When Your Mental Health Matters - Child, Adolescent and Adult Therapy


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy based on modifying cognitions, assumptions, beliefs and behaviours, with the aim of influencing disturbed emotions. Techniques vary according to the issue, but commonly include keeping a diary of significant events and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviours; questioning and testing cognitions and beliefs that might be unhelpful and unrealistic. Other techniques include gradually facing activities which may have been avoided; trying out new ways of behaving and reacting, relaxation and distraction techniques. CBT is widely accepted as an evidenced and empirically based, cost-effective psychotherapy for many disorders and psychological problems.

Solution Focussed Brief Therapy:
Solution focused brief therapy (SFBT), focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that made them seek help. The approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future. SFBT helps people identify the things that they wish to have change in their life and also to attend to those things that are currently happening that they wish to continue happening.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):
A Branch of CBT, ACT is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour change strategies to increase psychological flexibility. ACT differs from traditional CBT in that rather than trying to teach people to challenge or better control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and other private events, ACT focuses on what they can control more directly.

As a simple way to summarize the model, you can say that ACT views the core of many problems to be due to FEAR:  - Fusion with your thoughts, - Evaluation of experience, - Avoidance of your experience, - Reason giving for your behaviour. The healthy alternative is to ACT: - Accept your reactions and be present, - Choose a valued direction, - Take action. ACT aims to help the individual clarify their personal values and to take action on them, bringing more vitality and meaning to their life in the process.

Schema Therapy:
Schemas or patterns of thinking can be either healthy or maladaptive. Schema Therapy ultimately seeks to replace maladaptive schemas by more healthy schemas. Maladaptive schemas are considered a pattern of established (from childhood) unstable reactions/behaviours to any given situation in life. Maladaptive schemas may be made up of revisited (sometimes obsessively) memories of past hurt, tragedy, fear, abuse, neglect, unmet safety needs, abandonment, or lack of normal human affection in general. Thus, as an adult, Schema "modes" may become nearly reflexes as the patient is seeking approval due to unmet childhood needs.

Motivational Interviewing:
Motivational interviewing refers to a counselling approach initially developed by clinical psychologists Professor William R Miller, Ph.D, and Professor Stephen Rollnick, Ph.D. It recognizes and accepts the fact that clients who need to make changes in their lives approach counselling at different levels of readiness to change their behaviour. Some may have thought about it but not taken steps to change. Others may be actively trying to change their behaviour and may have been doing so unsuccessfully for years. This approach focussed on the process of change, assisting people to shift from contemplation into action.

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA):
Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) is a systematic process of studying and modifying observable behaviour through a manipulation of the environment. It’s principles are derived from extensive basic research, and has seen recent popularity in applied therapy with Autism and other developmental disorders, particularly where verbal communication is compromised. It is comprised of an experimental approach to manipulating the environment and tracking alterations in behaviour. This allows the discovery and manipulation of functional relationships between behaviour and environmental variables.

Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST):
With roots in social ecological (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) and family systems (Haley, 1976, Minuchen, 1974) theories MST views people as embedded within multiple interconnected systems. Systems include the nuclear family, extended family, neighbourhood, school, peer connections, culture, and community. In assessing the major determinants of identified problems, the clinician considers the reciprocal and bi-directional nature of the influences between a person and his or her family and social network as well as the indirect effects of more distal influences (e.g., parental workplace). For a treatment to be effective, the risk factors across these systems must be identified and addressed.

Dialectic Behaviour Therapy:
Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is a psychological method developed by Marsha M. Linehan to treat persons with varied symptoms and behaviours associated with spectrum mood disorders, including self-injury. Individuals learn to use specific skills that are broken down into four modules: core mindfulness skills, emotion regulation skills, interpersonal effectiveness skills and distress tolerance skills.

Inter-Personal Therapy:
IPT is based on the belief that interpersonal factors may contribute heavily to psychological problems. It is commonly distinguished from other forms of therapy in its emphasis on the interpersonal rather than the intrapsychic. For example, loss of relationship, nonreciprocal expectations about a relationship with someone else, role transition- giving up an old role and taking up a new role, interpersonal communication difficulties. IPT focuses on the present, works on the major problem areas identified and work to reduce their overall isolation. IPT helps the client with expressing and acceptance of difficult emotions, analysis of their communication patterns, modification of client communication strategies while remaining in accord with their core values and participation in role-playing exercises with the therapist.