Adult and Mental Health Services

How We Can Help

Deciding to Have Therapy

It can be difficult deciding if therapy is the right choice for you. Many people wonder if their problem is bad enough to warrant support, or if they should be able to get through it on their own. Others will find it difficult to understand which therapy would be the best for them. At Psicon, we strive to make everyone feel comfortable with contacting us. We know how valuable therapy can be for a range of problems.

People come to us for therapy for different reasons and we aim to help everyone who wants it. Some of the different circumstances include:
  • People who want to see us for a short period of time – perhaps they are feeling stressed or are going through a difficult time and would like the support of a professional to help them through.

    People who come to us to deal with issues that have been present their whole lives and who want to work on deep-rooted problems.

    People who would like to explore and reflect on their emotions and gain understanding of their difficulties.

    People who would like to learn techniques quickly to help them get back on track.

    People who, though not experiencing any immediate distress, would like to engage in therapy to maintain good health.

Therapy can help people to deal with common problems like stress, low mood and anxiety. These come in many different forms and people often feel as if they are ‘going mad’ when the problems start to increase in intensity. Perfectly well-adjusted people who have never had a problem with stress, depression or anxiety in the past can experience very distressing symptoms if they face difficult situations at difficult times. Such symptoms often occur when a series of events happen in close proximity – for example should moving to a new town and starting a new job coincide with the falling ill of a parent. In a situation such as this the person might have been fine had they lived closer to their parents and been in a position to provide help, but the fact of their being far away has the potential to make them feel useless. If it were just a matter of adapting to a new job, they might have coped well with the support of their parents. Similarly, if it were just a matter of becoming settled in a new town, they would also have coped because of the stable social support at work and at home. It is usually a combination of factors that causes problems like anxiety or depression, but this is often difficult to see when you are in distress. 

People often think they will be judged as mad or unstable if they seek therapy. This really isn’t true and you can rest assured that, if you receive help from Psicon, you will never be judged by your therapist. We don’t think of people as ‘mad’ or ‘insane’, rather just as people experiencing distress – which everyone does to some degree. It’s just that sometimes it becomes more difficult to deal with, and you may need support in dealing with it. People get back pain and can sometimes cope with it in their own way. But if it gets sufficiently bad that they can’t work or play with their children, they would seek help. No one would think of them as ‘disabled’ because they sought help, nor would they be labelled ‘weak’ for not being able to manage it themselves.

Types of Therapy

At Psicon we have therapists who are able to provide the following therapies:
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

    Compassion Focused Therapy

    Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

    Mindfulness Based Therapy

    Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT)

    Interpersonal Psychotherapy

    Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)

    Trauma Focused CBT

    Counselling

    Behavioural Couples Therapy

    Schema Focused Therapy

    Attachment Based Therapy

    Systemic Therapy including Narrative Therapy and short-term Psychodynamic Therapy

Choosing the Right Therapy Option

If you have read up on a particular therapy and feel it would be right for you, you may ask for it directly. The most appropriate practitioner will be selected for you, and during the first appointment you can discuss what you would like. It may be that your clinician can give you some other choices based on your needs, but you will be able to have a discussion about this. In the first appointment you will have an assessment so that your clinician can gain an understanding of your difficulties. They will then offer you a psychological understanding of those difficulties. Your clinician will use a theory or framework to demonstrate how your difficulties affect you. Once you can really understand your difficulties from this perspective, you will understand why you developed this particular difficulty, what set it off and why it won’t get better on its own. When you understand difficulties from this perspective, it can really help you decide on what help you want. Your clinician may suggest an approach that is the most effective, but you don't have to choose this. Once you have decided on how to proceed, you will book a follow-up appointment and begin treatment.

Some of the most common therapy options are listed below with some additional information. These are popular choices as they have a strong evidence base.
  • » Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aims to help you manage your problems by changing how you think and act.

    By talking about how you think about yourself, the world and other people, and how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings, CBT can help you to change how you think (‘cognitive’) and what you do (‘behaviour’). CBT focuses on the problems and difficulties you have now, rather than issues from your past. It looks for practical ways you can improve your state of mind on a daily basis. This, in turn, can help you to manage your problems and feel better.

    CBT cannot remove your problems, but it can help you to manage them in a more positive way.

