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Adult Services

At Sussex Psychology we recognise that finding a way forward is different for each individual. Our team is dedicated to helping create opportunities for living less stressful and more meaningful lives.

adult-logo-2020-new-1

Adult Services

At Sussex Psychology we recognise that finding a way forward is different for each individual. Our team is dedicated to helping create opportunities for living less stressful and more meaningful lives.

adult-logo-2020-new-1

Adult Services

At Sussex Psychology we recognise that finding a way forward is different for each individual. Our team is dedicated to helping create opportunities for living less stressful and more meaningful lives.

adult-logo-2020-new-1

Adult Services

At Sussex Psychology we recognise that finding a way forward is different for each individual. Our team is dedicated to helping create opportunities for living less stressful and more meaningful lives.

Adult Services

Here at Sussex Psychology we have a highly skilled multidisciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists who can offer individually tailored therapeutic care across a wide range of emotional and mental health difficulties.

We provide carefully considered assessments of your unique therapeutic needs. Our aim during the assessment is to build what is known as a ‘psychological formulation’, which simply helps us to make sense of the difficulties you are experiencing and how best to support you. This process involves;

  • Working together to develop a therapeutic understanding of your current difficulties
  • Building a detailed picture of your early life experiences from early childhood through to adulthood.
  • A careful consideration of how your current difficulties are impacting your life now
  • Understanding how certain emotional and behavioural patterns may be getting in the way or making things worse
  • Exploring your key strengths and how best to utilise them

Once we have a clear picture of your therapeutic needs we can decide on which treatment or combinations of treatments would best support you.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candour and more unashamed conversation. Glenn Close

Adult Services

Here at Sussex Psychology we have a highly skilled multidisciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists who can offer individually tailored therapeutic care across a wide range of emotional and mental health difficulties.

We provide carefully considered assessments of your unique therapeutic needs. Our aim during the assessment is to build what is known as a ‘psychological formulation’, which simply helps us to make sense of the difficulties you are experiencing and how best to support you. This process involves;

  • Working together to develop a therapeutic understanding of your current difficulties
  • Building a detailed picture of your early life experiences from early childhood through to adulthood.
  • A careful consideration of how your current difficulties are impacting your life now
  • Understanding how certain emotional and behavioural patterns may be getting in the way or making things worse
  • Exploring your key strengths and how best to utilise them

Once we have a clear picture of your therapeutic needs we can decide on which treatment or combinations of treatments would best support you.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candour and more unashamed conversation. Glenn Close

Adult Services

Here at Sussex Psychology we have a highly skilled multidisciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists who can offer individually tailored therapeutic care across a wide range of emotional and mental health difficulties.

We provide carefully considered assessments of your unique therapeutic needs. Our aim during the assessment is to build what is known as a ‘psychological formulation’, which simply helps us to make sense of the difficulties you are experiencing and how best to support you. This process involves;

  • Working together to develop a therapeutic understanding of your current difficulties
  • Building a detailed picture of your early life experiences from early childhood through to adulthood.
  • A careful consideration of how your current difficulties are impacting your life now
  • Understanding how certain emotional and behavioural patterns may be getting in the way or making things worse
  • Exploring your key strengths and how best to utilise them

Once we have a clear picture of your therapeutic needs we can decide on which treatment or combinations of treatments would best support you.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candour and more unashamed conversation. Glenn Close

Adult Services

Here at Sussex Psychology we have a highly skilled multidisciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists who can offer individually tailored therapeutic care across a wide range of emotional and mental health difficulties.

We provide carefully considered assessments of your unique therapeutic needs. Our aim during the assessment is to build what is known as a ‘psychological formulation’, which simply helps us to make sense of the difficulties you are experiencing and how best to support you. This process involves;

  • Working together to develop a therapeutic understanding of your current difficulties
  • Building a detailed picture of your early life experiences from early childhood through to adulthood.
  • A careful consideration of how your current difficulties are impacting your life now
  • Understanding how certain emotional and behavioural patterns may be getting in the way or making things worse
  • Exploring your key strengths and how best to utilise them

Once we have a clear picture of your therapeutic needs we can decide on which treatment or combinations of treatments would best support you.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candour and more unashamed conversation. Glenn Close
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Some of the common difficulties we work with include:

  • Addictions
  • Anger Issues
  • Attachment related difficulties
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Eating Disorders
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Feeling overwhelmed by emotions
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Impulsivity
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Occasional low mood
  • OCD
  • Panic Disorder
  • Poor sense of identity
  • Post-natal depression
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Relationship instability
  • Work-related stress
4Asset 4@4x

Some of the common difficulties we work with include:

  • Addictions
  • Anger Issues
  • Attachment related difficulties
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Eating Disorders
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Feeling overwhelmed by emotions
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Impulsivity
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Occasional low mood
  • OCD
  • Panic Disorder
  • Poor sense of identity
  • Post-natal depression
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Relationship instability
  • Work-related stress
4Asset 4@4x

Some of the common difficulties we work with include:

  • Addictions
  • Anger Issues
  • Attachment related difficulties
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Eating Disorders
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Feeling overwhelmed by emotions
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Impulsivity
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Occasional low mood
  • OCD
  • Panic Disorder
  • Poor sense of identity
  • Post-natal depression
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Relationship instability
  • Work-related stress
4Asset 4@4x

Some of the common difficulties we work with include:

  • Addictions
  • Anger Issues
  • Attachment related difficulties
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Eating Disorders
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Feeling overwhelmed by emotions
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Impulsivity
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Occasional low mood
  • OCD
  • Panic Disorder
  • Poor sense of identity
  • Post-natal depression
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Relationship instability
  • Work-related stress
leaf-new-lilac

Referral and first steps

The first step in making a referral is simply to ring us on 01903 206738 or if you prefer you can also complete our contact form or email us on enquiries@sussexpsychology.co.uk.  You will find our office team genuinely warm and sensitive to any questions you may have about the difficulties you are experiencing.

We know it’s really hard to make this first step, and how overwhelming it can feel to reach out for the first time.  Sometimes it feels too much to contact us directly without the support of a friend or relative who may ring on your behalf.  We are happy to talk to them as long as they have consent for us to do so.  Similarly, if you are a professional and are concerned or worried about an adult or someone under your care, we are happy to talk to you directly as long as you have their permission for us to do so.

leaf-new-lilac

The Assessment Process

Our clinic, is discreetly situated in a quiet and unassuming local residential area. Many of the adults that come to us have shared how relieved they were to step into such a warm and homely therapeutic environment. Others have commented how much they appreciated their privacy being protected by the anonymity of the location.

Once you have taken the first step to arrange an initial assessment with us this appointment usually lasts for one hour. There are occasions where we may decide to extend this to help us gather more information to give us a better understanding of the nature of your difficulties.

During the assessment we will slowly begin to explore what’s really troubling you at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Our wish is for you to leave with a renewed sense of hope and feel confident that with the right kind of therapeutic support recovery is possible.

The key aim of the assessment is for us to work together to develop a therapeutic understanding of how you have come to experience certain difficulties and the unique way they are expressed in your life now. This helps us:

  • Understand and make sense of why you have come to experience the difficulties that may be distressing and overwhelming you at the moment
  • Develop a stronger understanding of your own unique therapeutic needs
  • Formulate a plan of therapeutic interventions that match your unique individual needs
leaf-new-lilac

What happens next?

Once the assessment has been completed, we like to offer a therapeutic feedback meeting, where we can share our recommendations and treatment plan. For some, being armed with an understanding of the difficulties they’ve been struggling with is often enough and there is no need to follow up with therapy.

During the assessment, you may be asked to fill in some questionnaires that help us evaluate the extent of your difficulties. We often use them for simple screening purposes, but they also provide us with a more tangible way of tracking your progress. Your hopes for therapy are matched to the shared goals we agree although they are often revised as therapy progresses. In many ways, your goals help to pace therapy as well as provide a more personalised lens through which success can be measured.

Additional Specialist Assessments:

On occasion, a dual approach to your therapeutic care may also be helpful, especially if you are struggling with significant mental health difficulties or other emotional problems that are becoming difficult to understand and cope with.  We may suggest that an additional assessment with a Consultant Adult Psychiatrist may be beneficial.  We work closely with a number of Psychiatrists who place a lot of emphasis on more gentle and holistic ways of working with adults.

We understand how hard it is to take this step, but often a combined approach to therapeutic care can add an additional layer of support in preparation for therapy.

leaf-new-lilac

Referral and first steps

The first step in making a referral is simply to ring us on 01903 206738 or if you prefer you can also complete our contact form or email us on enquiries@sussexpsychology.co.uk.  You will find our office team genuinely warm and sensitive to any questions you may have about the difficulties you are experiencing.

We know it’s really hard to make this first step, and how overwhelming it can feel to reach out for the first time.  Sometimes it feels too much to contact us directly without the support of a friend or relative who may ring on your behalf.  We are happy to talk to them as long as they have consent for us to do so.  Similarly, if you are a professional and are concerned or worried about an adult or someone under your care, we are happy to talk to you directly as long as you have their permission for us to do so.

leaf-new-lilac

The Assessment Process

Our clinic, is discreetly situated in a quiet and unassuming local residential area. Many of the adults that come to us have shared how relieved they were to step into such a warm and homely therapeutic environment. Others have commented how much they appreciated their privacy being protected by the anonymity of the location.

Once you have taken the first step to arrange an initial assessment with us this appointment usually lasts for one hour. There are occasions where we may decide to extend this to help us gather more information to give us a better understanding of the nature of your difficulties.

During the assessment we will slowly begin to explore what’s really troubling you at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Our wish is for you to leave with a renewed sense of hope and feel confident that with the right kind of therapeutic support recovery is possible.

The key aim of the assessment is for us to work together to develop a therapeutic understanding of how you have come to experience certain difficulties and the unique way they are expressed in your life now. This helps us:

  • Understand and make sense of why you have come to experience the difficulties that may be distressing and overwhelming you at the moment
  • Develop a stronger understanding of your own unique therapeutic needs
  • Formulate a plan of therapeutic interventions that match your unique individual needs
leaf-new-lilac

What happens next?

Once the assessment has been completed, we like to offer a therapeutic feedback meeting, where we can share our recommendations and treatment plan. For some, being armed with an understanding of the difficulties they’ve been struggling with is often enough and there is no need to follow up with therapy.

During the assessment, you may be asked to fill in some questionnaires that help us evaluate the extent of your difficulties. We often use them for simple screening purposes, but they also provide us with a more tangible way of tracking your progress. Your hopes for therapy are matched to the shared goals we agree although they are often revised as therapy progresses. In many ways, your goals help to pace therapy as well as provide a more personalised lens through which success can be measured.

Additional Specialist Assessments:

On occasion, a dual approach to your therapeutic care may also be helpful, especially if you are struggling with significant mental health difficulties or other emotional problems that are becoming difficult to understand and cope with.  We may suggest that an additional assessment with a Consultant Adult Psychiatrist may be beneficial.  We work closely with a number of Psychiatrists who place a lot of emphasis on more gentle and holistic ways of working with adults.

We understand how hard it is to take this step, but often a combined approach to therapeutic care can add an additional layer of support in preparation for therapy.

leaf-new-lilac

Referral and first steps

The first step in making a referral is simply to ring us on 01903 206738 or if you prefer you can also complete our contact form or email us on enquiries@sussexpsychology.co.uk.  You will find our office team genuinely warm and sensitive to any questions you may have about the difficulties you are experiencing.

We know it’s really hard to make this first step, and how overwhelming it can feel to reach out for the first time.  Sometimes it feels too much to contact us directly without the support of a friend or relative who may ring on your behalf.  We are happy to talk to them as long as they have consent for us to do so.  Similarly, if you are a professional and are concerned or worried about an adult or someone under your care, we are happy to talk to you directly as long as you have their permission for us to do so.

leaf-new-lilac

The Assessment Process

Our clinic, is discreetly situated in a quiet and unassuming local residential area. Many of the adults that come to us have shared how relieved they were to step into such a warm and homely therapeutic environment. Others have commented how much they appreciated their privacy being protected by the anonymity of the location.

Once you have taken the first step to arrange an initial assessment with us this appointment usually lasts for one hour. There are occasions where we may decide to extend this to help us gather more information to give us a better understanding of the nature of your difficulties.

