It was a great privilege to welcome Dr Balint back to Habs to explore with us how to deal with depression and anxiety along with providing us with an understanding of different therapies.

The talk was especially relevant in the times in which we are living, where concerns regarding mental health are becoming increasingly more common. Dr Balint gave an extremely detailed talk, one from which we can all take something tremendously valuable and meaningful away.

Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems affecting individuals (16% of the UK society at any one time). In his talk, Dr Balint discussed depression, the symptoms and the exceptionally valuable and positive treatment for depression and anxiety, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). Nowadays, CBT is a field that is blossoming, and this together with newer third wave therapies are being used in both clinical and normal populations. Third wave therapies share an emphasis on acceptance of yourselves and mindfulness.  

Dr Balint also introduced us to an extremely common type of anxiety disorder: social anxiety disorder (social phobia). This is characterised by intense fear of social or performance situations that results in considerable distress and in turn impacts on a person’s ability to function effectively in aspects of their daily life. This can be treated using in situ processing which involves experimenting with dropping safety behaviours and focusing externally on social interactions.

I would like to thank Dr Balint for giving up his time to deliver such a fascinating and important talk, which explored issues relevant to us all.

Written by Ollie Davis (L6R2)