Therapies & Approaches

Treating Anxiety with CBT: The Evidence

Generally considered a short-term therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) often consists of about 8 to 12 sessions in which client and therapist work collaboratively to identify problem thoughts and behaviours (click here to learn more about CBT’s principles and practices). CBT is considered the gold standard in the psychotherapeutic treatment of anxiety disorders and several meta-analyses (i... »

What is CBT? Principles and Practices

If you are a mental health helper of almost any stripe: social worker, counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapist, or even psychiatrist, it would be surprising for you not to have heard of CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), such is its fame in the mental health professions. We can broadly define it as a combination of cognitive and behavioural therapeutic approaches used to help clients modify limi... »

Motivational interviewing: Definitions, Spirit, and What It Is Not

The initial description of motivational interviewing (MI), provided by William Miller in 1983, has evolved through both clinical experience and empirical research into the evidence-based practice it is known as today. Differing from more “coercive” methods for motivating change, motivational interviewing does not impose change, but supports it in a way which is congruent with the person’s own valu... »

What is Motivational Interviewing?

The initial description of motivational interviewing (MI), provided by William Miller in 1983, has evolved through both clinical experience and empirical research into the evidence-based practice it is known as today. Differing from more “coercive” methods for motivating change, motivational interviewing does not impose change, but supports it in a way which is congruent with the person’s own valu... »

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in Practice

There are four primary modes of treatment, or elements, in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: (1) Therapist consultation groups; (2) Individual therapy; (3) Telephone contact/crisis coaching and; (4) Group skills training (Mind, 2013). Not all DBT programs carry all four modes of treatment. When they do, the various modes can be described as follows.Therapist consultation groups: An essential aspe... »

Six Principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Six basic principles form the foundation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. They work in conjunction with one another toward the main goals of effectively handling painful thoughts and experiences and creating a rich, vital life. The principles are: »

Transpersonal therapy: What is it?

Most Western models of health deal extensively with physical, social/emotional, and mental levels of health. When they talk about maximising a person’s potential, it is normally within a context such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1962), which – in stating that the highest level of the nested hierarchy is “self-actualisation” – takes one to the threshold of the transpersonal, but not into it. Tra... »

Mindfulness Skills and Techniques

In a previous article we explored how mindfulness interventions have been shown to be beneficial for a wide range of psychological and physical conditions such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, personality disorders, and addictions. It would be hard not to want the many benefits of mindfulness practice – yet while the concept is simple; the practice is not always easy. »

Sand Tray Therapy for Clients with Intellectual Disabilities

In the first half of the last century, British paediatrician and child psychiatrist Margaret Lowenfeld utilised sand and water in combination with small toys to help children express “the inexpressible” after reading H.G. Wells’ observation that his two sons would work out family problems playing on the floor with miniature figures (Zhou, 2009). »

Fundamentals of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT, was developed in 1993 by U.S. psychologist Marsha Linehan for use specifically with clients diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), who cope with distressing emotions and situations by using self-destructive behaviours such as suicide and self-harm, eating disorders, and substance abuse. Linehan’s assessment of the therapies available to BPD cli... »

What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), also known as Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT), was developed chiefly by Dr Susan Johnson, who perceived the need for a better way of doing couples therapy than what was available in the mid-1980s as she was finishing her doctoral work. The importance of supporting distressed couples cannot be underscored enough. Johnson noted that recent surveys in Nor... »

Treatment Options for the Depressed Elderly

Because depression in older adults is so widely unrecognised, it can be difficult to comprehend just how forcefully conditions such as deteriorating health, a sense of isolation and hopelessness, and the challenge of adjusting to new life circumstances can create a “perfect storm” pushing an already-depressed person over the edge to suicide. When depression is not treated in elderly white men (in ... »

A Brief Comparison of Psychologies: Part 2

In this two-part special series we explore what different schools of psychology and counselling modalities tell us about how to help change happen. For the purpose of the series, we’ve divided the world of psychological therapies into 4 main classes: Cognitive and/or behavioural; Psychoanalysis/ psychodynamic/ analytical; Humanistic and; Transpersonal. In Part 1 we explored Cognitive and/or behavi... »

A Brief Comparison of Psychologies: Part 1

In this two-part special series we explore what different schools of psychology and counselling modalities tell us about how to help change happen. For the purpose of the series, we’ve divided the world of psychological therapies into 4 main classes: Cognitive and/or behavioural; Psychoanalysis/ psychodynamic/ analytical; Humanistic and; Transpersonal. In Part 1 we explore Cognitive and/or behavio... »

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