During the assessment we will slowly begin to explore what’s really troubling you at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Our wish is for you to leave with a renewed sense of hope and feel confident that with the right kind of therapeutic support recovery is possible.

The key aim of the assessment is for us to work together to develop a therapeutic understanding of how you have come to experience certain difficulties and the unique way they are expressed in your life now. This helps us:

  • Understand and make sense of why you have come to experience the difficulties that may be distressing and overwhelming you at the moment
  • Develop a stronger understanding of your own unique therapeutic needs
  • Formulate a plan of therapeutic interventions that match your unique individual needs
leaf-new-lilac

What happens next?

Once the assessment has been completed, we like to offer a therapeutic feedback meeting, where we can share our recommendations and treatment plan. For some, being armed with an understanding of the difficulties they’ve been struggling with is often enough and there is no need to follow up with therapy.

During the assessment, you may be asked to fill in some questionnaires that help us evaluate the extent of your difficulties. We often use them for simple screening purposes, but they also provide us with a more tangible way of tracking your progress. Your hopes for therapy are matched to the shared goals we agree although they are often revised as therapy progresses. In many ways, your goals help to pace therapy as well as provide a more personalised lens through which success can be measured.

Additional Specialist Assessments:

On occasion, a dual approach to your therapeutic care may also be helpful, especially if you are struggling with significant mental health difficulties or other emotional problems that are becoming difficult to understand and cope with.  We may suggest that an additional assessment with a Consultant Adult Psychiatrist may be beneficial.  We work closely with a number of Psychiatrists who place a lot of emphasis on more gentle and holistic ways of working with adults.

We understand how hard it is to take this step, but often a combined approach to therapeutic care can add an additional layer of support in preparation for therapy.

Therapies we can offer for Adults:

We offer a creative range of therapies that are carefully tailored to the needs of each person.  All our therapeutic approaches are informed by contemporary research showing evidence of positive outcomes and sustainable change.

Some of the therapies we offer include:

Art Psychotherapy

Art therapy is a distinct discipline that incorporates creative methods of expression through visual art media.  Art therapy, as a creative arts therapy profession, has its origins in the fields of art and psychotherapy.  It is founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value for those who are healing or seeking a deeper understand of themselves.  From a Jungian perspective, art therapy is a form of symbolic language originating from the unconscious which is significant in helping the individual with the integration of the psyche. For these reasons, art therapists are extremely aware of issues on confidentiality and boundaries.

Art therapists look for opportunities to help their clients identify, express and process emotions that might otherwise remain hidden or stuck.  This is achieved through the use of ‘art media’ to help children, adolescents and adults to express, communicate and explore their feelings.  Within this context, art is not used as a diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing or distressing.

Art therapy is an effective psychological intervention to treat mild to severe mental health problems.  Creating images can help transform an individual’s imagination and lived experiences so that they can begin to work through difficult events. This can take the form of storytelling through pictures and allows for time and space to develop the ability to reflect and process information.

What to expect from Art Therapy:

  • Exploring feelings using creative techniques such as drawing, painting, colouring etc
  • Developing self-awareness
  • Increasing self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Reducing anxiety and building resilience
  • Developing social skills

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses specifically on helping people develop an understanding of the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour. In particular, it helps with understanding that the meaning we attribute to any given situation can influence how we feel and subsequently act. CBT prioritises collaboration between therapist and client. This means they work together to change habitual ways of thinking and feeling that keeps them stuck in problematic patterns of behaving.

CBT has a strong evidence base and is perhaps one of the most popular therapeutic approaches. CBT is an effective intervention for treating a wide range of psychological difficulties. Some of these include depression, anxiety, panic, sleep problems, obsessional difficulties and various phobias. It is also often particularly helpful for a range of physical symptoms without any specified medical diagnosis such as chronic pain.

CBT is an extremely pragmatic and highly structured approach that focuses on present difficulties rather than exploring the past.

What to expect from CBT:

  • Working collaboratively is the key so you will be working with your therapist to break down your difficulties into distinct parts: thoughts, feelings, actions as well as corresponding body sensations
  • Homework is also a key part of the therapeutic process in CBT and you will be expected to keep a diary to help you begin to notice the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • During sessions, you will micro analyse both the unfolding sequence of emotional and behavioural reactions to understand the habitual cognitive meanings being attributed to certain situations
  • Treatment goals will be agreed at the end of each session along with any practice experiments between sessions
  • The practice work will help to identify the pacing interventions so you are working within your own window of emotional tolerance while challenging it at the same time
  • Psycho-education is a fundamental part of CBT and helps to facilitate change through being a teacher and a coach

Compassionate-Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassionate-Focused Therapy is an integrated model of therapy that encompasses Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology as well as Evolutionary and Buddhist Psychology. It also draws upon other therapeutic models that have developed interventions for specific psychological difficulties, such as CBT. CFT was developed originally by Professor Paul Gilbert to help people who suffer from a high level of self-criticism and shame.

Most of us have the ability to feel and show compassion and kindness towards others; it is part of what makes us human. However, it is much more difficult to show or experience compassion towards ourselves due to our tendency to judge ourselves more harshly than others. CFT helps you learn ‘how’ to feel kinder towards yourself and others and to feel safe in a world that can often feel overwhelming. CFT is an extremely gentle but profoundly powerful therapeutic approach for people who struggle to manage strong emotions, particularly for those with histories of abuse and bullying where intense feelings of anger, anxiety, shame and self-criticism may be creating significant difficulties in both their personal and professional lives.

CFT utilizes compassionate mind training techniques to help the individual develop the emotional resources that are needed to feel safe and secure. CFT is particularly helpful for anyone who struggles with intense feelings of shame and self-criticism or who may experience profound difficulties in feeling safe and secure either in their relationships or life in general. It does so by working on the three emotional brain systems: threat and protection, the drive/motivational system and safety-soothing system. During the assessment, the therapist will show how these systems may be interacting in relation to the difficulties you bring to therapy.

What to expect from CFT:

  • An assessment that identifies core areas of difficulty and formulates an individually focused plan of treatment
  • Support in understanding the importance of self-compassion and how this relates to current difficulties you may be experiencing
  • Working together in sessions with developing compassionate mind training skills to help alleviate patterns of internal emotional distress
  • Developing skills related to sensitivity, kindness and self-care as well as the skills required to tolerate emotional distress
  • The ability to develop compassionate attention in ways that will enhance your capacity to make compassionate choices rather than decisions being driven by shame-based emotions or thinking patterns based on self-criticism

Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)

Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) is a relatively new creative and innovative therapeutic approach that is designed to help people process traumatic life experiences or specific traumatic events. Developed originally by Lisa Schwarz, an American Psychologist who has over 30 years’ experience working with trauma and traumatic dissociation, CRM is currently gaining widespread recognition by leading specialists in the trauma field. In her recent book, co-written with Dr Frank Corrigan and Dr Alistair Hull, the authors take us on a journey through the labyrinth of brain science and set out to revolutionise intervention by providing us with a goldmine of neurobiological resources that influence cortical, limbic and brainstem systems.

CRM therapeutic interventions work to build a scaffold of internal resources through empowerment images, body-based grounding techniques, resource eye positions and rhythmic breathing sequences. This helps in promoting an embodied sense of containment that is foundational to scaffolding safety prior to processing any current or past traumatic material. The focus on the patterned and rhythmic breathing sequences supports dual consciousness and thereby offsets the possibility of emotional overwhelm when an individual is sufficiently resourced to ‘step into’ processing distress experiences. This is also supported by the use of specific CRM bi-lateral sounds.

CRM also incorporates therapeutic techniques from other approaches, notably eye position anchoring and ego-state therapy when working with dissociative parts.  One of the key strengths of CRM interventions is that they can easily be combined with other therapeutic approaches without compromising the integrity of the model. Another strength of CRM is it also works with the imprints of generational trauma as well as in-utero and early infant trauma. Such early implicit memories are imprinted into the nervous system and held in the body somatically. Working with such early trauma requires delicate pacing and a virtual fortress of internal resources prior to processing traumatic material body-based memories.

What to expect from CRM:

  • Understand the power of the breath especially when used rhythmically as different emotions arise
  • The ability to utilise specific breathing sequences to regulate distressing emotional states of arousal
  • Weekly homework around tracking fluctuating emotional patterns and practice with using resources
  • How to utilise resources in combination with breathing in between therapy sessions
  • The patterned repetitive nature of CRM (like EMDR) is also the key to its success, but practice between sessions is equally essential

Couple Therapy

Couple therapy is a relationally focused therapy in which a couple work together during sessions with the therapist as a way of affecting change in their relationship. The primary aim of couple therapy is not to look for a resolution of a particular problem, but rather to explore specific relational patterns that may be driving distinct difficulties emerging in the relationship. Some couples seek therapy to help them decide whether to stay together or separate.

Some of the key relational problems couples experience often include: difficulties with communication, issues related to trust, perpetual arguments, sex and intimacy. Depending on the nature of the problem the couple is experiencing in their relationship, the therapist may combine another approach, such as schema therapy to identify and work with problematic relational patterns. Therapy can be short-term if the couple wants to work on a specific issue in their relationship. The assessment may indicate that some short-term individual work may be more helpful before commencing couple therapy.

What to expect in couple therapy:

  • An individualized plan of treatment to match a joint formulation of the couple’s agreed difficulties
  • The number of sessions will depend on the specific nature of the difficulties the couple is experiencing, but this will be indicated after the initial assessment is completed
  • Couple therapy can be hugely challenging and potentially distressing, but also very helpful in understanding habitual patterns of communication that may be undermining the relationship
  • It is usual in couple therapy to have homework both individually and as a couple in between sessions
  • Effective change will depend on the couple’s commitment to therapy and level of engagement during the therapeutic process, including working on agreed relational tasks between sessions

Dramatherapy

Drama therapy is an extremely powerful and creative therapeutic intervention that focuses on the healing aspects of drama and theatre as an exploratory tool in therapy. The transformative power of theatre and storytelling captures the imagination in playful and magical ways. Drama and play are an integral part of children’s everyday lives as well as being a vital part of their emotional and social development. Drama allows a child or young person to explore difficult and hurt feelings in refreshingly novel and creative ways. Some of these include; play, role- play, story, art, music and movement. This may also involve a range of playful and fun activities using puppets, masks, paints and costumes.

The idea is to create an imaginative story that supports a child or young person create a safe space to communicate and explore difficult feelings without this engendering a sense of threat. The storytelling or fictional aspect of drama serves as an emotional filter and creative container. This helps children and young people work with hurt and confusing feelings in ways that offset the fear of being overwhelmed by allowing them to tentatively step towards an exploration at their own pace and more indirectly. Drama therapy works well with groups of children and young people, but also individually. It is an effective therapeutic intervention for a range of psychological and mental health difficulties with children and teens.

What to expect from Drama Therapy:

  • Exploring feelings and relationships by using various playful ‘props’ such as puppets and other appropriate performance materials
  • Support, encouragement and guidance in the creative engagement of dramatizing and transforming personal stories and painful feelings using artistic interventions
  • Joint engagement in ‘make-believe’ as part of a shared experience to discover and self-create new perspectives on the survival of adversity and help build resilience

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a distinct therapeutic intervention or technique that uses bilateral stimulation (BLS) in order to facilitate processing of distressing memories related to traumatic events. Due to the overwhelming nature of trauma, it is believed that fragments of trauma memories remain frozen in the brain. EMDR has a strong evidence base for successfully treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

EMDR primarily focuses on past or present disturbing life experiences or other disturbing memories. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation, e.g. tapping or bi-lateral sounds) are used during sessions. Once a ‘target’ memory or experience is agreed together with associated negative belief/cognition the therapist will ask the client to hold diverse facets of that event or a thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision. Whilst this occurs, it is suggested that internal associations arise and the client begins to process the memory and distressing feelings.

In successful EMDR therapy, the negative meanings attributed to painful life experiences slowly change as they are integrated emotionally. EMDR is widely recognized as the treatment of choice for PTSD by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) but is also used to treat a wide range of psychological difficulties including; phobic fears, panic, obsessional anxiety, sleep problems, complicated grief reactions, chronic pain and performance anxiety.

