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What does the Treatment Involve?

Therapy is organised over an agreed number of sessions. The total number will depend on the individual person and the nature of the problem. Commonly 5-15 sessions are representative of a typical course of treatment. There are exceptions to this guide where more or fewer sessions can be appropriate. Sessions last an hour and take place weekly or fortnightly initially. Sessions can be more widely interspersed as therapy progresses.

Cognitive therapy can be used on its own or in conjunction with medication prescribed by your doctor. If a medical specialist opinion such as that of a Consultant Psychiatrist is required this can be arranged as Alan has a very close and long established working association with Dr Colin Rodger from Insight Psychiatric Services. www.insightpsychiatry.co.uk.

Therapy is based upon an alliance between therapist and client. A collaborative approach is taken to explore the issues and the nature of the problem. Having a shared understanding of the client's predicament, goals will be negotiated as part of a shared treatment plan. This is referred to as the formulation, a working document shared by client and therapist.

The focus of the therapy will be based on the "here and now", although an understanding of past experience will be used to formulate the treatment plan. Solutions to the difficulties are best tested out and this will be the work undertaken by the client between sessions. The term ‘homework’ is adopted to define this crucial part of the therapy.

Examples of homework.

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ is an excellent hand book outlining the principles of meditation and Mindfulness practice. Mindfulness has now been recognised by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence N.I.C.E. as a validated approach to working with anxiety and depression. Learning to respond to stress instead of reacting to it is a choice that is not always apparent.

Another significant influence to Alan’s approach is the work of Prof Paul Gilbert author of ‘Coping With Depression a Self Help Guide Using CBT’ and more recently 'The Compassionate Mind'.

This book has led to the development of compassion based therapy that explores how to be kinder to ourselves without losing ground as we step back from the tyranny of self critical thinking. This approach embraces the process of ‘acceptance’ and seems to be an essential foundation to looking at the question of what it means to be a human being?

Sleep. Another common goal of therapy.

Sleep occupies approximately one third of our lives, as a barometer of health it is interesting that more than a third of adults report sleeping difficulties. Difficulty getting off to sleep, broken sleep and early morning waking are common features of sleep disturbance. Sometimes over sleeping termed ‘hypersomnia’ is another characteristic of a poor sleeping pattern.

Some 5% of people do suffer from diagnosable sleep conditions that require more specialised medical treatments.

However much has been learned to help others manage their sleep better using simple behavioural programmes. By sleeping well we are more likely to live well, the reverse is true too. So often returning to a better sleeping pattern is an early goal of therapy.

This area is of particular interest to Alan and he has considerable experience in helping individuals restore this natural way of bringing life back into balance.

One-to-one consultations can be booked directly via Reception at Mulberry House or by contacting Alan by telephone or Email Alan,

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