Despite her initial scepticism, Caroline Gladstone is now an advocate of talking treatments, after she saw first-hand how it helped her husband. She explains why the couple decided to give talking treatments a go, and what's involved.
It began when Caroline's husband started having problems remembering things, as Caroline explains: 'The doctor was very helpful and did a few brief tests, and said it looked like the beginning of Alzheimer’s.
'He sent us to a place called the Memory Clinic where they did more tests and said, yes – it definitely is Alzheimer’s.'
As Caroline's husband was suffering from terrible nightmares, The Memory Clinic recommended they try talking treatments.
'I couldn't see the point of it'
Initially, Caroline was unsure.
'At the beginning I couldn’t see the point of it - since I knew he wouldn’t remember any of it I didn’t think it could have any lasting effect – but it does. At some point, something inside trickles through.
'I was sceptical, but now I think it’s worthwhile – it’s definitely worth doing. It’s not something you would want to do for the rest of time, but for calming somebody down and for the mindset, it’s certainly worthwhile.
Reducing the nightmares
Caroline explains the treatments so far:
'He’s had 12 sessions so far and it has reduced and made it more possible for him to understand why he’s having them and to cope with them when he wakes up.
'It’s been both beneficial and soothing. I don’t attend the sessions with him, but I do talk to Sonia afterwards and go in for the last 5 minutes.
'Sonia has been great – she helps him talk about what it’s like to lose your memory and lose your ideas of time and space. Due to the Alzheimer’s, he doesn’t actually remember what’s happened – but I can see that the effects are very good. She has been really helpful to him.
'Anything that makes him happier makes me happier'
Caroline shares her advice for people who are unsure about the treatments:
'There is always a long introductory session when you discuss what’s on offer and what you might expect from it. This is a good idea because it actually sets the markers – what’s going to be examined and how it’s going to be coped with.
'So the introductory session is very important, and you could drop out at that point if you didn’t think it was for you. But we both thought it carried enough potential to be worth trying and it has been worth trying and I would recommend it to other people.
'It’s affected my life because he’s happier. And anything that makes him happier makes me happier.'
Hear about other experiences of talking treatments: