Life can be hard. Problems can feel overwhelming and many people need extra support. Unfortunately the NHS (despite their best efforts) is extremely stretched. There has been a move to introduce Super Groups (classroom type psychoeducation) limiting the availability of 1:1 therapy, in an understandable bid to save costs.
We work with everyday concerns through to significant issues
Our specialist therapy team hopes to fill this gap by providing rapid access to high quality individual therapy for as many sessions as you need.
Many of our therapists have been employed (or are still employed) in local NHS services. They offer the same high-quality 1:1 therapy experience yet without the wait and limited session number.
Clinical notes are kept confidential so will not be on your NHS records; keeping your problems private. There will not be any contact with your GP unless we are seriously concerned about your safety or that of a vulnerable adult or child in the community.
Clients come to see us for many different reasons. Some are struggling with a work or family conflict and need advice. Some have experienced a marriage breakdown. Some clients are struggling with anxiety, sadness or depression; others are struggling to overcome a trauma.
Our training means we can see nearly all difficulties, across the age ranges. The type of therapy we use is based on what will be most helpful for you (drawn from research).
Many clients who attend have never had therapy before. If this is you, rest assured that our team has an abundance of skills to help you feel comfortable with the therapy process, to help you get the most out of your sessions.
Click on the tabs below to see the different approaches we use with clients. These tabs give a taster of our different approaches and is not a fully exhaustive list. For example, we also use Solution Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and Psychodynamic approaches. Please book a free telephone consult to find out more.
CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It combines two different approaches for a practical and solution-focused therapy. The therapy is very active by nature, so you may be expected to take a proactive role within your treatment. This may include completing tasks at home.
The idea behind CBT is that our thoughts and behaviours will influence each other. The premise that, by changing the way we think or behave in a situation, we can change the way we feel about life. The therapy examines learnt behaviours, habits and negative thought patterns with the view of adapting and turning them into a being more helpful.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has become one of the most popular forms of talking therapy, and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for common mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.
Unlike some other therapies, CBT is rooted in the present and looks to the future. While past events and experiences are considered during the sessions, the focus is more on current concerns. During a CBT session, your therapist will help you understand any negative thought patterns you have. You will learn how they affect you and most importantly, what can be done to change them.
Mental health charity, Mind, have made a video explaining CBT in more detail.
This type of therapy is particularly helpful for those with specific issues. This is because it is very practical (rather than insight-based) and looks at solving the problem. Some of the people that may benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy include:
- Those who suffer from depression and/or anxiety.
- People who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD).
- People who are experiencing sleeping problems, such as insomnia.
- People who have a fear or phobia.
- Those who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Those who want to change their behaviour.
In some cases, CBT is used for those with long-standing health problems, such as chronic pain or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While the therapy cannot cure such physical ailments, it can help people cope emotionally with the symptoms and lower stress levels.
Compassion Focused Therapy is a form of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that draws upon evolutionary psychology and the neuroscience of emotion to help clients work with emotional difficulties.
CFT is an integrative psychotherapy approach which aims to develop ways to understand the motivation of compassion and the soothing system it activates, and how to apply it to ourselves in our own lives, in overcoming emotional distress such as anxiety, shame, guilt, stress and low mood.
CFT seeks to change our behaviours, our thoughts and relationships by applying principals of motivation to be helpful not harmful, and harness deep physiological processes within each of us to calm the fearful side of our brain.
When we experience fear, disappointment, dread, loss or self-criticism, we naturally tend to look for comfort and support from those we care about, and who care about us. We turn to them for their acceptance, their understanding and their love. We are neurologically calmed by the warmth, compassion and the acceptance of others.
CFT looks at how early life experiences can shape the organisation of our emotions and underpin emotional struggles. For example this soothing system is not always well developed, especially if early childhood experiences did not provide enough soothing.
In therapy we look at how the different neurological systems are working by completing a personalised ‘formulation’ . This formulation helps us understand how to activate a different soothing system and change how the brain reacts to stress, in the here and now.
Thus CFT targets the activation of the safeness system so that it can be more readily accessed and used to help regulate threat-based emotions of anger, fear, disgust, and shame.
