Jun

12

2023

Spotlight on Diane Danzebrink – The Original Menopause Activist

Speaking at our upcoming BTP event ‘Working with the Menopause in Therapy’, we have a speaker who is truly a leader in her field. Diane Danzebrink has been hailed as ‘the original menopause activist’ in the UK, which is a fitting title to reflect her hugely successful campaigns to improve education and awareness for this major life transition. 

Therapist, Founder of Menopause Support and #MakeMenopauseMatter Campaign

Not only is Diane an experienced psychotherapist, she is also the founder of nonprofit organisation Menopause Support and the national #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign.

Diane’s efforts ensured that menopause has been added to the new RSE curriculum in secondary education in England and that all medical students will study menopause from 2024.

Menopause Support offers 1-1 support for people in its community of 30,000 women, and menopause awareness training for organisations to help them understand how menopause can impact on both corporate and personal wellbeing.

Diane is regularly seen talking about the links between mental health and menopause in mainstream media, including on This Morning, Good Morning Britain, Loose Women, Lorraine, BBC Breakfast, ITV, Channel 4, and Sky News.

The following video is an interview she gave on Sky News on February 2023 which includes details about the debilitating symptoms many women experience going through menopause:

She has also written about the menopause for The Guardian and The Telegraph.

Personal Journey

Diane’s work has been motivated by the lack of education and information many women receive before the menopause.

“I have counselled so many women who have seen their doctors countless times, taking up hours of scarce consultation time, desperately trying to find answers to the debilitating symptoms interfering with their personal and work lives, only to be told that they are too young for menopause,” she wrote in The Guardian.

Diane’s journey to become a powerhouse menopause activist started after she had her ovaries removed, which put her into surgical menopause.

Reaching crisis point, she saw a GP who explained the link between hormones and mental health – a conversation she feels she should have had before the surgery.

The experience shocked Diane, and she then found countless stories online of women going through similar difficulties.

“We all want to understand what is happening to us when things change but if nobody has ever taught you or spoken to you about menopause that’s impossible,”  she explains on My Menopause Centre.

“I believe that it is just common sense to teach all young people about the basics of something that will happen to half of them and indirectly affect the other half as they get older. We should ensure that all our GPs are trained to be able to support those women who need their help and there should be support in all workplaces too.”

Common Symptoms of Low Mood and Anxiety

The following 20 minute video explores how low oestrogen around menopause can result in low mood and anxiety for many women, including Diane sharing some of her own story at 4:50:

As well as raising awareness about the difficulties faced in menopause, Diane speaks about how the process can also be a transition of growth.

She refers to the “menopause spring clean”, which is “essentially taking the time to reflect on what no longer serves you and choosing to do things differently going forward”.

“It’s a process, not something that happens overnight, but we owe it to ourselves to take the time to consider how we want to live the rest of our lives whatever that might look like to you,” she says.

Menopause and therapy

As 50% of the population will likely face menopause in their lives, it is vital for health care professionals, including therapists, to have an understanding of the menopause transition and the possible effects.

Our upcoming evening seminar: Working with the Menopause in Therapy with Diane Danzebrink, via Zoom on Monday 10th July 6pm – 9pm GMT, is an opportunity for therapists to develop this understanding. 

This three hour session is the ideal introduction to understanding what menopause is, when it happens, why it happens and what those who will experience menopause directly can do to help manage the transition. As well as how you, as a therapist, can support those you are working with, and how you can consider your own self care if it will happen to you too.

This workshop is suitable for therapists of any gender who might be working with individuals or couples, and who are curious about how best to support their clients during this important life transition. See the full event details here.

Watch the Workshop Trailer

 

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