Psychmatters provides a range of psychological services for children, adolescents and adults. These include:
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a method of treatment used for a variety of conditions including: depression, anxiety, phobias, perfectionism, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, self-esteem issues, relationship problems and many more.
CBT is one of the modes of therapy Medicare requires all therapists to be competent in, in order to have a provider number.
Cognitive therapies are similar to behavioral therapies in that they focus on specific problems. However, they emphasise changing beliefs and thoughts, rather than observable behaviors. Cognitive therapists believe that irrational beliefs or distorted thinking patterns can cause a variety of serious problems, including depression and chronic anxiety. They try to teach people to think in more rational, constructive ways.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a combination of two forms of psychotherapy, cognitive therapy (concerned with ones perceptions, beliefs and thoughts and how faulty thinking patterns can affect ones life) and behaviour therapy (concerned with ones overt behaviours or reactions to situations). The combination of the two therapies is a powerful and effective way to solve problems. Cognitive behaviour therapy gives clients the ability to observe their thought patterns and processes, allowing them to work on any negative thought habits and subsequent behaviours that are having a negative effect on their life.
An unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that people experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being. The word stress means different things to different people.
Some people define stress as events or situations that cause them to feel tension, pressure, or negative emotions such as anxiety and anger. Others view stress as the response to these situations. This response includes physiological changes-such as increased heart rate and muscle tension-as well as emotional and behavioral changes. However, most psychologists regard stress as a process involving a person's interpretation and response to a threatening event.
Reality therapy is based on the premise that all human behavior is motivated by fundamental needs and specific wants. The reality therapist first seeks to establish a friendly, trusting relationship with clients in which they can express their needs and wants. Then the therapist helps clients explore the behaviors that created problems for them.
Clients are encouraged to examine the consequences of their behavior and to evaluate how well their behavior helped them fulfill their wants. The therapist does not accept excuses from clients.
Finally, the therapist helps the client formulate a concrete plan of action to change certain behaviors, based on the client's own goals and ability to make choices.
An altered state of awareness characterized by deep relaxation, susceptibility to suggestions, and changes in perception, memory, motivation, and self-control.
In Australia no person who thinks they may have been abused should undergo Hypnosis as they cannot be a witness in any subsequent court case involving abuse. http://www.hypnotherapy.net/whatcan.shtml
Hypnotherapy can teach you to be relaxed through post-hypnotic suggestions regardless of time place or situation. A relaxed person is healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally. Hypnotherapy can instill positive messages in your subconscious, replacing negative messages:
"I'll try" vs "I will do it!"...
"I'm too fat to wear that" vs "I will eat wisely so I can wear.."
"I want to quit smoking" vs "I want to stop smoking" ("Quit" is a negative on the self-esteem.) Be careful how you communicate the following
...for example: ...I'm dying for a cigarette... ...I'd kill for a piece of that chocolate cake...
EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) *(1) integrates elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects. These include psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies *(2). EMDR is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach. During EMDR1 the client attends to past and present experiences in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Then the client is instructed to let new material become the focus of the next set of dual attention. This sequence of dual attention and personal association is repeated many times in the session.
The first phase is a history taking session during which the therapist assesses the client's readiness for EMDR and develops a treatment plan. Client and therapist identify possible targets for EMDR processing. These include recent distressing events, current situations that elicit emotional disturbance, related historical incidents, and the development of specific skills and behaviors that will be needed by the client in future situations.
During the second phase of treatment, the therapist ensures that the client has adequate methods of handling emotional distress and good coping skills, and that the client is in a relatively stable state. If further stabilization is required, or if additional skills are needed, therapy focuses on providing these. The client is then able to use stress reducing techniques whenever necessary, during or between sessions. However, one goal is not to need these techniques once therapy is complete.
In phase three through six, a target is identified and processed using EMDR procedures. These involve the client identifying the most vivid visual image related to the memory (if available), a negative belief about self, related emotions and body sensations. The client also identifies a preferred positive belief. The validity of the positive belief is rated, as is the intensity of the negative emotions.
After this, the client is instructed to focus on the image, negative thought, and body sensations while simultaneously moving his/her eyes back and forth following the therapist's fingers as they move across his/her field of vision for 20-30 seconds or more, depending upon the need of the client.
Athough eye movements are the most commonly used external stimulus, therapists often use auditory tones, tapping, or other types of tactile stimulation. The kind of dual attention and the length of each set is customized to the need of the client. The client is instructed to just notice whatever happens.
