Individual therapies

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been proved to be effective for a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions. This is a structured therapy that helps clients explore how their thoughts and actions can really affect how they feel. Doing less can sometimes make you feel rested but at other times leave you feeling low like you have not achieved enough.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapists help people to understand and make changes to unhelpful thoughts and behaviours which negatively impact on a person’s mood. These unhelpful thoughts and behaviours are often responsible for helping to maintain difficulties.

Learn more: What is CBT (docx)

Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT)

Cognitive analytic therapy is a combination of CBT and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. It can help service users identify the relational patterns they may get stuck in and notice dominant roles within themself and other. The aim of the therapy is to recognise how these patterns or ways of coping became established and improve how the individual relates to others.

CAT utilises a number of different techniques, including the possibility of written work and the creation of a diagram which ‘maps’ out individual patterns of thinking and behaviour in a procedural format (including mapping out the new patterns of thinking and behaviour which members of the group develop over the course of the programme).

Learn more: CAT (docx)

Psychodynamic psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a talking therapy which helps people identify, explore and work through their difficulties. ‘Psychodynamic’ refers to an approach that looks systematically at the psychological influences behind our behaviours, feelings and emotions, and how these might relate to earlier life experiences.  ‘Psychotherapy’ involves talking with a trained therapist to treat emotional problems and mental health conditions by becoming more aware, gaining control and making choices that work better for us.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy sees problems as a result of the link between the present and past.  It aims to help you understand intense, unmanageable feelings that you may not even be aware of by gaining an understanding of the underlying cause. Early childhood experiences are explored to see how these have influenced your development. It is important to recognise and make sense of these patterns of behaviour in order to improve how you see yourself and how you relate to others. During treatment you will be encouraged to be open and honest about whatever is on your mind.

Treatment is generally time-limited, conducted over a period of a year or more, and unlike some other therapies it is not usually structured or led by an agenda.   Sessions are weekly and last for 50 minutes.

Learn more: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (docx)

Systemic family and couples therapy

Family and couple therapy involves the service user and the people who are close to them engaging in therapy together to learn about their family dynamics and interactions, and how this can affect their thoughts and feelings. Multiple family member views can help build a shared understanding of complicated situations and to find solutions.  Family work is especially helpful if you are worried about relationships within your family, including with your children and about how your problems might be affecting you all.

Family therapists help family members share their views and feel heard and understood.  Therapists are skilled in managing the kind of differences of opinion and stressful feelings, which can sometimes be produced by family discussions. They also help family members look for solutions to their difficulties; this might mean sharing their ideas with family members as well as helping them find their own answers.  In addition, therapists help families to think about their strengths and encourage them to recognise what they are still managing in life, despite the difficulties.

To begin with, an appointment will be offered to the person who is distressed, or unhappy and whichever family members would like to come along.  After that first discussion, if everyone agrees that further conversations might be helpful, more appointments will be arranged. These appointments generally last for an hour and a half and take place every 2 – 4 weeks. Sometimes the whole family comes to sessions, sometimes only part of the family.

Learn more: Systemic Therapy (docx)

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Page last reviewed: 31 August, 2022