We want to offer effective psychological treatment for everyone.
My therapy framework takes into account the individual needs of each client and how the anxiety affects them. This includes working with specific anxiety disorders. I offer specially tailored treatment for adults as well as for children and adolescents. It can sometimes be helpful for family members to attend sessions as well – the better they understand the needs of their loved one, the more effective the treatment will be.
Together we can work towards a successful recovery.
It's worth remembering we're not just here for the treatment of diagnosed mental health disorders, I can also help you along on your journey from surviving to thriving. Our vision is to provide quality psychological services to see people living healthy fulfilling lives.
Adults vs. Children & Adolescents
Many of the tools and techniques I use for treating adult clients are the same as those I use for children. However, I adapt treatment methods to ensure relevance to each child or adolescent I am treating. I usually like to have the parent(s) of the child or adolescent I am treating present at the first session, unless your child or adolescent would prefer to attend the session on their own, which I find is more often the case with older adolescents.
In subsequent sessions your role as a parent will still be vital. It's often helpful having sessions with the parents, especially early-on in treatment, to ensure you as the parent are providing the appropriate support; and there is no conflict of interest between the work we do in clinic and the what you're doing at home.
As with adult clients, there will be tools and techniques for our younger clients to practice between sessions, however it's likely they may need parental support and encouragement with these activities.
What types of therapy do we use?
I combine a number of the most effective, evidence-based therapies to obtain the best outcomes. The three I most commonly use are CBT, ACT, and EMDR.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This is a classic evidence-based psychological treatment, its effectiveness supported through rigorous scientific research. This means that CBT treatment is not based on what people think might work, but what has been shown to work. Research has shown that CBT is an effective treatment for a wide range of problems (particularly in the management of anxiety and depression).
As the name suggests, CBT focuses on the way people think (“cognitive”) and act (“behavioural”). The concept behind CBT is that our thoughts about a situation affect how we feel (emotionally and physically) and how we behave in that situation.
These thoughts are not always accurate, realistic, or helpful. Unhelpful thoughts lead to unhelpful emotions and behaviours (e.g., avoidance) that reinforces our negative thoughts and maintain the problem. CBT helps to break this vicious cycle by identifying and changing unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
This therapy approach gets its name from one of its core messages: accept what is out of your personal control, and commit to action that improves and enriches your life. The aim of ACT is to maximise human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life.
ACT does this by:
Teaching you psychological skills to deal with your painful thoughts and feelings effectively – in such a way that they have much less impact and influence over you (these are known as mindfulness skills).
Helping you to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to you – i.e. your values – and then use that knowledge to guide, inspire and motivate you to change your life for the better.
ACT uses three broad categories of techniques: mindfulness, including being present in the moment and diffusion techniques; acceptance; and commitment to values-based living.
Eye Movement and Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)
"EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences." It could otherwise be known as Trauma Reprocessing Therapy.
Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.
The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the episodic memory can be triggered, causing a "flashback" of emotions or other sensory information from the time. Once the block is removed, healing resumes.
EMDR is particularly useful for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) amongst other things. PTSD often occurs after experiences such as military combat, physical assault, rape, or car accidents (but is certainly not limited to these).