Here you will learn about psychological therapy, some of the reasons people seek the assistance of a clinical psychologist, the kinds of therapies Lark provides, and places to find more information.
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- What is psychological therapy?
- Who sees clinical psychologists?
- What kind of therapies does Lark provide?
- Where can I learn more?
Psychological therapy is a collaborative treatment based on evidence-based practices and the relationship between you and the therapist. It is a process of goal-oriented exploration and the development of understanding where you will be able to talk openly with an objective and non-judgemental individual within a safe, supportive, confidential environment. Psychological therapy addresses underlying causes and symptoms of mental illness or distress with the aim to develop insight, learn new skills to cope better and improve your emotional well-being, and alter behaviours which may be perpetuating difficulties for you.
In order for psychological therapy to be effective, it is important that you:
- are as honest and open as possible,
- complete agreed activities and practice skills learned between sessions,
- work collaboratively toward thought, behaviour, and emotional change.
There are many reasons why an individual may see a clinical psychologist. These include:
Many life experiences can result in distress, and the same experience does not always produce the same reaction in different people. For example, someone moving to a new country may experience distress about loss of social structure and supports, navigating life in a foreign language, or uncertainty about cultural norms. In contrast, another person may feel invigorated and excited by the challenges and changes that come with such a move. Whatever the cause, if the distress results in symptoms which are influencing the person’s quality of life, such as ability to sleep or enjoy fun activities, it may be beneficial for that person to see a psychologist to address this.
People who have difficulties with depression, anxiety, phobias, addiction, single incident traumas, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or an eating disorder, to name but a few, may seek therapy to treat the underlying causes and symptoms of the problem.
Support and coping
Loss is a common reason for people to seek therapy. Psychological therapy can provide a safe, supportive place for people to process grief, adjustment to physical illness, the end of a relationship or job, or abuse. Clinical psychologists help patients to process these experiences and learn skills to cope.
Some people come to psychological therapy to explore and gain a deeper understanding of themselves. They may want to gain insight into why they respond in the way that they do, why they feel how they feel, and to determine if they can influence their reactions in future. Some people use this exploration to determine career, relationship, and personal goals.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a talking therapy which focuses on the relationship between unhelpful thoughts, painful emotions, and unhelpful behaviours. The therapist and client work together in taking active steps to change the patient’s thinking patterns and behaviours, in the knowledge that these then influence emotional wellbeing. CBT is a goal-oriented and active psychological therapy which is structured and based on an educational model. CBT helps the patient to learn strategies to be more active in developing and implementing goals that help them to live more in line with what is important to them. CBT also helps the patient to improve self-acceptance and self-esteem by altering the beliefs they hold about themselves. CBT is helpful for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, sleep problems, addictions, emotional distress, and grief and loss.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is a branch of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour change strategies, to increase psychological resilience and emotional well-being. ACT aims to maximise each patient’s potential for a rich, full, and meaningful life. ACT teaches psychological skills to deal with painful thoughts and feelings. It also helps to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to you, and use this knowledge to help bring about positive life changes. ACT may be used to treat anxiety, depression, addiction and substance misuse, eating disorders, phobias, as well as distress, and concerns about life direction.
Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a therapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of trauma or disturbing life experiences. EMDR therapy is based on the knowledge that 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 does not heal. Using detailed protocols and procedures the clinician helps the patient to allow their information processing system to function to its best ability, resulting in the distressing symptoms being reduced. EMDR can be helpful for panic attacks, complicated grief, phobias, pain disorders, anxiety, addiction, physical and/or sexual abuse, and body dysmorphic disorders.
Mindfulness is recognised as an effective way to increase fulfilment, reduce stress, raise self-awareness, enhance emotional intelligence, and undermine destructive emotive, cognitive, and behavioural processes. Mindfulness is about bringing one’s attention to the present moment and paying attention in a particular, non-judgemental way, which can improve psychological well-being. Mindfulness can be particularly helpful for anxiety, depression, phobias, eating disorders, substance use and addictions, psychosis, self-exploration, and emotional distress.
Prolonged exposure is a specific type of cognitive behavioural therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. Prolonged exposure teaches patients to gradually approach trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations that they have been avoiding as a result of the trauma. This is done in a safe, structured, controlled way which is directed by the patient. By confronting these challenges, the patient’s brain learns that the fear that they hold is disproportionate to the amount of fear that is helpful for that situation. As a result, the symptoms and distress resulting from the trauma lessens. Prolonged exposure is useful for treating single incidence trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
For more information on the therapies provided by Lark, see the resources below. If you interested in her approach and how it could meet your needs, please send her an enquiry.