Talking therapies, like counselling, can help with many difficult life problems - from coping with traumatic experiences and events, to dealing with depression and anxiety or managing harmful emotions and behaviours. In your counselling sessions, I can help you to explore/reflect on the past; live in the present and be motivated for your future. You don’t know why you feel the way you do? That’s OK…you are reading this now which has already started your process!
Sometimes, we do not know we are having difficulties until it is displayed in our unhelpful and negative behaviour; this is particularly true for children and young people who often show they are struggling by behaving out of character and adopting some concerning new characteristics. Counselling can not only help by teaching coping strategies and skills, but it can actually get behind the behaviour to find out why the new unhelpful characteristics are there in the first place. Please see sections on Children and Young People.
An A-Z of issues and concerns which may be helped by talking to a therapist – click on link below.
Behavioural therapies are based on the belief that your unwanted or unhealthy behaviours are a learned response to your past experiences. They focus on current problems and aim to help you learn new, more positive behaviours without having to analyse the past.
Behavioural therapy often works well for compulsive and obsessive behaviours, fears, phobias and addictions.
Brief therapy is a short-term therapy which focuses on finding solutions and making positive changes rather than focusing on the past causes of problems. Your therapist will encourage you to look at what you do well, set goals and work out how to achieve them. This type of therapy can be effective in just three or four sessions.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT aims to help you change the way you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). Rather than looking at past causes, it focuses on current problems and practical solutions to help you feel better now.
The way we think about situations affects the way we feel and behave. If we view a situation negatively, we may experience negative emotions and feelings which lead us to behave in an unhelpful way. Your therapist will help you identify and challenge any negative thinking so you can deal with situations better and behave in a more positive way
CBT can be helpful for depression, anxiety, stress, phobias, obsessions, eating disorders and managing long term conditions.
Cognitive therapy is based on the theory that your previous experiences can damage your perception of yourself, which can affect your attitudes, emotions and your ability to deal with certain situations. It can help you to identify, question and change poor mental images of yourself, so guiding you away from negative responses and behaviour. It can help pessimistic or depressed people to view things from a more optimistic perspective.
Creative therapy includes a wide range of techniques which can help you find a way of expressing yourself beyond words or traditional talking therapies. It can include visual arts therapy, writing, sand play, dance movement therapy, drama therapy and music therapy. Therapists may use different approaches at different times to suit the needs of the client.
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR was developed to resolve symptoms resulting from disturbing and traumatic life experiences. It is particularly used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
EMDR is thought to imitate the psychological state that we enter when in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Studies show that when in REM sleep we are able to make new associations between things very rapidly. EMDR is designed to tap into this high-speed processing mode that we all have, helping the brain to process the unresolved memories and make them less distressing.
This type of therapy looks at a family system, and the relationships between people, rather than the individuals. It allows family members to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, helping them understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs and build on their strengths. It can help with many issues that affect the family unit, helping people make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.
Person or client-centred therapy is based on the view that everyone has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change, given the right conditions. Rather than being seen as the expert and directing the therapy, the counsellor offers unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence to help you come to terms with any negative feelings and to change and develop in your own way.
Primarily used with children, this uses play as a communication tool to help them express their feelings and deal with emotional problems. It can be used to diagnose the reasons for difficult behaviour, to allow children to work through their anxieties or as a relearning and desensitisation therapy.
Relationship therapy encourages the parties in a relationship to recognise repeating patterns of distress and to understand and manage troublesome differences that they are experiencing. The relationship involved may be between members of a family, a couple, or even work colleagues.
Solution-focused brief therapy
This therapy promotes positive change rather than dwelling on past problems. Practitioners will encourage you to focus positively on what you do well, set goals and work out how to achieve them. Just three or four sessions may be beneficial.
The above definitions are taken from the BACP website.