After an initial session with the client to understand the issues being faced by them, we formulate a treatment plan based on mutually agreed therapy goals. The treatment plan details out the evidence-based therapies we would use to ensure the best results for our clients.
We could use among others the following therapies:
In CBT, a person works with a therapist to look at patterns of thinking (cognition) and acting (behaviour) that are making them more likely to become depressed, or are keeping them from improving once they become depressed. For example, depressed people tend to view things as either all good or all bad. Once these patterns are recognised, the person can make changes to replace them with ones that promote good mood and better coping. CBT can be conducted in individuals meeting with a therapist or in groups. Treatment length can vary, but is usually four to 24 weekly sessions.
Behaviour Therapy (BT), also called behavioural activation, is a major component of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT, see page 21). However, it is different to CBT because it focuses on increasing a person’s level of activity and pleasure in their life. Unlike CBT, it does not focus on changing the person’s beliefs and attitudes. BT can be carried out with individuals or groups, and generally lasts between eight to 16 weeks.
Play Therapy is a form of psychotherapy commonly used with young children aged three to eleven. Play Therapy offers children a natural way to communicate with trained therapists, and to express their feelings about a wide range of topics.
This type of therapy can help children foster better social skills, deal with emotional challenges, retain healthy mental development and assess signs of trauma. Play therapy can also be used to determine whether a child might have learning difficulties or a wider range of psychological conditions.
Family therapy refers to a number of different treatment approaches that all treat family relationships as an important factor in mental health. Usually the whole family (or at least a number of family members) will attend treatment sessions, rather than just the family member who is suffering from depression. The therapist tries to help the family change their pattern of communication so that their relationships are more supportive and there is less conflict. Family therapy approaches are most often used when a child or adolescent is suffering from depression.
IPT is a type of psychological therapy that focuses on problems in personal relationships, and on building skills to deal with these problems. IPT is based on the idea that these interpersonal problems are a significant part of the cause of depression. It is different from other types of therapy for depression because it focuses more on personal relationships than what is going on in the client’s mind (e.g. thoughts and feelings). Although treatment length can vary, IPT for depression is usually conducted over four to 24 weekly sessions
There are several different types of relaxation training. The most common one is progressive muscle relaxation. This teaches a person to relax voluntarily by tensing and relaxing specific groups of muscles. Another type of relaxation training involves thinking of relaxing scenes or places. Relaxation training can be learned from a professional or done as self-help. Recorded instructions are available for free on the internet or they can be bought on a CD.
EMDR is not a traditional talk therapy. Eye Movement Densensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is focused more on the distress felt while recalling the traumatic event. As part of the treatment, a therapist uses bilateral stimulation, a pendulum like hand movement which the client follows with his/her eyes. In a state of bilateral stimulation, the therapist asks the client to recollect the distressful emotions and physical symptoms experienced during the recall of traumatic event. As the client recalls these symptoms, the therapist helps the client to transition to more positive thoughts, thereby helping them to resolve the negative and distressing emotions associated with traumatic events. More and more studies are confirming the effectiveness of EMDR in treating symptoms of PTSD and Trauma.
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a variation of cognitive therapy in which mindfulness based practices such as meditation and breathing techniques have been incorporated. MBCT practitioners train their clients to break the negative thought cycle that can soon spiral into a depressed state so that they are able to stave off depression before it spreads its tentacles.