In my work I use a variety of therapeutic approaches including:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Solution focused brief therapy
- Systemic and family therapy
CBT and EMDR are both structured therapeutic approaches which involve the setting of goals and the monitoring of therapeutic change. I find that these approaches are complimentary to each other. Both CBT and EMDR have a good evidence base and are recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) as effective treatments for a wide range of difficulties.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) there is an emphasis on collaboration and transparency: the first sessions will be spent learning to understand emotions, low mood and anxiety and how it affects us physically and psychologically. Subsequent sessions will focus on using cognitive (thinking and understanding) and behavioural strategies to help diminish the power of the specific anxiety or negative thoughts. There will often be activities to practice between sessions.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is particularly useful for anxiety, pain or post traumatic stress disorder. It works on a more subconscious level. Although the first session will involve discussion and gathering of information, in subsequent sessions the focus is on helping the brain to process and accommodate thoughts, emotions and physiological experiences by following a continuous movement with the eyes. Thus in this therapy the issues do not need to be fully understood or discussed on a cognitive level. It occurs in much the same way that REM sleep is thought to help the brain to process information.
Systemic or Family Therapy
Systemic or Family Therapy allows young people and their parents, or couples, to talk together about difficulties It provides a safe and supportive space for complex issues to be discussed, while ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard. There is an emphasis on strengthening communication and using the resources of the family to bring about positive change. Systemic therapy also provides a useful lens through which to view and address difficulties occurring in complex systems such as schools.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy
Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach built on solution building rather than problem solving. We would collaboratively explore your current strengths and resources, and future hopes. SFBT assumes that all clients have some knowledge of what would make their life better, even though they may need some help describing the details of their better life and that everyone who seeks help already possesses at least the minimal skills necessary to create solutions.
Learning Mindfulness helps us to pay more attention to the present moment: to our own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around us. Taught individually or in groups, to children or adults it can improve your mental wellbeing, and help with depression, anxiety, stress and pain. Mindfulness can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. I have found it to be particularly beneficial for adolescent boys who experience Autism or Aspergers Syndrome. Mindfulness has also been recommended by NICE for depression.