Useful definitions about some of the approaches taken by professional counsellors.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. Numerous research studies suggest that CBT leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life.

What are CBT Core Principles?

CBT is based on several core principles, including:

      • Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.

      • Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behaviour.

      • People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.

      • CBT treatment usually involves efforts to change thinking patterns.

    Family Therapy

    Family therapy or family counselling is a form of treatment that is designed to address specific issues affecting the health and functioning of a family. It can be used to help a family through a difficult period, a major transition, or mental or behavioral health problems in family members.

    Family therapy views individuals’ problems in the context of the larger unit: the family.   The assumption of this type of therapy is that problems cannot be successfully addressed or solved without understanding the dynamics of the group.

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

    What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets its name from one of its core messages:   

    accept what is out of your personal control and commit to action that improves and enriches your life.

    The aim of ACT is to maximise human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life.
    ACT does this by helping you to:

        • develop psychological skills to deal more effectively with difficult thoughts and feelings, to reduce their impact and influence over you;

        • clarify your values (your heart’s deepest desires for how you want to behave as a human being; how you want to treat yourself, others and the world around you). You then use these values to guide, inspire and motivate yourself to take action: to do what matters, face your fears, live meaningfully, and change your life for the better;

        • focus your attention on what is important and engage fully in whatever you are doing.

      Schema Therapy

      Maladaptive schemas (schemas) are rigid core beliefs that comprise thoughts, feelings, memories and physiological sensations. They develop over time as a result of the interaction of our psychological needs not being met in childhood, our innate temperament and other early life experiences. When triggered in adulthood they have an unhelpful, and often damaging, impact on how we view and respond to ourselves, others, relationships and the world around us. 

      Schema therapy is an integrative therapy that is usually medium to long-term. The aim of schema therapy is to increase awareness of psychological needs and maladaptive schemas, manage unhelpful patterns of coping, as well as strengthen more adaptive responses to ourselves, others and the world.