognitive behavioural therapy models and mindfulness and self-compassion approaches.
The groups are run over three days allowing for goal work and continued therapy to take place outside of the active group setting. This is an important component of the programme which links in with the service user’s weekly goals set in group psychotherapy.
Group work focuses on the cognitive behavioural models for anxiety and working through the thoughts and behaviours that maintain the anxiety and distress. Goal planning, setting and review are a key feature of group work. Other groups include behavioual workshops, compassionate mindfulness practice, stress vulnerability, relapse prevention and medical theoretical input.
Mindfulness and self-compassion practice is an established component in the programme and has been integrated into the various cognitive models over the past five years. This is predominantly a meditative experiential practice group however other aims include teaching service users to take care of themselves so they are able to live fuller and healthier lives. The practice facilitates changes in the service user’s perception of the source and nature of their difficulties, and their responses to them. Additionally, it promotes a way of being that helps service users manage and ‘be with' difficult sensations, emotions and cognitions.
The level one programme is a five-week rolling programme, but the time spent on the programme varies according to each individual's needs and response (usually four to 12 weeks). Most individuals will progress to level two for more individualised input. Level two is an eight-week programme. Level three offers group therapy follow-up and supportive CBT input.
Anxiety can be primary or secondary to other mental health problems such as depression or substance misuse. Primary anxiety disorders are thought to result from a combination of genetic predisposition and life stress triggering a vicious cycle.
Physiological reactions in the brain and body, distorted thoughts and beliefs about risk and danger and patterns of behaviour, such as avoidance or safety seeking, all interact to develop and maintain the problem.
The anxiety disorders team is multidisciplinary consisting of consultant psychiatrists, registrars, nursing staff, counsellors, social workers, psychologists and occupational therapists.
St Patrick’s University Hospital
The day service is based at St Patrick’s University Hospital in Dublin 8.Find out more
St Patrick's Mental Health Services and its Anxiety Disorders Service has been accredited by the Mental Health Commission in Ireland, ensuring high standards in the delivery of mental health services.
There is a very good atmosphere at St Patrick's. Communication is very good between patients and staff and should be maintained on an informal basis. The food is very good and is a great morale booster for everyone.
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