I offer a variety of therapies, tailored to the individual needs of my clients. I am always happy to discuss options and my recommendations with you, and a brief outline of the therapies I provide is below:
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) – Certified July 2014
EMDR is a relatively new therapy developed by Francine Shapiro in 1987 and is recognised as an effective form of treatment for trauma in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK and similar institutions worldwide. EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach containing elements of several effective psychotherapies including psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centred therapies. EMDR is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach to address the experiential contributors to a wide range of problems. It attends to past experiences that have set the groundwork for current difficulties, current situations that trigger problematic emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health. One of elements of treatment is “dual stimulation” using either bilateral (right and left) eye movements, tones or taps. During the reprocessing phases the client attends momentarily to past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences while simultaneously focusing on a set of the chosen bilateral stimulus such as eye movements. During that time, clients generally experience the emergence of insight, changes in memories, or new associations. The clinician assists the client to focus on appropriate material before initiation of each subsequent set of bilateral stimulus. After EMDR processing, clients generally report that the emotional distress related to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly decreased, and that they have gained important cognitive insights.
Schema Therapy (ST) – Certified May 2015
Schema therapy was developed by Professor Jeffrey Young and identifies and treats early maladaptive schemas which comprise of memories, emotions, cognitions and bodily sensations. Schemas develop during childhood or adolescence when one’s core emotional needs are not met as a child. Schemas tend to originate from negative and painful experiences but emotional temperament and cultural influences also play a part in their development. Schemas begin as ways to make sense of one’s experience and can initially be adaptive and relatively accurate when one is a child. However as the child grows up these schemas become problematic and play a major role in how individuals think, feel, act and relate to others. Schemas are triggered when individuals encounter environments similar to the childhood environment that produced them. When this happens, one usually experiences intense negative emotion. Schema therapy also addresses problematic coping styles that have been adopted in an effort to manage one’s experience of the schema. However these coping styles typically result in perpetuating the schema rather than helping.
There are two phases of schema therapy:
- The Assessment and Education Phase – identifying schemas, understanding their origin and relating them to current problems.
- The Change Phase working towards healing the schemas and replace maladaptive coping styles with healthier ones.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT is recognised as an effective form of therapy for a wide-range of conditions in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK and similar institutions worldwide. It is a time-limited, present-focused therapy. The cognitive model posits that the way we perceive situations, thoughts or experiences influences how we feel emotionally and in turn how we react. When people are in distress, they often do not think clearly and their thoughts are distorted in some way. Cognitive behavior therapy helps people identify their distressing thoughts and evaluate how realistic the thoughts are. Then they learn to change their distorted thinking. When they think more realistically, they feel better. The emphasis is also consistently on solving problems and initiating behavioural change.
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) was developed by Paul Gilbert (1989) and works on development of self-soothing, self-supportiveness and nurturance. It is a therapy focus rather than new therapy model and utilises both Western and Eastern approaches to positive change. Compassionate mind training (CMT) refers to the specific techniques that can be used to help experience compassion, and develop the various aspects of compassion for self and others.
Process and stages of CFT and CMT:
1. The therapist will begin by sharing the ‘story.’ They will then explain the model of compassion-focused therapy and will check how you feel about working in this way.
2. The therapist will then work with you on a shared formulation which includes: identifying fears, painful experiences, and threat sensitivities; making sense of safety behaviours/strategies and core beliefs; identifying your critic or inner bully as a safety strategy (i.e. functions); explaining the three circles model and how thoughts, memories and images affect the brain.
3. You will work with the therapist to recognise that we are evolved beings with built in self protection and resource systems that are automatic. You will explore emotions such as anger and shame. You will learn to distinguish between taking responsibility and condemning/blaming yourself.
4. Development of compassion for self. This will be taught through mindfulness with refocusing of attention, behaviour, thoughts and feelings; use of letter writing and imagery (of self and others); orientating to compassionate self-identity; and visualising, practicing, and rehearsing compassionate focus on self, goals and future.
Mindfulness involves moving toward a state in which one is fully observant of external and internal stimuli in the present moment. It has a spiritual rather than scientific foundation and practice involves focusing your attention on one thing in the moment. It allows one to be open to accepting a situation, thought, emotion or experience rather than judging or trying to change it. It is often used as an integral element of other therapies rather than a stand alone therapy.