I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, accredited with the British Psychological Society. My areas of interest include stress, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and relationship issues. I work part-time in the NHS as well as seeing private clients. I have been practicing at Equilibrium since 2003. My main therapeutic approach is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
What is CBT?
CBT is a short-term, solution-focused psychotherapy that has been shown through research to be effective to treat a wide variety of problems. Simply, CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings and behaviour affect one another and, therefore, if we can identify and alter unhelpful thoughts and behaviours we will begin to feel better. CBT suggests that the emotions we experience and how we behave are determined by the way we think and perceive situations. If our perception of a situation is negative, this will result in negative emotions and negative behaviours.
Therefore, CBT argues that emotional disorders are likely to manifest from negative and unrealistic thinking and so, through challenging our negative thought process, it is possible to reduce emotional disturbance.
CBT emphasises the collaborative aspect of client/therapist relationship which means that all aspects of the therapy are made explicit and would involve me working together with you to plan strategies to deal with problems and achieve agreed therapeutic goals within a time-limited framework. Through the use of this approach, you would learn new skills to identify unrealistic thinking, modify beliefs, relate to others in different ways, and change behaviours. In between sessions, you would also be asked to practice new skills in order to gain independence and effectiveness in dealing with real-life problems both now and in the future.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is not about “positive thinking” it is about thinking realistically and logically in situations that are experienced as highly distressing. Much of the CBT treatment is based on the here and now, and it aims at helping you bring about desired changes in your life. CBT is recognised as the most researched and validated form of psychotherapy. The Department of Health strongly supports and confirms the evidence validating the effectiveness of CBT as a time limited and cost effective therapy.
What is CBT useful for?
CBT is a way that a trained therapist can help people who have a wide range of psychological conditions, ranging from severe mental illness to mild feelings and thoughts that interfere with normal living. In particular, research has shown CBT to be effective in the treatment of:
• Anxiety (including social anxiety and panic disorders)
• Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
• Mood disorders such as Depression and Bipolar.