After this, the clinician instructs the client to let his/her mind go blank and to notice whatever thought, feeling, image, memory, or sensation comes to mind. Depending upon the client's report the clinician will facilitate the next focus of attention. In most cases a client-directed association process is encouraged. This is repeated numerous times throughout the session. If the client becomes distressed or has difficulty with the process, the therapist follows established procedures to help the client resume processing.
When the client reports no distress related to the targeted memory, the clinician asks him/her to think of the preferred positive belief that was identified at the beginning of the session, or a better one if it has emerged, and to focus on the incident, while simultaneously engaging in the eye movements.
After several sets, clients generally report increased confidence in this positive belief. The therapist checks with the client regarding body sensations. If there are negative sensations, these are processed as above. If there are positive sensations, they are further enhanced.
In phase seven, closure, the therapist asks the client to keep a journal during the week to document any related material that may arise and reminds the client of the self-calming activities that were mastered in phase two.
The next session begins with phase eight, re-evaluation of the previous work, and of progress since the previous session. EMDR treatment ensures processing of all related historical events, current incidents that elicit distress, and future scenarios that will require different responses. The overall goal is produce the most comprehensive and profound treatment effects in the shortest period of time, while simultaneously maintaining a stable client within a balanced system.
After EMDR processing, clients generally report that the emotional distress related to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly decreased, and that they have gained important cognitive insights. Importantly, these emotional and cognitive changes usually result in spontaneous behavioral and personal change, which are further enhanced with standard EMDR procedures.
1 Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.
2 Shapiro, F. (2002). EMDR as an Integrative Psychotherapy Approach: Experts of Diverse Orientations Explore the Paradigm Prism. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Books.
Copyright 2003 EMDR Institute, Inc.
Couples therapy, also called marital therapy or marriage counselling, is designed to help intimate partners improve their relationship. Therapists treat married couples as well as unmarried couples of the opposite or same sex. Therapists normally hold sessions with both partners present. At certain times during therapy, however, the therapist may choose to see the partners individually.
Couples may seek therapy for a variety of problems, many of which concern a breakdown of communication or trust between the partners. For example, an extramarital affair by one partner may cause the other partner to feel emotional pain, anger, and distrust. Some partners may feel distant from one another or experience sexual problems. In other cases, one or both partners may have psychological problems or alcohol or drug problems that negatively affect their relationship.
The techniques used in therapy vary depending on the theoretical orientation of the therapist and the nature of the couple's problem. Most often, therapists focus on improving communication between partners and on helping them learn to manage conflict. By observing the partners as they talk to each other, the therapist can learn about their communication patterns and the roles they assume in their relationship. The therapist may then teach the partners new ways of expressing their feelings verbally, how to listen to each other, and how to work together to solve problems. The therapist may also suggest that they try out new roles. For example, if one partner makes all of the decisions in the relationship, the therapist may encourage the couple to try sharing decision-making power.
Because most couples therapists also have training in family therapy, they often examine the influence of the couple's relationships with parents, children, and siblings. Psychoanalytically oriented therapists may focus on how the partners' childhood experiences affect their current relationship with each other.
For couples who cannot work through their differences or reestablish trust and intimacy, separation or divorce may be the best choice. Therapists can help such partners separate in constructive ways.
Play therapy is a special technique that therapists often use with children aged 2 to 12. For children, play is a natural way of learning and relating to others. Play therapy can help therapists both to understand children's problems and to help children deal with their feelings, behaviors, and thoughts.
Therapists may use playhouses, puppets, a toy telephone, dolls, sandboxes, food, finger paints, and other toys or objects to help children express their thoughts and feelings.
In addition to projecting a caring and gentle manner, therapists who work with children are trained to understand and interpret children's nonverbal and verbal expressions
ACT is a therapy that is based philosophically in clinical behavior analysis. Functional contextualism is the world view that underlies ACT.
Theoretically ACT is based on RFT, which offers an account of how language creates pain and useless methods of dealing with it, and which suggests alternative contextual approaches to these domains. ACT uses metaphors, experiential exercises, and logical paradox to get around the literal content of language and to produce more contact with the ongoing flow of experience in the moment. The primary ACT components are challenging the control agenda, cognitive defusion, willingness, self as context, values, and commitment. ACT is part of the CBT tradition, although it has notable differences from traditional CBT. The main purpose of ACT is to relieve human suffering through helping clients live a vital, valued life. (Psychology Today)
Interpersonal therapy is a type of treatment which focuses on past and present social roles and interpersonal interactions. During treatment, the client chooses a problem area in their life to focus on. Examples of areas covered are: disputes with friends, family or co-workers, grief and loss and role transitions, such as retirement or divorce.
IPT does not attempt to delve into inner conflicts resulting from past experiences, rather it attempts to help the patient find better ways to deal with current problems.