Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) focuses on solving problems and learning new skills. In CBT, you and your therapist work together as a team to identify and solve problems. Your therapist will help you to overcome difficulties by changing your thinking, behaviour, and emotional responses in relation to particular situations that cause you distress.
These treatment methods work with unconscious processes – material that is not immediately accessible to our conscious minds, but largely determines who we are and how we behave. A variety of techniques, such as the analysis of dreams or active imagination, allow us to become more aware of the unconscious and help to integrate those split-off parts within us and change the way we relate to others and ourselves. Because these approaches seek to work at a deeper level to identify and work with the core of our issues or symptoms, they typically involve longer-term therapy, on a weekly or sometimes twice weekly basis.
CAT is a collaborative programme for looking at the way a person thinks, feels and acts, and the events and relationships that underlie these experiences (often from childhood or earlier in life). As its name suggests, it brings together ideas and understanding from different therapies into one user-friendly and effective therapy.
It is a programme of therapy that is tailored to a person’s individual needs and to his or her own manageable goals for change. It is usually a time-limited therapy, so can be effective within the limits of the Medicare rebate allowance. At its heart is an empathic relationship between the client and therapist within the therapeutic boundaries, the purpose of which is to help the client make sense of their situation and to find ways of making changes for the better.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. 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. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. 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 emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
Mindfulness based approaches are designed to deliberately focus one’s attention on the present experience in a way that is non-judgmental. Mindfulness has its roots in Eastern techniques, in particular Buddhist meditation. Mindfulness Based/Contemplative Based Approaches were developed by Zindel Segal, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mark Williams and John Teasdale. The practice requires that one intentionally directs focus away from states of mind that would otherwise occupy them, such as frightening or worrisome thoughts, and instead observe and accept the present situation and all it has to offer, regardless of whether that is good or bad. Mindfulness approaches include mindfulness based cognitive therapy, (MBCT), mindfulness-based stress reductions (MBSR), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Mindfulness based approaches and contemplative approaches are becoming widely accepted methods for relieving symptoms related to many psychological issues and can be applied across many different population segments. Mindfulness is practiced individually or in group settings.
Since the latest psychological research now recognises the fact that we ‘carry’ trauma (and emotion more generally) in our bodies as well as our brains and minds, we offer courses, classes and individual sessions using researched ‘Trauma Sensitive Yoga’ techniques. Please click here for more information on Yoga for Trauma.
In sensorimotor psychotherapy, together with the therapist, a client is able to examine how past traumatic experiences are affecting them somatically or bodily. When words are not enough or perhaps aren’t even accessible to help a client heal, a somatic approach to trauma treatment can be very effective. Traditional psychotherapy focuses on the cognitive or emotional aspects of the individual, but such an approach can be limited. Sensorimotor psychotherapy uses both cognitive and somatic techniques, which can be important consideration in treatment as trauma can have such an overwhelming effect on the body and can manifest as debilitating somatic symptoms.