What to expect from EMDR:

  • Once you have agreed on the key targets for treatment the EMDR process commences quite swiftly
  • The process is repetitive, but it is the patterned, rhythmic and repetitive nature of EMDR that is believed to be a key to its success
  • EMDR may be combined with other complementary treatment interventions, such as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy or Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)

Mentalisation-Based Treatment

Mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) is an integrative form of psychotherapy that combines elements of psychodynamic and systemic therapy with CBT.  It was originally developed by Professor Peter Fonagy and Anthony Bateman for people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The term mentalisation essentially refers to the ability to think about thinking; in other words, understanding what is in one’s own mind and that of another in terms of emotional intention and intentional action.

The ability to mentalise develops in early attachment relationships through emotional interactions with primary caregivers. If a child grows up in an attachment environment that is chaotic and neglectful their capacity to mentalise may become impaired or severely disrupted particularly if the caregiver is emotionally unstable or suffering from significant mental health difficulties.

The primary focus of MBT is to help a person develop an understanding of their own intentions and those of others. MBT places less emphasis on past relationships or the meaning of specific events, but rather on exploring and being curious about one’s own internal emotional process. While MBT is the recommended treatment by NICE for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), it has also been extended to treating emotional difficulties in adolescents, particularly in terms of understanding issues related to the maintenance of self-esteem, affect regulation and impulse control. It is also helpful in working with self-harm, trauma and working with families.

What to expect from MBT:

  • The key focus on the relationship between therapist and client being a priority for understanding and developing the capacity to mentalise
  • A focus on the present rather than the past as a foundation for understanding difficulties in relational interactions and internal emotional reactions when reflecting on what may be happening in the mind of another
  • During sessions, the therapist is likely to repetitively encourage reflection on situations or relational interactions that trigger intense emotions as a strategy to enhance the capacity for mentalisation in the present moment
  • The therapist is also likely to inquire about the way you are thinking and how your thoughts relate to behavioural actions as well as explore internal emotional states in order to develop new ways of mentalising

Music Therapy

Music has been used as a therapeutic tool in the service of healing for centuries. Rhythm is regulating; all cultures have some form of patterned, repetitive rhythmic activity as part of their healing and mourning rituals, which is partly why music is often regarded as one of the most powerful forms of communication. The engaging nature of music itself along with the diversity of musical forms makes music uniquely effective in helping people of all ages, whose lives have been affected by trauma, mental illness, physical injury or disability through supporting their psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs.

As an expressive and creative art therapy, music seeks to utilise tempo, rhythm and musical improvisation to enhance the emotional, psychological and physical well-being of individuals. Musical interactions also help in the exploration of deeper feelings where sound replaces words and rhythmic melody becomes the primary vehicle for communication. Music therapy is not about learning music or learning to use a specific musical instrument. It is more simply about using and exploring the different melodies of sound through musical interactions with various instruments and facilitating a musical conversation with the therapist in the service of healing.

Music involves patterned, repetitive rhythmic activation of the brainstem and can be seen as a brainstem modulating therapeutic intervention. This is particularly helpful when working with children who have suffered from early impaired bonding experiences and attachment disruptions and loss. Musical interactions encourage connection and bonding between mother and baby, which is especially helpful for women suffering from postnatal depression. Music therapy is also widely recognised as a specialist therapeutic intervention for people suffering from brain injury or other neurological disabilities to assist in rehabilitation and improve quality of life.

What to expect from Music Therapy:

  • Working at a pace that is naturally attuned and responsive to your particular emotional and physical needs
  • The capacity to explore musical forms of communication that gently encourage self-expression
  • Taking part in rhythmic body-based activities to modulate and regulate states of anxiety, enhance relaxation and encouraging creative play
  • Playing with musical interactions and alterations in tempo and rhythm as a gentle way of challenging habitual patterns of communication

Schema Therapy

Schema therapy was originally developed by Dr Jeffrey Young in the early 1990’s for the treatment of more complex psychological difficulties that were less responsive to traditional CBT and required more attachment focused work. The concept of ‘schema’ is often used to describe a relational template or blueprint the individual has developed about themselves and is a key component of the emotional difficulties they experience. Schema therapy places considerable emphasis on how the past deeply shaped the beliefs a person holds, their pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving. These deeply rooted patterns or ways of relating to self and others become the primary filter for processing information and relational interactions.

In schema therapy, the primary focus of therapeutic work is to identify core schemas and how they contribute to ‘maladaptive patterns’ that often undermine the possibility of sustaining meaningful relationships. Some of the core schemas that create considerable difficulties in relationships and form a key focus in therapy are; abandonment and instability, mistrust and abuse, defectiveness and shame, social isolation and alienation. The idea of ‘modes’ is a key term used in schema therapy to describe a cascade of emotional reactions or ‘coping modes’ based on early unmet needs. The therapeutic relationship is the primary vehicle for working with early unmet attachment needs through what is described as ‘limited re-parenting’, which serves as a healing antidote to toxic childhood experiences.

What to expect from Schema Therapy:

  • During the assessment, you will be given a range of questionnaires to complete to help identify key schemes and schema modes
  • The development of a shared understanding of the emotional difficulties you are experiencing to build a case formulation that informs a treatment plan
  • To develop alternative ways of coping that challenge dominant schemas and schema modes
  • The therapeutic work lasts anything between six months to possibly two years depending on the need to pace therapy to match emotional difficulties and time required to cultivate the capacity for change and healing

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a body-oriented approach to working with trauma. This approach is fully grounded in contemporary neuroscience research and attachment theory, but also deeply informed by the philosophical and spiritual practices of Buddhism. It has evolved over the last three decades into a complex and elegant form of body psychotherapy that gently weaves kindness, compassion and embedded mindfulness into all its therapeutic interventions. As a ‘bottom-up’ approach, it helps us to think sequentially especially when working with early developmental trauma.

While many therapeutic interventions depend almost entirely on verbal narrative, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy utilises the wisdom of the body as a key therapeutic and self-regulatory resource. It offers a unique lens to explore the language of the body by focussing explicitly on the sensory landscape of body sensations and impulses, micro muscular patterns of tension, body movements, posture and gesture as well as facial expressions, gaze resting responses and respiratory rhythms. By prioritising the somatic narrative, it is possible to access the story the body holds by tracking and sequencing somatic states of arousal as well as working more directly with defensive patterns.

The body is in constant somatic dialogue and is often considered to be a direct window into the rhythmic patterns of the nervous system, notably heart and respiratory rhythms. A person can be easily triggered by physiological reminders of past traumas through an unfolding cascade of sensory experience; sounds, smells, touch, body sensations and impulses as well as small shifts in posture, gesture and movements. Developing the skills of directed mindfulness is the foundational bridge of all sensorimotor interventions to working with the body. This requires that we cultivate a more embodied form of awareness in order to listen with the body-mind.

What to expect from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy:

  • Learning to listen to the story the body has to tell and developing a somatic vocabulary
  • Developing the skill of sensing the internal world of body sensations, impulses, muscular patterns of tension, orienting patterns, movement urges and postural patterns
  • Developing the capacity to direct attention to present-moment body-based experience; five-sense perceptions, sensory sensations, micro movement patterns etc, while being motivated by curiosity
  • Developing a more embodied rather than conceptual awareness of fluctuating patterns of physiological states
  • Developing the somatic skills to self-regulate

Systemic Family Therapy

Family therapy is an approach that works with families and those in close relationships to support each other in the service of fostering change. This may be parents and children together and also include grandparents or others who are considered important within the family system. Family therapy helps family members share difficult thoughts and feelings in a therapeutic family space in the hope of cultivating a shared understanding and appreciation of the differing needs and experience of others within the family system. Family therapy views relationships as deeply resourcing and seeks to help people who care for each other find ways of coping with emotional distress in more collaborative and supportive ways.

It is a particularly helpful relational approach across a broad spectrum of difficulties including; adults struggling with parenting; for children whose parents are suffering from a mental health problem, school-related difficulties, stressful and traumatic life events such as divorce and separation, premature death of a parent or partner. It is a particularly helpful approach in working with looked after and adopted children and their families as well as the complex difficulties families face when a child or young person has an eating disorder.

What to expect from Family Therapy:

  • Support in understanding how the family is functionally relating
  • Identify strengths and working collaboratively to build upon them within the family
  • Developing specific strategies and skills to work positively with the relational conflict between adults or child-adult conflict
  • Understand patterns of communication within the family and developing skills that strengthen communication across the family
  • Help people move beyond blaming other(s) and exploring how everyone can work together towards a shared understanding and goal for change

Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy utilises various body postures in combination with different breathing sequences and meditative practices as a way of restoring health and well-being to the individual. Therapeutic yoga is fundamentally a holistic approach that works to restore the mind-body connection that tends to be severely disrupted during times of emotional distress and trauma. All yoga practice works towards strengthening different systems in the body including; the heart and cardiovascular system, lungs, and musculoskeletal system. When tailored to the specific needs of the individual, yoga therapy is also particularly effective in modulating and regulating fluctuating states of arousal commonly associated with various forms of emotional distress, anxiety and depression. Considering the stressful lives most people lead; yoga therapy is perhaps considered to be one of the most natural yet powerfully gentle forms of body-based meditative practices that have a profoundly positive effect on the overall functioning of our stress-response system.

Yoga therapy is also particularly helpful when a person has suffered a traumatic experience or has a history of early developmental trauma. Trauma-sensitive yoga brings the body fully into therapy and helps a person gently reconnect with their bodies in a safe and healing way. We know that trauma not only affects the mind but deeply affects the body. We also know that the body holds and sustains the imprints of trauma which leads to disturbances in heart and respiratory rhythms as well as leaving a person stuck in cycles of hyperarousal (heightened anxiety/fear states) and dissociative numbing (feeling disconnected and cut-off emotionally). Trauma-sensitive yoga practice works sensitively and skilfully to repair the disruption that occurs between mind and body through therapeutic interventions that utilise the healing power of intention, purpose, rhythm and self-attunement along with restorative postures and self-regulatory breathing actions.

What to expect from Yoga Therapy:

  • Developing the skills to increase interoceptive (internal) awareness of body-based states
  • Learning to identify and track patterns of somatic activation through physical sensations, body impulses, muscular patterns of tension and irregularities in heart and breathing rhythms
  • Use the power of focused breathing to stabilise attention and build emotional regulation skills
  • Use the body purposefully through various postural movements
  • Develop the ability to utilise purposeful attention with physical postures and focused breathing to cope with strong emotions

Therapies we can offer for Adults

We offer a creative range of therapies that are carefully tailored to the needs of each person.  All our therapeutic approaches are informed by contemporary research showing evidence of positive outcomes and sustainable change. Some of the therapies we offer include:

Art Psychotherapy

Art therapy is a distinct discipline that incorporates creative methods of expression through visual art media.  Art therapy, as a creative arts therapy profession, has its origins in the fields of art and psychotherapy.  It is founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value for those who are healing or seeking a deeper understand of themselves.  From a Jungian perspective, art therapy is a form of symbolic language originating from the unconscious which is significant in helping the individual with the integration of the psyche. For these reasons, art therapists are extremely aware of issues on confidentiality and boundaries.

Art therapists look for opportunities to help their clients identify, express and process emotions that might otherwise remain hidden or stuck.  This is achieved through the use of ‘art media’ to help children, adolescents and adults to express, communicate and explore their feelings.  Within this context, art is not used as a diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing or distressing.

Art therapy is an effective psychological intervention to treat mild to severe mental health problems.  Creating images can help transform an individual’s imagination and lived experiences so that they can begin to work through difficult events. This can take the form of storytelling through pictures and allows for time and space to develop the ability to reflect and process information.

What to expect from Art Therapy:

  • Exploring feelings using creative techniques such as drawing, painting, colouring etc
  • Developing self-awareness
  • Increasing self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Reducing anxiety and building resilience
  • Developing social skills

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses specifically on helping people develop an understanding of the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour. In particular, it helps with understanding that the meaning we attribute to any given situation can influence how we feel and subsequently act. CBT prioritises collaboration between therapist and client. This means they work together to change habitual ways of thinking and feeling that keeps them stuck in problematic patterns of behaving.

