Psychodynamic psychotherapy was originally developed by Sigmund Freud and has been expanded upon by other key theorists such as Carl Jung and Melanie Klein. Using the psychodynamic principles, I pay close attention to the unconscious processes that may be automatically creating persistent patterns within your relationships with others.
The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to make these unconscious processes and patterns conscious so that you gain insight, awareness and knowledge about the sources of your discomfort and reveal choices regarding your way forward. One way to do this is to simply be curious about your earlier life experiences and investigate how these experiences may be connected to the way you live your life today.
Additionally, using John Bowlby’s theory of attachment I will often explore in depth your attachment history with your primary caregivers and your nuclear family system as these relationships are repeatedly shown in the research as key templates for how you relate with others. The aim of therapy is to provide you space to begin to explore and make sense of your earlier life experiences and key relationships and how such factors may be enhancing and/or impacting upon your current relationships and sense of well-being.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT was developed by Aaron Beck and is a psycho-social model of therapy that promotes change through ‘doing’. Through the identification of your cognitions, physical reactions, emotions and behaviours we can begin to unravel the disruptive cycles that may be contributing to your current symptoms of, for example, anxiety and depression.
CBT therapy differs from psychodynamic therapy due to its structured and active delivery. The therapist and client work collaboratively to meet the desired goals of therapy. CBT is an evidenced based therapy and is recommended by the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE).
NICE recommends the use of CBT for presentations of, for example, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Emetophobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Measuring the outcome of therapy is a little easier when using CBT as we can identify quite quickly if your symptoms have reduced using recognised and established psychometric psychological measures to do so.
I am a fully trained CBT therapist and have experience in working successfully with the presentations mentioned above. The work will require an active involvement from you, including behavioural experiments and in-between session tasks. CBT is typically shorter-term therapy and goal specific. We can discuss your suitability for CBT during our first assessment session.
The relational approach to therapy
As a counselling psychologist, the core of my practice reflects a commitment to working with you relationally – one human to another. The evidence in the research repeatedly shows that the number one factor of success in therapy is not the therapeutic approach used or even the extent of theoretical knowledge shared by the therapist, but the therapeutic alliance that exists between the client and the therapist.
It is therefore essential that you find a therapist who you feel compatible and comfortable with; where you feel respectfully challenged but safe enough to use the space and relationship as a foundation for necessary shifts and changes to occur.