Monthly Archives: March 2017

Emma Taylor: the gift of undivided attention

Counsellor, Emma Taylor, writes about therapy as ‘the gift of undivided attention‘..

Before I became a therapist my professional background was in corporate life. Needless to say there are many differences between the two occupations, but one that now feels particularly striking is the difference in my own state of mind when I am working. In my previous career multitasking was essential and the merits of working in this way unquestioned. Concentration on any discrete task was always subject to the superseding demands of an email, phonecall or the appearance of an instant messenger conversation obscuring the work on my laptop screen. At meetings it was acceptable to respond to emails while simultaneously attempting to keep abreast of discussions.

Now however, when I am with a client, all intrusions – technological and otherwise – are silenced. For fifty minutes my entire focus is on the person with whom I am sitting and this is one of the many aspects of my work that I love.

This single-minded giving of attention has always been integral to therapy, but I wonder if at the present time it has a value that is of greater than ever significance. Certainly I am aware that when I am with clients, the uninterrupted nature of our time together is somewhat atypical of much of the rest of my life.

Given the ongoing questioning of the negative effects of ever-present smartphones on sleep quality, relationships and powers of concentration, to mention just a few areas of life, I wonder if therapy now offers something particularly pertinent. When sitting with a therapist, the client does not have to fear the competing demands of the enticing world of entertainment and information to which we now have almost constant access. By mutual agreement external distractions are set aside for the duration of the session, by client and therapist alike.

My training and work with clients have shown me the many benefits of therapy. However I wonder if its most fundamental characteristic, that it is a dialogue in which two people give one another their full attention, is significant at the present time to an extent that it has never been before. It seems to me that there can be something profoundly healing in this aspect of therapy alone.”

Contact Emma via the Clinic on 07468 573866 or directly on 07834 576853

Dr Hannah Farr, clinical psychologist, introduces herself…

Dr Hannah Farr

Clinical Psychologist, Dr Hannah Farr, writes about her therapy specialism…

“Hello Everyone, I have recently started running my practice from Wendy’s Clinic in Marlborough. I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist working with adults, young people and couples who are experiencing life challenges and mental health difficulties.  I have worked for charities and universities, but primarily I have worked in the NHS until recently.  My experience has been with young people and adults who have experienced a brain injury and those with severe mental health challenges.  In my latter role I have worked with people with a diagnosis of psychosis, bipolar disorder and personality disorder.

Now I am practicing as an independent practitioner and I am enjoying meeting different people who are at different stages of their lives.  I am aware that there are a number of different types of therapists available to people, so I thought this might be a good place to explain what I do as a Clinical Psychologist.

I provide a confidential and safe space for people to share personal information about why they are seeking help.  When people contact me I spend some time speaking with them so I can understand a little more about why they have come to me.  If we then decide to meet in person, we spend time talking in more depth and I develop a detailed understanding of the person’s difficulties.  I do this by listening to the information I am given and drawing on different therapeutic models to develop an understanding of people’s problems.  These models are evidence-based psychological methods of assessment and treatment, which I have been trained to use to a high level.  This means that there has been a lot of research conducted on these models with people who experience similar problems to the ones people come to me with.

I use a number of therapeutic models to aid my thinking and develop an understanding of how people have come to the point in their lives where they feel they need psychological support.  I also use them to develop strategies with people to support them in managing the experiences they are having.   I use an integrative approach, which means I draw on a number of models to inform my thinking.  However one of the main models I use is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).  In brief, this model allows us to think about how our thoughts, feelings and behaviour are linked to each other and how sometimes these can maintain unhelpful coping strategies.

People are individuals and although we can have similar experiences to each other, we often all understand those experiences in our own different ways.  This means that therapy needs to be flexible and able to change when new information is spoken about in the session, or if a person’s situation changes.  I think this is what makes my work so interesting and why I enjoy meeting everyone who comes to me.”

Contact Hannah via the Clinic on 07468 573866, or directly on 07767 879720

 

 

A different and effective method of helping clients with trauma

IMG_0918.JPGAt the Transforming Trauma: Energy Psychotherapy workshop on 25th February we were introduced to a way of bringing together traditional talking therapy and some of the techniques of energy psychology to alleviate distress and suffering.

Trauma was defined as any event which continues to evoke difficult feelings and/or physical symptoms. The emphasis was on there being no divide between mind and body, and that the body’s energy system can ‘know’ more accurately than the conscious mind what is at the root of an individual’s disturbance.

The seminar leaders, Sandra Figgess and Heather Redington presented case material to illustrate how energy techniques could be used in a psychotherapeutic process. We had the opportunity to try out some of these for ourselves, including muscle testing (kinesiology), a method for making enquiries of the energy system. As well as being fun to try, this also produced some interesting results: when responding to a particular enquiry, my conscious mind and my body response seemed to be at odds. As a psychodynamic therapist I am aware of the conflict between conscious and unconscious intention, so it was intriguing to see it demonstrated by the body. In energy psychotherapy this can be used to provide a working hypothesis on how to proceed.

Another point of cross over between psychoanalytic ideas and energy psychology was looked at in ‘reversals’, the issues that prevent a person achieving the desired change/healing. In energy psychology these are named and worked on using Emotional Freedom Technique. In psychoanalytic therapy they are referred to as resistances, and the work of therapy is often about bringing them into consciousness, where they are less likely to drive behaviour and prevent change.

It was a very thought-provoking workshop that has stimulated my interest in this area.

By Hannah Cowan, March 2017

For anyone wishing to pursue this method further, there will be a five day foundation course in Oxford in June and July 2017.  Please contact therapy@greenfig.org.uk or phone 01865 515156.  Or visit http://www.energypsychotherapyworks.co.uk

Energy Psychotherapy – article in BACP (children and young people) March 2017

Comments from participants: 

“Most interesting and thought-provoking”

“v nice venue, v professional, safe and respectful. V much valued the experiential elements”

“the trainers are excellent, clarifying as and when needed. I loved the experience of energy psychotherapy. Thank you”

“a very engaging day – contemplating an expansion of my practice and the possibility of integrating it”

“very supportive and valuable”

“extremely thought- and feeling-provoking”

“well presented – simplistic enough to stay conscious, complicated enough to know one couldn’t practise it without lots more training”

11 feedback forms gave the following average results:

1) overall assessment of event: 4.5 out of 5

2) speakers : 4.55 out of 5

3) value for money : 4.45 out of 5

By Wendy Bramham, March 2017