Therapeutic Approaches

Therapeutic Approaches, therapy

My Therapeutic Approaches

My therapeutic work involves using an integrative approach, incorporating elements from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), the Psychodynamic approach and Solution-Focused Therapy, depending on what is most appropriate for each individual client. My core therapeutic skills are based on the Humanistic perspective, recognising the importance of a strong and supportive therapeutic relationship.

I have a creative approach not only when working with young children, but I also incorporate some of the creative therapeutic techniques into my work with parents. For example, I introduce techniques from attachment play (based on psychodynamic thought) as tools for the parents to develop a secure attachment with their child and also as a tool for resolving conflicts, dealing with challenging behaviour and for expressing underlying emotions such as fear and distress.

Additionally, based on my understanding of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), my work with parents involves helping them to facilitate a secure attachment between them and their child and develop positive discipline strategies. I also support parents by helping them to apply empathic communication and listening skills into their parenting, and to use different strategies such as finding a solution to a conflict in a collaborative manner. This Specialist Family Therapy psychological services offered by Stepping Stones Psychology is an integration of mindful-parenting/conscious parenting, peaceful parenting and attachment parenting. All of these interventions are based on Humanistic values.

For more details about Peaceful Parenting, Mindful Parenting and Attachment Parenting please see the following links:

The above resources are from Dr Laura Markham and Genevieve Simperingham. Dr Markham is a Clinical Psychologist and the Founder of Aha!Parenting. Ms Simperingham is a Holistic Parenting Coach and the Co-Founder of the Peaceful Parent Institute in New Zealand (PPI). They both  use a relationship-based model whilst working with families, same way as the psychological services offered by Stepping Stones Psychology.

For further information about my psychology services for children, teenagers and families please see the details about DDP below and also under the section, “Services”.

 

What are these therapeutic approaches?

  •  Integrative Approach – This is a therapeutic approach incorporating various elements from different psychological approaches (as below) in a way that is most appropriate for each individual client. It is grounded on the belief that each client needs to be considered as a whole – thus, it is viewed that no one theory or single approach holds the answer to treat each client in all situations. Instead, therapeutic techniques and psychological interventions have to be tailored to each client’s individual needs and circumstances. The aim will be on promoting healing and facilitating wholeness, ensuring that all levels of a client’s being and functioning (mental, physical and emotional health) are maximised to their full potentials.

 

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – This is a medical model which is a problem-solving and goal-orientated approach. The focus is on identifying, exploring and replacing unhelpful thoughts in order to change unhelpful feelings and unhelpful behavior. The aim will be on facilitating the client to recognise their unhelpful thought patterns, learning new ways of thinking which will then have a positive influence on their feelings and their behaviour.

 

  • The Psychodynamic Approach – The focus of this approach would be on exploring underlying emotions and thoughts in depth. This includes our past experiences which we have repressed in our unconscious/subconscious mind. These parts can often contribute to strong, unhelpful triggers which can then have a huge impact on our thinking and our behavior. The aim will be on facilitating the client to identify these unconscious processes, making them conscious in order to gain deeper insights and manage their difficulties better. This also involves recognising specific triggers that may be causing disruptive patterns of behaviour.

 

  • Solution-Focused Therapy – This goal-orientated approach contains acknowledgement and validation of client’s difficult emotions and experiences however the main focus will be on identifying the strengths of the client. The aim will be on facilitating the client to recognise their own strengths and finding their own solutions to their difficulties. This will then offer them insights about how they can utilise these strengths in order to manage their difficulties better.

 

  • Humanistic Approach – This non-directive approach focuses on the belief that we all are born with an innate ability for psychological growth, given the right environment. This would be achieved by the therapist enabling a safe environment to explore client’s underlying issues while placing a high emphasis on a strong and supportive therapeutic relationship. It does not include a direct goal on changing behaviors or solving problems however the aim will be on facilitating the client through the in-depth exploration, to learn to accept who they are and reconnect with their true selves. This would lead to better understanding, which would create opportunities to move forward.

