A NEUROBIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE…
We learn ‘how to be’ from our past. This influences how our neuro transmitters fire in our brain, leading to the way we think and behave in later life. Therapy is about understanding new ways of ‘being’. This will change how your brain functions in the future, leading to long term change.
Therapy can mean different things to different people. Here is an 8 step guide to finding Good Therapy:
YOUR THERAPIST SHOULD GIVE YOU
Skills and knowledge of how to change your thoughts, feelings and behaviours
An analytical insight into your unconscious reasons for why change has been difficult for you in the past
An honest perspective of your problems. Good therapy is also based on trust, but this requires hearing reflections that can sometimes surprise or unsettle you. A good therapist is a brave therapist.
Expertise (good therapists are well qualified, have regular clinical supervision and ongoing therapy themselves as part of good practice)
A type of therapy that will connect together your past and present, helping you to understand what you couldn’t before.
An approximate guide of how long your aims will take to achieve.
Existential understanding- how do your problems impact and influence what you want out of life. Looking at the bigger picture….
Compassion. A highly skilled therapist is limited without a deep desire to help you
YOUR FIRST SESSION
I will normally speak with you over the phone prior to us meeting, so you have an opportunity to ask any questions you need to.
There is also an assessment form to complete prior to seeing me.
This form will help me to formulate the underlying issues quickly, so we can make the most out of the first session.
Psychodynamic therapy is one of the best known treatments in the contemporary therapies. It is based on psychoanalytical theory and traces the deeply embedded unconscious aspects of your thoughts and emotions. These may relate to your childhood experiences or may be triggered by current life stressors.
Psychodynamic therapy works on the content of what you bring to discuss and also on what takes places between the therapist and client in the therapeutic relationship. Much can be seen by how you interact with your therapist, sometimes without having to discuss your early life, if this is difficult to do, or even remember.
You will be invited to talk about the important people in your life. The way you do this will allow insight into your unconscious patterns in life which have resulted in your current difficulties.
CBT is a collaborative treatment between therapist and client, which invites you to:
Identify your maladaptive thoughts
Understand the feelings these elicit within you
Link your thoughts and feelings together
Understand in greater depth the behaviours these thoughts and feelings produce
Good CBT is based on a deep understanding by the therapist of your issues before changes can be made. It was originally developed by a psychoanalyst called Aron Beck, and has a systematic goal oriented approach, which actively encourages you to change your ways of thinking and behaving. If you feel that you have been stuck in the same way of reacting to problems in your life, it can help you to initiate change fast. However, it is important to remember that what underlies your difficulties may also need to be attended to at some stage in the future, if you have not done so already, through a deeper type of psychotherapy.
Although research evidence highlights that CBT has very good short- term efficacy, most experienced clinicians mix it with other methods to ensure long- term permanent change.
INTEGRATIVE THERAPY- A Pluralistic Approach
Integrative therapy is made up of a number of distinct theoretical approaches which are blended to suit your individual needs.
I use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychoanalytical theory, and a number of other theories in a way that will help you to look at something from different perspectives.
Integrative therapy is a modern anthropological approach to human nature, which acknowledges current research in the field of psychology and philosophy.