Psychotherapy Methods

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT focusses on exploring the relationship between thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Through a process of actively becoming aware of how feelings follow thoughts, it can be possible to short circuit particular unhelpful thought and behaviour patterns which are contributing to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.  By looking at what particular thought patterns were occurring prior to, or during, an anxiety episode it may help a patient to see how their thoughts are contributing to their emotional state. This awareness may in turn help reduce the frequency of particular behaviours such as avoidance, which are not helpful.  Aaron Beck, a Psychiatrist in the United States is often considered the father of cognitive therapy. David Burns is a popular proponent of this method and he has a number of CBT self-help resources available for those curious about CBT.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

DBT was developed from CBT by Marsha Linehan for working with patients with borderline personality disorder, suicidal thoughts or self harming behaviours. The modules of DBT include mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal communication. Some practitioners go further and include a compassion module in DBT.
Generally a person in DBT keeps a diary of their experiences and behaviours they may wish to change. This diary gets explored during one hour of weekly individual therapy. Ideally the patient also participates in a DBT Group which gives psychoeducation and practical opportunities to explore experiences.

In my private practice I can offer DBT individual psychotherapy treatment to those with the above difficulties. Ideally the patient should also be involved in a DBT group. Therefore I am also willing to work with Group DBT practitioners in Consultation, where available, to provide a comprehensive DBT experience for the patient. If you are currently working in a group but do not have an individual therapist I may be able to assist.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Dynamic psychotherapy involves  regularly meeting with a psychotherapist to explore the factors which contribute to certain life difficulties. This is done through actively developing awareness of one’s self and then being able to understand why you have particular emotional responses.

Short-Term Treatment

Short-term psychotherapy is useful for learning particular skills and for helping with life transitions such as coping with losses or grief. A specified number of sessions ranging from 10 to 50 sessions is decided upon at the outset and therapy is generally conducted on a weekly basis. There are designated goals in short term therapy, such as dealing with the ending of a relationship or loss of a job. Sometimes during short-term therapy, previous developmental disruptions may be uncovered which contributed to the difficulties for which the short-term therapy had been undertaken. In that case, longer term therapy may be decided upon collaboratively.

Long Term Treatment

Longer term psychotherapy takes a deeper look at the patterns that may lead to repeated life difficulties. It helps foster resilience and improved coping strategies in the context of improved emotion regulation. Coping strategies such as avoidance of emotions, which may have been adaptive during development, are slowly explored so that a person comes to develop resilience in the face of life challenges. Once a person has come to develop a deeper sense of their own self they may then feel able to process previous developmental disruptions. For instance, often a person may have unresolved traumas from development such as neglect or abuse and these will be explored when the patient feels comfortable and not before.