About Counselling Psychology
Chartered Counselling Psychologists are trained to work therapeutically with people experiencing a wide variety of problems, life issues or symptoms of psychological or psychiatric disorder. The approach I take in therapy (including the number and frequency of sessions) varies according to each individual client's needs and the context in which the therapy takes place. The client-therapist relationship is central to the therapeutic process. Through therapy a client can develop a better understanding of him or herself and how past experiences or ways of relating may have influenced attitudes or ways of thinking, feeling or behaving in the present. A client can also learn strategies to help deal with problematic issues. The development of insight about the self and relationsips with others plus learning new ways to approach and deal with problems can be helpful in fostering beneficial change.
Psychotherapy is a collaborative process between therapist and client and the relationship they form is central to the therapeutic process. A therapist might be viewed as a facilitator armed with a set of techniques that are helpful in treating some emotional and psychiatric disorders. A person may bring to therapy a set of emotional problems and through the process of therapy find new ways of thinking or feeling about those problems that bring relief from confusion or pain.
Engaging in psychotherapy takes an individual on a journey of self-discovery that typically lasts months or sometimes years. I offer individual psychotherapy. Sessions are once weekly and the duration of each session is 50 minutes.
Therapies I integrate into my work with clients:
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
The ways that we think, feel and behave are deeply connected to each other. CBT targets ways of thinking that may negatively influence mood and behaviour. I work collaboratively with my clients in helping them develop their personal therapeutic goals and implement strategies that will promote beneficial cognitive and behavioural change. Jointly agreed and specially targeted "homework assignments" give clients a chance to test out what they have learned in therapy sessions in the "real world". Informative hand-out materials further extend the work we do in-session.
A schema is a pattern of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and memories regarding the self and others. While we all have schemas and develop our own ways of coping with life, sometimes our schemas and coping styles interfere with the development of healthy relationships and satisfying lives.
Schema-focused therapy integrates attachment, psychodynamic, experiential and cognitive-behavioural therapeutic models. It focuses on early attachment relationships with caregivers, early relationships with peers, the core needs of a child and the coping style/s a child might develop in order to deal with difficulties in his or her environment. I work with clients to help them identify and begin to change maladaptive patterns of thinking, behaving and relating to others.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
DBT skills training was first developed for individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder but the programme has wider therapeutic applications. The four main components of DBT - Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness - are helpful for people suffering from depression and anxiety, or find it difficult to be assertive with others. The emphasis in therapy is behavioural change. Workbooks, handouts and homework assignments foster learning and new skills development.