CBT has a strong evidence base and is perhaps one of the most popular therapeutic approaches. CBT is an effective intervention for treating a wide range of psychological difficulties. Some of these include depression, anxiety, panic, sleep problems, obsessional difficulties and various phobias. It is also often particularly helpful for a range of physical symptoms without any specified medical diagnosis such as chronic pain.

CBT is an extremely pragmatic and highly structured approach that focuses on present difficulties rather than exploring the past.

What to expect from CBT:

  • Working collaboratively is the key so you will be working with your therapist to break down your difficulties into distinct parts: thoughts, feelings, actions as well as corresponding body sensations
  • Homework is also a key part of the therapeutic process in CBT and you will be expected to keep a diary to help you begin to notice the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • During sessions, you will micro analyse both the unfolding sequence of emotional and behavioural reactions to understand the habitual cognitive meanings being attributed to certain situations
  • Treatment goals will be agreed at the end of each session along with any practice experiments between sessions
  • The practice work will help to identify the pacing interventions so you are working within your own window of emotional tolerance while challenging it at the same time
  • Psycho-education is a fundamental part of CBT and helps to facilitate change through being a teacher and a coach

Compassionate-Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassionate-Focused Therapy is an integrated model of therapy that encompasses Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology as well as Evolutionary and Buddhist Psychology. It also draws upon other therapeutic models that have developed interventions for specific psychological difficulties, such as CBT. CFT was developed originally by Professor Paul Gilbert to help people who suffer from a high level of self-criticism and shame.

Most of us have the ability to feel and show compassion and kindness towards others; it is part of what makes us human. However, it is much more difficult to show or experience compassion towards ourselves due to our tendency to judge ourselves more harshly than others. CFT helps you learn ‘how’ to feel kinder towards yourself and others and to feel safe in a world that can often feel overwhelming. CFT is an extremely gentle but profoundly powerful therapeutic approach for people who struggle to manage strong emotions, particularly for those with histories of abuse and bullying where intense feelings of anger, anxiety, shame and self-criticism may be creating significant difficulties in both their personal and professional lives.

CFT utilizes compassionate mind training techniques to help the individual develop the emotional resources that are needed to feel safe and secure. CFT is particularly helpful for anyone who struggles with intense feelings of shame and self-criticism or who may experience profound difficulties in feeling safe and secure either in their relationships or life in general. It does so by working on the three emotional brain systems: threat and protection, the drive/motivational system and safety-soothing system. During the assessment, the therapist will show how these systems may be interacting in relation to the difficulties you bring to therapy.

What to expect from CFT:

  • An assessment that identifies core areas of difficulty and formulates an individually focused plan of treatment
  • Support in understanding the importance of self-compassion and how this relates to current difficulties you may be experiencing
  • Working together in sessions with developing compassionate mind training skills to help alleviate patterns of internal emotional distress
  • Developing skills related to sensitivity, kindness and self-care as well as the skills required to tolerate emotional distress
  • The ability to develop compassionate attention in ways that will enhance your capacity to make compassionate choices rather than decisions being driven by shame-based emotions or thinking patterns based on self-criticism

Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)

Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) is a relatively new creative and innovative therapeutic approach that is designed to help people process traumatic life experiences or specific traumatic events. Developed originally by Lisa Schwarz, an American Psychologist who has over 30 years’ experience working with trauma and traumatic dissociation, CRM is currently gaining widespread recognition by leading specialists in the trauma field. In her recent book, co-written with Dr Frank Corrigan and Dr Alistair Hull, the authors take us on a journey through the labyrinth of brain science and set out to revolutionise intervention by providing us with a goldmine of neurobiological resources that influence cortical, limbic and brainstem systems.

CRM therapeutic interventions work to build a scaffold of internal resources through empowerment images, body-based grounding techniques, resource eye positions and rhythmic breathing sequences. This helps in promoting an embodied sense of containment that is foundational to scaffolding safety prior to processing any current or past traumatic material. The focus on the patterned and rhythmic breathing sequences supports dual consciousness and thereby offsets the possibility of emotional overwhelm when an individual is sufficiently resourced to ‘step into’ processing distress experiences. This is also supported by the use of specific CRM bi-lateral sounds.

CRM also incorporates therapeutic techniques from other approaches, notably eye position anchoring and ego-state therapy when working with dissociative parts.  One of the key strengths of CRM interventions is that they can easily be combined with other therapeutic approaches without compromising the integrity of the model. Another strength of CRM is it also works with the imprints of generational trauma as well as in-utero and early infant trauma. Such early implicit memories are imprinted into the nervous system and held in the body somatically. Working with such early trauma requires delicate pacing and a virtual fortress of internal resources prior to processing traumatic material body-based memories.

What to expect from CRM:

  • Understand the power of the breath especially when used rhythmically as different emotions arise
  • The ability to utilise specific breathing sequences to regulate distressing emotional states of arousal
  • Weekly homework around tracking fluctuating emotional patterns and practice with using resources
  • How to utilise resources in combination with breathing in between therapy sessions
  • The patterned repetitive nature of CRM (like EMDR) is also the key to its success, but practice between sessions is equally essential

Couple Therapy

Couple therapy is a relationally focused therapy in which a couple work together during sessions with the therapist as a way of affecting change in their relationship. The primary aim of couple therapy is not to look for a resolution of a particular problem, but rather to explore specific relational patterns that may be driving distinct difficulties emerging in the relationship. Some couples seek therapy to help them decide whether to stay together or separate.

Some of the key relational problems couples experience often include: difficulties with communication, issues related to trust, perpetual arguments, sex and intimacy. Depending on the nature of the problem the couple is experiencing in their relationship, the therapist may combine another approach, such as schema therapy to identify and work with problematic relational patterns. Therapy can be short-term if the couple wants to work on a specific issue in their relationship. The assessment may indicate that some short-term individual work may be more helpful before commencing couple therapy.

What to expect in couple therapy:

  • An individualized plan of treatment to match a joint formulation of the couple’s agreed difficulties
  • The number of sessions will depend on the specific nature of the difficulties the couple is experiencing, but this will be indicated after the initial assessment is completed
  • Couple therapy can be hugely challenging and potentially distressing, but also very helpful in understanding habitual patterns of communication that may be undermining the relationship
  • It is usual in couple therapy to have homework both individually and as a couple in between sessions
  • Effective change will depend on the couple’s commitment to therapy and level of engagement during the therapeutic process, including working on agreed relational tasks between sessions

Dramatherapy

Drama therapy is an extremely powerful and creative therapeutic intervention that focuses on the healing aspects of drama and theatre as an exploratory tool in therapy. The transformative power of theatre and storytelling captures the imagination in playful and magical ways. Drama and play are an integral part of children’s everyday lives as well as being a vital part of their emotional and social development. Drama allows a child or young person to explore difficult and hurt feelings in refreshingly novel and creative ways. Some of these include; play, role- play, story, art, music and movement. This may also involve a range of playful and fun activities using puppets, masks, paints and costumes.

The idea is to create an imaginative story that supports a child or young person create a safe space to communicate and explore difficult feelings without this engendering a sense of threat. The storytelling or fictional aspect of drama serves as an emotional filter and creative container. This helps children and young people work with hurt and confusing feelings in ways that offset the fear of being overwhelmed by allowing them to tentatively step towards an exploration at their own pace and more indirectly. Drama therapy works well with groups of children and young people, but also individually. It is an effective therapeutic intervention for a range of psychological and mental health difficulties with children and teens.

What to expect from Drama Therapy:

  • Exploring feelings and relationships by using various playful ‘props’ such as puppets and other appropriate performance materials
  • Support, encouragement and guidance in the creative engagement of dramatizing and transforming personal stories and painful feelings using artistic interventions
  • Joint engagement in ‘make-believe’ as part of a shared experience to discover and self-create new perspectives on the survival of adversity and help build resilience

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a distinct therapeutic intervention or technique that uses bilateral stimulation (BLS) in order to facilitate processing of distressing memories related to traumatic events. Due to the overwhelming nature of trauma, it is believed that fragments of trauma memories remain frozen in the brain. EMDR has a strong evidence base for successfully treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

EMDR primarily focuses on past or present disturbing life experiences or other disturbing memories. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation, e.g. tapping or bi-lateral sounds) are used during sessions. Once a ‘target’ memory or experience is agreed together with associated negative belief/cognition the therapist will ask the client to hold diverse facets of that event or a thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision. Whilst this occurs, it is suggested that internal associations arise and the client begins to process the memory and distressing feelings.

In successful EMDR therapy, the negative meanings attributed to painful life experiences slowly change as they are integrated emotionally. EMDR is widely recognized as the treatment of choice for PTSD by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) but is also used to treat a wide range of psychological difficulties including; phobic fears, panic, obsessional anxiety, sleep problems, complicated grief reactions, chronic pain and performance anxiety.

What to expect from EMDR:

  • Once you have agreed on the key targets for treatment the EMDR process commences quite swiftly
  • The process is repetitive, but it is the patterned, rhythmic and repetitive nature of EMDR that is believed to be a key to its success
  • EMDR may be combined with other complementary treatment interventions, such as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy or Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)

Mentalisation-Based Treatment

Mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) is an integrative form of psychotherapy that combines elements of psychodynamic and systemic therapy with CBT.  It was originally developed by Professor Peter Fonagy and Anthony Bateman for people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The term mentalisation essentially refers to the ability to think about thinking; in other words, understanding what is in one’s own mind and that of another in terms of emotional intention and intentional action.

The ability to mentalise develops in early attachment relationships through emotional interactions with primary caregivers. If a child grows up in an attachment environment that is chaotic and neglectful their capacity to mentalise may become impaired or severely disrupted particularly if the caregiver is emotionally unstable or suffering from significant mental health difficulties.

The primary focus of MBT is to help a person develop an understanding of their own intentions and those of others. MBT places less emphasis on past relationships or the meaning of specific events, but rather on exploring and being curious about one’s own internal emotional process. While MBT is the recommended treatment by NICE for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), it has also been extended to treating emotional difficulties in adolescents, particularly in terms of understanding issues related to the maintenance of self-esteem, affect regulation and impulse control. It is also helpful in working with self-harm, trauma and working with families.

What to expect from MBT:

  • The key focus on the relationship between therapist and client being a priority for understanding and developing the capacity to mentalise
  • A focus on the present rather than the past as a foundation for understanding difficulties in relational interactions and internal emotional reactions when reflecting on what may be happening in the mind of another
  • During sessions, the therapist is likely to repetitively encourage reflection on situations or relational interactions that trigger intense emotions as a strategy to enhance the capacity for mentalisation in the present moment
  • The therapist is also likely to inquire about the way you are thinking and how your thoughts relate to behavioural actions as well as explore internal emotional states in order to develop new ways of mentalising

Music Therapy

Music has been used as a therapeutic tool in the service of healing for centuries. Rhythm is regulating; all cultures have some form of patterned, repetitive rhythmic activity as part of their healing and mourning rituals, which is partly why music is often regarded as one of the most powerful forms of communication. The engaging nature of music itself along with the diversity of musical forms makes music uniquely effective in helping people of all ages, whose lives have been affected by trauma, mental illness, physical injury or disability through supporting their psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs.

As an expressive and creative art therapy, music seeks to utilise tempo, rhythm and musical improvisation to enhance the emotional, psychological and physical well-being of individuals. Musical interactions also help in the exploration of deeper feelings where sound replaces words and rhythmic melody becomes the primary vehicle for communication. Music therapy is not about learning music or learning to use a specific musical instrument. It is more simply about using and exploring the different melodies of sound through musical interactions with various instruments and facilitating a musical conversation with the therapist in the service of healing.

Music involves patterned, repetitive rhythmic activation of the brainstem and can be seen as a brainstem modulating therapeutic intervention. This is particularly helpful when working with children who have suffered from early impaired bonding experiences and attachment disruptions and loss. Musical interactions encourage connection and bonding between mother and baby, which is especially helpful for women suffering from postnatal depression. Music therapy is also widely recognised as a specialist therapeutic intervention for people suffering from brain injury or other neurological disabilities to assist in rehabilitation and improve quality of life.

