Psychological Therapies

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Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and other Psychological Therapies.

–CBT involves looking and understanding the relationship between the way we think, feel and how we behave.  In CB therapy clients play an active role.   Once you and your therapist have developed an understanding of your difficulties and lined out a plan of intervention the therapist will ask you to try different things at home (for example behavioural experiments, keeping a diary). The thinking behind this is to test the validity of some negative thoughts and cognitive distortions you may have.  For some problems the basic treatment is in the “here and now” symptoms and your way of thinking and interpreting reality.   However, sometimes it is important to look at Core Beliefs (these are quite rigid and stable beliefs that we have about ourselves, others and the world) in order to facilitate therapy developing appropriately.  

-Schema Focused Therapy (SFT) was founded by Dr Jeffrey Young and it is an integrative approach for long-term difficulties.  SFT involves identifying an individual’s Early Maladaptive Schemas (Schemas are broad pervasive patterns through which we experience, interpret and respond to reality).  It also involves identifying an individual’s way of reacting to the Schemas and developing new, more adaptive Schemas of ourselves and the world. This will lead to learning and developing more adaptive coping styles in order to live a more fulfilling life.  Dr Young says that one of the advantages of SFT is that it “normalizes rather than pathologizes psychological disorders as we all have schemas and coping styles” and that it is when they are more extreme and rigid that we treat them (Young et al, 2003). 

-Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT): Developed by Professor Paul Gilbert in order to support people who’s main difficulties are linked to neglecting and abusive past experiences and the often related feelings of guilt and shame.

-Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidenced based psychotherapeutic intervention for psychological trauma. EMDR contains aspects of other therapeutic approaches such as CBT and Psychodynamic Therapy however, it is distinct.  Bilateral Stimulation (BL) is used in EMDR to aid activating certain parts of the brain in order to enhance information processing. Examples of BL are eye movements directed by the therapist, tones and hand-tapping.

What approach do I follow?

Usually I follow an integrative approach within a CBT framework. That is, I draw from all the approaches mentioned above within a CBT framework.  Sometimes, and following NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines, I only use CBT.  However, most people, even when specifically working from a CBT perspective, find alternative techniques such as mindfulness very helpful to focus in the present moment.   However, if there is a specific modality of treatment that you are sure you do not want to use, it is ok.  Asserting yourself is important and together we can decide what treatment modality can be most helpful for you. However, as I said before, sometimes I only use Schema Focused Therapy (especially for clients presenting with complex difficulties).

 

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