The Different Modalities – What Are They?

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CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an approach which focuses on looking at how and what we think, as thoughts are considered to be the power house behind how we feel and then influencing how we behave. Exploring our thinking around a subject or situation is usually very insightful. Our mind thinks in a very particular way when we are stressed, anxious or depressed and, for the most part, these thoughts are not entirely based on reality or backed by facts. Often what we believe is a truth is based on our own perceptions and the meanings we make.

Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy these kind of thoughts, referred to as Negative Automatic Thoughts or Hot Thoughts are examined and challenged allowing more balanced thinking to unfold and an alternative perspective to emerge.

CBT provides us with the opportunity to change our relationship with our thinking – particularly negative thoughts – which often have the power to overwhelm, distress and depress.  It opens the door to reducing the impact of negative thoughts on how we feel and equally important on how we behave or act.  To that end, CBT helps to develop a more balanced relationship with our thinking as we learn a very crucial and empowering concept that ‘we don’t have to believe everything we think’.

Psychodynamic / Psychoanalytic

Psychodynamic theory, thinks about the client as having an internal world from which they relate to the external world. This internal world is formed from introjecting early experiences and relationships. The internal world is shaped by an internal dialogue which is mostly unconscious. Drawing on this perspective, the clients’ internal world is something to be explored between client and therapist.  A space is created where the client can, in as safe a way as possible, look at their material without judgement, and through the therapeutic process ultimately take it back in a way that it is integrated into the self. This can be a delicate and often complicated process. The psychodynamic approach usually involves longer term work with clients.

The psychodynamic perspective considers the individuals’ way of being in the world as mirroring their internal make up. The therapeutic task brings the unconscious into consciousness. Work with dreams, defence mechanisms, transference and counter transference are considered important means of communication from unconscious to conscious.

Humanistic /Integrative

Humanistic and integrative psychotherapy is about integrating the wholeness of being. This involves connecting or reconnecting to all aspects of the self: body, emotions, psyche, intellect, spirit and social interaction.  It is about working towards greater self-awareness, self-acceptance and personal growth in order to cope with the dimensions of human existence.

EMDR

EMDR addresses the physiological storage of memory and how it informs experience.  Memory networks are the basis of disease and health.  Our minds naturally lean toward self-healing and when experiences, both positive and negative, are successfully processed, they are considered to be stored adaptively and integrate with our other experiences. A disruption in our processing, due to being overwhelmed (hyperarousal) e.g. in traumatic events or adverse life experiences, can result in these memories being inadequately processed and maladaptively stored.  This leaves us being ‘triggered’ in the present by images/information that cause a reaction to the present as if it were the same situation as the past. Reprocessing happens when dual attention on the past memory, combined with a BLS (bilateral stimulation e.g eye movement/tactile taps) activates an associative process that allows relevant connections to be made.  Change occurs in reprocessing due to the alteration of memory storage and the link to adaptive memory networks.

Although EMDR is most commonly associated with eye movements, it is in fact a complete method that includes an eight phase approach and numerous procedures that help to make it successful.  Closure – we will take time to close each session formally using one of your resources and ensure you are ok to end the session.  We will also discuss noting changes between sessions.

Why EMDR

Originally developed by Dr. Fancine Shapiro, it was discovered that the bilateral stimulation/activation of the right and left hemispheres of the brain change the processing of psychological difficulties.  To date, there are over fourteen controlled studies that support using EMDR in the treatment of trauma – this makes it the most thoroughly researched method ever used for these types of problems.  Most recent studies showed that 84-90% of people who had experienced traumatic events no longer had post-traumatic stress disorder after only three treatment sessions.  With more complex experiences, treatment will take longer and may include an extended preparation phase.  It is important that you take the time you need for your own recovery and healing.