What to expect from Music Therapy:

  • Working at a pace that is naturally attuned and responsive to your particular emotional and physical needs
  • The capacity to explore musical forms of communication that gently encourage self-expression
  • Taking part in rhythmic body-based activities to modulate and regulate states of anxiety, enhance relaxation and encouraging creative play
  • Playing with musical interactions and alterations in tempo and rhythm as a gentle way of challenging habitual patterns of communication

Schema Therapy

Schema therapy was originally developed by Dr Jeffrey Young in the early 1990’s for the treatment of more complex psychological difficulties that were less responsive to traditional CBT and required more attachment focused work. The concept of ‘schema’ is often used to describe a relational template or blueprint the individual has developed about themselves and is a key component of the emotional difficulties they experience. Schema therapy places considerable emphasis on how the past deeply shaped the beliefs a person holds, their pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving. These deeply rooted patterns or ways of relating to self and others become the primary filter for processing information and relational interactions.

In schema therapy, the primary focus of therapeutic work is to identify core schemas and how they contribute to ‘maladaptive patterns’ that often undermine the possibility of sustaining meaningful relationships. Some of the core schemas that create considerable difficulties in relationships and form a key focus in therapy are; abandonment and instability, mistrust and abuse, defectiveness and shame, social isolation and alienation. The idea of ‘modes’ is a key term used in schema therapy to describe a cascade of emotional reactions or ‘coping modes’ based on early unmet needs. The therapeutic relationship is the primary vehicle for working with early unmet attachment needs through what is described as ‘limited re-parenting’, which serves as a healing antidote to toxic childhood experiences.

What to expect from Schema Therapy:

  • During the assessment, you will be given a range of questionnaires to complete to help identify key schemes and schema modes
  • The development of a shared understanding of the emotional difficulties you are experiencing to build a case formulation that informs a treatment plan
  • To develop alternative ways of coping that challenge dominant schemas and schema modes
  • The therapeutic work lasts anything between six months to possibly two years depending on the need to pace therapy to match emotional difficulties and time required to cultivate the capacity for change and healing

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a body-oriented approach to working with trauma. This approach is fully grounded in contemporary neuroscience research and attachment theory, but also deeply informed by the philosophical and spiritual practices of Buddhism. It has evolved over the last three decades into a complex and elegant form of body psychotherapy that gently weaves kindness, compassion and embedded mindfulness into all its therapeutic interventions. As a ‘bottom-up’ approach, it helps us to think sequentially especially when working with early developmental trauma.

While many therapeutic interventions depend almost entirely on verbal narrative, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy utilises the wisdom of the body as a key therapeutic and self-regulatory resource. It offers a unique lens to explore the language of the body by focussing explicitly on the sensory landscape of body sensations and impulses, micro muscular patterns of tension, body movements, posture and gesture as well as facial expressions, gaze resting responses and respiratory rhythms. By prioritising the somatic narrative, it is possible to access the story the body holds by tracking and sequencing somatic states of arousal as well as working more directly with defensive patterns.

The body is in constant somatic dialogue and is often considered to be a direct window into the rhythmic patterns of the nervous system, notably heart and respiratory rhythms. A person can be easily triggered by physiological reminders of past traumas through an unfolding cascade of sensory experience; sounds, smells, touch, body sensations and impulses as well as small shifts in posture, gesture and movements. Developing the skills of directed mindfulness is the foundational bridge of all sensorimotor interventions to working with the body. This requires that we cultivate a more embodied form of awareness in order to listen with the body-mind.

What to expect from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy:

  • Learning to listen to the story the body has to tell and developing a somatic vocabulary
  • Developing the skill of sensing the internal world of body sensations, impulses, muscular patterns of tension, orienting patterns, movement urges and postural patterns
  • Developing the capacity to direct attention to present-moment body-based experience; five-sense perceptions, sensory sensations, micro movement patterns etc, while being motivated by curiosity
  • Developing a more embodied rather than conceptual awareness of fluctuating patterns of physiological states
  • Developing the somatic skills to self-regulate

Systemic Family Therapy

Family therapy is an approach that works with families and those in close relationships to support each other in the service of fostering change. This may be parents and children together and also include grandparents or others who are considered important within the family system. Family therapy helps family members share difficult thoughts and feelings in a therapeutic family space in the hope of cultivating a shared understanding and appreciation of the differing needs and experience of others within the family system. Family therapy views relationships as deeply resourcing and seeks to help people who care for each other find ways of coping with emotional distress in more collaborative and supportive ways.

It is a particularly helpful relational approach across a broad spectrum of difficulties including; adults struggling with parenting; for children whose parents are suffering from a mental health problem, school-related difficulties, stressful and traumatic life events such as divorce and separation, premature death of a parent or partner. It is a particularly helpful approach in working with looked after and adopted children and their families as well as the complex difficulties families face when a child or young person has an eating disorder.

What to expect from Family Therapy:

  • Support in understanding how the family is functionally relating
  • Identify strengths and working collaboratively to build upon them within the family
  • Developing specific strategies and skills to work positively with the relational conflict between adults or child-adult conflict
  • Understand patterns of communication within the family and developing skills that strengthen communication across the family
  • Help people move beyond blaming other(s) and exploring how everyone can work together towards a shared understanding and goal for change

Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy utilises various body postures in combination with different breathing sequences and meditative practices as a way of restoring health and well-being to the individual. Therapeutic yoga is fundamentally a holistic approach that works to restore the mind-body connection that tends to be severely disrupted during times of emotional distress and trauma. All yoga practice works towards strengthening different systems in the body including; the heart and cardiovascular system, lungs, and musculoskeletal system. When tailored to the specific needs of the individual, yoga therapy is also particularly effective in modulating and regulating fluctuating states of arousal commonly associated with various forms of emotional distress, anxiety and depression. Considering the stressful lives most people lead; yoga therapy is perhaps considered to be one of the most natural yet powerfully gentle forms of body-based meditative practices that have a profoundly positive effect on the overall functioning of our stress-response system.

Yoga therapy is also particularly helpful when a person has suffered a traumatic experience or has a history of early developmental trauma. Trauma-sensitive yoga brings the body fully into therapy and helps a person gently reconnect with their bodies in a safe and healing way. We know that trauma not only affects the mind but deeply affects the body. We also know that the body holds and sustains the imprints of trauma which leads to disturbances in heart and respiratory rhythms as well as leaving a person stuck in cycles of hyperarousal (heightened anxiety/fear states) and dissociative numbing (feeling disconnected and cut-off emotionally). Trauma-sensitive yoga practice works sensitively and skilfully to repair the disruption that occurs between mind and body through therapeutic interventions that utilise the healing power of intention, purpose, rhythm and self-attunement along with restorative postures and self-regulatory breathing actions.

What to expect from Yoga Therapy:

  • Developing the skills to increase interoceptive (internal) awareness of body-based states
  • Learning to identify and track patterns of somatic activation through physical sensations, body impulses, muscular patterns of tension and irregularities in heart and breathing rhythms
  • Use the power of focused breathing to stabilise attention and build emotional regulation skills
  • Use the body purposefully through various postural movements
  • Develop the ability to utilise purposeful attention with physical postures and focused breathing to cope with strong emotions

Therapies we can offer for Adults:

We offer a creative range of therapies that are carefully tailored to the needs of each person.  All our therapeutic approaches are informed by contemporary research showing evidence of positive outcomes and sustainable change. Some of the therapies we offer include:

Art Psychotherapy

Art therapy is a distinct discipline that incorporates creative methods of expression through visual art media.  Art therapy, as a creative arts therapy profession, has its origins in the fields of art and psychotherapy.  It is founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value for those who are healing or seeking a deeper understand of themselves.  From a Jungian perspective, art therapy is a form of symbolic language originating from the unconscious which is significant in helping the individual with the integration of the psyche. For these reasons, art therapists are extremely aware of issues on confidentiality and boundaries.

Art therapists look for opportunities to help their clients identify, express and process emotions that might otherwise remain hidden or stuck.  This is achieved through the use of ‘art media’ to help children, adolescents and adults to express, communicate and explore their feelings.  Within this context, art is not used as a diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing or distressing.

Art therapy is an effective psychological intervention to treat mild to severe mental health problems.  Creating images can help transform an individual’s imagination and lived experiences so that they can begin to work through difficult events. This can take the form of storytelling through pictures and allows for time and space to develop the ability to reflect and process information.

What to expect from Art Therapy:

  • Exploring feelings using creative techniques such as drawing, painting, colouring etc
  • Developing self-awareness
  • Increasing self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Reducing anxiety and building resilience
  • Developing social skills

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses specifically on helping people develop an understanding of the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour. In particular, it helps with understanding that the meaning we attribute to any given situation can influence how we feel and subsequently act. CBT prioritises collaboration between therapist and client. This means they work together to change habitual ways of thinking and feeling that keeps them stuck in problematic patterns of behaving.

CBT has a strong evidence base and is perhaps one of the most popular therapeutic approaches. CBT is an effective intervention for treating a wide range of psychological difficulties. Some of these include depression, anxiety, panic, sleep problems, obsessional difficulties and various phobias. It is also often particularly helpful for a range of physical symptoms without any specified medical diagnosis such as chronic pain.

CBT is an extremely pragmatic and highly structured approach that focuses on present difficulties rather than exploring the past.

What to expect from CBT:

  • Working collaboratively is the key so you will be working with your therapist to break down your difficulties into distinct parts: thoughts, feelings, actions as well as corresponding body sensations
  • Homework is also a key part of the therapeutic process in CBT and you will be expected to keep a diary to help you begin to notice the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • During sessions, you will micro analyse both the unfolding sequence of emotional and behavioural reactions to understand the habitual cognitive meanings being attributed to certain situations
  • Treatment goals will be agreed at the end of each session along with any practice experiments between sessions
  • The practice work will help to identify the pacing interventions so you are working within your own window of emotional tolerance while challenging it at the same time
  • Psycho-education is a fundamental part of CBT and helps to facilitate change through being a teacher and a coach

Compassionate-Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassionate-Focused Therapy is an integrated model of therapy that encompasses Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology as well as Evolutionary and Buddhist Psychology. It also draws upon other therapeutic models that have developed interventions for specific psychological difficulties, such as CBT. CFT was developed originally by Professor Paul Gilbert to help people who suffer from a high level of self-criticism and shame.

Most of us have the ability to feel and show compassion and kindness towards others; it is part of what makes us human. However, it is much more difficult to show or experience compassion towards ourselves due to our tendency to judge ourselves more harshly than others. CFT helps you learn ‘how’ to feel kinder towards yourself and others and to feel safe in a world that can often feel overwhelming. CFT is an extremely gentle but profoundly powerful therapeutic approach for people who struggle to manage strong emotions, particularly for those with histories of abuse and bullying where intense feelings of anger, anxiety, shame and self-criticism may be creating significant difficulties in both their personal and professional lives.

CFT utilizes compassionate mind training techniques to help the individual develop the emotional resources that are needed to feel safe and secure. CFT is particularly helpful for anyone who struggles with intense feelings of shame and self-criticism or who may experience profound difficulties in feeling safe and secure either in their relationships or life in general. It does so by working on the three emotional brain systems: threat and protection, the drive/motivational system and safety-soothing system. During the assessment, the therapist will show how these systems may be interacting in relation to the difficulties you bring to therapy.

What to expect from CFT:

  • An assessment that identifies core areas of difficulty and formulates an individually focused plan of treatment
  • Support in understanding the importance of self-compassion and how this relates to current difficulties you may be experiencing
  • Working together in sessions with developing compassionate mind training skills to help alleviate patterns of internal emotional distress
  • Developing skills related to sensitivity, kindness and self-care as well as the skills required to tolerate emotional distress
  • The ability to develop compassionate attention in ways that will enhance your capacity to make compassionate choices rather than decisions being driven by shame-based emotions or thinking patterns based on self-criticism

Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)

Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) is a relatively new creative and innovative therapeutic approach that is designed to help people process traumatic life experiences or specific traumatic events. Developed originally by Lisa Schwarz, an American Psychologist who has over 30 years’ experience working with trauma and traumatic dissociation, CRM is currently gaining widespread recognition by leading specialists in the trauma field. In her recent book, co-written with Dr Frank Corrigan and Dr Alistair Hull, the authors take us on a journey through the labyrinth of brain science and set out to revolutionise intervention by providing us with a goldmine of neurobiological resources that influence cortical, limbic and brainstem systems.

