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Muriel Cooper, Psychologist

I'm Muriel Cooper, a fully registered psychologist based in Mornington.

About my therapy. I specialise in Stress, Anxiety and Depression (the SAD cycle), but I also deal with most psychological and emotional problems.

I use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, and psycho-education (knowledge is power!). Presently I'm most interested in Mindfulness and brain-based therapy - teaching you techniques based on using your mind to train your brain. I'm also interested in Meditation and Relaxation.

Here you will find many articles I've written to assist my clients with finding happiness and also coping with various forms of sadness. Ifyou find some of my thoughts and methods useful, please feel free to subscribe to my occasional newsletter mailing list.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you find the material on this site helpful.

Latest Articles

How to cope with Christmas

'Tis the season to be jolly, but Christmas might be far from jolly for you. It’s the time when we might need coping skills more than any other time.

Here are some tips on how to get through it all in the best possible shape.

  1. Make a budget and stick to it. You can still have a nice time without cracking the credit card.
  2. If there are stressful, 'prickly' family occasions you don't absolutely have to go to, don't! And ...
  3. ... it might be hard to say no, but you can do it (see How to say NO).
  4. If you do decide to go to a difficult family get-together, be as positive as you can about it. Don’t nag and whinge at yourself – you’ll get through it, and who knows, you might even enjoy it.
  5. Be proactive - prepare by using good self-talk leading up to the event.
    For example, "I know Uncle Fred might bring up that old button-pusher, but I can cope, I'll ignore it. The more he pushes it, the more I'll ignore it. I'll keep my cool. It's only for a few hours anyway."

Maintaining your focus in times of change

Stress is the enemy of concentration and focus. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been exposed to constant stress. No surprise that we're having trouble with focus. Working from home has presented issues of distraction as children, pets and online shopping deliveries grab our attention away from whatever we're trying to concentrate on. However, they are not the main cause of lack of focus during stressful times.

Stress involved the "get up and go" hormone, Adrenaline. But before you can act to fight or flee, you need the energy to do that and that's where cortisol comes in.

Cortisol is the "let's give you the energy to get up and go" hormone that instructs the body to release glucose into the bloodstream. Cortisol also dampens your digestive system (who needs to waste energy digesting food when you need it to fight or run) and affects the immune system the reproductive system (not a good idea to reproduce when you're threatened) and growth processes.