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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

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.

Breathing towards a calmer you

Most of us breathe automatically. That is, we leave it to our body and we don't even think about it. This is unfortunate because we could be doing it so much better and feeling better for it.

The automatic breaths we take are just enough to exist – the recommended daily intake of you like. But it's the therapeutic dose, the amount or frequency, that makes a real difference to our health and well-being.

For a start, the automatic breath is usually fairly shallow and up in the chest. It's also a 'panting' breath where the input and the output are basically the same.

Let me introduce you to - ta dah - the Vagal breath! It's a conscious breath - you decide to breathe this way. This results in a generally calmer you, and a better ability to deal with acute stressors. Recent studies confirm this.