Therapy Services

Cognitive therapy is a widely used form of psychotherapy and one of the most extensively researched of all the psychotherapies. It has been empirically proven to be useful in the treatment of a variety of psychological conditions including anxiety, phobias and depression, within a relatively brief time frame.

Underpinning cognitive therapy is the belief that there is a direct relationship between the way we think, the way we feel, and the way we behave.

It is now widely accepted that people with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobia's, severe health concerns and many other psychological difficulties develop maladaptive ways of thinking. The aim of therapy in helping patients overcome their problem is to help them change their way of thinking. Through a variety of cognitive and behavioural strategies, patients are taught to identify their maladjusted thought patterns, and how to change these thought patterns for more rational thought processes, to help them regain control over their lives.

Over the past thirty years cognitive therapy has become a source of increasing focus within psychology and psychiatry. There are numerous books and thousands of research articles on cognitive therapy showing how its use in the treatment of depression and preventing a depressive relapse can be more successful than drug treatment.

Cognitive therapy is a 'short-term' therapy, often requiring no more than between ten and twenty sessions. Cognitive therapists are frequently more active and directive than therapist working with less structured psychotherapeutic models. A collaborative relationship between the patient and therapist is encouraged for optimum benefit to be gained.

Examples of Emotional and Behavioural Problems Assessed and Treated

  • Anxiety
  • Anxiety/nervousness
  • Blushing
  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Coping with cancer/HIV/AIDS
  • Coping with illness
  • Dealing with anger
  • Depression
  • Difficulty adjusting to traumatic events
  • Exam stress
  • Grief
  • Issues around sexuality
  • Lack of motivation
  • Low self esteem
  • Nail biting
  • Obsessions
  • Pain management
  • Panic attacks
  • Performance anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Poor impulse control
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Public speaking
  • Shyness
  • Sleep problems
  • Stammering
  • Work stress
  • Worries about physical health
  • Worry

The above list of problems is by no means comprehensive and if you have a problem that is not listed please feel free to contact me.

Understanding Psychological Therapy

Psychological therapy is a treatment for emotional and behavioural problems. It involves talking through problems with a suitably trained and qualified therapist, and so it is sometimes called Talking Therapy.

There are many kinds of talking therapies that exist for different types of problems, and psychological therapy can be used either on its own, or in combination with medication, to treat various difficulties. By engaging with a trained professional, patients are encouraged to make sense of their difficulties and to find ways of better managing and dealing with them.

Understanding Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

What is CBT and how is it effective?

CBT is an evidence based, scientific approach and is a form of psychotherapy that is the treatment of choice for many conditions related to anxiety and depression. Your therapist will help you make sense of your overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts with you. This will make it easier for you to see how they are connected and how they affect you. For example, your thoughts about a problem can affect how you feel physically and emotionally, and consequently how you act. As a result, in some cases, CBT has even been able to match the effectiveness of antidepressants and through teaching strategies on how to manage difficult thoughts, feelings and behaviours, to more effectively prevent relapse.

CBT is recommended by The National Institute of Clinical Excellent (NICE) for many conditions and in fact, based on numerous studies showing its effectiveness, the Government’s NICE guidelines recommend CBT for a number of mental health issues. It has been successful in helping with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Phobias, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Health Anxiety, Depression, Adjustment Disorders, Eating Disorders, anger problems, habits (such as facial tics and hair-pulling), drug and alcohol abuse, relationship problems and even sleep issues.

A high level of post-graduate training and experience in this particular type of therapy can lead to a CBT therapist being accredited by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). In addition, Clinical Psychologists have an undergraduate degree in psychology, as well as a three-year postgraduate Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. This involves high quality training in using evidence-based psychological methods of assessment and treatment, as well as several intensive placements in different NHS specialities, thus ensuring a wide breadth of clinical experience, as well as more specialist training. This range of training allows Clinical Psychologists to also help people with chronic health conditions, such as arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); although it cannot cure these physical problems it can help individuals who have such long-term conditions to cope with their symptoms better.

Whilst CBT is not a quick fix or an instant miracle cure, one of the greatest benefits is that you can continue to use the skills learnt and developed from it and apply them to future situations, to prevent escalating spirals of negative thought.

CBT helps people become their own therapist, through exploring the unhelpful patterns in their thinking and behaviours, that can distort their interpretations of events and can result in symptoms of anxiety or depression or other psychological difficulties. A CBT based treatment typically would involve a patient learning about their patterns of thinking and behaving, and finding ways to break the vicious cycle of negative thinking, which can automatically occur in response to emotionally upsetting experiences, through learning how to identify and challenge their patterns, and to develop better coping strategies.

The benefits of CBT include:

  • It empowers the patient to become their own therapist, through learning specific techniques to self-manage,
  • It is a brief, time limited and focused type of therapy,
  • It is evidence-based, making it the recommended therapeutic treatment as advised by NICE guidelines for many psychological difficulties, including anxiety, depression, PTSD and Specific Phobias.