My approach to therapy has evolved significantly over time and continues to do so. I use a range of therapeutic models to inform my work, and feel that it is essential to try and understand the issues that have led to a particular difficulty rather than simply find practical ways of managing distress or difficulty. Equally, I do not believe that you can use one model and hope to be a good 'fit' with everyone: flexibility is very important.
My initial sessions usually focus on helping the client to identify and strengthen existing coping abilities and personal resources. This then enables the client to work on difficult feelings (often fear or anger) using one or more therapeutic approaches with the aim of eliminating or reducing distress. I also think it is very important to equip clients with a psychological "toolkit" to assist them to manage future difficulties which may arise. Psychological approaches include the following:
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. EMDR therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach which helps people to reduce or eliminate distress, anxiety and depression which are caused by experiencing or witnessing trauma, either recently, or from the past. Trauma can include events such as rape, assault, abuse, near-death experiences (e.g. traffic or work accidents, military engagements, natural disasters), distressing scenes and events such as being bullied, constantly criticised, or being emotionally neglected. Clients are enabled to reprocess disturbing memories and nightmares in order to be able to reduce their emotional impact so that they become just memories.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT is a psychological treatment that encourages people to develop their ability to identify and challenge negative thoughts, and to re-evaluate possibly unhelpful beliefs about themselves, other people and the world.
Integrative Therapy. I am also trained in a number of other approaches which can be applied individually or with each other in order to enable the client to address and resolve their specific problems. For example, these may include using a Systems Centred approach and CBT for couples in distress; a Psychodynamic approach to address long-standing difficulties in making relationships; Psychosexual therapy for sexual difficulties; a combination of CBT and EMDR therapy to address problems associated with eating disorders, addiction and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).