THERAPEUTIC APPROACHES

Each of the therapeutic approaches I use is supported by a robust research evidence base. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in particular is firmly embedded within the recommendations from NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) about the most effective interventions for psychological disorders.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT explores how a person’s thinking patterns influence their emotional reactions to events, and how these patterns inform choices about how to respond (behaviours). It aims to identify unhelpful thought-feeling-behaviour cycles, and to help you develop alternative ways of thinking about and/or responding to trigger situations. Treatment is based on a personalised formulation, and CBT is a collaborative, structured and time-limited type of talking therapy, which suits many people.

There is a great deal of research evidence to support the use of CBT to treat many common mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, and sleep difficulties, for example. The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists (BABCP) is the body responsible for accrediting CBT practitioners, and the website (www.babcp.com) includes lots of useful information for members of the public, including an online register of accredited CBT therapists (www.cbtregisteruk.com).

Mentalisation-Based Treatment (MBT)

The origins of MBT are in attachment theory, which pertains to quality of the early relationship between an infant and his/her caregiver. Mentalisation refers to the ability to understand and reflect on your states of mind and those of others, states believed to be learned in the context of a caregiver’s sensitive and attuned responding to an infant’s distress. Mentalisation is a very important skill, required for effective emotion regulation, impulse control, and interpersonal communication/relationships.

MBT is conducted within a warm and empathic therapeutic relationship in which the therapist adopts an open, curious and questioning stance to encourage you to reflect on current mental states and social interactions. As an intervention, it is very much focused on the here-and-now. In MBT, you learn to identify and talk about different thoughts and feelings, to understand where your thoughts and feelings come from, and to think about how you make sense of other people’s behaviours and the impact that this has on relationships. Mentalising is a key component of all psychological interventions, and many treatments will include an element of MBT.

Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT)

CFT is a system of psychotherapy that integrates techniques from CBT with concepts from evolutionary psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, Buddhism and neuroscience. CFT can help with problems related to shame and self-criticism in particular, which often have their origins in experiences of childhood abuse, neglect or bullying. A central premise of the model is that the human brain has evolved (at least) three distinct emotion regulation systems: a threat/protection system, a drive/resource-seeking system, and a soothing/attachment system. CFT focuses on the links between cognitive behavioural patterns and these systems of emotional regulation, which may have developed in an unbalanced way as a result of early experiences.

Watch, Wait and Wonder (WWW)

WWW is a child-led psychotherapeutic approach that provides an unstructured framework within which to use spontaneous activity and play to reflect on the child’s thoughts, feelings and desires, to enhance parental sensitivity and responsiveness to the child, and to build the child’s capacity to regulate emotions. WWW is especially helpful when there are relationship struggles between a parent-infant pair, and unlike many other interventions, it places the child at its centre.

http://watchwaitandwonder.com

 

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