Our Therapeutic Approaches
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a form of psychological therapy which recognises that the way we think (cognition) and act (behaviour) affects the way we feel. CBT involves the client working with their psychologist to identify unhelpful thought and behaviour patterns that are stopping them from getting better. Once the client recognises any unhelpful patterns, they can make changes to replace these with new ones that improve their mood and coping skills. CBT may also involve a range of techniques such as learning how to let go of unproductive worries, muscle relaxation and breathing techniques.
Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy is a psychological therapy which aims to help the client to develop self-awareness, and to understand how their past experiences may be unconsciously influencing their present behaviour. This may enable them to work on unresolved conflicts or past dysfunctional relationships, in order to improve their current behaviour and symptoms.
Interpersonal therapy focuses on the interpersonal relationships of the client, and proposes that mental health issues can be treated by improving the client’s communication patterns and how they relate to others. Techniques often used in Interpersonal therapy include; helping the client identify their emotions and where they are coming from, helping the client to express their emotions in a healthy way, and helping the client to understand how unresolved issues from past relationships may be affecting their current behaviour, mood and relationships.
Solution-focussed brief therapy (SFBT)
Solution-focused brief therapy is an approach to therapy that aims to help clients to focus on solutions, rather than on the problem. It involves helping the client to identify and focus on their current resources, goals and future hopes rather than focusing on present problems and past causes. It is often a sufficient intervention its own, but can also be used in combination with other treatments.
Problem solving therapy is a form of CBT that focuses on promoting effective problem solving skills. It defines difficulties, analyses problem solving styles, identifies and implements solutions, and evaluates progress. PST has been shown to be effective across a variety of psychological problems, and especially in the treatment of depression.
Acceptance and Commitment therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of therapy that focuses on helping the client to accept what is out their personal control, and commit to action that improves and enriches their life. ACT often involves the psychologist helping the client to learn psychological skills which help them to deal with painful thoughts and feelings more effectively (these are known as mindfulness skills). It also involves the psychologist helping the client to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to them – i.e their values. The client’s values are then used to guide, inspire and motivate them to change their life for the better.
Schema focused therapy
Schema Focused Therapy is based on CBT, but it is focused much more on early childhood experiences which have led to lifelong difficulties. In Schema focused therapy, questionnaires are used to identify the client’s “schemas”, “coping styles” and “preferred modes”.
- “Schemas” are a person’s core behaviours that they tend to use repeatedly throughout their lives. According to Schema theory, if emotional needs are not met during childhood, unhealthy schemas (i.e., patterns) develop.
- “Coping styles” on the other hand are the methods a person uses to adapt to early life experiences. Often, they may maintain or worsen unhealthy patterns of behaviour.
- Lastly, “modes” are the various emotional states that a person uses. While certain modes may be dominant, it is also possible to flip into other modes.
Once the client’s schemas, coping styles and modes are identified, the psychologist can help them l to understand and learn how to change their unhelpful patterns of behaviour and coping styles.
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)
REBT is a form of CBT which proposes that a person’s emotions and mood tend to be affected more by how they view or perceive something, than by that thing itself. In other words, the premise behind REBT is that a person’s beliefs or perceptions about an event may be rational or irrational, and that these beliefs have direct consequences on their emotions, behaviour’s and thoughts. In REBT, the psychologist helps the client to identify their irrational beliefs, dispute these beliefs, and replace them with healthier, more rational interpretations.
Positive psychology is an approach to therapy which encourages wellbeing by emphasising how individuals can improve their lives for the better. It involves the use of techniques such as identifying one’s strengths, visualising a better self, using gratitude and acts of kindness, and increasing feelings of warmth towards others. These techniques can be beneficial in the treatment of mental health disorders.
Motivational Interviewing is a style of counselling which aims to strengthen commitment towards behaviour change. It involves the psychologist working in partnership with the client to help them to use skills which they already possess to illicit and explore the benefits of change.