Clinical psychologists are trained 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:
1. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies, (CBT)
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 Compassionate Mind 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.
2. 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. For such clients, I 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.
In this case, we will discuss what therapy will look like and the approaches I may draw upon. While I do not practice pure psychodynamic psychotherapy, it guides and informs my work particularly for clients who engage in longer term therapy. I also draw upon ideas and techniques in Schema based therapy, which you can read about here.
The British Psychoanalytic Council describe psychodynamic therapy as:
"A therapeutic process which helps patients understand and resolve their problems by increasing awareness of their inner world and its influence over relationships both past and present....Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapy aim to help people...to understand and change complex, deep-seated and often unconsciously based emotional and relationship problems thereby reducing symptoms and alleviating distress....Many people who experience a loss of meaning in their lives or who are seeking a greater sense of fulfilment may be helped by psychoanalytic or psychodynamic psychotherapy.
The relationship with the therapist is a crucial element in the therapy. The therapist offers a confidential and private setting which facilitates a process where unconscious patterns of the patient's inner world become reflected in the patient's relationship with the therapist (transference). This process helps patients gradually to identify these patterns and, in becoming conscious of them, to develop the capacity to understand and change them."
You can read the full description here.