The Aim of Therapy The aim of working with you in therapy is not to solve your problems in relation to what you think feel and do, but to teach you skills that will enable you to manage your erratic thoughts, accept and cope with your intense feelings and sensations and provide you with strategies to learn to be able to resolve difficult problems. It is about you becoming more curious, open and accepting of what life throws at you.
The Therapeutic Relationship Therapy begins with establish a relationship between you and me. I will work with you to form a relationship that is trusting, friendly, warm and safe. A place where you can learn to say, feel and do what needs to be done without judgment, criticism or rejection. All the information about you, your circumstances and situation will be treated with confidence and privacy, unless it is a risk of harm to you or others.
Mindfulness is the core aspect of my work with you. If you are in crisis when you attend therapy we will use mindfulness to help you gain an inner sense of emotional and somatic stability and help you manage what may be wild and harmful thoughts. Even if you are not in crisis but have experienced long term depression or anxiety, mindfulness can help you shift the way you experience your mental health issues. Mindfulness provides you with the means of obtaining a more calm and rational state where therapeutic work can occur.
Practical social issues In alignment with Mindfulness I will work with you to explore and resolve practical issues that are affecting and exacerbating your current social situation. In the immediacy I will help you to identify and address problems that are exacerbating your current situation such as lack of sleep, decreased appetite, difficult relationships, excessive drug and alcohol use, work or study related problems or just a general sense of anxiety and/or depression.
Ongoing Therapy Once your psychological symptoms and practical issues have been satisfactorily stabilised, I will work with you to identify and explore both your strengths and vulnerabilities to learn new ways of experiencing your life. Unhelpful and destructive patterns will be identified and challenged and we will help you to build new healthy strategies to manage and cope with difficult life events and situations.
Mindfulness is both an approach and a strategy. It is a way of perceiving and experiencing life events as well as a tool that can be utilised at will when the need arises. Learning to be Mindful helps you to become aware of your thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Using mindfulness techniques helps you gain control of and manage difficult thoughts, feelings and behaviours. In essence mindfulness techniques help calm intense body sensations which are a reaction to internal or external triggers. Mindfulness training can help you reconnect with your body and emotions to enable you to feel more centered, grounded and connected.
Brief Psychodynamic Therapy. This approach is concerned with human development and interaction and focuses on the unconscious processes that manifest in your current behaviours. I use this approach to help you understand how the past has an influence on the present. Present day problems are explored by identifying patterns of behaviour created and carried across from the past.
Attachment Theory This perspective helps me to understand the dynamics you experience in relationship with others. Attachment theory can help you understand your strengths and vulnerabilities in your relationships with others. Your relationship style is established early on in your childhood but carries on through your adulthood. Once you begin to understand your attachment style you will be able to gain insight into behaviours that prevent you from being emotionally connected and work towards becoming more secure and trusting in relationships.
Systems theory helps me to understand your behaviour in terms of complex systems. Even though you may have problems as an individual, you are part of a system if you are in a relationship, have a family, work in an organisation and participate in a social environment. Sometimes being able to work with you and a family member, partner or other individual may help resolve your problems from a practical perspective.
Psychosocial development theory informs me about the stage of identity and psychosocial development you experienced problems with as a child or currently. For example, If you have retired and are feeling depressed this stage of identity and psychosocial development stage could help us understand what difficulties you are experiencing and what needs to be addressed.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Is a structured therapy in which you are fully involved in the planning and implementation of your treatment. It involves both cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy. It focuses on your pattern of thinking and behaviours. It can help overcome difficult symptoms by learning new skills and strategies. It is a working model in the sense that each session involves discussion, explanation, planning and practice of skills and techniques. Practice is encouraged between sessions.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Also involves a cognitive behavioural approach but emphasises the psychosocial aspects of therapy. The focus in this therapy is primarily on the levels of arousal some individuals experience and how they react when in interaction with others. These individuals experience a higher level of emotional stimulation which increases more rapidly than an average person and takes a significant amount of time to return to baseline. Therapy involves identifying and assuming new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving in line with a cognitive and behavioural approach within a supportive therapeutic
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Is similar in essence to Mindfulness approach in that it teaches you to accept what is out of control in your life, while committing to action that will improve the meaning of your life. Therapy focuses on teaching you skills to deal with painful thoughts and feelings and helping you to identify what is meaningful and important in your life. It enhances you to be motivated and inspired to make the necessary changes.