    CBT is particularly helpful in tackling problems such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and drug misuse. It is not for everyone, but our trained Psychologists will help you to decide if this is the best form of treatment for you.

  • » Compassion Focused Therapy

  • Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is known as one of the 'third wave’ of cognitive therapies. It combines elements of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Buddhist Philosophy and Neuroscience. The aim of the therapy is to support individuals in developing a more compassionate view of themselves in order to reduce the psychological distress they might be experiencing. 

     

    CFT works from the principal that we can become stuck in goal orientated/achievement modes and do not pay attention to the self soothing and compassionate modes that can be extremely beneficial for our own wellbeing. 

     

    The therapy teaches techniques to activate this and clients are able to find relief from an alternative way of responding to their challenges rather than feeling they themselves are faulty and need ‘fixing’. 

     

    There is a strong and growing evidence base for this therapy and a best-selling book was publish by its creator Paul Gilbert called The Compassionate Mind. The therapy is administered over a relatively short period during which specific goals are worked towards.

  • » Cognitive Analytic Therapy

  • Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) combines elements of CBT and Psychoanalytic therapies. Where CBT is very effective at offering individuals techniques and a ‘here-and-now’ understanding of their difficulties, CAT is well suited to individuals who wish to explore some deeper patterns in their lives and development and look at aspects of how they relate to others. 

     

    It is time-limited, short to medium term therapy and can achieve fantastic results according to the supporting research. Individuals will develop a theoretical understanding of their distress and create frameworks to understand how the problems can be maintained. This will lead to developing alternative ways to respond and cope with challenges.

  • » Mindfulness Based Therapy

  • Mindfulness Based Therapy is another third wave cognitive therapy that places the technique of mindfulness at it centre. Mindfulness is a techniques that teaches an individual to become centred and present in their life and step out of unhelpful thinking, rumination and worry. It is a very effective way of regulating emotions that has become very popular worldwide. 

     

    Mindfulness can be adopted as part of everyday life and individuals can enjoy more peace and distance from unhelpful thinking styles. With its roots in meditation and eastern philosophies, mindfulness can be a very enriching experience. Along side the development of this technique, individuals learn to approach their challenges in a different way that can be extremely useful.

Duration of Therapy

Therapy can be very short or very long. There are guidelines that are based on research with specific conditions that tell us roughly how long treatment should last, but sometimes it is possible to work faster and sometimes it could take longer. At Psicon, we work with the idea that the quicker we can help you to achieve your goals, the better. A typical course of treatment lasts 12 sessions, but it could be as short as 4.

Working with a Clinical or Counselling Psychologist

Working with a Psychologist or Therapist is very different to counselling. Although we sometimes diagnose if it is useful for the person, we tend to prefer to understand the person in the context of their own life. An 18-year-old student and a 67-year-old farmer could both have depression, but the work would look rather different for each.

Three key stages:

1. Assessment: Details are gathered so that the problem is well understood. Often we ask about a person’s history and early life to get a really thorough understanding of them.
2. Formulation: This is where we offer a functional understanding of the problem. This will form the base of the treatment because if we understand how the problem works, then we know what to do about it.
3. Treatment: A Psychologist can offer a range of treatments that will be the best fit for the person. A Therapist is an expert in a particular therapy and offers this specifically.

What is a Clinical or Counselling Psychologist?

A Clinical or Counselling Psychologist is someone who has obtained an undergraduate degree in psychology, gained relevant experience of working within mental health and/or research and completed a doctorate in Clinical or Counselling Psychology. It generally takes 8 to 10 years to qualify, by which time they have gained a very broad experience. The doctoral training equips the Clinical Psychologist to work with people throughout the lifespan and within specific areas, including general mental health, severe and enduring mental health, brain injury, learning disability, forensic issues, developmental disorders and dementia.

There is also a focus on academic research, and the clinical trainee must carry out a unique piece of work within a chosen field that is examined at a very high level by experts in that particular field. The doctorate training takes three years, during which time the trainee will complete several training placements where their clinical practice will be examined by expert supervisors. Trainees also attend university, where they are taught (by a variety of methods) about the theoretical underpinnings of therapies and psychological conditions. Each university that trains psychologists will have its own theoretical stance, although all will focus on the therapies that are supported by reliable research and national guidelines.