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Therapy for Emotional and Psychological Issues

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Therapy for Emotional and Psychological Issues

Pam believes in therapy being client-centred and she works with each person to help develop an understanding of current difficulties in order to identify specific goals and to promote psychological well-being.  Pam varies the approach that she uses therapeutically, being guided both by the evidence-base but most importantly in collaboration with you.

She works face to face, uses video call, or over the phone using both Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with a compassion focused approach to encourage individuals to identify their values and to move towards meaningful goals whilst helping them alleviate the distress of human suffering.

Often, we can feel stuck in life, repeating unhelpful patterns or being unsure of what we want or need.  Pam works collaboratively with you to help identify patterns and support you in developing strategies to be able to move forward and make helpful changes whilst navigating life’s difficulties and challenges.

Pam has much experience working with all branches of depression and anxiety including trauma focused CBT.  She has a specialised interest in the management of adult ADHD and the treatment and management of Pure O and Relationship OCD.  Pam also works a lot with depersonalisation and derealisation presentations of anxiety.

The toolkit Pam works from is diverse and is not limited to but includes some of the following primary models:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is a practical skills-based treatment that focuses more so on the present rather than childhood issues.  It is generally a shorter-term treatment than some other therapies enabling you to learn skills and techniques to manage and resolve your current difficulties and symptoms.

It looks at the connective patterns between our thoughts, feeling, bodily sensations and our behaviours.  It looks at how one of these processes can influence and amplify the other in unhelpful ways.  With this theory in mind it the gives us gateways into our psychology and behavioural patterns to diffuse and reverse any amplifications of issues through their interconnectivity.

Metacognitive Therapy

Metacognitive Therapy is a type of cognitive therapy that takes a slightly different approach.  It looks at your thinking processes that are leading to worry and rumination, rather than the content of those thoughts.  It will help you develop a new relationship with your thought processes and can be very effective for anxiety disorders and depression.

Acceptance  and Commitment Therapy

Nothing in life ensures freedom from suffering.  People can obtain all the things they class as externally recognised success, be warm and dry, well fed, physically well and able to engage with things classed as the luxuries of life, yet still be miserable and in excruciating psychological pain.

ACT works with a general concept that it is very hard to be a human and it is hard to have compassion for oneself or for others.  ACT does not stigmatise human suffering as something to be diagnosed that has deviated from the human ‘normal’ but instead works with the concept of suffering being entirely normal part of the human condition and is therefore to be expected as a part of life.

Outside of ACT thinking it might be assumed that a human’s baseline should be; physically very well or at peak, happy, connected to others, altruistic and at peace with ourselves.  It can then be assumed that this state of mental health can then be disturbed by a particular abnormal emotion, thought, memory, event, or state of mind.

Entering the ACT perspective, it believes that human suffering predominately emerges from normal psychological processes not abnormal ones.  ACT focuses on the fact that it is our normal human processes that respond to and influence our experience of our different and unique set of life events.  For example, if a person experiences one panic attack or ten they are still a thinking, feeling, and remembering human being and that these core processes are entirely normal and can serve to either amplify or extinguish the suffering associated with the core issue.

It works with the ideology that it is psychologically healthy to have unpleasant thoughts and feelings as well as pleasant ones and doing so gives us the access to the full richness of life.

Content of thoughts and feelings are treated with respect in ACT and are regarded as interesting, but not necessarily important enough to dictate what happens next.  This concept is based on the fact that some thinking is relevant and helpful, and some is irrelevant and unhelpful and that we are not always fully qualified to understand which is which at any given time nor should we always need to, which therefore helps us naturally distance from the painful content of the thoughts and feelings. With this achieved distance the idea behind ACT is that we can be more present in the moment and less caught up in the content of our thoughts and feelings as our relationship with them is more open and accepting.

When things are uncomfortable, we as humans tend to want to avoid them which is known as experiential avoidance, ACT pits acceptance of these uncomfortable thoughts and feelings as an alternative to experiential avoidance.  This is particularly helpful when suffering cannot be avoided due to factors outside of our control such as ill health or loss, and it helps us have a more peaceful relationship when emotional pain and suffering cannot be avoided.

ACT helps people have psychological flexibility therefore enabling people to be more open and accepting of differing physical and psychological states through life.  It enables us to be more open, present, and committed to the values that we can connect with in a positive way and takes away some of the stickiness associated with the content of certain thoughts and feelings.

The concepts and interventions of ACT are very much dovetailed into Pam’s therapeutic toolkit and are a favourite of hers for help with times of her own personal suffering