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counselling approaches

Our Counsellors and Psychotherapists work from a variety of Theoretical Approaches with their clients. The following is a list of the Theoretical Approaches that ACAPS counsellors may use with brief descriptions of their meanings, however it is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that ACAPS specialise in. Whichever theoretical approach is used, your ACAPS therapist will treat you with warmth, respect, professionalism, kindness and care. Our friendly therapists are empathic and will not judge you or anyone that you talk about. We will work in a collaborative and interactive way with you to help you as best we can. Each therapist, has, as part of their training, received counselling themselves, so they also have an understanding of what it is like to be a client and what it is like to talk about personal, important and often distressing feelings, thoughts and behaviours.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Your thoughts (cognitions), behaviours and feelings are as you probably already now, linked to each other. CBT helps you to untangle those thoughts and behaviours that make you feel good from those that lead to or maintain distress. It helps you to recognise patterns of thinking or behaving that you may have been repeating for a long time, and helps to identify areas that if changed, could lead to you experiencing different, more positive feelings. This can be a very emotional journey. CBT tends to focus on 'here and now' problems and difficulties, working towards specific goals, however, don't be misled into thinking that it is a shallow therapy or a cold and clinical therapy as it is not. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends CBT as the treatment of choice for many mental health difficulities including anxiety and depression amongst others. There is considerable research and published evidence that suggests

Integrative Therapy
This is when several distinct models of counselling and psychotherapy are used together. Integrative therapists are trained in several different therapeutic approaches and will combine those techniques and schools of practice depending on the needs of the patient. They will blend several different theories, drawing on elements of each to best help and support their clients. They are concerned not only with what works, but also why it works. Therapy focuses most on helping you gain insight, meaning and experiencing the process.

Use of the word ‘integrative’ not only indicates a fusion of different techniques of psychotherapy. It also refers to the integration of the personality and needs of the patient in the therapeutic work. This brings together the affective, cognitive, behavioural and physiological systems within one person, delivering a tailor made package to address the patient’s needs.

Person-Centred Therapy
This is based on the assumption that a client seeking help in the resolution of a problem they are experiencing, can enter into a relationship with a counsellor who is sufficiently accepting and permissive to allow the client to freely express any emotions and feelings. This will enable the client to come to terms with negative feelings, which may have caused emotional problems, and develop inner resources. The objective is for the client to become able to see himself as a person, with the power and freedom to change.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
This promotes positive change rather than dwelling on past problems. Clients are encouraged to focus positively on what they do well and to set goals and work out how to achieve them. 6 sessions is usually sufficient.

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