Welcome to Living Well with MS. In this episode, Geoff catches up with Overcoming MS
facilitator, Dr Rachael Hunter, a clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in clinical and health psychology at Swansea University. Rachael talks to Geoff about the meaning of resilience and looking after your psychological health.

Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Rachael’s bio.

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Rachael’s bio:

Dr Rachael Hunter is a clinical academic who works as a Clinical Psychologist in the NHS, and as a Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Health Psychology at Swansea University. She is an active researcher and has been involved with a number of projects relating to MS as well as other physical and mental health conditions.  

Rachael has been following the Overcoming MS program since she was diagnosed with MS in 2012. She remains relapse free with recent MRI scans confirming ‘no evidence of disease activity.'

Rachael says that she feels very lucky to have found Overcoming MS during diagnosis and to have such a supportive family who share her positive outlook. Since finding Overcoming MS, Rachael has felt compelled to raise awareness of the Overcoming MS Program and lifestyle approaches to living well, through her work.

Rachael is a mum of two, slightly obsessed with the beach, and describes herself as a ‘realistic optimist.’ 

Download the episode transcript

 

Selected Key Takeaways

Our mental and physical health are linked

“As a psychologist, my whole framework of clinical work is based on the idea that our physical health and our psychological health are intertwined. They absolutely affect each other. I knew that if I was struggling with my mental health, that was going to affect my physical health.”

The definition of resiliency

“Resiliency is the ability to accept one's experiences without avoidance. That you can continue to try and live your life and pursue your goals, despite that adversity. So what does that really mean? Well, it's basically talking about a capacity to respond positively to adverse situations.”

Self-care is different for each person

“Self-care is integral to what we need to be practicing all the time. I think making it a part of any framework is really important. I have quite a broad definition of self-care and that's going to be very individual for each person. I always encourage people to really think broadly about what self-care could be.”

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