CRM therapeutic interventions work to build a scaffold of internal resources through empowerment images, body-based grounding techniques, resource eye positions and rhythmic breathing sequences. This helps in promoting an embodied sense of containment that is foundational to scaffolding safety prior to processing any current or past traumatic material. The focus on the patterned and rhythmic breathing sequences supports dual consciousness and thereby offsets the possibility of emotional overwhelm when an individual is sufficiently resourced to ‘step into’ processing distress experiences. This is also supported by the use of specific CRM bi-lateral sounds.

CRM also incorporates therapeutic techniques from other approaches, notably eye position anchoring and ego-state therapy when working with dissociative parts.  One of the key strengths of CRM interventions is that they can easily be combined with other therapeutic approaches without compromising the integrity of the model. Another strength of CRM is it also works with the imprints of generational trauma as well as in-utero and early infant trauma. Such early implicit memories are imprinted into the nervous system and held in the body somatically. Working with such early trauma requires delicate pacing and a virtual fortress of internal resources prior to processing traumatic material body-based memories.

What to expect from CRM:

  • Understand the power of the breath especially when used rhythmically as different emotions arise
  • The ability to utilise specific breathing sequences to regulate distressing emotional states of arousal
  • Weekly homework around tracking fluctuating emotional patterns and practice with using resources
  • How to utilise resources in combination with breathing in between therapy sessions
  • The patterned repetitive nature of CRM (like EMDR) is also the key to its success, but practice between sessions is equally essential

Couple Therapy

Couple therapy is a relationally focused therapy in which a couple work together during sessions with the therapist as a way of affecting change in their relationship. The primary aim of couple therapy is not to look for a resolution of a particular problem, but rather to explore specific relational patterns that may be driving distinct difficulties emerging in the relationship. Some couples seek therapy to help them decide whether to stay together or separate.

Some of the key relational problems couples experience often include: difficulties with communication, issues related to trust, perpetual arguments, sex and intimacy. Depending on the nature of the problem the couple is experiencing in their relationship, the therapist may combine another approach, such as schema therapy to identify and work with problematic relational patterns. Therapy can be short-term if the couple wants to work on a specific issue in their relationship. The assessment may indicate that some short-term individual work may be more helpful before commencing couple therapy.

What to expect in couple therapy:

  • An individualized plan of treatment to match a joint formulation of the couple’s agreed difficulties
  • The number of sessions will depend on the specific nature of the difficulties the couple is experiencing, but this will be indicated after the initial assessment is completed
  • Couple therapy can be hugely challenging and potentially distressing, but also very helpful in understanding habitual patterns of communication that may be undermining the relationship
  • It is usual in couple therapy to have homework both individually and as a couple in between sessions
  • Effective change will depend on the couple’s commitment to therapy and level of engagement during the therapeutic process, including working on agreed relational tasks between sessions

Dramatherapy

Drama therapy is an extremely powerful and creative therapeutic intervention that focuses on the healing aspects of drama and theatre as an exploratory tool in therapy. The transformative power of theatre and storytelling captures the imagination in playful and magical ways. Drama and play are an integral part of children’s everyday lives as well as being a vital part of their emotional and social development. Drama allows a child or young person to explore difficult and hurt feelings in refreshingly novel and creative ways. Some of these include; play, role- play, story, art, music and movement. This may also involve a range of playful and fun activities using puppets, masks, paints and costumes.

The idea is to create an imaginative story that supports a child or young person create a safe space to communicate and explore difficult feelings without this engendering a sense of threat. The storytelling or fictional aspect of drama serves as an emotional filter and creative container. This helps children and young people work with hurt and confusing feelings in ways that offset the fear of being overwhelmed by allowing them to tentatively step towards an exploration at their own pace and more indirectly. Drama therapy works well with groups of children and young people, but also individually. It is an effective therapeutic intervention for a range of psychological and mental health difficulties with children and teens.

What to expect from Drama Therapy:

  • Exploring feelings and relationships by using various playful ‘props’ such as puppets and other appropriate performance materials
  • Support, encouragement and guidance in the creative engagement of dramatizing and transforming personal stories and painful feelings using artistic interventions
  • Joint engagement in ‘make-believe’ as part of a shared experience to discover and self-create new perspectives on the survival of adversity and help build resilience

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a distinct therapeutic intervention or technique that uses bilateral stimulation (BLS) in order to facilitate processing of distressing memories related to traumatic events. Due to the overwhelming nature of trauma, it is believed that fragments of trauma memories remain frozen in the brain. EMDR has a strong evidence base for successfully treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

EMDR primarily focuses on past or present disturbing life experiences or other disturbing memories. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation, e.g. tapping or bi-lateral sounds) are used during sessions. Once a ‘target’ memory or experience is agreed together with associated negative belief/cognition the therapist will ask the client to hold diverse facets of that event or a thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision. Whilst this occurs, it is suggested that internal associations arise and the client begins to process the memory and distressing feelings.

In successful EMDR therapy, the negative meanings attributed to painful life experiences slowly change as they are integrated emotionally. EMDR is widely recognized as the treatment of choice for PTSD by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) but is also used to treat a wide range of psychological difficulties including; phobic fears, panic, obsessional anxiety, sleep problems, complicated grief reactions, chronic pain and performance anxiety.

What to expect from EMDR:

  • Once you have agreed on the key targets for treatment the EMDR process commences quite swiftly
  • The process is repetitive, but it is the patterned, rhythmic and repetitive nature of EMDR that is believed to be a key to its success
  • EMDR may be combined with other complementary treatment interventions, such as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy or Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)

Mentalisation-Based Treatment

Mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) is an integrative form of psychotherapy that combines elements of psychodynamic and systemic therapy with CBT.  It was originally developed by Professor Peter Fonagy and Anthony Bateman for people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The term mentalisation essentially refers to the ability to think about thinking; in other words, understanding what is in one’s own mind and that of another in terms of emotional intention and intentional action.

The ability to mentalise develops in early attachment relationships through emotional interactions with primary caregivers. If a child grows up in an attachment environment that is chaotic and neglectful their capacity to mentalise may become impaired or severely disrupted particularly if the caregiver is emotionally unstable or suffering from significant mental health difficulties.

The primary focus of MBT is to help a person develop an understanding of their own intentions and those of others. MBT places less emphasis on past relationships or the meaning of specific events, but rather on exploring and being curious about one’s own internal emotional process. While MBT is the recommended treatment by NICE for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), it has also been extended to treating emotional difficulties in adolescents, particularly in terms of understanding issues related to the maintenance of self-esteem, affect regulation and impulse control. It is also helpful in working with self-harm, trauma and working with families.

What to expect from MBT:

  • The key focus on the relationship between therapist and client being a priority for understanding and developing the capacity to mentalise
  • A focus on the present rather than the past as a foundation for understanding difficulties in relational interactions and internal emotional reactions when reflecting on what may be happening in the mind of another
  • During sessions, the therapist is likely to repetitively encourage reflection on situations or relational interactions that trigger intense emotions as a strategy to enhance the capacity for mentalisation in the present moment
  • The therapist is also likely to inquire about the way you are thinking and how your thoughts relate to behavioural actions as well as explore internal emotional states in order to develop new ways of mentalising

Music Therapy

Music has been used as a therapeutic tool in the service of healing for centuries. Rhythm is regulating; all cultures have some form of patterned, repetitive rhythmic activity as part of their healing and mourning rituals, which is partly why music is often regarded as one of the most powerful forms of communication. The engaging nature of music itself along with the diversity of musical forms makes music uniquely effective in helping people of all ages, whose lives have been affected by trauma, mental illness, physical injury or disability through supporting their psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs.

As an expressive and creative art therapy, music seeks to utilise tempo, rhythm and musical improvisation to enhance the emotional, psychological and physical well-being of individuals. Musical interactions also help in the exploration of deeper feelings where sound replaces words and rhythmic melody becomes the primary vehicle for communication. Music therapy is not about learning music or learning to use a specific musical instrument. It is more simply about using and exploring the different melodies of sound through musical interactions with various instruments and facilitating a musical conversation with the therapist in the service of healing.

Music involves patterned, repetitive rhythmic activation of the brainstem and can be seen as a brainstem modulating therapeutic intervention. This is particularly helpful when working with children who have suffered from early impaired bonding experiences and attachment disruptions and loss. Musical interactions encourage connection and bonding between mother and baby, which is especially helpful for women suffering from postnatal depression. Music therapy is also widely recognised as a specialist therapeutic intervention for people suffering from brain injury or other neurological disabilities to assist in rehabilitation and improve quality of life.

What to expect from Music Therapy:

  • Working at a pace that is naturally attuned and responsive to your particular emotional and physical needs
  • The capacity to explore musical forms of communication that gently encourage self-expression
  • Taking part in rhythmic body-based activities to modulate and regulate states of anxiety, enhance relaxation and encouraging creative play
  • Playing with musical interactions and alterations in tempo and rhythm as a gentle way of challenging habitual patterns of communication

Schema Therapy

Schema therapy was originally developed by Dr Jeffrey Young in the early 1990’s for the treatment of more complex psychological difficulties that were less responsive to traditional CBT and required more attachment focused work. The concept of ‘schema’ is often used to describe a relational template or blueprint the individual has developed about themselves and is a key component of the emotional difficulties they experience. Schema therapy places considerable emphasis on how the past deeply shaped the beliefs a person holds, their pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving. These deeply rooted patterns or ways of relating to self and others become the primary filter for processing information and relational interactions.

In schema therapy, the primary focus of therapeutic work is to identify core schemas and how they contribute to ‘maladaptive patterns’ that often undermine the possibility of sustaining meaningful relationships. Some of the core schemas that create considerable difficulties in relationships and form a key focus in therapy are; abandonment and instability, mistrust and abuse, defectiveness and shame, social isolation and alienation. The idea of ‘modes’ is a key term used in schema therapy to describe a cascade of emotional reactions or ‘coping modes’ based on early unmet needs. The therapeutic relationship is the primary vehicle for working with early unmet attachment needs through what is described as ‘limited re-parenting’, which serves as a healing antidote to toxic childhood experiences.

What to expect from Schema Therapy:

  • During the assessment, you will be given a range of questionnaires to complete to help identify key schemes and schema modes
  • The development of a shared understanding of the emotional difficulties you are experiencing to build a case formulation that informs a treatment plan
  • To develop alternative ways of coping that challenge dominant schemas and schema modes
  • The therapeutic work lasts anything between six months to possibly two years depending on the need to pace therapy to match emotional difficulties and time required to cultivate the capacity for change and healing

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a body-oriented approach to working with trauma. This approach is fully grounded in contemporary neuroscience research and attachment theory, but also deeply informed by the philosophical and spiritual practices of Buddhism. It has evolved over the last three decades into a complex and elegant form of body psychotherapy that gently weaves kindness, compassion and embedded mindfulness into all its therapeutic interventions. As a ‘bottom-up’ approach, it helps us to think sequentially especially when working with early developmental trauma.

While many therapeutic interventions depend almost entirely on verbal narrative, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy utilises the wisdom of the body as a key therapeutic and self-regulatory resource. It offers a unique lens to explore the language of the body by focussing explicitly on the sensory landscape of body sensations and impulses, micro muscular patterns of tension, body movements, posture and gesture as well as facial expressions, gaze resting responses and respiratory rhythms. By prioritising the somatic narrative, it is possible to access the story the body holds by tracking and sequencing somatic states of arousal as well as working more directly with defensive patterns.

The body is in constant somatic dialogue and is often considered to be a direct window into the rhythmic patterns of the nervous system, notably heart and respiratory rhythms. A person can be easily triggered by physiological reminders of past traumas through an unfolding cascade of sensory experience; sounds, smells, touch, body sensations and impulses as well as small shifts in posture, gesture and movements. Developing the skills of directed mindfulness is the foundational bridge of all sensorimotor interventions to working with the body. This requires that we cultivate a more embodied form of awareness in order to listen with the body-mind.

