CBT is a structured psychological treatment which recognises that the way we think (cognition) and act (behaviour) affects the way we feel. CBT is one of the most used treatments for depression and has been found to be useful for a wide range of psychological issues including anxiety, phobias and OCD.
CBT involves working with a therapist to first identify thoughts and behaviour patterns that are unhelpful. Techniques are then provided to help the client to modify negative or unhelpful thought patterns and reactions and start using a more realistic, positive and problem-solving approach.
The behavioural component of CBT often includes homework tasks which focus on encouraging activities that are rewarding, pleasant or satisfying, aiming to reverse the patterns of avoidance, withdrawal and inactivity that make depression and anxiety worse.
Mindfulness and MBCT approaches help clients to focus on the present moment – just noticing whatever they are experiencing, whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant – without trying to change it. At first, this approach is used to focus on physical sensations (like breathing), but then moves on to feelings and thoughts.
MBCT can help clients to stop their mind wandering off into thoughts about the future or the past and avoid unpleasant or unhelpful thoughts and feelings. It encourages clients to notice feelings of sadness, anxiety and negative thought patterns early on, before they become fixed. As a result, they are able to deal with warning signs earlier and more effectively.
This is a form of CBT specifically adapted for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and helps clients to address the negative effects of a trauma by overcoming problematic thoughts and behaviours associated with the trauma and finding new ways of coping with reminders of the traumatic event.
At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talking therapy but uses a client’s own rapid, rhythmic eye movements to facilitate the effective reprocessing of traumatic events. The effect can also be achieved by auditory clicks and hand taps. It works by facilitating the brain’s natural capacity to process information.
Traumatic memories and associated thoughts, feelings and images are stored within different parts of the brain. Psychological difficulties can arise when the storing process is incomplete. The goal of EMDR is to process these distressing memories, reducing their lingering effects and allowing clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms. The use of EMDR was originally developed to treat adults suffering from PTSD; however, it is also used to treat other conditions and is also used with children.
IPT is a structured psychological therapy that focuses on problems in personal relationships and the skills needed to deal with these. IPT is based on the idea that relationship problems can have a significant effect on someone experiencing psychological issues and can even contribute to the cause.
IPT helps clients to recognise patterns in their relationships that make them more vulnerable to psychological issues. Identifying these patterns means clients can focus on improving relationships and finding new ways to get along with others.
The aim of psycho-sexual therapy is to help clients to improve the physical intimacy between themselves and their partner and overcome or manage any sexual difficulties. Couples would typically be seen together and asked to engage in a behavioural programme aimed to increase physical and emotional intimacy.
ACT is an action-oriented approach that stems from cognitive behavioural therapy. Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives. With this understanding, clients begin to accept their issues and hardships and commit to making necessary changes in their behaviour, regardless of what is going on in their lives, and how they feel about it.
STPP (which might also be referred to as STDP) helps clients to gain insight into and change unconscious ways of relating to themself and others.
The approach focusses on helping clients to release emotional experiences which are blocked by defences and unconscious anxiety, thus relieving mental and somatic symptoms and improving relationships. Many traditional psychodynamic ideas are incorporated in this way of working but the method is more structured and focussed and thus more suitable for shorter term ways of working.
Grief is a natural response to losing someone or something you care about. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve; everyone’s experiences are individual. Grieving can be painful and it can’t be fixed or made to go away. It is a natural process which will heal in time giving way to adjustment. Grief processes can become complex, blocked and stuck in some instances. Bereavement Counselling helps clients to express their feelings about their grief thus assisting the adaptive transition through the various stages of grief.
A neuropsychological assessment provides an objective way of characterising cognitive, emotional and behavioural symptoms. This process typically involves completing a number of different cognitive tasks and questionnaires. The process may take a number of hours. The results will guide the treatment process.
Treatment is offered to help improve or mitigate the impact of presented cognitive, emotional and behavioural difficulties. This work involves aspects of cognitive rehabilitation, the implementation of strategies to compensate for cognitive problems and, where appropriate, brief psychological therapy interventions for associated psychological difficulties, typically within a cognitive-behavioural therapy framework.
Complex interactions between cognitive, behavioural, emotional and physiological factors will determine an individual’s experience of pain. Pain experience is therefore different from person to person as a result of varying combinations of these factors. Assessing the bio-psycho-social aspects of a client’s pain can be vital to identifying the most successful treatment options before any intervention begins.
The assessment of the psychosocial aspects of an individual’s persistent pain involves and requires the accurate evaluation of:
After an evaluation a Clinical Psychologist/ therapist might recommend several types of treatment including: