A fresh approach to your problems using the latest proven techniques that can dramatically change how you experience your everyday life
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR, was created by Dr Francine Shapiro in the 1980s, and at first it sounded like a bizarre import from California. Now EMDR is recognized in the UK by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, NICE, as the most desirable and effective treatment for chronic PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
EMDR draws on continuing advances in neurology and brain imaging technology which are beginning to suggest that brains run as information processing systems. This normally allows the brain to manage traumatic life events and eventually to store them away as history. This process means that traumatic events that are very unpleasant at the time are after a while consigned to the past and no longer feel threatening. When for whatever reason this process breaks down, the memory of the event stays unprocessed. The one-off traumatic life event becomes an on-going chronic trauma, one that is very much alive, present and often threatening to the individual concerned.
Through a series of carefully refined steps, EMDR kick-starts the brain’s healthy processing system which is then able properly to resolve and file a traumatic memory. Part of the process involves eye movement, which acts as bilateral brain stimulation when the eyes are moved to the left and right. This can also be achieved in other ways, such as tapping on either hand. The process desensitises a memory, allowing the brain to reprocess its meaning. In essence, it allows the brain to find a healthy, adaptive understanding of what happened, which the individual, previously stuck with an endless trauma, finds helpful. Brain imaging can show this process in action, as EMDR assists all cognitive, emotional and even physical – “body memory” - elements to resolve safely.
EMDR works with a direct effect on the brain, and so it's very different from conventional talking therapies. These will often stimulate a traumatic memory, but lack the mechanism to resolve it. This radically different approach is the reason why EMDR has become the preferred treatment for PTSD and why conventional counselling is not recommended. Typically, EMDR is quickly effective precisely because it does not rely on lengthy life analysis or repetitious reliving of problems. Clients who prefer not to talk in detail about what happened to them do just as well as those who are able to face up to discussing these traumatic events. The result, even for those who doubt whether EMDR will work, is almost always transformative.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT, is more than just one therapy. It's a collection of techniques and methods used to treat a wide range of psychological problems. Many of these have evolved into standardised methods that are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, NICE, as the best way to treat acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, as well as anxiety disorders, depression and many other issues. CBT is evolving all the time and already encompasses a very wide range of approaches.
In all of these, it aims to be solidly supported by research into the effectiveness of the therapy. Since standards are stringent and methods are constantly being adapted, there is a wide divergence in the amount of clinical evidence available at any one time, so not all CBT is the same. Techniques need to be specific and successful treatment requires the selection of the most effective methods to be fitted around the many preferences and requirements of each individual client. This requires experience, a wide range of knowledge as well as flexibility on the part of the therapist. Today's therapist needs to bring something extra to every meeting and to go beyond the standardised model because some people may have found conventional CBT dull, repetitive and lacking substance. Get in touch to find out how CBT has changed and how it can be adapted to suit you, your life and needs.
If CBT is a hard-working and reliable donkey, then think of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, REBT, as its racehorse companion, lithe, fast and often a winner. REBT takes the approach of CBT, which is mostly derived from the work of the well-known American psychologist Dr Aaron Beck, as its starting point. REBT adds to it the philosophically-orientated, active-directive approach of Dr Beck’s friend and collaborator, Dr Albert Ellis. While Dr Beck conducted careful experiments in his laboratory, Dr Ellis was famous for his vigorous lecture hall examples aimed at helping his clients find a rational, adaptive philosophy of life to lead them to be as happy and healthy as they possibly could be. Dr Ellis was committed to showing people how they could change their lives by teaching them methods that he found had worked for him. The honesty and vigour with which he applied his philosophy to life’s complexities made him a legend in his own lifetime. There was only one Dr Ellis. But all REBT-trained therapists aim to bring not just his philosophy, but his very texture into the therapy room, always with his aim: to lead clients into a happier, healthier world. Contact us to find out how REBT can work for you.
- Neuro & Biofeedback
Neurofeedback and Biofeedback are relatively new Britain, but both are well-established in the North America as drug-free and talk-free ways radically to improve mental health. We have wide experience of these methods, and the right equipment and training to use them to help you. Biofeedback uses sensors placed on the skin to measure heart rate, temperature, breathing, skin conductivity and muscle tension. These physical readings can tell us a lot about your psychological state. You might be tense, anxious, panicky - or relaxed.
Training screens on a computer allow you to develop influence over your physical state, for example by breathing more slowly and deeply. As you train your body to relax, your mind follows suit and eventually a new healthier norm is established. For people who may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, or have experienced severe anxiety and found that psychotherapy and/or medication have not been sufficiently helpful, the Biofeedback method known as Heart Rate Variability Training has proved itself effective. Neurofeedback is a type of Biofeedback that uses sensors gently placed on your scalp to measure brainwaves. Buddhist monks spend years meditating in order to produce a state of calm and focus with which alpha brainwaves are associated. Neurofeedback can produce similar results within months.
In Britain, Neurofeedback has been most widely used to treat ADD and ADHD in adults and children, and, more widely, to promote professional sports performance. In the US, Neurofeedback has shown great promise as a method of treatment for addictions. These new treatments are fresh ways of treating what's happening to you and there's widespread evidence that they really work. Get in touch to see how we can use them to help you.
Hypnotherapy is a powerful method of psychotherapy. When used by a properly-qualified practitioner alongside other approaches, there is evidence that hypnotherapy can generally enhance therapeutic outcomes. Certain issues respond particularly well when hypnotherapy is used as a lead intervention. These are chronic pain, smoking addiction and in managing food cravings.
Hypnosis has a long and distinguished history as a psychotherapeutic tool with proven results. In recent years, hypnotherapy has been given a new life when combined with appropriate programmes of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This reinvention of hypnotherapy gives both patient and therapist another powerful option when faced with apparently unsurmountable problems. Clients report that the process is easy, relaxing and effective. Get in touch to find out how hypnotherapy can help improve your life.