top of page



Sometimes when an individual have different views to the society they live in, or when individuals in a relationship, or in a family have different views or ideas, this can result in challenging interactions which can be detrimental to the individual, couple relationship, or family relationships. To resolve these challenges individuals set about to find solutions to what they perceive as the problem, they usually draw on their own experiences of life (sometimes conferring with others) to come up with what they believe is the solution. However sometimes they attempt to solve the problems ends up exacerbating the issue instead of resolving it and at times creates new issues.  


For example 

  • A person feeling depressed may avoid socializing as a way of trying to avoid others seeing them sad or depressed, but this attempted solution can lead to their sense of social isolation, increasing their sense of sadness and depression. 

  • in personal disputes and conflicts, both parties may try to assert their points more forcefully when they feel unheard, this can escalate the conflict instead of resolving it and make the attempted solution (asserting one’s point of view hoping that the other person would see things their way) part of the problem (escalating the conflict) 

  • In organizations or in society, well-intentioned policies can sometimes lead to unintended negative consequences. Setting targets in health care institutions to reduce waiting times can lead to a target driven culture that neglects other important aspects of care  


Individuals, couples, families, or any group of people can often get stuck in patterns of behaviour that they believe are solutions to their problems. These attempted solutions can often become part of the problem, especially when these attempted solutions are repeated despite being ineffective. Repeating unsuccessful attempts at solutions may actually serve to perpetuate and further entrench the problem     


The key to bringing about effective change is to avoid repeating unsuccessful attempts at solutions in such situations, and to recognize when an attempted solution is not working and consider alternative approaches. This might involve doing something different or trying to understand underlying issues. Sometimes it may involve seeking outside help from a professional. Seeking help from a psychotherapist who is trained in understanding these dynamics can be a helpful resource in helping individuals, couples and families to navigate these challenges. 


At R Hoyte Psychotherapy Service (www.rhoyte.co.uk) we are very experienced at helping people and organizations to navigate these challenges. We help people to identify redundant, stuck patterns, and problematic feedback loops. The therapeutic aim is to provide them with clarity in understanding their unhelpful patterns an empowering them to creating more helpful patterns and interactions thus freeing them from unhelpful behaviours.    

28 views0 comments

Narratives are the stories that we tell ourselves and others, these stories are how we make sense of the world and our place in it. Narratives can be personal, such as our life stories, or collective, such as cultural myths, historical accounts, or political ideologies. Our narratives contribute to shaping our identity, values, the emotions we feel, and our motivations.


Beliefs are statements that we hold to be true or probable, based on our perception, experience, or reasoning. Beliefs can be factual, such as "the Earth is round", or evaluative, such as "democracy is better than dictatorship". Beliefs can also be implicit or explicit, conscious or unconscious, rational or irrational.

Narratives and beliefs are closely related and often influence each other. Narratives can provide a framework for forming and organizing beliefs, while beliefs can provide evidence or justification for narratives.


Narratives and beliefs have a powerful impact on our actions. Actions are behaviours that we perform intentionally or habitually, in response to internal or external stimuli. Actions can be individual or collective, constructive or destructive, ethical or unethical.


Narratives and beliefs can motivate, guide, or constrain our actions. Narratives can inspire us to pursue a certain goal or vision, such as achieving personal success or social justice. Beliefs can inform us about what is possible or desirable, such as what we can do or what we should do.


Narratives and beliefs can also limit our actions by creating biases, prejudices, or blind spots, such as ignoring alternative perspectives or dismissing contrary evidence. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the narratives and beliefs that we hold and how they affect our actions. We should critically examine the sources, validity, and implications of our narratives and beliefs. We should also seek to understand the narratives and beliefs of others and how they differ from ours. By doing so, we can improve our decision-making, communication, and collaboration skills. We can also foster a more diverse, inclusive, and respectful society.

Positives and Negatives of Strongly Held Beliefs

Psychotherapy is a process of exploring and changing one's thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in order to improve one's well-being and functioning.


One of the common factors that influences the effectiveness of psychotherapy is the client's beliefs. Beliefs are mental representations of reality that guide our perception, interpretation, and evaluation of ourselves, others, and the world. Beliefs can be positive or negative, rational or irrational, flexible or rigid, and conscious or unconscious. Beliefs can also vary in their strength, meaning how strongly we hold them and how resistant they are to change.


Strongly held beliefs are those that we are very confident about and that we do not question or doubt. They are often based on personal experience, values, or identity. They can also be influenced by social norms, cultural background, or religious affiliation. Strongly held beliefs can have both positive and negative effects, depending on their content and context.

Some of the possible positives of strongly held beliefs in psychotherapy are:

- They can provide a sense of meaning, purpose, and direction in life.

- They can motivate us to pursue our goals and overcome challenges.

- They can enhance our self-esteem and confidence.

- They can foster a sense of belonging and connection with others who share our beliefs.

- They can help us cope with stress, adversity, and uncertainty.

- They can facilitate positive change by inspiring us to adopt new perspectives or behaviours that are consistent with our beliefs.

Some of the possible negatives of strongly held beliefs in psychotherapy are:

- They can limit our openness to new information, feedback, or alternatives that contradict our beliefs.

