Difficulties Pryce-Jenkins Psychology can help with
I offer psychological therapies to children (age 10+) and adults dealing with any of the below:
* depression / low mood (including postnatal depression)
* low confidence / self esteem
* anxiety / worry
* obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), including contamination and checking subtypes as well as violent or sexual mental obsessions.
* trauma reactions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
* panic attacks
* social anxiety
* chronic pain
* dealing with physical health conditions
* health anxiety
* eating issues and disorders (including anorexia, bullumia and overeating)
* body image issues
* relationship difficulties
What to expect from the first session
The first session is an assessment session. Here you have the opportunity to discuss the difficulties you are experiencing and consider what goals you would like to work on. You will be asked questions about the nature of your difficulties and other aspects of your life and history. You may be given psychometric tests for further insight. Some people find it hard to discuss everything at a first meeting so you can set the pace.
Based on our conversation, I will outline how therapy could help you and suggest approximately how many sessions may be beneficial. You can decide at this point if you would like to arrange further therapy sessions or the next session can be booked at a later time.
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the main model of therapy I use. CBT is a structured, goal directed therapy, which significant research has proved effective for a wide range of psychological difficulties. NICE guidelines recommend CBT for depression and many anxiety disorders due to this research.
CBT focuses on understanding and treating problems by looking at the links between thoughts, emotions and behaviours. When distressed we think in more extreme and unhelpful ways, for example thinking 'I always get things wrong', making us feel worse. We develop ways of behaving to try and help how we feel, for example avoiding people. Our actions, while perhaps giving some short-term relief, can actually also prolong our distress.
At the start of therapy, we work together to develop a formulation, or model, of your difficulties. This will include current thoughts and behaviours maintaining your distress and may also include looking at how these developed and deeper thinking patterns. Specific psychological disorders have particular, evidence based, models of how patterns of thinking and behaving lead to and maintain emotional distress.
General CBT formulation
Over the course of therapy, we work together to make changes to problematic thinking, behavioural and emotional patterns. The emphasis is on you learning skills you can use in your everyday life, both during therapy and beyond. The number of sessions required varies depending on the nature of your difficulties and how long standing they are but CBT is a relatively short-term therapy and you may only need a few sessions.
In each session there is an agenda set collaboratively at the start, to ensure that we are focusing on what is most beneficial. Towards the end of each session we will plan what tasks you could work on ('homework') before the next session, to explore and apply the skills learnt.
Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is an evidence-based, NICE recommended treatment for PTSD. It is also recognised as an effective treatment for other psychological problems traced to trauma or adverse life events, including depression, low self esteem, addictions, eating disorders, OCD, health anxiety and panic disorder. EMDR helps to reprocess traumatic memories underlying such difficulties, and reduce the strong emotional reactions to them. It can be used together with CBT.
As well as traditional CBT, I often draw on more recently developed 'third wave' CBT approaches, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT).