Psychological Theories on which therapies are based:
BACP summary of the psychological therapies which form my framework for practice:
This approach focuses on the individual as a whole. It encourages people to think about their feelings and take responsibility for their thoughts and actions. The emphasis is on self-development and achieving your highest potential rather than on problematic behaviour. Gestalt therapy, person-centred therapy, transactional analysis and transpersonal therapy are all humanistic approaches
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.
The name Gestalt is derived from the German for ‘whole’ or ‘pattern’. It looks at the individual as a whole, and within their surroundings, rather than breaking things into parts. Practitioners help you to focus on the here and now and your immediate thoughts, feelings and behaviour to better understand how you relate to others and to situations. This can help you find a new, positive perspective on problems and bring about changes in your life.
Gestalt therapy often includes acting out scenarios and dream recall, and is effective in treating issues such as anxiety, stress, addiction, tension and depression.
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
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.
A phenomenological approach looks at an individual's perception and experience of a situation or event rather than its external reality. A therapist can help to understand why you see things in this way and discover more helpful ways of thinking and behaving
The psychodynamic approach is derived from psychoanalysis, but focuses on immediate problems to try to provide a quicker solution. It stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behaviour. A therapist will aim to build an accepting and trusting relationship, encouraging you to talk about your childhood relationships with your parents and other significant people. It also uses similar techniques to psychotherapy, including free association, interpretation and especially transference, where feelings you experienced in previous significant relationships are projected onto the therapist.
Transactional analysis is a comprehensive approach which incorporates aspects of humanistic, cognitive-behavioural and psychodynamic therapy. It categorises the human personality into three states – Parent, Adult and Child – which can help you understand how you interact with others.
Therapists also look at how your beliefs and the way you interpret the world around you can create recurrent and problematic patterns of behaviour, and will work with you to help you to change.
Creative therapy & Art Therapy
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. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy which uses the creative process of making art to explore and communicate issues, feelings and emotions which may be too difficult or distressing to express in words. It can also be used to relieve stress, improve your mental wellbeing and increase self-awareness or cope. Visual art therapy can include drawing, painting, photography and modelling and is used with individuals and groups of all ages.