Person-centred therapy is a humanistic approach that deals with the ways in which individuals perceive themselves consciously, rather than how a counsellor can interpret their unconscious thoughts or ideas.
Created in the 1950s by psychologist Carl Rogers, the person-centred approach ultimately sees human beings as having an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential. However, this ability can become blocked or distorted by certain life experiences, particularly those the experiences which affect our sense of value.
The therapist in this approach works to understand an individual’s experience from their perspective. The therapist must positively value the client as a person in all aspects of their humanity, while aiming to be open and genuine. This is vital in helping the client feel accepted, and better able to understand their own feelings. The approach can help the client to reconnect with their inner values and sense of self-worth, thus enabling them to find their own way to move forward and progress.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)
By making links between what you do, think and feel, CBT can help you make changes in the way you think ("Cognitive") and the way you act ("Behaviour)". Making changes in what you think will affect what you do and feel, and changing what you do, affects the way you think and feel. Making these changes then can help you feel better.
Whilst it is helpful to discuss the past and understand how your past may have influenced your live and how problems have arisen, CBT mostly focuses on looking for ways to improve your mental wellbeing now.
CBT says that it's not the event which causes your emotions, but how you interpret an event - what you think or what meaning you give that event or situation. Together we will discuss your specific concerns and set goals for you to achieve. CBT is not a ‘quick fix’, it involves hard work between sessions and your preparedness / willingness to work hard is a key factor in your recovery.
SOLUTION FOCUSED BRIEF THERAPY
Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) is goal oriented, targeting the desired outcome of therapy as a solution rather than focusing on the symptoms or issues that brought you to therapy. This technique emphasises present and future circumstances and desires over past experiences. The therapy encourages you to imagine the future that you want and then to develop on a series of steps to achieve that goal. This form of therapy involves developing a vision of one’s future, and then determining what skills, resources, and abilities you already possesses that can be enhanced in order to attain the desired outcome.
This deserves a special mention as it is more difficult in terms of boundaries and presents more potential challenges to the therapeutic alliance. It is important for both partners to understand that my working agreement is with them as a couple. If, therefore, one week, one partner is late, or fails to turn up, the session would not normally commence/take place. It is also important to establish from the outset that the continuation, or indeed the ending, of the couple’s relationship or marriage is neither my aim nor my responsibility. It is for each partner to decide whether or not they wish to stay together. I am neither judge, nor any one partner’s advocate. My role is to help a couple communicate better and develop a deeper understanding of themselves, and the relationship that they have built together over the years. Improvements in communication often lead to renewed commitment and valuing of the relationship/marriage. However, please bear in mind, the reverse can sometimes be the case as, once the deeper reality of a partner’s true feelings is exposed, it could hasten the decision to part.
EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITISATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR)
EMDR is a psychotherapy that has been proven to be effective in treating trauma, and is recommended by the UK's National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Practitioners are also finding it effective in the treatment of other anxiety related disorders. EMDR was developed by American psychologist Francine Shapiro.
EMDR should only be practiced by a qualified mental health professional (with additional accredited training in EMDR), who most usually incorporates the therapy into their usual practice. For example, a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist may include EMDR in their CBT practice, particularly when treating trauma. It is possible to use EMDR as a stand-alone treatment, but most often this would be for treating the psychological consequences of single event traumas.
The treatment will consist of several sessions, dependent on the nature of the problem. In the case of a single trauma sustained in adulthood, there will be 1 or 2 assessment sessions, followed by 1 or 2 sessions discussing and preparing for EMDR treatment, using some preliminary exercises (e.g. safe place imagery), and at least 1 or 2 treatment sessions. The number of actual treatment sessions will again depend on the nature and number of distressing memories or nature of the problem.