Whilst no two peoples therapy will ever look the same, there are some common components to structured psychological therapy that go beyond simply having a safe reflective space in which to talk openly and honestly… as important as this is. These components may include:
A psychological assessment is where your psychologist will spend one or maybe two sessions with you fully exploring the reasons that bring you to therapy. Assessment sessions may also involve completing some questionnaires to help clarify the severity of difficulties such as anxiety and depression. The assessment session helps identify for both you and your psychologist the pertinent things you will need to work on together.
A psychological formulation is central to how psychologists work. Psychologists use formulations rather than diagnostic labels to understand people’s inner world and behaviour. Whilst a diagnosis can sometimes be very helpful, human beings are extremely complex and a formulation is more sensitive to this fact by providing an individualised understanding of your difficulties.
A formulation will outline the key factors that bring you to therapy (which may or may not fall under a diagnostic category), consideration of key pre-predisposing factors (such as your own temperament and life experiences), precipitating factors (what may have triggered the onset of a particular difficulty) and perpetuating factors (what things might be happening in your current life that keep your difficulties going). The formulation is then used to create a very individualised and personal therapeutic plan.
Your psychologist is likely to spend time during your psychological therapy explaining important psychological concepts that will help you to better understand yourself and what it means to be human.
You may, for example, learn about how the brain and nervous system work. Psychoeducational aspects of therapy drawn upon the disciplines of evolutionary psychology, cognitive psychology, interpersonal neurobiology and attachment theory.
Your psychologist is likely to spend time helping your understand the role cognition (which includes attention, thoughts, beliefs and memories) plays in psychological distress. You will also learn skills and strategies for working with all aspects of your mind.
Your psychologist is likely to introduce you to aspects of behavioural psychology, helping you to overcome avoidance which often perpetuates are difficulties.
The relationship between our body and mind is much better understood nowadays, and it is essential to stabilise our body if we are going to stabilise our mind. Your psychologist will help you better understand the role our nervous system and vagus nerve play in emotional states such as anxiety, stress and anger and and will give you techniques to support body awareness and cultivate a balanced body and mind.
Human-beings have rich and complex emotional lives and to make deep and lasting change we often have to work with emotion not just cognition in therapy. Your psychologist may bring emotion focused strategies into therapy to help you connect with and process the deeper layers of your emotional life.
“Can you help with physical difficulties like pain management?”
Many of our Psychologists help clients cope with chronic pain, work with weight management, and address other physical health issues.
We have experience with NHS pain management, weight clinics, oncology services, and more.