What to expect from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy:

  • Learning to listen to the story the body has to tell and developing a somatic vocabulary
  • Developing the skill of sensing the internal world of body sensations, impulses, muscular patterns of tension, orienting patterns, movement urges and postural patterns
  • Developing the capacity to direct attention to present-moment body-based experience; five-sense perceptions, sensory sensations, micro movement patterns etc, while being motivated by curiosity
  • Developing a more embodied rather than conceptual awareness of fluctuating patterns of physiological states
  • Developing the somatic skills to self-regulate

Systemic Family Therapy

Family therapy is an approach that works with families and those in close relationships to support each other in the service of fostering change. This may be parents and children together and also include grandparents or others who are considered important within the family system. Family therapy helps family members share difficult thoughts and feelings in a therapeutic family space in the hope of cultivating a shared understanding and appreciation of the differing needs and experience of others within the family system. Family therapy views relationships as deeply resourcing and seeks to help people who care for each other find ways of coping with emotional distress in more collaborative and supportive ways.

It is a particularly helpful relational approach across a broad spectrum of difficulties including; adults struggling with parenting; for children whose parents are suffering from a mental health problem, school-related difficulties, stressful and traumatic life events such as divorce and separation, premature death of a parent or partner. It is a particularly helpful approach in working with looked after and adopted children and their families as well as the complex difficulties families face when a child or young person has an eating disorder.

What to expect from Family Therapy:

  • Support in understanding how the family is functionally relating
  • Identify strengths and working collaboratively to build upon them within the family
  • Developing specific strategies and skills to work positively with the relational conflict between adults or child-adult conflict
  • Understand patterns of communication within the family and developing skills that strengthen communication across the family
  • Help people move beyond blaming other(s) and exploring how everyone can work together towards a shared understanding and goal for change

Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy utilises various body postures in combination with different breathing sequences and meditative practices as a way of restoring health and well-being to the individual. Therapeutic yoga is fundamentally a holistic approach that works to restore the mind-body connection that tends to be severely disrupted during times of emotional distress and trauma. All yoga practice works towards strengthening different systems in the body including; the heart and cardiovascular system, lungs, and musculoskeletal system. When tailored to the specific needs of the individual, yoga therapy is also particularly effective in modulating and regulating fluctuating states of arousal commonly associated with various forms of emotional distress, anxiety and depression. Considering the stressful lives most people lead; yoga therapy is perhaps considered to be one of the most natural yet powerfully gentle forms of body-based meditative practices that have a profoundly positive effect on the overall functioning of our stress-response system.

Yoga therapy is also particularly helpful when a person has suffered a traumatic experience or has a history of early developmental trauma. Trauma-sensitive yoga brings the body fully into therapy and helps a person gently reconnect with their bodies in a safe and healing way. We know that trauma not only affects the mind but deeply affects the body. We also know that the body holds and sustains the imprints of trauma which leads to disturbances in heart and respiratory rhythms as well as leaving a person stuck in cycles of hyperarousal (heightened anxiety/fear states) and dissociative numbing (feeling disconnected and cut-off emotionally). Trauma-sensitive yoga practice works sensitively and skilfully to repair the disruption that occurs between mind and body through therapeutic interventions that utilise the healing power of intention, purpose, rhythm and self-attunement along with restorative postures and self-regulatory breathing actions.

What to expect from Yoga Therapy:

  • Developing the skills to increase interoceptive (internal) awareness of body-based states
  • Learning to identify and track patterns of somatic activation through physical sensations, body impulses, muscular patterns of tension and irregularities in heart and breathing rhythms
  • Use the power of focused breathing to stabilise attention and build emotional regulation skills
  • Use the body purposefully through various postural movements
  • Develop the ability to utilise purposeful attention with physical postures and focused breathing to cope with strong emotions

Therapies we can offer for Adults:

We offer a creative range of therapies that are carefully tailored to the needs of each person.  All our therapeutic approaches are informed by contemporary research showing evidence of positive outcomes and sustainable change. Some of the therapies we offer include:

Art Psychotherapy

Art therapy is a distinct discipline that incorporates creative methods of expression through visual art media.  Art therapy, as a creative arts therapy profession, has its origins in the fields of art and psychotherapy.  It is founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value for those who are healing or seeking a deeper understand of themselves.  From a Jungian perspective, art therapy is a form of symbolic language originating from the unconscious which is significant in helping the individual with the integration of the psyche. For these reasons, art therapists are extremely aware of issues on confidentiality and boundaries.

Art therapists look for opportunities to help their clients identify, express and process emotions that might otherwise remain hidden or stuck.  This is achieved through the use of ‘art media’ to help children, adolescents and adults to express, communicate and explore their feelings.  Within this context, art is not used as a diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing or distressing.

Art therapy is an effective psychological intervention to treat mild to severe mental health problems.  Creating images can help transform an individual’s imagination and lived experiences so that they can begin to work through difficult events. This can take the form of storytelling through pictures and allows for time and space to develop the ability to reflect and process information.

What to expect from Art Therapy:

  • Exploring feelings using creative techniques such as drawing, painting, colouring etc
  • Developing self-awareness
  • Increasing self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Reducing anxiety and building resilience
  • Developing social skills

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses specifically on helping people develop an understanding of the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour. In particular, it helps with understanding that the meaning we attribute to any given situation can influence how we feel and subsequently act. CBT prioritises collaboration between therapist and client. This means they work together to change habitual ways of thinking and feeling that keeps them stuck in problematic patterns of behaving.

CBT has a strong evidence base and is perhaps one of the most popular therapeutic approaches. CBT is an effective intervention for treating a wide range of psychological difficulties. Some of these include depression, anxiety, panic, sleep problems, obsessional difficulties and various phobias. It is also often particularly helpful for a range of physical symptoms without any specified medical diagnosis such as chronic pain.

CBT is an extremely pragmatic and highly structured approach that focuses on present difficulties rather than exploring the past.

What to expect from CBT:

  • Working collaboratively is the key so you will be working with your therapist to break down your difficulties into distinct parts: thoughts, feelings, actions as well as corresponding body sensations
  • Homework is also a key part of the therapeutic process in CBT and you will be expected to keep a diary to help you begin to notice the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • During sessions, you will micro analyse both the unfolding sequence of emotional and behavioural reactions to understand the habitual cognitive meanings being attributed to certain situations
  • Treatment goals will be agreed at the end of each session along with any practice experiments between sessions
  • The practice work will help to identify the pacing interventions so you are working within your own window of emotional tolerance while challenging it at the same time
  • Psycho-education is a fundamental part of CBT and helps to facilitate change through being a teacher and a coach

Compassionate-Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassionate-Focused Therapy is an integrated model of therapy that encompasses Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology as well as Evolutionary and Buddhist Psychology. It also draws upon other therapeutic models that have developed interventions for specific psychological difficulties, such as CBT. CFT was developed originally by Professor Paul Gilbert to help people who suffer from a high level of self-criticism and shame.

Most of us have the ability to feel and show compassion and kindness towards others; it is part of what makes us human. However, it is much more difficult to show or experience compassion towards ourselves due to our tendency to judge ourselves more harshly than others. CFT helps you learn ‘how’ to feel kinder towards yourself and others and to feel safe in a world that can often feel overwhelming. CFT is an extremely gentle but profoundly powerful therapeutic approach for people who struggle to manage strong emotions, particularly for those with histories of abuse and bullying where intense feelings of anger, anxiety, shame and self-criticism may be creating significant difficulties in both their personal and professional lives.

CFT utilizes compassionate mind training techniques to help the individual develop the emotional resources that are needed to feel safe and secure. CFT is particularly helpful for anyone who struggles with intense feelings of shame and self-criticism or who may experience profound difficulties in feeling safe and secure either in their relationships or life in general. It does so by working on the three emotional brain systems: threat and protection, the drive/motivational system and safety-soothing system. During the assessment, the therapist will show how these systems may be interacting in relation to the difficulties you bring to therapy.

What to expect from CFT:

  • An assessment that identifies core areas of difficulty and formulates an individually focused plan of treatment
  • Support in understanding the importance of self-compassion and how this relates to current difficulties you may be experiencing
  • Working together in sessions with developing compassionate mind training skills to help alleviate patterns of internal emotional distress
  • Developing skills related to sensitivity, kindness and self-care as well as the skills required to tolerate emotional distress
  • The ability to develop compassionate attention in ways that will enhance your capacity to make compassionate choices rather than decisions being driven by shame-based emotions or thinking patterns based on self-criticism

Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)

Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) is a relatively new creative and innovative therapeutic approach that is designed to help people process traumatic life experiences or specific traumatic events. Developed originally by Lisa Schwarz, an American Psychologist who has over 30 years’ experience working with trauma and traumatic dissociation, CRM is currently gaining widespread recognition by leading specialists in the trauma field. In her recent book, co-written with Dr Frank Corrigan and Dr Alistair Hull, the authors take us on a journey through the labyrinth of brain science and set out to revolutionise intervention by providing us with a goldmine of neurobiological resources that influence cortical, limbic and brainstem systems.

CRM therapeutic interventions work to build a scaffold of internal resources through empowerment images, body-based grounding techniques, resource eye positions and rhythmic breathing sequences. This helps in promoting an embodied sense of containment that is foundational to scaffolding safety prior to processing any current or past traumatic material. The focus on the patterned and rhythmic breathing sequences supports dual consciousness and thereby offsets the possibility of emotional overwhelm when an individual is sufficiently resourced to ‘step into’ processing distress experiences. This is also supported by the use of specific CRM bi-lateral sounds.

CRM also incorporates therapeutic techniques from other approaches, notably eye position anchoring and ego-state therapy when working with dissociative parts.  One of the key strengths of CRM interventions is that they can easily be combined with other therapeutic approaches without compromising the integrity of the model. Another strength of CRM is it also works with the imprints of generational trauma as well as in-utero and early infant trauma. Such early implicit memories are imprinted into the nervous system and held in the body somatically. Working with such early trauma requires delicate pacing and a virtual fortress of internal resources prior to processing traumatic material body-based memories.

What to expect from CRM:

  • Understand the power of the breath especially when used rhythmically as different emotions arise
  • The ability to utilise specific breathing sequences to regulate distressing emotional states of arousal
  • Weekly homework around tracking fluctuating emotional patterns and practice with using resources
  • How to utilise resources in combination with breathing in between therapy sessions
  • The patterned repetitive nature of CRM (like EMDR) is also the key to its success, but practice between sessions is equally essential

Couple Therapy

Couple therapy is a relationally focused therapy in which a couple work together during sessions with the therapist as a way of affecting change in their relationship. The primary aim of couple therapy is not to look for a resolution of a particular problem, but rather to explore specific relational patterns that may be driving distinct difficulties emerging in the relationship. Some couples seek therapy to help them decide whether to stay together or separate.

Some of the key relational problems couples experience often include: difficulties with communication, issues related to trust, perpetual arguments, sex and intimacy. Depending on the nature of the problem the couple is experiencing in their relationship, the therapist may combine another approach, such as schema therapy to identify and work with problematic relational patterns. Therapy can be short-term if the couple wants to work on a specific issue in their relationship. The assessment may indicate that some short-term individual work may be more helpful before commencing couple therapy.

What to expect in couple therapy:

  • An individualized plan of treatment to match a joint formulation of the couple’s agreed difficulties
  • The number of sessions will depend on the specific nature of the difficulties the couple is experiencing, but this will be indicated after the initial assessment is completed
  • Couple therapy can be hugely challenging and potentially distressing, but also very helpful in understanding habitual patterns of communication that may be undermining the relationship
  • It is usual in couple therapy to have homework both individually and as a couple in between sessions
  • Effective change will depend on the couple’s commitment to therapy and level of engagement during the therapeutic process, including working on agreed relational tasks between sessions

Dramatherapy

Drama therapy is an extremely powerful and creative therapeutic intervention that focuses on the healing aspects of drama and theatre as an exploratory tool in therapy. The transformative power of theatre and storytelling captures the imagination in playful and magical ways. Drama and play are an integral part of children’s everyday lives as well as being a vital part of their emotional and social development. Drama allows a child or young person to explore difficult and hurt feelings in refreshingly novel and creative ways. Some of these include; play, role- play, story, art, music and movement. This may also involve a range of playful and fun activities using puppets, masks, paints and costumes.

