Psychotherapy services

Assessment is based on a detailed interview regarding mood, current stresses, and background issues. It will determine whether therapy is recommended, and will identify what problems therapy will focus on.

Psychological problems may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Obsessional Compulsive Disorder
  • Stress related problems
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Adjustment to life transitions and grief
  • Psychosomatic (functional) disorders
  • Sexual and relationship problems
  • Sleep management
  • Alcohol dependency
  • Young adult problems affecting relationships and academic work

Psychological Therapy

What I can offer:

I offer a flexible and individually tailored approach to the client's problems and the context in which these arise.  

Every client is provided with an initial comprehensive assessment, looking at current problems and any relevant background experiences. If therapy is considered appropriate, the goals of therapy will then be discussed.

The therapeutic approach will depend on the client's specific needs and goals.  I use an integrationist approach, which provides the individual with a range of therapeutic tools to enable them to manage difficulties when they occur.

Some clients choose simply to have a comprehensive psychological assessment of cognitive, emotional, or behavioural problems.  Others may opt for either time limited problem-focussed therapy, or longer, open-ended therapy.

Psychotherapeutic approaches

My approach integrates a combination of evidence-based therapeutic techniques. These therapies are evidence based, and effective in treating anxiety, depression, phobias, and habitual behaviours.

My primary approach is:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):

CBT aims to help you understand the thoughts and feelings that lead to problem behaviours.  It is a practical approach that involves identifying unhelpful, negative thoughts, and finding more helpful, realistic ways of thinking. CBT involves challenging your automatic thoughts and perceptions and identifying the underlying beliefs that may shape thinking patterns. It involves active collaboration between client and therapist, and practical, homework exercises are a key component of therapy.

Other recent therapies which may be used in combination with CBT, or on their own, include:

Mindfulness-Based CBT (MBCBT):

This involves learning skills to reduce rumination, i.e. repetitive negative thoughts.disengage from habitual ‘automatic’ unhelpful cognitive patterns. The core skill is intentionally ‘shifting mental gears’. MBCT differs from conventional CBT as it does not place emphasis on changing belief in the content of thought. MBCBT focuses on training the mind to be more aware of the present, thus enabling thoughts and feelings to become less intrusive.

Compassion Focussed Therapy (Compassionate Mind Training):

This tackles the high levels of shame and self-criticism often associated with anxiety and depression, by enabling you to become more aware of your automatic reactions to threat, and becoming more self-compassionate and 'self-soothing'. It is based on developmental psychology and neuroscience, helping us understand and modify reactions to perceived threats.

Cognitive Remediation Strategies

This approach is valuable for individuals who are  experiencing memory and attention problems,  and  includes strategies aimed at improving executive functioning (organisation and planning), and strengthening focus by reducing environmental and cognitive distractions.

Attentional Training

Attentional training is a valuable way of learning how to focus the mind and keep our attention from wandering.  It strengthens the ability to process information, and thus to remember it later.  There are a number of techniques for attention training, including Mindfulness.

 

Memory Strategies

Memory strategies involve organising, processing, storing and retrieving information more effectively.  They may include internal (mental) strategies, as well as electronic or environmental strategies.