Choosing a therapist and type of therapy most suitable for the challenges you or a family member are experiencing can seem a bewildering and daunting process. I have included a section on 'choosing a therapist' which I hope will be helpful in your search whether or not you decide to contact me. In this section I have detailed more about my own therapeutic approach and how it might be helpful.
I have training and experience over many years in a variety of counselling and psychotherapeutic approaches. However I have specialist training in three areas - Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive therapy (MBCT) that I integrate into my work in a variety of ways depending on the needs and wishes of those I am seeing.
Family Therapy or 'Systemic Psychotherapy', as it is sometimes called is a very widely used and established approach within the health care services as well as within organisations.
Family Therapists aim to help by focusing on the processes by which people relate to each other and how these help or hinder an individual, couple or family's well-being. In my work as a Family Therapist I aim to create an environment where individual's, couples and family members have an opportunity to express how they are each feeling in a safe, non judgemental setting. I am particularly interested in exploring the strengths and resources within relationships that often become lost when things get difficult. I also hope to help in developing a shared understanding of what might have contributed to the challenges faced and in finding a different way forward. Depending on the wishes and preferences of those I am seeing I may use visual and practical exercises to explore relationships as well as talking approaches.
Family Therapy now has a well established and growing body of research that has shown its effectiveness in a wide range of difficulties across the whole age range. These include: couple relationship issues; behaviour difficulties; eating disorders; separation, divorce and step parent issues; illness and disability; aging and life cycle transitions.
If you would like any further information about Family Therapy please see the AFT website.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an equally well-established therapeutic approach used very widely within the public and private health care sectors. It has an extensive and growing research base demonstrating its effectiveness in a broad range of issues including: depression; anxiety including phobias, OCD, health anxiety, work related stress; trauma.
CBT is a time limited approach that begins with helping to understand the links between one's thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how these can escalate and get stuck in a cycle. Once such patterns are shared and understood then the approach offers a range of strategies to help manage symptoms and to break free of unhelpful cycles of behaviour.
If you would like any further information about CBT please see the BABCP website.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an evidence based therapeutic approach that was initially developed to help prevent relapse for people struggling with severe depression. It has since been used successfully to treat a wider range of difficulties and is being increasingly incorporated within other therapeutic approaches.
Mindfulness is commonly viewed as a purposeful attention to the present moment with a non-judgemental acceptance of that moment what ever it may bring (Jon Kabat-Zinn, 1990). It draws on Buddhist traditions and meditations to help 're-train' the mind to be more 'present in the moment' and less caught up with past regrets or anxieties about the future.
If you would like any further information about Mindfulness please see the Oxford Mindfulness Centre website.