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Types of Psychological Treatment

CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is a Talking Therapy. It is an evidence based intervention which has been proven to help treat a wide range of psychological, emotional and physical health conditions in adults, young people and children. CBT looks at how the way we think about a situation affects the way we feel and act. In turn our actions can affect how we think and feel.

Clinicians work collaboratively with the client to explore, identify and change unhelpful thinking and behavioural patterns maintaining the cycle of emotional distress.

The British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) website provides more information about what CBT is and its effectiveness with a range of anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.

Click here to learn more about CBT

The NHS Choices website provides patient information and videos to advise patients considering CBT

Clink here for more about NHS Choices


EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) was developed as a treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related difficulties. A substantial evidence base for its effectiveness in treating trauma has been established and it is now a recommended treatment for PTSD. The EMDR treatment approach has been further developed so that it can now also be used to treat to a number of other mental health difficulties, such as depression, phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Traumatic events can overwhelm our natural healing mechanisms. As a result memories of traumatic events can be stored in the brain in an unprocessed, emotionally-charged way. It is proposed that EMDR works by unblocking the mind’s natural healing processes allowing us to fully process memories of traumatic events and achieve significant reduction in the emotional distress associated with the memory.

In comparison to other Psychological treatments, EMDR relies less on talking and clinician interpretation. Rather, using detailed protocols and procedures, clinicians help clients activate their own natural healing processes.



MBCT – Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a modified form of cognitive therapy that incorporates a variety of mindfulness techniques. It was originally developed to prevent relapse in people with recurring episodes of depression or unhappiness. It has been proven effective in patients with major depressive disorder who have experienced at least three episodes of depression. Mindfulness has a growing research base and may be beneficial to people experiencing ruminative thinking, anxiety, addictions and chronic pain. People who regularly practice mindfulness have experienced lasting physical and psychological benefits, such as an improvement in concentration, memory and energy levels; reduction of stress and emotional reactivity; increase in positive emotions and the ability to be more accepting and compassionate.

MBCT teaches techniques that help us to connect to our immediate experience with curiosity, acceptance and openness rather than withdrawing from or trying to change our experience. Mindfulness techniques can be practiced on a formal or informal basis and may include focusing on the breath, using our senses to connect to our surroundings, bringing awareness to our thoughts and feelings and letting go of judgmental and unhelpful thoughts. In essence, mindfulness allows us to gain more control of our lives by increasing self-awareness, attention control, and the capacity to distance ourselves from unhelpful thoughts and feelings. This gives us the freedom to choose how to respond effectively, rather than get caught up in the content of our thinking and react in unhelpful ways.



ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an effective psychological therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness interventions alongside identifying a person’s life values and using commitment and behaviour change strategies to enhance psychological flexibility and reduce emotional distress.

Please find further information about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by clicking on either of the links below:

Click here for more about ACT Click here for more about Self Help

CFT – Compassion Focused Therapy

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is a form of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that draws upon evolutionary psychology and the neuroscience of emotion to help people work through emotional difficulties.

CFT aims to develop ways to understand compassion and how to apply it to ourselves in our own lives, in overcoming emotional distress, such as shame and guilt which can be common experiences following trauma. Many clinicians use aspect of Compassion Focused Therapy alongside other treatment approaches.

Please find further information about Compassion Focused Therapy by clicking on the link below:

Click here for more about Compassion Focused Therapy 

DBT – Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Its main goals are to teach people skills to strengthen their capacity to recognise and tolerate emotional experiences, cope healthily with stress, regulate emotions, and improve relationships with others. A key underlying principal of DBT is validation of a person’s current difficulty while also focussing on the skills required to help change the issue.

DBT was originally intended for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (sometimes referred to as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) but has since been adapted for other conditions where difficulty managing the ebbs and flows of emotion is apparent such as anger, self-injurious behaviour, eating disorders and substance abuse. It is also sometimes used in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Please find further information about Dialectical Behaviour Therapy by clicking the link below

Click here for more about Dialectical Behaviour Therapy 

Behavioural Activation

Behavioural Activation is a treatment for depression or low mood that has been found to be very effective, even for clients who have not had success with other approaches. This treatment approach works from the assumption that negative life events such as grief, trauma, daily stressors, or a genetic predisposition to low mood can lead to a person having too little positive reinforcement. Additionally, a person might turn to unhealthy behaviours (e.g. drug use, sleeping late into the afternoon, social withdrawal) in an attempt to avoid negative feelings. Although such behaviours provide temporary relief, they ultimately result in more negative outcomes, and worsening mood.

The focus of treatment in this approach is on making changes to our actions or behaviour and our environment in order to improve mood. Techniques aim to increase the amount of positive reinforcement and reduce the amount of negative reinforcement a person experiences by increasing rewarding behaviours and replacing unhelpful or avoidant behaviours.