Which way should I go

After getting a thorough understanding of your situation there are a number of options in terms of the way we work together. We are trained to use several psychological models which are all evidence based (so been tested and shown to work) We are all different, so its important to have different ways to work through a problem. Some people like to work in a structured, goal based way, others prefer to explore unhelpful patterns in their life and talk these through. There are several often several options and together we can decide which individualised treatment plan would work best for you.

Below are the main therapies we use, although our therapists draw from additional models where appropriate.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

is a talking therapy that looks to help you manage problems by enabling you to recognise, and ultimately change, the way you think and behave. Combining a cognitive approach with a behavioural approach, CBT encourages you to notice how your thoughts and actions influence one another.

The therapy aims to break overwhelming problems down into smaller parts to make them easier to cope with. During the treatment you and your therapist will focus on the here and now, while noting how past events shaped your thinking/behaviours.

Cognitive behavioural therapy has become one of the most popular forms of talk therapy and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Acceptance and commitment therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy (or ACT) is a form of behavioural therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies to help increase psychological flexibility. It was developed in the late 1980s by Steven Hayes and associates in the U.S., and is gaining recognition as an effective treatment for a range of mental health issues and psychological disorders.
A predominantly time-limited approach, ACT therapy takes the view that by accepting negative thoughts and feelings, individuals can choose a valued direction in which to take action and make positive changes. In this way, acceptance and commitment therapy does not aim to directly change or stop unwanted problems and experiences. Instead it teaches individuals to develop a mindful relationship with them – promoting a psychological flexibility that encourages healthy contact with thoughts, reconnection with the here and now, realisation of personal values, and commitment to behaviour change.

Cognitive Analytic therapy

Cognitive analytic therapy (or CAT) is a type of therapy that marries together ideas from analytic psychology with those from cognitive therapy. Looking at past events and experiences, the therapy aims to understand why a person feels/thinks/behaves the way they do, before helping them problem solve and develop new ways of coping.
Each programme of therapy is tailored to the individual’s needs, taking into account their current situation and problems they’re dealing with. Considered a time-limited therapy, cognitive analytic therapy can last between four and 24 weeks depending on the nature of the problem being explored, but an average of 16 weeks is considered the norm.

Solution-focused brief therapy

Solution-focused brief therapy – also known as solution-focused therapy – is an approach to psychotherapy based on solution-building rather than problem-solving. Although it acknowledges present problems and past causes, it predominantly explores an individual’s current resources and future hopes – helping them to look forward and use their own strengths to achieve their goals.
As its name suggests, solution-focused brief therapy is considered a time-limited approach, however the technique is often incorporated into other long-term therapy types and effects can be long-lasting. It was developed in America in the 1980s by husband and wife team Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg, along with their team at the Brief Family Center. Together they founded the therapy on seven basic philosophies and assumptions.

These are:

  • Change is both constant and certain.
  • Emphasis on what is changeable and possible.
  • Clients must want to change.
  • Clients are the experts and outline their own goals.
  • Clients have resources and their own strengths to solve and overcome their problems.
  • Therapy is short-term.
  • Focus on the future – history is not essential.

These concepts are key building blocks in the formation of the solution-focused approach.

Family/Systemic therapy

Family therapy, also referred to as systemic therapy, is an approach that works with families and those who are in close relationships to foster change. These changes are viewed in terms of the systems of interaction between each person in the family or relationship.

It is understandable that families and those in relationships sometimes get into difficulties due to their differences, or feel the strain when loved ones have troubles. The aim of therapy is to work on these problems by encouraging family members and loved ones to help and empathise with each other. They are given the opportunity to understand and appreciate each other’s needs, build on family strengths and ultimately make useful changes in their lives and relationships.

Person-centred therapy

Person-centred therapy – also known as person-centred counselling or client-centred counselling – is a humanistic approach that deals with the ways in which individuals perceive themselves consciously rather than how a therapist can interpret their unconscious thoughts or ideas.

Created in the 1950s by American psychologist, Carl Rogers, the person-centred approach ultimately sees human beings as having an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential. However, this ability can become blocked or distorted by our life experiences – particularly those that affect our sense of value.

The psychotherapist in this approach works to understand an individual’s experience from their point of view. The counsellor must positively value the client as a person in all aspects of their humanity, while aiming to be open and genuine. This is vital to helping an individual feel accepted and better understand their own feelings – essentially helping them to reconnect with their inner values and sense of self-worth. This reconnection with their inner resources enables them to find their own way to move forward.

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