Types of therapy

There are many different styles of therapy and we take into account several perspectives of human psychology and behaviour. Our team’s work draws mostly from behavioural, skills-based, attachment-based and mindfulness approaches and our practice is trauma-informed. Whatever your current difficulty, you can be assured that your therapy experience with us will be grounded in therapeutic models backed up by science and rigorous clinical trials.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive programme that was initially developed for intensely-feeling people whose difficulties get described in the medical world with the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). DBT offers a research-supported treatment, which combines a wide range of behavioural and cognitive theories and methods with mindfulness skills. This therapy was designed by Dr Marsha Linehan, who herself was given the BPD diagnosis in early adulthood, and aims to address problems in regulating overwhelming emotions, impulsive behaviours and black-and-white thinking. DBT has also been applied in treating eating difficulties, childhood trauma and substance abuse. To find out more about different components of DBT please visit the DBT Programme section of this website.

DBT for Complex Post-Traumatic Stress

Historically, individuals presenting with multiple and co-morbid problems such as suicidal and self-injurious behaviour, dissociation, substance misuse and “personality disorders” were often excluded from trauma treatments. When not treated, however, PTSD increases the risk of suicidal and self-harming behaviours and interferes with recovery. To support people with underlying trauma we have trained in two trauma-focused protocols: 1) DBT-based Prolonged Exposure developed by Dr Melanie Harned to treat PTSD among high-risk and multi-problem clients who are on the comprehensive DBT programme and 2) DBT for Complex PTSD developed by Professor Martin Bohus for individuals who experienced sexual and/or physical trauma during childhood and adolescence. These protocols were designed to help these tremendously suffering individuals recover from trauma and build lives worth living. Research indicates that this treatment is feasible to deliver, acceptable to clients, safe, and effective in reducing PTSD symptoms, suicidal and self-injurious behaviour, dissociation, shame, guilt, depression and social impairment. To learn more about the DBT PE protocol please click here. To find out more about our DBT for Complex Trauma programme please click the here.

Radically Open DBT

Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO DBT) is a treatment for individuals who suffer from emotional over-control. RO-DBT has been developed over the past 25 years and research results suggest that it is effective in working with people where too much self-control is a problem. Excessive self-control is associated with social isolation, poor interpersonal relations, and contributes to difficult-to-treat conditions including anorexia nervosa, chronic depression and anxiety. RO-DBT offers a fundamentally different way to treat over-control. The treatment starts by observing three core components of emotional well-being which are designed to relax rigid and inflexible patterns of reacting to life events: 1) Openness to feedback, even when this is challenging, 2) Flexibility in our responses to changing environmental demands, and 3) Communication of our emotions, with a recognition that expressing emotion is crucial when forming close interpersonal bonds. To find out more visit the Radically Open DBT section.

Mentalization Based Therapy

Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT) is an evidence based psychological therapy rooted in Bowlby’s attachment theory which supports people whose interpersonal and emotional sensitivities interfere with the quality of their life and relationships. Mentalizing refers to our ability to attend to mental states in ourselves and in others as we attempt to understand our own actions and those of others on the basis of intentional mental states. A focus on this very human activity as a therapeutic intervention forms the core of MBT. This psychotherapy was initially developed for individuals who received the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) by clinicians and researchers at the Anna Freud Centre although it is now being used for a wider range of difficulties. MBT is particularly suitable for people who have unstable and intense relationships and it aims to support them in managing complex relational and emotionally-triggering situations in ways that don’t damage, but enhance, their relationships and understanding of self. To find out more about the MBT programme please visit the MBT section of this website.

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is based on the scientific study of adult love and bonding processes in couples and is designed to address distress in intimate relationships. EFT is interested in how problems are produced, not just why, and helps couples better understand both their own behaviour and emotional responses and those of their significant other. According to this therapy model, couples encounter difficulties when they are feeling emotionally disconnected at important moments. EFT reframes what on the outside looks like negative communication into people’s effort to get their need for attachment met. The couple is supported to identify, accept and share their individual needs and emotions with each other, and learn to spot when they are starting to feel disconnected in their relationship. Therapist’s role is to help facilitate the creation of secure, lasting bond between intimate partners and reinforce any pre-existing positive dynamics. The goal is to learn how to interact with romantic partners in more loving, responsive, and emotionally connected ways, which can result in an increased sense of security, closeness and connection in intimate relationships balanced with healthy interpersonal independence.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The MBCT programme was designed specifically to help people who suffer repeated bouts of depression. The MBCT programme takes the form of 8 weekly classes. A set of guided meditations accompanies the programme, so that participants can practice at home once a day throughout the course.

Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy

‘Focusing’ is about entering into a special kind of awareness, different from our every day awareness. It is open, turned inward, centered on the present and on your body’s inner sensations. When doing ‘Focusing’ you silently ask “How am I now?” and work with bodily felt sense. This gradually opens up space for an innate movement towards healing simply but beautifully stated by Eugene Gendlin when he writes: “The sense of what is wrong carries with it, inseparably, a sense of the direction toward what is right.” To learn more about ‘Focusing’ and focusing-oriented therapy visit the website of The Focusing Institute at www.focusing.org.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is a form of therapy that effectively relieves symptoms of Post‐Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), such as flashbacks or nightmares. When a person is emotionally overwhelmed, their brain struggles to process information as it does normally. A distressing memory can then become “frozen in time,” and remembering a traumatic event may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t been processed and remained unchanged. Such memories have a lasting negative impact on lives of some people with a history of trauma, which then interferes with the way they perceive the world, other people and themselves. EMDR helps to restore the natural ability to process information and can lead to seeing the disturbing memories in new and less unsettling way.