Let’s take the journey together.
Starting therapy can seem like a daunting prospect, or it may be very welcome or a long time coming. Either way, well done for making the decision to invest in you.
As a clinical psychologist I am trained and accredited in a number of therapeutic approaches. I tailor therapy to the individual, as well as taking into account what works for whom, and applying theory and research to real-World problems.
When I see you for the first time, we will discuss the type of therapy that might be of most help to you based on an understanding of your needs and goals.
The main types of therapy I offer are:
Cognitive - Behavioural Therapies
CBT has been found to successfully help many people with a wide range of mental health difficulties and is commonly recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence. It is a time-limited, present-focused and goal oriented therapy. It is collaborative and skill focused.
CBT is based on the premise that difficulties do not necessarily arise from life events but our interpretations and perceptions of these which are informed by past experiences. These perceptions in turn influence the way we feel, our physical well-being and ultimately our behaviours.
Using CBT our aim will be to reach a shared understanding of the problem(s) and set measurable goals. We will work on identifying and breaking 'vicious cycles' and experiment with healthy alternatives.
Since it's emergence in the 1960's CBT has been developed in clinical practice and research. There are now complementary 'third wave' CBT approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, and Compassion Focused Therapy that expand upon the original ideas of CBT. It is my practice to make use of and draw on these approaches where appropriate, helpful, and clinically indicated.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing)
EMDR was originally developed to treat symptoms of traumatic experiences that continue to intrude into the present. However, there is a growing evidence base demonstrating the use of EMDR to process adverse life experiences that often play a part in current distress.
The therapy itself involves an assessment and preparatory stage, where we will work on building coping strategies and resilience. We will then work on processing specific memories, the meaning of these, and felt sense in the body by holding the memories in mind while using bilateral stimulation of the brain either through eye movements or hand taps. The process continues across several sessions until the distress is reduced.
EMDR does not aim to get rid of the memory but rather to process it so that it can be stored alongside other ‘normal’ memories in the brain and be less distressing and intrusive.
You can read more about EMDR here.
We also offer trauma focused CBT as another treatment option.
Longer Term Therapies
Some clients come to therapy with less of a specific problem and goal in mind and may rather wish to explore areas of their lives which may be causing distress or dissatisfaction. Some clients may have found that structured time-limited therapies have not been helpful or sufficient to fully address the issues they are facing. Other clients may need longer to develop a trusting working relationship in therapy. In this case, we may recommend a longer term approach in which we can more fully explore and understand what may be going on in order to gain further insight into helpful ways forward.
While I do not practice pure psychodynamic psychotherapy, it guides and informs my work particularly for clients who engage in longer term therapy.
“The ultimate goal of therapy...it's too hard a question. The words come to me like tranquility, like fulfilment, like realising your potential.”
— Irvin d. yalom