By learning skills in CFT, we can develop healthier ways of responding to life’s struggles and problems by learning to strengthen our own innate soothing system.
Please find further information about Compassion Focused Therapy, videos and articles by clicking on the link http://www.compassionatemind.co.uk.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It is a psychotherapy that has been around since 1987 and has received an abundance of supportive research.
It has been shown to be extremely effective in treating trauma (PTSD) and trauma related conditions such as specific fears, anxieties and depression; that are traced back to early painful memories.
It is recommended by the UK’s National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and is offered across the country in NHS mental health services.
Only clinicians who have attended accredited courses (by EMDR UK and Ireland Association) are allowed to practice.
How does it work?
Eye movements, similar to those during REM sleep, will be recreated by asking you to watch the therapist’s finger moving backwards and forwards across your visual field, while you recall the painful memory. This utilises the bodies natural ability to process painful memories, mimicking the natural healing process of REM sleep. The same effect can also be achieved with hand tappers.
For more information please visit the UK EMDR website https://emdrassociation.org.uk/
TA is designed to promote personal growth and change. It is considered a fundamental therapy for well-being and for helping individuals to reach their full potential in all aspects of life.
TA therapy is based on the theory that each person has three ego-states: parent, adult and child. These are used along with other key transactional analysis concepts, tools and models to analyse how individuals communicate and to identify what interaction is needed for a better outcome.
Throughout therapy, the TA therapist will work directly on problem-solving behaviours, whilst helping clients to develop day-to-day tools for finding constructive, creative solutions. The ultimate goal is to ensure clients regain absolute autonomy over their lives. This autonomy is defined as the recovery of three vital human capacities – spontaneity, awareness and intimacy.
The atmosphere that supports transactional analysis is non-judgemental, secure and respectful, ensuring that a positive relationship is forged between the therapist and client(s) in order to provide a model for subsequent relationships and communication that are developed outside of therapy.
In this setting, the therapist works collaboratively with the individual. Together, they will identify what has gone wrong in the client’s communication and provide opportunities for them to change repetitive patterns that limit their potential.
For more detailed information on the different ego states and how they interaction please see https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/transactional-analysis.html
Narrative Therapy is non-labelling, empowering, and collaborative approach. It recognises that people have skills and expertise that can help guide change in their lives. Narrative therapy separates people from their problems. This allows therapists to help people externalise sensitive issues. Objectifying an issue may lower a person’s resistance and defences. It allows people to address issues in a more productive way.
Narrative Therapy Techniques
Practitioners of narrative therapy believe telling one’s story is a form of action toward change. The process of a narrative therapist might include:
- Helping people objectify their problems
- Framing the problems within a larger socio-cultural context
- Teaching the person how to make room for other stories
The therapist and person in therapy identify and build upon “alternative” or “preferred” story lines. These story lines exist beyond the problem story. They provide contrast to the problem, reflect a person’s true nature, and allow someone to rewrite their story. People can then move from what is known (the problem story) to what is unknown.
This technique creates strength and resilience in the person. It enables them to see beyond the problem, feel more in control of and move past the problem to a place of healing. It is often used with children, in family therapy and in couple therapy. Seeing a problem objectively helps couples and families reconnect with the heart of their relationship. They may be able to address how the problem has challenged the core strength of their bond, and make decisions to relate differently to the problem and thus find ways past it.
In a nutshell, ACT helps people to change their relationship to difficult thoughts and emotions, in the service of constructing a life around what really matters to them.
ACT involves learning a number of mindfulness skills in order to deal with thoughts and emotions more effectively. Yet this is mindfulness for the messiness of real life. It is mindfulness with a purpose. So there is a strong emphasis on connecting with one’s inner values and seeing these values realised in everyday life through action.
Put simply, ACT is an extremely powerful approach in helping people to live the life that they truly want, rather than the life that their thoughts and emotions would dictate.
This approach is especially important when particular thoughts and emotions can make the experience of physically illness or chronic conditions more difficult to manage as it activates the stress response. ACT combined with CBT is often used to calm the nervous system, create inner strength and encourage a client to create the best life possible.
Please see https://workingwithact.com/what-is-act/ for more information