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Q & A with our Psychotherapist

When is the best time to have psychological help?

Psychological therapy works better when you are not in a crisis and emotions are relatively stable, allowing you time to reflect on what is currently going on in your life. I would guess that many of us have waited a while before we think of contacting someone about getting psychological help in the hope that you can resolve it yourself or maybe with the help of family or friends. Sometimes it is difficult to find the way out on your own and perhaps it is too difficult to confide in others. This might be the time to ask for help from others who have experience of helping people gain insight and solutions into overcoming psychological difficulties.

What is the difference between counselling and psychological therapy?

There are similarities in that the basis of all psychotherapeutic intervention is the ability to develop the collaborative therapeutic relationship between therapist and client allowing sharing and understanding to take place. The difference is in the relationship you have with the therapist. Within counselling, the counsellors will listen and help you come to your own understanding by providing unconditional positive regard and reflecting back to you what the issues might be , thus helping you make choices and decisions. Within psychological therapy such as CBT or CAT, the therapist will take a more active role in helping by providing an understanding through developing a written or diagrammatic understanding called a formulation or in CAT called a reformulation. This will be a "road map" to allow you to recognize familiar but unhelpful roles or stuck patterns. The therapist can help find solutions such as teaching skills e.g. unhelpful thinking styles or setting behavioural experiments to overcome difficult situations

How will I know if you can help?

The first step is being able to develop the collaborative therapeutic relationship, without this therapy may not work. That’s why it’s important to meet up and check whether you can work with me and I can work with you. I offer free 15 minute slots to allow us to meet and talk this over. The other important factor is about being ready to make change.

How often and how many sessions will I need?

This varies according to the complexity and severity of psychological problems you are troubled with. Within two or three sessions we should be able to see how problems have developed either through early life relationships or experiences and be able to write or draw this. From here it is up to you to decide what changes you want to make and things that would be helpful to learn.

What is CAT?

Cognitive Analytic Therapy was developed in the 80s and helps us to develop our understanding of what makes us what we are today. At the heart of CAT is the idea that our sense of self has been created by our early life relationships. The experience of interactions sets up templates for relationships in our current life and also in the relationship we have with ourselves. If we have well balanced relationships then we can have access to a wide range of roles and ways of being. However if we have mis-attuned relationships in our early life this can lead to a narrowing of options available to us and we can be stuck in unhelpful patterns that are difficult to get out of.

How do I decide which therapies I would benefit from?

It would be helpful to discuss before the start of therapy and may depend on whether you would like to work on here and now difficulties, making changes to thinking and behavioural strategies, as in this case CBT would be very effective. However, if you would like to gain a deeper understanding of how difficulties have come about, gaining more insight, I believe CAT would be more beneficial. I will help you chose what I think would be more beneficial for your individual problem.

Which problems do you have the most experience with?

I have worked with a wide range of psychological difficulties such as depression, anxiety, phobias, OCD for ten years in the NHS. My current NHS job has a focus on eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. These problems seldom occur on their own but as a collection of symptoms and can be used as strategies in helping deal with and the control difficult emotions. I have worked as a Physiotherapist in the past and I have a good understanding of the interconnection between chronic physical health problems and mental distress. I’m aware that helping to reduce distress can make physical health problems much more bearable.

How long have you worked at Therap-ease?

I have just started but I think it is a great setup with lots of different healthcare professionals offering a truly holistic environment all based within one friendly and calm centre. I’m looking forward to being able to help if you need my assistance.

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