Our Approach

There are different ways that psychological therapies and counselling maybe able to help you through your problems. The fundamental basis of all types of therapy is providing a safe comfortable space to be able to talk about what is going on for you. As therapists, our role is to listen and help you to unravel and understand what might be stopping you from moving on or enjoying your life to the full. See below to find out more about the different styles of therapy.

Finding the ‘right’ therapist is important to your treatment, so you may like to book an initial appointment to see how you feel and then decide if you wish to proceed, or try someone else. It is far better for you to be honest about whether you think we can help you and we will be honest about whether we are the best person to assist you. In some cases it may be that we feel another professional may be best suited to your needs.

 

Styles of Therapy

Brief Psychodynamic Therapy

This focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behaviour. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behaviour. In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships and manifest themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances or themselves in some way.

The client is encouraged to talk about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people and the therapist focuses on the client/therapist relationship (the dynamics) and in particular on the transference. Transference is when the client projects onto the therapist feelings experienced in previous significant relationships. The therapist will focus on interpretations of transference, defense mechanisms, and current symptoms alongside your own insight to work through your present problems.

Practitioners of brief psychodynamic therapy believe that some changes can happen through a more rapid process or that an initial short intervention will start an ongoing process of change that does not need the constant involvement of the therapist. A central concept in brief therapy is that there should be one major focus for the therapy.

Person-centred Therapy

This is based on the belief that every person has an innate impulse toward growth and a desire to reach their full potential. The person-centred approach views the client as their own best authority on their own experience, capable of fulfilling their own potential for growth. It recognises, however, that achieving potential requires favourable conditions and that under adverse conditions, individuals may not grow and develop in ways that they otherwise could. In particular, when individuals are denied acceptance and positive regard from others — or when that positive regard is made conditional upon the individual behaving in particular ways — they may begin to lose touch with what their own experience means for them, and their innate tendency to grow in a direction consistent with that meaning may be stifled.

The therapy places much of the responsibility for the treatment process on the client, with the therapist taking a nondirective role. Effectively they urge their clients to become liberated from their negative self concepts which are expressions of previous hurts and past conditioning. In this sense therapists challenge what they hear as much as being good listeners.

Two primary goals of person-centered therapy are increased self-esteem and greater openness to experience. Some of the related changes that this form of therapy seeks to foster in clients include closer agreement between the client's idealised and actual selves; better self-understanding; lower levels of defensiveness, guilt, and insecurity; more positive and comfortable relationships with others; and an increased capacity to experience and express feelings at the moment they occur.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is based on the concept that the way we think about things affects how we feel emotionally. Clients are taught ways to change thoughts and expectations and relaxation techniques are used. Unlike most psychotherapies which only work with talk and reflections, CBT regards behavioural acts as primary. It assumes that maladaptive, or faulty, thinking patterns cause maladaptive behaviour and "negative" emotions. (Maladaptive behaviour is behaviour that is counter-productive or interferes with everyday living.) The treatment focuses on changing an individual's thoughts (cognitive patterns) in order to change his or her behaviour and emotional state.

Treatment involves clients engaging in personal behavioural experiments. For many behaviourally based problems (such as phobias) there simply is no substitute for this way of working. Direct behavioural experience is often the most effective medium for articulating change. Action, that is, sometimes speaks far louder than words. Cognitive therapy focuses on present thinking, behaviour, and communication rather than on past experiences and is oriented toward problem solving.

Integrative counselling

This is when several distinct models of counselling are used together in a converging way rather than in separate pieces.