CBT - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
How we think affects what we do, and our thoughts arise as a consequence of our belief systems. When people become more conscious of their thoughts/emotions, and of the ‘drivers’ behind them, they can examine the benefits and draw-backs of those beliefs and adapt those that are not useful. This requires checking for unrealities, over-judgments, exaggerations and other patterns that create obstacles to positive outlooks.
CBT focuses on the conscious and less conscious choices we are making, in each moment, and creates awareness, options and improved ‘thinking’ which leads to better behavior.
Katy is UK trained in this empirical model and it was also part of her Master's degree programme.
Solution Focused Therapy
This is a goal-directed therapy that looks at what clients want to achieve in life, and explores any small ways in which that is already happening, in order to inflate the opportunities for success.
Client and therapist work to co-create a vision of what is hoped for, in great detail, so that intentions transfer from the session into life. They look carefully at situations in which outcomes are similar to the ‘vision’ and notice circumstances that occur to promote this. It is future-forward and feels very inspiring.
Katy trained with a US trainer here in Singapore (who had been a pupil of the founders of the therapy) and, in training met many of the SFBT leading lights. She also work-shopped with the founder, Kim Inso Berg, herself.
This is similar to ‘Play Therapy’- an internationally recognized form of useful support for young children. It provides a child with opportunities to use their body, breath and mind using creative means such as art, sand-tray, drama and storytelling.
Expressive therapy allows the difficult issues, that may not be easily talked about, to emerge and release unconsciously. It releases aggression, anxiety and sadness in a safe way that is child-friendly and non-alarming. This release feels playful, is engineered very much by the child’s inner consciousness, and gently lets go of negative feelings, memories and experiences.
Katy trained with Mark Pearson from Australia and has an extensive collection of materials and knowledge used over 10 years.
Requires that more than one person comes along to enable closer relationships between people. Space is given for each to feel included, to talk and to consider the views of others. Gentle enquiry reveals issues that arise from the wider family of origin influences, power imbalances and circumstantial influences.
The therapist works ‘with’ the family to see strengths and find pathways forward towards better communication and functioning. Those present are invited to engage and explore both difficulties and supports in a caring and trusted environment.
Of all my trainings this is the area of lower expertise in terms of the amount of time I have spent in formal training – but my experience with families over many years does enhance that.
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ACT - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
ACT (spoken as the word ‘act’, not the initials, because it helps people act in preferred ways, towards better well-being) is a method of analyzing behavior. Mindfulness helps clients know and understand their thinking and experience, in the moment it is occurring. Values are explored and created and ACT is about moving from a resistant, stuck or avoidant place, towards those life values, with as much acceptance of difficult thoughts and feelings as possible.
ACT does not aim to remove negative thoughts/feelings, but to allow the presence of unpleasant sensations and yet commit to ‘act’ in ways that ultimately create benefit and progress. Self acceptance of each person’s individual past/neurology/tendencies and personality is very much part of this therapy.
Katy has trained with Steve Hayes, the founder of this therapy and other international pioneers of this approach such as Kelly Wilson, Russ Harris, Louise Hayes, Jason Luoma.
The positive psychology movement came about after psychologists realised they had predominantly studied negative states, and had very little knowledge of positive states. Coaching psychology arose from this movement, and is the study of what creates happiness, purpose and well-being.
Positive psychology is now used in health, business, etc. and the understanding of what engenders positive mind-sets and behaviors is particularly useful in work with children. Children rarely want to focus on the past and the problems and are happy to take a direction that opens pathways towards better experiences and outlooks.
Katy work-shopped with Martin Seligman, the founder of this work, and also trained minimally with other leading Positive psychologists such as Barbara Freidrickson and Sonia Luminsky.
Compassion Focused Therapy
This therapy understands that humans are built to worry and get angry and that their evolutionary drives, their biology and their own neuro-science get in the way of perfect coping. It accepts that many who are kind to others are critical of themselves and it aims to use mindful awareness and specific techniques to train individuals towards a more empathic way of viewing their own mistakes and negative thoughts and feelings.
Understanding that we suffer and learning to be gentle with our own pain and reduce feelings of shame and self blame is the basis of this work.
Katy has studied with Paul Gilbert, the founder of this therapy, and pioneers in the field, Kirsten Neff and Christopher Gemmer from the USA.
This is about understanding the changes in the brain during development. The therapist must have a strong knowledge of the ages and stages of children and the ways in which new problems occur within the development cycles. This information can be shared with the client so that problems are normalized and solutions sought dependent on abilities and sometimes on specific teaching of new ways to view things, methods for change or actual skills to be built.