What is psychotherapy?
It is sometimes hard to see what is preventing us from changing. We often talk to ourselves: “I wish I could live my life differently. Why do I always end up feeling like this? Why do I always behave like this? I wish I did not….If only I could….then….” These questions become more answerable with the help of psychotherapy.
The therapeutic relationship provides a confidential environment for you to address whatever is bothering you. At the heart of psychotherapy lies empathic understanding and acceptance, safe, warm and non-judgemental relationship between the client and the psychotherapist. In the end, it is the therapeutic relationship which determines the effect of therapy.
In psychotherapy the psychotherapist works together with you in order to help you to make changes in your life. The dominating, maladaptive procedures and patterns of behavior or harmful relationships are identified and named together. These are sequences that we usually take for granted (“That’s the way I am…this always happens to me…”), but which can limit our life.
This serves to enlarge your capacity for self-reflection, to perceive things form new perspectives, to challenge and change old procedural sequences and to explore different solutions to old and dominating survival beliefs in life. Then we can understand what is preventing change and we can move forward in the present. Then it is the “real me” who is leading our life, not the limiting core beliefs or role procedures.
So the psychotherapist helps you to help yourself in a guided participation and discovery through talking. High value is placed on how to facilitate your self-reflective thinking in order for you to better understand yourself, the situation and to produce meaningful choices and plans. The psychotherapist is, of course, an active participant in this “thinking together” process.
Psychotherapy is not a teacher - pupil relationship where the teacher tells you what to do, where the solution lies or what the problem is. Instead, the psychotherapist works closely together with you in a collaborative process: the emphasis is on the joint exploration and understanding of your life and your difficulties.
Cognitive Analytic and Integrative Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy can be practiced in many different ways. No one form of treatment or approach is adequate for all clients or situations. Each person and every therapeutic journey is unique.
Psychotherapy integration attempts to cross the boundaries of different theories in order to combine and bring together the points of therapies that have been found to be of benefit to clients.
My approach is based on Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), which is a collaborative and integrative form of psychotherapy. As indicated by its name, it integrates on both a theoretical and on a pragmatic level cognitive, cognitive-behavioral and analytic object relations approaches. It aims to combine what is most useful in these (therapy) theories, but it brings together its cognitive and analytic inheritance into something new.
CAT uses key techniques from a range of therapeutic frameworks, adapting the approach and techniques according to each client’s specific needs.
In my work, I also combine theories and techniques of schema therapy, solution-focused and narrative therapies depending on each client’s situation. CAT can be either time-limited, short-term (from 16 to 24 sessions plus 1 to 5 follow-up sessions) or long-term treatment.
CAT can be used within a wide variety of settings and problems. It has been used successfully across a range of difficulties, such as depression, anxiety and anxiety disorders, trauma, work-related stress and burn out, personal and relationship problems, eating disorders, neurotic and personality disorders. It is also an effective way of developing self-awareness and personal development. Besides individuals, it can also be used with couples.
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