I primarily use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) to provide the best therapy services for you and your problems.
I am also working towards full accreditation as an EMDR practitioner, under specialist supervision.
I draw on therapies and counselling approaches from systemic and psychodynamic theories, and work in an integrative way. I use the NICE guidance and wider evidence base to inform my work, meaning all of my therapies are proven through research.
I will work collaboratively with you to develop a shared understanding of your difficulties, and then we will decide together on a bespoke intervention plan based on your individual goals and needs.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be used to treat a range of difficulties. It starts with the idea that it is not what happens that is important, but how we think about it.
During CBT sessions you will learn how to identify your thoughts and to challenge negative thoughts, rather than seeing them as ’truths’. The CBT model suggests that thoughts, feelings, sensations in our bodies and our behaviours are all linked. So making changes in one area, such as thoughts, can have a positive impact on the other areas.
Most people come into therapy wanting their feelings to be different; to be less sad or anxious for example. It’s difficult to directly target feelings and just make ourselves feel happier or less anxious.
However, through CBT we can learn to make changes to our behaviour, address our body’s response to situations and challenge our thoughts in order to have a positive impact on our feelings. CBT is quite a practical therapy, and will involve learning skills during our sessions, to then apply in your everyday life.
At the end of therapy you should have a toolkit of skills to take forward to tackling other difficult times as they may arise.
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing was originally developed for treating trauma. It involves identifying particular memories or experiences and holding these in mind whilst engaging in bilateral stimulation.
This means stimulating one side of the brain and then the other, in turn. Traditionally this was done through eye movements, but there are other options including taps (to alternating side of the body) or beeps (in alternating ears).
EMDR can be used to help someone manage ’stuck’ aspects of the past or present. This might be a memory of something, for example a car accident, where someone has some level of trauma in their present life, such as experiencing flashbacks or avoiding travelling in cars. Alternatively, for example if someone with very low self-esteem can first recall feeling this way when they were bullied at primary school then that might be a target for work.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a ‘3rd wave’ CBT model. It is a slightly evolved version of CBT.
It follows similar principles of thoughts, feelings, behaviour and body sensations being linked. However, instead of the focus being on challenging negative thoughts, ACT places on emphasis on not getting too caught up with these and instead letting them go.
ACT helps you to identify your values and use these to guide our actions, rather than our actions being based on negative thoughts or emotional states.