The Turner Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Colchester, Essex

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Models of Therapy. Cherry

Models of Therapy


When thinking about coming into counselling or psychotherapy, it can be helpful to understand a little about the various different models of therapy and how they are used in understanding and dealing with emotional difficulties.

If you would like to know more about any of the approaches, please do feel free to contact us and we can get one of the therapists who is trained in that particular model to call you and discuss in more detail how it works.

At the Turner Centre we have counsellors and psychotherapists trained in several of the different models – these include;


Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy tries to understand reasons behind symptoms, emotional distress and emotional difficulties. It can help you to understand how past experiences, current ways of thinking and relating, and anxieties about the future, are causing difficulties in your present life.

It is based on the assumption that part of our mind operates outside of our conscious awareness and that early experiences in life are important in later development. These experiences lay down patterns of relating to others, of dealing with feelings and life’s challenges.

Through the relationship with your therapist and the exploration of your life, you will have the opportunity to gain greater insight into the contributing factors to your current difficulties as well as put into words and come to terms with past experiences and losses.


Transactional Analysis

Transactional Analysis thinks about how people are structured psychologically and how they function and express their personality in their behaviour.

There are four life positions that a person can hold and holding a particular psychological position has profound implications for how an individual operates his or her life.

It thinks about how our adult patterns of relating and strategies to cope with life originated in childhood and is based on the idea that we all hold a life script which we re-play even when this results in pain or defeat the assumption being that many facets of an individual have a positive value for them in some way.

The idea that people decide their story and destiny and therefore these decisions can be changed.

The aim of therapy under TA is to move toward autonomy (freedom from childhood script), spontaneity, intimacy, problem solving as opposed to avoidance or passivity, cure as an ideal rather than merely making progress and learning new choices.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on how thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affects feelings and behaviour and teaches the individual coping skills for dealing with different problems. It combines cognitive therapy (examining the thinking) and behaviour therapy (examining actions and behaviour).

It is based on the idea that how people think about situations can affect the way they feel and behave. For example if a person interprets a situation negatively, then they might also experience negative emotions as a result, and those bad feelings might lead them into behaving in a certain way. If these negative interpretations of situations goes unchallenged, then negative patterns in that person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviour can become part of a continuous cycle.

In working with a CBT therapist, the idea is that the individual begins to identify and challenge any negative thinking patterns and behaviour which may be causing difficulties. In turn this can change the way the person feels about situations and enable them to change their behaviour in future.


EMDR Therapy - (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is the NICE guideline recommended treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Most of the tie your body routinely manages new information and experiences without you being aware of it. However, when something out of the ordinary occurs and you are traumatised by an overwhelming event (e.g a car accident) or by being repeatedly subjected to distress (e.g. childhood neglect/abuse), your natural coping mechanism can become overloaded. This overloading can result in disturbing experiences remaining "frozen" in your brain or being "unprocessed" and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells and feelings have not changed. These unprocessed memories and feelings are stored in the limbic system of your brain in a "raw" and emotional form, rather than in a verbal "story" mode. The limbic system maintains traumatic memories in an isolated memory network that is associated with emotions and physical sensations and which are disconnected form the brain's cortex where we use language to store memories. Traumatic memories can be triggered when you experience events that are similar to the difficult experiences you have been through and painful feelings such as anxiety, panic, anger or despair can often be present. EMDR helps create the connections between your brain's memory networks, enabling your brain to process the traumatic memory in a very natural way. You still remember what happened but it is less upsetting.

In addition to it's use for post-traumatic stress disorder, EMDR has been successfully used to treat other difficulties such as anxiety and panic attacks, depression, stress, phobias, complicated grief and self esteem and performance anxiety. EMDR tends to be a short term therapy.


Family / Systemic Therapy

Family or systemic therapy comes from systems theory which understand the family as working as a system of parts. When one part of the system goes wrong it affects the rest of the system.

Families are brought together to think about and discuss problems and difficulties with the aim being on the interactions between the individuals rather than focussing on the individuals themselves.

It looks at the whole family in the wider context of society and how external influences affect interactions. It is important therefore to consider peoples thoughts and beliefs around religion, culture, gender, age, beliefs and to take these beliefs into consideration when attempting to understand the interactions between the individuals and the interactions with the wider context of society.

Family and systemic therapists will sometimes see members of the family separately to help them think about their part in the system and how they would like to address the other members.

Sometimes a child, for example, might show a maladaptive behaviour or may develop an eating disorder. This symptom will be understood within the context of the family and look at the dynamics in the family which may have lead to this behaviour or problem. The family will then take responsibility for looking at ways they can all change behaviour to reduce the symptom.


Integrative Counselling or Psychotherapy

Integrative therapy attempts to understand emotional problems through a combined theoretical approach which brings together parts of several different approaches. Integrative therapists take the view that there is no single approach that can help someone in every situation.

Integrative therapy aims to ensure that all levels of a person’s being and functioning (mental, physical and emotional health) are maximised to their full potential.

The attitude and presence of the integrative counsellor is crucial element of integrative therapy. It is generally believed that the most effective model requires the therapist to be non-judgemental, interpersonal and intent on establishing a supportive and cooperative relationship with their client. They must also engage in deep, attentive listening without the pre-suppositions that can distort understanding.

This meaningful contract between equals is thought to empower clients - helping them to explore and recognise patterns of behaviour that need to be addressed through change and the setting of new goals. This aspect of integrative therapy is often referred to as the personal integration of therapists - they are committing themselves wholly to their client and their exploration of self.


Psychosynthesis

Psychosynthesis assumes that in every human being is a vast potential for personal growth – a natural tendency to synthesise all aspects of their being to become the fullest realisation of themselves.

It practices with the assumption that every person only uses the smallest part of their potential and that we are all capable of leading fulfilling lives. The therapist will focus on the exploration of an individual’s feelings, thoughts, sensations and spirit in order to uncover any internal conflicts and blocks, in order to uncover a person’s inner wisdom. By working through these challenges , people can rediscover inner resources and strengths , which will help to aid personal growth and development.

Another core belief of this model is that out of every crisis or challenge, something new is seeking to emerge that will lead the person on the path of growth and transformation. Whilst the individual does not have control over what happens, there is control and choice over the response to these events.







Counselling in Colchester or Psychotherapy in Colchester

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