 

  • Creative Therapy – This takes form as an integrative approach and is based on psychodynamic values, incorporating ideas from Art Therapy and Play Therapy. The aim will be on facilitating the client to express themselves when they have difficulties articulating their feelings and thoughts. This approach is mainly used when working with children and parents however it is also used with adults.

 

  • Attachment-Focused Family Therapy based on Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP).  I often use the principles and practices of  DDP in my work with families when appropriate. This is parent-child treatment model with its focus on creating emotional connection between your child and yourself, the primary caregiver(s). DDP involves educating parents/carers about the emotional needs of their child and teaching them a set of emotional attunement and limit setting skills to help the child form a more secure attachment. This would be done through the key therapeutic principles of playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy. The aim will be on facilitating your child and you to have a better relationship with each other, to help the you  make more sense of what might be the underlying  reasons behind the child’s behavior.This treatment approach is particularly helpful if there is a history of trauma or disruption in attachment. The aim will then be on facilitating your child (with you alongside) to make sense of their current feelings, thoughts and behaviours as well as the things that have happened in the past. The aim would also be to help you ( together with the child ) make sense of how these may be linked. Further information about DDP can be found on the following link: http://ddpnetwork.org/a…/dyadic-developmental-psychotherapy/  .

 

  • Attachment-Focused Family Therapy based Theraplay® . I  use the principles and practices of  Theraplay® in my work with families when appropriate.  Like DDP, this is also a parent-child treatment model with its focus on creating emotional connection between a child and their primary caregiver(s).  Theraplay® is an Attachment-Based Play Therapy which is both structured and adult-led. It overlaps with DDP however it differs a great deal in that Theraplay® involves less verbal communication. Instead, it fosters and increases emotional connection between your child and yourself through playful engagement. This positive change in the parent-child relationship would lead to a positive impact on your child’s emotional and behavioural difficulties. Further information about Theraplay® can be found on the following link: http://www.theraplay.org/index.php/what-is-theraplay-3

 

  • Trauma-Informed Therapy integrating EMDR. As an EMDR Therapist, I will offer a clinical intervention based on this form of psychotherapy involving a modality that includes eight phases. Each phase consists of its own distinct functionality, process, and methods. EMDR is designed to diminish negative feelings associated with memories of traumatic events and hence ideal for those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or powerful triggers related to past trauma.  EMDR is a way of conceptualising what you are working on, how your arrived at the symptoms you want to change, and what you want the future to look like. However, unlike most forms of psychotherapy, EMDR focuses less on the traumatic event itself and more on the disturbing emotions and symptoms that result from the event. Treatment includes a hand motion technique used by the therapist to guide the client’s eye movements from side to side, similar to watching a pendulum swing. Tapping can be used as an alternative. EMDR is not limited to the treatment of PTSD only but commonly used as a successful intervention for anxiety, phobias, depression, and more. For further information about EMDR, please visit the following link: http://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/  This video offers an explaination on how EMDR works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKrfH43srg8&t=69s

 

  • Trauma-Informed Therapy integrating the body, yoga, mindfulness and neuroscience themes. In addition to the treatment suggested by the NICE Guidelines for PTSD such as EMDR and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT), clinical interventions applying a mind-body connection approach have been suggested to be valuable. For example, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, Somatic Psychotherapy, including Somatic Experiencing (SE), and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) which is grounded in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory and Neuroscience offers a treatment model where elements of traditional hatha yoga have been modified to support survivors of complex trauma. One aspect of it involves focusing on the felt sense of the body to inform choice-making, and  this is believed to allow survivors to restore a healthy connection of mind and body, which is often compromised as a result of trauma. In order to promote a sense of safety, Mindfulness-Based Yoga Therapy (MBYT) has been suggested as form of inter-relational safety. Additonally, in order to develop intra-relational safety, a number of skills can be practiced, including emotion regulation, mindfulness, distress tolerance and interception. MBYT involves survivors receiving Psychoeducation about the mammalian response to a threat which could facilitate understanding that one’s individual response to trauma is normal. Consequently, improve the sense of self-esteem, and connection with others. Should you wish to find out more about this eveidence-based treatment model, please see: http://www.traumasensitiveyoga.com/