What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a pragmatic, problem-solving approach to psychological distress. It teaches you to manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are all interconnected, often trapping us in a negative spiral. CBT helps stop these negative cycles.
We all have a constant inner dialogue (self-talk) going on, of which we are often unaware. Commonly, when an individual is depressed, this self-talk is very negative; and when anxious, it is very fearful. Once brought into awareness, unhelpful and critical negative automatic thoughts, which have previously been unnoticed or believed to be factual, can be thought about and challenged. They can then be replaced by more realistic and helpful alternative thoughts or accepted, in a compassionate and non-judgemental way, as thoughts but not facts.
Mindfulness practice, with its focus on the present moment and our physical selves, can help us detach ourselves from unhelpful thinking. In place of simply reacting automatically in ways that may be detrimental to our lives, it gives us more choice in how we respond to ourselves and others.
Changing the way we think is one way of tackling problems. Changing the way we behave is another. We may, for example, have a thought that we can't do something or that we have to behave in a certain way, even though it's causing problems in our lives. However, by carrying out a behavioural experiment and trying something out, perhaps in small steps, we may find that we can do the thing we thought we couldn't or that we can stop doing something we thought we couldn't. Whilst our minds might have previously persuaded us that something was impossible, once we've done it, we know that's not true. We can then think and feel differently about ourselves.
CBT teaches simple interventions and provides guided practice which, once mastered, operate as self-management life skills that can be used in a wide range of situations.
What is Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy?
Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) is a brief (16 sessions) form of psychodynamic therapy. DIT looks at how clients' relationships are causing them difficulties and may relate to depressed and/or anxious feelings they are experiencing in their lives. It looks to help clients identify, and then work on, a key unhelpful repetitive pattern in their relationships, and as a result, enables them to feel better in themselves.
What is Psychodynamic Counselling?
The theory behind pyschodynamic counselling is that important relationships, perhaps from early childhood, set a pattern for how we relate to other people later in life.
Unlike DIT, which is short term work, psychodynamic counselling is usually longer term therapy, perhaps lasting for a year or more. In this way of working, the therapist usually aims to be as neutral as possible, giving little information about themselves to their clients. This makes it more likely that aspects of clients' important relationships (past or present) will influence their relationship with the therapist and so provides an opportunity for the therapist to help clients work through their difficulties as they arise. The longer term nature of the work provides clients more time to think about and talk about what they have been through in their lives.