The idea is to create an imaginative story that supports a child or young person create a safe space to communicate and explore difficult feelings without this engendering a sense of threat. The storytelling or fictional aspect of drama serves as an emotional filter and creative container. This helps children and young people work with hurt and confusing feelings in ways that offset the fear of being overwhelmed by allowing them to tentatively step towards an exploration at their own pace and more indirectly. Drama therapy works well with groups of children and young people, but also individually. It is an effective therapeutic intervention for a range of psychological and mental health difficulties with children and teens.

What to expect from Drama Therapy:

  • Exploring feelings and relationships by using various playful ‘props’ such as puppets and other appropriate performance materials
  • Support, encouragement and guidance in the creative engagement of dramatizing and transforming personal stories and painful feelings using artistic interventions
  • Joint engagement in ‘make-believe’ as part of a shared experience to discover and self-create new perspectives on the survival of adversity and help build resilience

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a distinct therapeutic intervention or technique that uses bilateral stimulation (BLS) in order to facilitate processing of distressing memories related to traumatic events. Due to the overwhelming nature of trauma, it is believed that fragments of trauma memories remain frozen in the brain. EMDR has a strong evidence base for successfully treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

EMDR primarily focuses on past or present disturbing life experiences or other disturbing memories. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation, e.g. tapping or bi-lateral sounds) are used during sessions. Once a ‘target’ memory or experience is agreed together with associated negative belief/cognition the therapist will ask the client to hold diverse facets of that event or a thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision. Whilst this occurs, it is suggested that internal associations arise and the client begins to process the memory and distressing feelings.

In successful EMDR therapy, the negative meanings attributed to painful life experiences slowly change as they are integrated emotionally. EMDR is widely recognized as the treatment of choice for PTSD by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) but is also used to treat a wide range of psychological difficulties including; phobic fears, panic, obsessional anxiety, sleep problems, complicated grief reactions, chronic pain and performance anxiety.

What to expect from EMDR:

  • Once you have agreed on the key targets for treatment the EMDR process commences quite swiftly
  • The process is repetitive, but it is the patterned, rhythmic and repetitive nature of EMDR that is believed to be a key to its success
  • EMDR may be combined with other complementary treatment interventions, such as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy or Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)

Mentalisation-Based Treatment

Mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) is an integrative form of psychotherapy that combines elements of psychodynamic and systemic therapy with CBT.  It was originally developed by Professor Peter Fonagy and Anthony Bateman for people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The term mentalisation essentially refers to the ability to think about thinking; in other words, understanding what is in one’s own mind and that of another in terms of emotional intention and intentional action.

The ability to mentalise develops in early attachment relationships through emotional interactions with primary caregivers. If a child grows up in an attachment environment that is chaotic and neglectful their capacity to mentalise may become impaired or severely disrupted particularly if the caregiver is emotionally unstable or suffering from significant mental health difficulties.

The primary focus of MBT is to help a person develop an understanding of their own intentions and those of others. MBT places less emphasis on past relationships or the meaning of specific events, but rather on exploring and being curious about one’s own internal emotional process. While MBT is the recommended treatment by NICE for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), it has also been extended to treating emotional difficulties in adolescents, particularly in terms of understanding issues related to the maintenance of self-esteem, affect regulation and impulse control. It is also helpful in working with self-harm, trauma and working with families.

What to expect from MBT:

  • The key focus on the relationship between therapist and client being a priority for understanding and developing the capacity to mentalise
  • A focus on the present rather than the past as a foundation for understanding difficulties in relational interactions and internal emotional reactions when reflecting on what may be happening in the mind of another
  • During sessions, the therapist is likely to repetitively encourage reflection on situations or relational interactions that trigger intense emotions as a strategy to enhance the capacity for mentalisation in the present moment
  • The therapist is also likely to inquire about the way you are thinking and how your thoughts relate to behavioural actions as well as explore internal emotional states in order to develop new ways of mentalising

Music Therapy

Music has been used as a therapeutic tool in the service of healing for centuries. Rhythm is regulating; all cultures have some form of patterned, repetitive rhythmic activity as part of their healing and mourning rituals, which is partly why music is often regarded as one of the most powerful forms of communication. The engaging nature of music itself along with the diversity of musical forms makes music uniquely effective in helping people of all ages, whose lives have been affected by trauma, mental illness, physical injury or disability through supporting their psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs.

As an expressive and creative art therapy, music seeks to utilise tempo, rhythm and musical improvisation to enhance the emotional, psychological and physical well-being of individuals. Musical interactions also help in the exploration of deeper feelings where sound replaces words and rhythmic melody becomes the primary vehicle for communication. Music therapy is not about learning music or learning to use a specific musical instrument. It is more simply about using and exploring the different melodies of sound through musical interactions with various instruments and facilitating a musical conversation with the therapist in the service of healing.

Music involves patterned, repetitive rhythmic activation of the brainstem and can be seen as a brainstem modulating therapeutic intervention. This is particularly helpful when working with children who have suffered from early impaired bonding experiences and attachment disruptions and loss. Musical interactions encourage connection and bonding between mother and baby, which is especially helpful for women suffering from postnatal depression. Music therapy is also widely recognised as a specialist therapeutic intervention for people suffering from brain injury or other neurological disabilities to assist in rehabilitation and improve quality of life.

What to expect from Music Therapy:

  • Working at a pace that is naturally attuned and responsive to your particular emotional and physical needs
  • The capacity to explore musical forms of communication that gently encourage self-expression
  • Taking part in rhythmic body-based activities to modulate and regulate states of anxiety, enhance relaxation and encouraging creative play
  • Playing with musical interactions and alterations in tempo and rhythm as a gentle way of challenging habitual patterns of communication

Schema Therapy

Schema therapy was originally developed by Dr Jeffrey Young in the early 1990’s for the treatment of more complex psychological difficulties that were less responsive to traditional CBT and required more attachment focused work. The concept of ‘schema’ is often used to describe a relational template or blueprint the individual has developed about themselves and is a key component of the emotional difficulties they experience. Schema therapy places considerable emphasis on how the past deeply shaped the beliefs a person holds, their pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving. These deeply rooted patterns or ways of relating to self and others become the primary filter for processing information and relational interactions.

In schema therapy, the primary focus of therapeutic work is to identify core schemas and how they contribute to ‘maladaptive patterns’ that often undermine the possibility of sustaining meaningful relationships. Some of the core schemas that create considerable difficulties in relationships and form a key focus in therapy are; abandonment and instability, mistrust and abuse, defectiveness and shame, social isolation and alienation. The idea of ‘modes’ is a key term used in schema therapy to describe a cascade of emotional reactions or ‘coping modes’ based on early unmet needs. The therapeutic relationship is the primary vehicle for working with early unmet attachment needs through what is described as ‘limited re-parenting’, which serves as a healing antidote to toxic childhood experiences.

What to expect from Schema Therapy:

  • During the assessment, you will be given a range of questionnaires to complete to help identify key schemes and schema modes
  • The development of a shared understanding of the emotional difficulties you are experiencing to build a case formulation that informs a treatment plan
  • To develop alternative ways of coping that challenge dominant schemas and schema modes
  • The therapeutic work lasts anything between six months to possibly two years depending on the need to pace therapy to match emotional difficulties and time required to cultivate the capacity for change and healing

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a body-oriented approach to working with trauma. This approach is fully grounded in contemporary neuroscience research and attachment theory, but also deeply informed by the philosophical and spiritual practices of Buddhism. It has evolved over the last three decades into a complex and elegant form of body psychotherapy that gently weaves kindness, compassion and embedded mindfulness into all its therapeutic interventions. As a ‘bottom-up’ approach, it helps us to think sequentially especially when working with early developmental trauma.

While many therapeutic interventions depend almost entirely on verbal narrative, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy utilises the wisdom of the body as a key therapeutic and self-regulatory resource. It offers a unique lens to explore the language of the body by focussing explicitly on the sensory landscape of body sensations and impulses, micro muscular patterns of tension, body movements, posture and gesture as well as facial expressions, gaze resting responses and respiratory rhythms. By prioritising the somatic narrative, it is possible to access the story the body holds by tracking and sequencing somatic states of arousal as well as working more directly with defensive patterns.

The body is in constant somatic dialogue and is often considered to be a direct window into the rhythmic patterns of the nervous system, notably heart and respiratory rhythms. A person can be easily triggered by physiological reminders of past traumas through an unfolding cascade of sensory experience; sounds, smells, touch, body sensations and impulses as well as small shifts in posture, gesture and movements. Developing the skills of directed mindfulness is the foundational bridge of all sensorimotor interventions to working with the body. This requires that we cultivate a more embodied form of awareness in order to listen with the body-mind.

What to expect from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy:

  • Learning to listen to the story the body has to tell and developing a somatic vocabulary
  • Developing the skill of sensing the internal world of body sensations, impulses, muscular patterns of tension, orienting patterns, movement urges and postural patterns
  • Developing the capacity to direct attention to present-moment body-based experience; five-sense perceptions, sensory sensations, micro movement patterns etc, while being motivated by curiosity
  • Developing a more embodied rather than conceptual awareness of fluctuating patterns of physiological states
  • Developing the somatic skills to self-regulate

Systemic Family Therapy

Family therapy is an approach that works with families and those in close relationships to support each other in the service of fostering change. This may be parents and children together and also include grandparents or others who are considered important within the family system. Family therapy helps family members share difficult thoughts and feelings in a therapeutic family space in the hope of cultivating a shared understanding and appreciation of the differing needs and experience of others within the family system. Family therapy views relationships as deeply resourcing and seeks to help people who care for each other find ways of coping with emotional distress in more collaborative and supportive ways.

It is a particularly helpful relational approach across a broad spectrum of difficulties including; adults struggling with parenting; for children whose parents are suffering from a mental health problem, school-related difficulties, stressful and traumatic life events such as divorce and separation, premature death of a parent or partner. It is a particularly helpful approach in working with looked after and adopted children and their families as well as the complex difficulties families face when a child or young person has an eating disorder.

What to expect from Family Therapy:

  • Support in understanding how the family is functionally relating
  • Identify strengths and working collaboratively to build upon them within the family
  • Developing specific strategies and skills to work positively with the relational conflict between adults or child-adult conflict
  • Understand patterns of communication within the family and developing skills that strengthen communication across the family
  • Help people move beyond blaming other(s) and exploring how everyone can work together towards a shared understanding and goal for change

Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy utilises various body postures in combination with different breathing sequences and meditative practices as a way of restoring health and well-being to the individual. Therapeutic yoga is fundamentally a holistic approach that works to restore the mind-body connection that tends to be severely disrupted during times of emotional distress and trauma. All yoga practice works towards strengthening different systems in the body including; the heart and cardiovascular system, lungs, and musculoskeletal system. When tailored to the specific needs of the individual, yoga therapy is also particularly effective in modulating and regulating fluctuating states of arousal commonly associated with various forms of emotional distress, anxiety and depression. Considering the stressful lives most people lead; yoga therapy is perhaps considered to be one of the most natural yet powerfully gentle forms of body-based meditative practices that have a profoundly positive effect on the overall functioning of our stress-response system.

Yoga therapy is also particularly helpful when a person has suffered a traumatic experience or has a history of early developmental trauma. Trauma-sensitive yoga brings the body fully into therapy and helps a person gently reconnect with their bodies in a safe and healing way. We know that trauma not only affects the mind but deeply affects the body. We also know that the body holds and sustains the imprints of trauma which leads to disturbances in heart and respiratory rhythms as well as leaving a person stuck in cycles of hyperarousal (heightened anxiety/fear states) and dissociative numbing (feeling disconnected and cut-off emotionally). Trauma-sensitive yoga practice works sensitively and skilfully to repair the disruption that occurs between mind and body through therapeutic interventions that utilise the healing power of intention, purpose, rhythm and self-attunement along with restorative postures and self-regulatory breathing actions.

What to expect from Yoga Therapy:

  • Developing the skills to increase interoceptive (internal) awareness of body-based states
  • Learning to identify and track patterns of somatic activation through physical sensations, body impulses, muscular patterns of tension and irregularities in heart and breathing rhythms
  • Use the power of focused breathing to stabilise attention and build emotional regulation skills
  • Use the body purposefully through various postural movements
  • Develop the ability to utilise purposeful attention with physical postures and focused breathing to cope with strong emotions

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