Recently Dr Jeremy Alford welcomed 50 psychology graduates from around the world who came as part of SLV global- a company providing students and graduates from around the world the opportunity to gain valuable, practical psychology work experience – to Ubud Bali where he gave an informative talk on aspects of his work around mental health.

The focus was on the practical aspects of CBT and Mindfulness and began with a guided mindfulness meditation. This is a technique Dr Alford incorporates in the Choices Personalized Retreats program as part of Mindfulness-Based Therapy which focuses on bringing our attention to both the internal and external experiences happening in the present moment. The exercise prompted much discussion with some graduates struggling more than others- Dr Alford explained that whilst some may find the process of relaxation challenging, meditation is about becoming more self-aware of what we are experiencing and accepting these thoughts, feelings and present state of being. Similarly, no two peoples experiences are the same- what works for some may not work for all and is why part of effective therapy is tailoring and personalizing recovery for each patient.

Jeremy also gave an educational talk about CBT concepts. CBT is a goal-oriented, short term psychotherapy treatment that adopts a solution-focused approach. By offering evidence-based practical tools it enables those struggling with poor mental health the opportunity to reframe their negative thought patterns or behaviour that perpetuates the problem. By doing this, it helps to show how the person can gradually alter the way they feel and not let negative emotions control or determine their lives. He also spoke about CBT’s application cross-culturally from his own experiences. Whilst research, training, and application of culturally competent psychotherapy has successfully increased over the years, there is a continued need for culturally responsive clinicians to deliver CBT for diverse populations experiencing all sorts of mental health issues including depression, burnout and anxiety. Unfortunately, it is widely reported that there is an under-utilization of mental health services and CBT specifically amongst the Chinese community due to cultural sensitivities. Dr Alford has also experienced first hand the sensitivity around eating disorders in the Middle East and is why he has founded MEEDA- the first non-profit association dedicated to raising awareness, providing support and guidance to people in the MENA region suffering from all kinds of eating disorders.

To find out more about Dr Alford’s work you can visit his website here: https://choicesretreats.com/about-us-2/

More information on SLV Global can be found here: https://slv.global

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