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The Therapeutic Power of Stories

  • 31st Jan 2020
  • Bijal Shah

National Storytelling Week begins on Saturday (February 1). What does that have to do with therapy? Everything, writes bibliotherapist and counsellor Bijal Shah, whose practice draws on psychodynamic principles and involves using prescribed reading – from novels to poetry – to help clients connect with themselves and with others, and find cathartic relief. Reading literature, as she explains, is one of the oldest healing strategies in the book.

Counselling Young Carers: A Hidden Issue

  • 30th Jan 2020
  • Ros Sewell

Young people often end up caring for close ones, and doing so in silence. Schools may miss the real reasons for absences, low attainment and social withdrawal – even when these leads to counselling referrals. To mark Young Carers Awareness Day, Dr Ros Sewell of Here4You@Metanoia Counsellors explains the crucial role that school counsellors can have in supporting young carers – from helping clients to identify themselves as young carers in the first place, to connecting them with external sources of support.

On The Importance of Treatment Failure

  • 28th Jan 2020
  • Brad Sachs

We do all we can to avoid feelings of failure. And yet, argues Brad E. Sachs, failures in psychotherapy can actually serve the needs of the client. Here, the psychologist and author of recent guidebook The Good Enough Therapist explains why he views it as a considerable accomplishment, between client and therapist, when they reach the point at which both feel like failures.

Privileged Abandonment: Working with Ex-Boarders

  • 24th Jan 2020
  • Nick Duffell

We are just waking up to the long-term impact a boarding school education can have on individuals. Ex-boarders often struggle with intimate relationships, workaholism, and a deep internalised shame. Yet they may be expert at disowning feelings and displaying confidence. Author and psychotherapist Nick Duffell has studied the phenomenon for over 30 years. Ahead of a training in Sussex, he shares his insights into how this fast-growing client group can present therapists with unanticipated clinical challenges.

The Common Feature in All Depressions

  • 20th Jan 2020
  • Wyn Bramley

Blue Monday continues to be labelled the most depressing day of the year. But of course there is a vast difference between January dreariness and living with persistent low mood states. In her forthcoming book on depression, psychotherapist Wyn Bramley uses the analogy of an eclipse of the sun, and identifies one common feature in all depressions. Whatever the type or degree of depression, she argues, it involves serious impoverishment of the relationship to the sufferer’s own Self.

Schema Therapy for Trauma (5/5): Chair Work Techniques

  • 17th Jan 2020
  • Dan Roberts

The Gestalt technique of chair work can help schema therapists to access clients’ modes in the here-and-now. In the final blog of his series on using schema therapy to work with complex trauma, Dan Roberts shares a dialogue with two distinct parts of one client’s personality: her Detached Protector (or ‘the Wall’), and her Vulnerable Child (or ‘Little Emma’).

Working with Avoidant Attachment: Assessment

  • 14th Jan 2020
  • Linda Cundy

Why is it important to recognise avoidant attachment patterns early in therapy, and what might we look out for? In her second blog about working with highly defended clients, Attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist Linda Cundy explains why the therapeutic relationship poses such a problem for avoidant individuals – and shares some key features that may show up in assessment.

Schema Therapy for Trauma (4/5): Imagery Techniques

  • 10th Jan 2020
  • Dan Roberts

Imagery techniques are used at every stage of schema therapy, which emphasises the importance of emotional experiencing rather than simply cognitive insight. In the penultimate blog of his series on using schema therapy to work with complex trauma, Dan Roberts talks us through a piece of imagery rescripting work that helped to de-traumatise a client’s childhood memory.

Stumbling Back into Mindfulness

  • 6th Jan 2020
  • Margaret Landale

Margaret Landale teaches mindfulness as a resource in psychotherapy practice. But when she collapsed during a workshop, she realised she had neglected to listen to her own body’s urgent somatic signals. In her first occasional blog about mindfulness, the specialist in stress-related and psychosomatic disorders encourages busy therapists to pause and pay attention – and shares a simple three-minute exercise.

Schema Therapy for Trauma (3/5): Limited Reparenting

  • 3rd Jan 2020
  • Dan Roberts

The idea of the ‘inner child’ is central to schema therapy, in which the therapist offers themselves as a secure attachment figure and actively provides a ‘corrective emotional experience’. In the third blog of his series on using schema therapy to work with complex trauma, Dan Roberts shares how he worked with one client’s Vulnerable Child mode to help her move beyond her fear of abandonment and rejection.