We specialize in therapy for the following:
Depression and Anxiety
Grief and Loss
Panic attacks and Phobias
Parenting and Family Issues
Work and Career Issues
This list is not exhaustive so please contact us to discuss your individual situation.
We specialise in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), MIndfulness, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Human living involves experiencing a variety of situations, events, and emotions. Painful events such as loss, fear, and upset, occur. We can struggle against these difficulties, and try and use our ability to think and reason (which is very useful for some areas of life) to overcome them. We can try and get rid of them by trying to avoid the event that triggered them and remove the associated thoughts and emotions that we view as being negative. However,
"When it becomes important that we do not think or feel a certain way, and we nevertheless find ourselves thinking or feeling that way, our minds can become consumed with efforts to eliminate these experiences. However, in the focused effort to eliminate these experiences, we tend to actually propagate and grow the very demons we wish to destroy" (p. 2 Luoma et al, 2007).
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, known as ‘ACT’ (pronounced as the word ‘act’) is a mindfulness based cognitive behavioural therapy that has a major emphasis on values, forgiveness, acceptance, compassion, living in the present moment, and accessing a transcendent sense of self. These skills are taught and practised in therapy to help clients create and live a rich and meaningful life guided by their values, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it. Barriers to valued living such as unwanted and difficult internal experiences (thoughts, images, sensations, memories) are identified and mindfulness skills taught as an effective way of coping with these and help us to change our relationship with them, thus reducing their impact and influence over our life.
ACT has proven effective with a variety of problems including pain, addictions, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and stress.
CBT is a talking therapy which can help people who are experiencing a variety of mental health difficulties. It is based on the link between thoughts, feelings, and behaviour - specifically that what a person thinks can affect how they feel and behave. A person can feel stuck in a 'vicious cycle' of patterns of unhelpful thinking and behaviour which can prolong distress. CBT practitioners can help a person to identify these patterns and learn specific psychological and practical skills that enable the client to address their problems. The approach is empowering which is why it is sometimes referred to as 'teaching the client to become their own therapist'.
Mindfulness can be defined as a state of awareness that involves consciously and purposefully focusing one's attention on what is being experienced moment by moment. This state is developed through regular mindfulness meditation practice. We can learn to cultivate awareness of, and freedom from, the thoughts and feelings that arise in our experience (some of which stem from our automatic, habitual, and unconscious, patterns of thinking). This awareness can help us to recognise that the nature of our minds is to experience a flow of thoughts, and learn that we are not our thoughts. Mindful attention includes a stance of acceptance, non judgement, compassion, and openheartedness toward the present moment experience, regardless of how aversive or pleasant it may be.
Mindfulness based cognitive behavioural therapies integrate mindfulness with some of the principles and techniques of CBT. These include mindfulness-based stress reduction (MSBR, Kabat-Zinn, 1982; 1990), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT, Seagal, Williams, & Teasdale, 2002), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT, Linehan, 1993), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT, Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999).
There is an extensive research base that demonstrates the effectiveness and efficacy of CBT and Mindfulness Based CBT therapies for a range of problems including; anxiety disorders, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, anger, obsessive compulsive disorder. As such, the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend using CBT and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (see www.nice.org.uk)