Pier Luigi Ceccarelli Counselling Psychologist - North West London & Barnet
Psicologo - Fregene, Roma

Psychological Therapy

In my clinical practice I have been using evidence-based psychological therapies including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassionate Focused Therapy, Person-Centred Therapy, and Schema Therapy. Below you will find a fairly detailed description of the range of therapeutic approaches I employ in my work.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This approach views problems in a structured manner and helps to develop skills and techniques to gain more control in managing and addressing clients' presenting difficulties. Sessions are interactive and begin with identifying and clarifying the problems, then collaboratively agreeing upon "homework" tasks, which then the client experiments in order to identify the techniques that are most effective to him/her. Tasks might include: writing diaries, confronting and modifying negative thoughts, experimenting with different behaviours and noting the outcomes. The therapist's role is to listen, teach, and encourage, while the client's role is to express concerns, learn, and implement that learning.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
This approach emphasises clients' past history and how it impacts on their present. It can help an individual to understand how his or her view of the world as a child can be transferred into the present and bring old feelings and thoughts that may be unhelpful or self-defeating. It can be useful for increasing an awareness of the causes that may have set off problematic behaviour and very intense or painful emotions. The therapist's role is to help the client explore unconscious motivations, conflicting feelings, and ways of relating that can cause difficulties. The psychotherapist is usually less active to provide time and space for the client's introspective process.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a therapy that combines features of cognitive therapy with mindfulness techniques. It involves accepting thoughts and feelings without judgement rather than trying to fight or avoid them. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy's main technique is based on mindfulness-based stress reduction, which was employed to treat depressive disorders.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a treatment that emphasises disturbing memories as the cause of psychological difficulties. It is used to help with the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other conditions. The goal of EMDR is to reduce the long-lasting effects of distressing memories by developing more adaptive coping mechanisms.

Compassionate Focused Therapy (CFT)
People who experience shame and self-criticism may struggle to feel relieved, reassured or safe. Compassionate Focused Therapy draws from evolutionary, social, developmental and Buddhist psychology, and neuroscience. It aims at helping people to understand and experience inner warmth, safeness and soothing, via compassion and self-compassion.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy uses cognitive defusion, mindfulness strategies, and committed action to increase psychological flexibility. ACT helps individuals who tend to be negative or avoidant to get in touch with the part of themselves that can observe and experience without getting overwhelmed by unhelpful thoughts or problematic feelings.

Person-Centred Psychotherapy
This approach places much of the responsibility for the treatment process on the client, with the therapist taking a nondirective role. The therapist listens and then mirrors back what clients disclose, helping to explore and understand their feelings. The Person-Centred model stresses that the therapist adopts an attitude that includes empathy, positive regard and being "real" in the therapeutic relationship. These are qualities that I consider fundamental in all the work I undertake with my clients.

Schema Therapy
Schema therapy has been developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young for individuals suffering from emotional and behavioural difficulties, character or personality disorders, and interpersonal difficulties. Schema therapy integrates elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy, object relations and experiential therapy into a systematic approach to treatment. A schema is a stable and unhelpful pattern which develops during childhood and then maintained throughout an individual’s life. Schemas are important beliefs and feelings about oneself and the world that are very resistant to change. The therapist here helps clients stop using maladaptive coping styles, overcome their early schemas and improve their relationships with others.

Integrative Psychotherapy
This is a unifying form of psychotherapy that responds appropriately and effectively to the person at the affective, behavioral, cognitive, and physiological levels of functioning, and addresses as well the spiritual dimension of life.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy
This approach focuses on identifying clients' strengths and making the best use of their resources to address current problems.

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a set of techniques used to treat mental health and emotional problems and some psychiatric disorders. It gives people an opportunity to understand and accept their strengths and weaknesses, as well as what makes them feel positive or anxious. Identifying feelings and ways of thinking helps the person to cope with situations they find difficult, and new ways of approaching them.

Psychotherapy is often used to deal with psychological problems that have built up over a number of years. This requires a trusting relationship between the person and the psychotherapist, and treatment usually lasts for months or sometimes years. Sessions are normally hourly, each week or fortnight.

Psychotherapy is sometimes referred to as a 'talking treatment', as it is often based on talking to a therapist or a group of people who have similar problems. (Source: NHS)

CLICK HERE to read more about the field of psychotherapy on the NHS website

What is Counselling Psychology?

Counselling Psychology is a distinct profession within the British Psychological Society (BPS) which aims at developing models of therapeutic practice that are effective, evidence-based and appropriate to clients’ needs. These models seek to understand empathically and respect people’s accounts about themselves and the world. Counselling Psychology has a firm value base grounded in the primacy of the psychotherapeutic relationship and works always to demonstrate high standards of anti-discriminatory practice.

Chartered Psychologists are trained to help individuals who are experiencing psychological distress in their lives. The therapeutic approach (including the number and frequency of the sessions) varies depending on each individual client’s circumstances and symptoms. Through therapy, clients have an opportunity to develop a better understanding of themselves, their difficulties and how past relationships may have influenced their ways of thinking, feeling and behaving in the present.

CLICK HERE if you wish to read more about the division of Counselling Psychology on the BPS website

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