- They can bias our perception and memory of events to confirm our beliefs and ignore or distort evidence that disconfirms them.

- They can cause us to reject or avoid people who have different beliefs from us or to engage in conflicts or arguments with them.

- They can impair our critical thinking and problem-solving skills by preventing us from considering multiple viewpoints or solutions.

- They can interfere with our emotional regulation by triggering intense negative emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, or shame when our beliefs are challenged or violated.

- They can hinder positive change by making us resistant to modify or abandon our beliefs even when they are dysfunctional or maladaptive.

It is important to be aware of the role of strongly held beliefs and to assess their impact on well-being and functioning. It is important to deconstruct these beliefs when they are irrational, distorted, or harmful and to develop more adaptive and flexible beliefs to allow positive well-being, effective functioning and personal growth.

35 views0 comments

Updated: Aug 16, 2023



Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. They are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating or eating-related behaviour that results in the altered consumption or absorption of food, that significantly impairs physical health and psychosocial functioning.

While eating disorders are often associated with women, they can also affect boys and men. In fact, according to some estimates, men represent about 10% of individuals who are treated for eating disorders, and the prevalence of eating disorders in men is on the rise. However, eating disorders in men are frequently underdiagnosed and undertreated, due to a number of factors, such as:


- The common misconception that eating disorders are a female problem, which leads to stigma and shame for men who struggle with them.

- The lack of awareness and recognition of the signs and symptoms of eating disorders in men, which may differ from those in women.

- The influence of gender norms and expectations, which may pressure men to conform to a certain body type or appearance, or to avoid expressing their emotions or seeking help.

- The limited availability and accessibility of specialized treatment programs and services that cater to the specific needs and challenges of men with eating disorders.

Some of the risk factors that may contribute to the development of eating disorders in men include:


- Dieting, especially for weight loss or performance enhancement.

- A previous history of obesity or being overweight, which may affect self-esteem and body image.

- Homosexuality or bisexuality, which may expose men to more appearance-related pressures and discrimination.

- Psychological factors, such as having low self-esteem, perfectionism, anxiety, depression, trauma, or stress.

- Participation in a sport or occupation that emphasizes thinness, weight control, or muscularity, such as wrestling, gymnastics, ballet, modelling, or bodybuilding.

One of the most common and overlooked eating disorders among men is musclerexia, also known as muscle dysmorphia or bigorexia. This is a condition where men become obsessed with building muscle and achieving a lean and muscular physique, often at the expense of their health and well-being.

Musclerexia is not just a harmless desire to improve one's appearance or fitness. It is a serious mental disorder that can have devastating consequences for one's physical and psychological health. Some of the signs and symptoms of musclerexia include:


- Spending excessive amounts of time and money on working out, dieting, supplements, and steroids

- Having a distorted body image and feeling dissatisfied with one's muscularity or body fat

- Avoiding social situations or activities that may expose one's body or interfere with one's exercise routine

- Experiencing anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, or suicidal thoughts related to one's body image

- Neglecting other aspects of life such as work, school, family, or friends

- Developing medical complications such as injuries, infections, hormonal imbalances, kidney damage, or heart problems

Musclerexia is often fuelled by unrealistic and unhealthy standards of male beauty that are promoted by the media, the fitness industry, and the culture at large. Many men feel pressured to conform to these ideals of bodily strength and sculpted muscular beauty that are supposed to equate to having value as a man. However, these ideals are often unattainable and unsustainable for most men and can lead to a vicious cycle of dissatisfaction and compulsive behaviours.

Musclerexia can also be influenced by other factors such as genetics, personality traits, childhood experiences, trauma, or stress. Some men may use musclerexia as a way of coping with emotional issues or insecurities that they find difficult to express or resolve. Others may develop musclerexia as a result of being bullied, abused, or rejected because of their appearance or sexuality.

Unfortunately, many men who suffer from musclerexia do not seek help or even recognize that they have a problem. This is partly because eating disorders are still stigmatized and misunderstood in our society, especially among men. Many men may feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit that they have an eating disorder, or fear being judged or ridiculed by others. Some men may also deny that they have an issue because they believe that their behaviours are normal or beneficial for their health, performance or to make them desirable in relationships.

However, musclerexia is not something that can be ignored or overcome by willpower alone. It is a serious condition that requires professional treatment and support. If you or someone you know is struggling with musclerexia, please know that you are not alone, and that help is available. You do not have to suffer in silence or let your eating disorder define you.

The good news is that eating disorders in men are treatable and recovery is possible. The first step is to seek professional help from a qualified health care provider who can assess the severity and type of the disorder and provide appropriate referrals and recommendations. Treatment options may include:


- Psychotherapy: A talking therapy that helps individuals explore and understand the underlying causes and triggers of their eating disorder and develop healthy coping skills and strategies to overcome it. Psychotherapy may involve different approaches and techniques depending on the individual's needs and preferences.

Treatment can be sought through your G.P or through professional eating disorder services like R Hoyte Psychotherapy Services (www.rhoyte.co.uk)

30 views0 comments

Here to help You find happiness in your life

bottom of page