Whilst eclectic in my approach below are some of the common therapies I use.
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
- Solution Focused Therapy
- Emotional Freedom Technique
- Art & Expressive Therapies
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
CBT is a treatment approach widely used by counsellors and therapists. It is based on the concept that the way we think effects how we respond. People can interpret life very differently, leading to many and varied emotional & behavioural consequences. Some of these consequences can be helpful, & some not so helpful in our day to day lives. A person’s thoughts about an event or situation directly influences how they feel & how they react to or behave in that situation. Despite common knowledge, it is not actually the event or situation that directly impacts on how we feel & behave, but rather our thoughts about the event. How you think effects how you are.
The theories of cognitive therapy suggest that negative or unhelpful thoughts & beliefs are a significant factor in the development or exacerbation of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, self defeating behaviours & difficulty with coping. Therefore being able to identify and challenge these beliefs can assist a person to reduce distress and enhance their ability to cope in everyday life situations.
CBT is not just about “feeling positive” or “looking on the bright side” but learning specific strategies to think more realistically about life. This is called “cognitive restructuring”.
CBT works on the principle that negative, unhelpful beliefs need to be “tested” to determine whether they are accurate, realistic and truthful. In most cases, the thoughts are actually irrational misconceptions, commonly known as “cognitive distortions”. Cognitive distortions serve to maintain a negatively skewed & unhelpful belief system, leading to distress and increased difficulty coping in situations.
Some common cognitive distortions include:
- Black & White thinking.
- Fortune telling
CBT can help an individual to identify and restructure these negative irrational thoughts by replacing them with alternative interpretations that are more realistic and factually based so that people are able to think about life situations in a more helpful and constructive manner, thereby coping better with the day to day challenges they face, & learning how to better control how they react in and respond to given circumstances.
Solution Focused Therapy
Solution Focused Therapy is usually a brief and focused encounter with a therapist or group.
Most models of therapy can be considered problem-focused because they concentrate on dealing with the nature or the reasons of the client’s problem. Resource- and solution-focused therapy is based on the assumption that the causes of a problem need in no way be related to the solutions. A good outcome can be achieved even if the cause of the problem is not known.
Those who use resource- and solution-focused models have been influenced by many scholars. They hold the view that people constantly create stories about their own life and thereby create also their own selves. The therapist’s job is to help the client to produce and maintain stories of coping and success instead of stories about failure.
Resource- and solution-focused interviews aim at co-operation with the client in every way. Their goal is to help him/her produce and maintain optimism, dignity and control of his/her life. The starting point of the conversations is the client’s own view of what his problem is about and how he hopes things will change. Together the client and the therapist discuss how the desired events, successes and good moments could be brought about. Various “homework assignments” are often used to support the process of change.
Resource- and solution-focused methods have increased their popularity in the past few years and the only requirement is that the client wants to discuss his/her situation.
Usually a client needs 4-12 meetings but the success of the therapy will depend on the commitment and co-operation to the therapy presented.
Emotional Freedom Technique
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an emotional healing technique based on a revolutionary discovery, which contends that the cause of emotional problems is a disturbance of the body’s energy system.
The approach relieves symptoms by tapping on various body locations (acupuncture meridian points) as you focus on your issue or problem. This tapping balances energy meridians, which become disrupted when we think about or experience an emotionally disturbing circumstance.
Once balanced, the upset is typically resolved. The memory stays but the emotional charge is gone. Positive shifts in thinking usually accompany the healing.
The EFT technique is gentle, amazingly effective, safe and easy to use. Once you learn it you’ll have a very effective tool to help yourself and others to relieve emotional stress.
Art & Expressive Therapies
Reiki is a form of therapy that uses simple hands-on, no-touch, and visualization techniques, with the goal of improving the flow of life energy in a person. Reiki (pronounced ray-key) means “universal life energy” in Japanese, and Reiki practitioners are trained to detect and alleviate problems of energy flow on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Reiki touch therapy is used in much the same way to achieve similar effects that traditional massage therapy is used—to relieve stress and pain, and to improve the symptoms of various health conditions
A Reiki session is a very relaxing and special experience that takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours and can be a treatment on its own or following a counselling session.