Dr Sarah Lawson
Dr Sarah Lawson is a UK-qualified Clinical Psychologist with over 15 years’ experience working in the field of mental health and wellbeing. She has worked within NHS and private health sectors within the UK before relocating to the Middle East. Dr Sarah provides evidenced based therapy at Keyani Wellness Centre, Dubai. She works in a holistic and integrative way, providing therapy in an authentic and approachable manner.
Throughout her career, Dr Sarah has worked extensively with adults with a range of mental health difficulties. She has a special interest in women’s’ health and well-being, stress, and burnout. In addition to her strong background in clinical and health psychology, she has training in workplace and therapeutic coaching.
Dr Sarah is passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health difficulties and the promotion of mental wellbeing. Dr Sarah is focused on supporting individuals to find balance, reduce stress and build resilience to help them live in a more meaningful and connected way.
Menopause and Mental Health: A time for change and the role of psychology.
The WHO (2007) defines menopause as a period of natural ageing whereby oestrogen levels decline, and the menstrual cycle ceases. The menopausal transition is a very individual experience, that can be difficult for many women. The psychosocial symptoms of menopause include those that affect the woman’s psychological health, social wellbeing, and quality of life. These symptoms can include loss of confidence, issues with self-identity and body image, inattention and loss of memory, increased levels of stress, and a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression.
Despite being a natural part of ageing, there can still be huge stigma attached to this life transition. Research suggests (e.g., Cronin et al., 2020) that many women do not seek help to manage their symptoms due to feelings of embarrassment, the possibility of experiencing adverse reactions from others, or associated cultural taboos. Many women also report feeling underprepared and/or lacking knowledge of the symptoms during their onset of the menopause period.
The menopausal transition is a normal part of a woman’s life span that should not be pathologized. However, psychologists can offer support, and a variety of treatments, that can ease symptoms and help create more open conversations and education around women’s health.
This presentation will discuss the ‘why, ‘how’ and ‘what’ of menopause and mental health. It will introduce the current growing research in this area, and how psychologists can use current evidence-based practise to support women’s mental health as they go through this life transition. This will include how to adapt, utilize, or recommend digital health strategies to support women as they manage their psychosocial symptoms of menopause.