A clinical psychologist may work with individuals, couples, families or groups. Therapy sessions usually last for about an hour. You may meet with your psychologist for only a short time or for a number of months. Before therapy begins your psychologist should discuss with you the likely length of the therapy.
All clinicians at Psychology Associates are extensively trained and very experienced in handling most presenting problems including:
Therapy involves you talking about the way you feel, think and act. A clinical psychologist listens to you and helps you gain new understandings of yourself so you can make changes in your life. A number of things make therapy different from talking to a friend. First, your psychologist will have specialised knowledge of psychological research, theory and approaches to treating problems. This will guide the way they listen to you, challenge you and support you. Second, usually you will know very little about the personal life of your psychologist.
There are many different types of therapy a Clinical Psychologist may practice. These include:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Schema Focused Therapy
- Attachment Theory
- Dialectical & Behavioural Therapy
- Play Therapy
In general, these various types of therapy are tailored to meet your specific goals for example by:
- Helping you learn skills for managing problems
- Helping you understand and change the way your thoughts affect how you feel and act
- Helping you become aware of and understand your emotions
- Helping you to understand how experiences in your life, even as far back as childhood, can affect the way you think, feel and act now
- Exploring and changing the way you relate to and communicate within your family and other relationships
- Helping you understand how a psychiatric disorder developed and what keeps it going, so that you can take charge of it
- Helping you and/or your family understand and cope with an intellectual or learning difficulty you may have
- Using play and games to help children communicate about their troubles
CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
In cognitive-behavioural therapy, the therapist and client work together to achieve an understanding of the client’s beliefs and underlying assumptions about themselves, others, and the world. We look together at how these affect the client’s current behaviours, feelings and daily functioning. The focus of CBT is mainly on the “here and now” rather than the past. The aim of CBT is to enable the client to generate solutions to their problems that are more helpful than their present ways of coping.
Read the Wikipedia article on CBT.
[Thank you to the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists http://www.nzccp.co.nz for many of these ideas]