Psychotherapy for Adults
Investing in your mental wellbeing
Seeking psychotherapy or counselling can at first feel like a daunting prospect. Perhaps we worry that the therapist won't really understand us, or that our problems are not big enough.
Maybe we feel we should be happy with our lot in life (or else we are ungrateful), or that we must be successful (or else we are a failure) or that we ought to be thinner (or else we are worthless).
It can be very easy to fall into the trap of these 'should,' 'must' and 'ought-to' statements, as well as an all or nothing mentality. These irrational beliefs are often the source of negative emotions which can create mental health problems. By investing in therapy we can learn to reframe these negative statements, replacing them with rational, healthy alternatives that reduce distress and create positive mental wellbeing.
Therapy can help you to:
Time For a Mental Health Check Up?
Coming for psychotherapy needn't be something you only do at crisis point. We are happy to visit a doctor regularly to prevent ill health, and just like a MOT, a mental health check up (MHC) can help keep you on track and prevent much greater problems in the future. Think of it as an investment in the maintenance of your own mental wellbeing, one of the most precious and important aspects of your existence!
Whatever your motivation for seeking support, psychotherapy sessions can offer the practical solutions needed to protect mental wellbeing and to make a real lasting change. Crucially, it can equip you with the skills to enjoy life built on a solid foundation of positive emotions.
The benefits of positive emotions
Positive emotions may sound like an obvious or even 'fluffy' concept, but their benefits are far reaching. Positive emotions act as nutrients for our overall wellbeing and are directly influenced by the way we think. When we're able to focus on positive thoughts we, in turn, create positive emotions such as joy, hope and happiness and this results in new positive behaviours. In essence, our thinking becomes more creative, we see opportunities and are open to developing meaningful social connections as a result.
Ultimately, scientific studies demonstrate a direct correlation between positive emotions and better mental and physical health, as well as the more obvious reduction in feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.
Consistently adopting positive thoughts actually takes a lot of self-awareness and practice, however. What's more, understanding that we have a choice to experience or feel any given emotion, such as anger or disappointment, can be a surprise to many. It is a vital skill we often need to learn.
Positive emotions can help you to:
- Understand how to think more positively about challenges and setbacks.
- Learn meaningful insights from difficulties that come our way.
- Discover we don't always have to think the worst about a problem or situation.
- Equip yourself with a broader and often more balanced perspective on life.
- Undo the residual effects of negative emotions on your body.
- Build your personal resources and become more emotionally resilient.
Dr Christopher Peterson
Founder, Positive Psychology
If positive psychology teaches us anything, it is that all of us are a mixture of strengths and weaknesses. No one has it all, and no one lacks it all.
Issues I can help with:
- Depression, stress, panic, anxiety or thoughts of suicide
- Mental health disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Family relationships and parenting
- Couples counselling
- Divorce, separation and bereavement
- Low self-esteem and confidence issues
- Career and work related issues
- Sleep-wake disorders
- Eating disorders and self-harm
- Impulse control problems such as Internet, sexual, shopping, intermittent aggression
Ultimately, whatever you'd like to achieve, from finding solutions to a specific problem to investing in a mental health check up, as an integrative psychotherapist and counsellor, I can help you think and feel more positively.
From OK to Great!
How positive psychology can help
As a therapist my goal is to help you feel as positive as possible. Typically our response to the question, 'how are you?' might be 'I'm OK,' or 'I'm fine.' But is just OK, or fine, really all we can expect? Shouldn't we be able to feel great or fantastic as a default? Of course, there are times in our lives when circumstances or events mean we feel far from great, and that's OK too. These times give us challenges to manage and learn from and that's where I can help.
I use the concept of 'positive psychology' as a guiding principle, alongside well established but more traditional psychological approaches which have proved invaluable for treating mental illness. An emerging field of scientific research, positive psychology centres on the importance of happiness, life satisfaction, meaning and optimal human functioning. Perhaps we could describe it as those unique factors that 'make life worth living.'
Combining this approach with traditional psychological techniques, creates a comprehensive and truly effective toolkit I can draw on to ensure we find exactly the right approach to help you feel truly great, not just OK!
Our teenage daughter was experiencing severe allergic reactions whist in her classroom. After numerous hospital tests, no cause was identified and the situation continued. A friend introduced me to Dionne, who suggested that this reaction was likely to be a chronic stress response to academic pressure. It turned out that my daughter had unconsciously linked the smell of the cleaning products in her classroom with her feelings of anxiety about exams.
Dionne used Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to address my daughter’s issues and I am glad to say there was a huge improvement.
How the therapy process works
Quite simply, the best way to start is to have a chat. I offer a free 20 minute consultation so you can ask me questions about how I work, how I might help you, and of course allay any concerns or worries you might have. If we agree to work together, here's how things work from that point:
- An initial assessment which takes place during your first session. This is a chance for you to tell me more about the problems you are facing and what you'd like to achieve through therapy. I'll explain more about how we'll work together and the tools and techniques I feel will help you to achieve your therapeutic goals and support your recovery.
- Ongoing psychotherapy sessions begin and will be tailored to suit the goals we have agreed on. Overall, we'll work together to identify and establish healthy coping strategies and alternative ways of thinking, feeling and acting in the future.
- Assessing effectiveness is critical to a lasting change and I will introduce ways to review progress and the efficacy of the techniques being used. Clients can be 'stepped up' for a more intensive intervention as required, or referred onwards for more specialist mental health care if necessary.
- Ending therapy is often something clients worry about. We'll agree this together and ensure you feel supported and ready to finish ongoing therapy sessions at a time that feels right for you.