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My counselling approach is a combination of Solution-Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

 

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is future-focused, goal-directed, and focuses on solutions, rather than on the problems that brought clients to seek therapy.
The entire solution-focused approach was developed inductively in an inner city outpatient mental health service setting in which clients were accepted without previous screening.  The developers of SFBT spent hundreds of hours observing therapy sessions over the course several years, carefully noting the therapists’ questions, behaviors, and emotions that occurred during the session and how the various activities of the therapists affected the clients and the therapeutic outcome of the sessions.  Questions and activities related to clients’ report of progress were preserved and incorporated into the SFBT approach.
Since that early development, SFBT has not only become one of the leading schools of brief therapy, it has become a major influence in such diverse fields as business, social policy, education, and criminal justice services, child welfare, domestic violence offenders treatment. Described as a practical, goal-driven model, a hallmark of SFBT is its emphasis on clear, concise, realistic   goal negotiations. The SFBT approach   assumes that all clients have some knowledge of what would make their life better, even though they may need some (at times, considerable) help describing the details of their better life and that everyone who seeks help already possesses at least the minimal skills necessary to create solutions.

 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you to change how you think ('Cognitive') and what you do ('Behaviour'). These changes can help you to feel better. Unlike some of the other talking treatments, it focuses on the 'here and now' problems and difficulties. Instead of focusing on the causes of your distress or symptoms in the past, it looks for ways to improve your state of mind now.

How Does CBT Work? 

CBT can help you to make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts. This makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect you. These parts are:
 

  • A Situation - a problem, event or difficult situation. From this can follow:
  • Thoughts
  • Emotions
  • Physical feelings
  • Actions


Each of these areas can affect the others. How you think about a problem can affect how you feel physically and emotionally.  What happens in one of these areas can affect all the others.
 
There are helpful and unhelpful ways of reacting to most situations, depending on how you think about it. The way you think can be helpful - or unhelpful.


What's involved in CBT treatment?

  • With the therapist, you break each problem down into its separate parts, as in the example above. To help this process, your therapist may ask you to keep a diary. This will help you to identify your individual patterns of thoughts, emotions, bodily feelings and actions.
  • Together you will look at your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to work out:
    • if they are unrealistic or unhelpful
    •  how they affect each other, and you.
  • The therapist will then help you to work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
  • It's easy to talk about doing something, much harder to actually do it. So, after you have identified what you can change, your therapist will recommend 'homework' - you practise these changes in your everyday life. Depending on the situation, you might start to:
  • question a self-critical or upsetting thought and replace it with a more helpful (and more realistic) one that you have developed in CBT
  • recognise that you are about to do something that will make you feel worse and, instead, do something more helpful.
  • At each meeting you discuss how you've got on since the last session. Your therapist can help with suggestions if any of the tasks seem too hard or don't seem to be helping.
  • They will not ask you to do things you don't want to do - you decide the pace of the treatment and what you will and won't try. The strength of CBT is that you can continue to practise and develop your skills even after the sessions have finished. This makes it less likely that your symptoms or problems will return.


​How effective is CBT? 

  • It is one of the most effective treatments for conditions where anxiety or depression is the main problem.
  • It is the most effective psychological treatment for moderate and severe depression.
  • It is as effective as antidepressants for many types of depression.

 

 

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