Our psychotherapy "talk therapy" approaches

Our approach at Mindwell is client-centred and in-depth, so that the treatment fits the patient but is informed by the principles of psychodynamic therapy, attachment theory and neuroscience. Our therapists are trained to use a range of therapeutic modalities including psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance-commitment therapy, mindfulness, schema-therapy, and interpersonal therapy.

What is psychodynamic therapy?

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is an insight-oriented therapy that aims to explore unconscious aspects of ourselves, which are thought to influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This type of therapy aims to bring unconscious conflicts into our present experience, so they can be understood, processed and resolved, thus reducing mental health symptoms. Psychodynamic psychotherapy grew out of Freudian psychoanalysis which relies on the technique of free association, although it is practised in a less intense way and involves sitting in a chair rather than lying on a couch.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy can be very helpful for people who don’t understand why they keep repeating the same patterns in relationships and is also an effective treatment for many mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. It can also be very useful for understanding the underlying cause of psychological symptoms such as anxiety or depression. It aims to develop people’s self-awareness, understanding the influence of the past on your present behaviour, and deal with the root cause of symptoms rather than providing strategies to manage them. As a result, you can expect to continue to handle difficulties in a more adaptive manner, experience improved relationships, more productivity. It may take longer to reach a resolution, but it can provide more lasting relief from psychic pain. There is more information about the benefits and efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy in resources.

What is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is a task-oriented and practical therapeutic approach that focuses on the here and now, helping people learn skills to reduce or manage their symptoms. CBT has a substantial evidence backing and is an effective and efficient form of treatment for many psychological conditions.  As the name suggests CBT typically involves cognitive interventions (changes in thinking) and also behavioural interventions (changes in action) to assist people in overcoming emotional obstacles. This approach examines the negative thought patterns and negative core beliefs that often underpin people’s experience of emotional distress, and introduces ways to challenge these.

What is acceptance commitment therapy (ACT)?

Acceptance commitment therapy falls under the umbrella of CBT, however it is a slightly different approach that uses mindfulness-based principles in combination with other techniques. The central tenet of ACT is to accept what is out of your control and commit to actions that enhance and enrich your life. Rather than learning to challenge and change negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs, ACT helps you change your relationship to these negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs so they have less impact on your life. ACT uses the practice of mindfulness to assist people in creating space for their internal experiences, while simultaneously focusing on your core values. Values work can help you clarify what is most important to you and steer the ship in the right direction for a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

What is mindfulness-based therapy?

Mindfulness is simply the practice of paying attention to our present-moment experience in a non-judgemental way. Contrary to popular belief, this is not about relaxation but rather about cultivating a particular quality of inward attention. Learning to truly listen to ourselves. Mindfulness has received a lot of attention in recent years because of its effectiveness in reducing stress, anxiety and its important role in pain reduction. There has been an explosion of research in the field of neuroscience that supports mindfulness-based interventions and they are often combined with other techniques to treat a range of mental health conditions.

What is schema therapy?

Schema therapy is an integrative therapy that combines several other approaches and is often effective when other approaches have not been successful in facilitating long-term change. In schema therapy you work with your therapist to uncover and understand your early maladaptive schemas that develop when some of your basic emotional needs are not met in childhood. For example, you may not have experienced a sense of safety and security in your family of origin due to family violence or an emotionally unavailable parent, or perhaps you lacked autonomy and the freedom to express how you felt or ask for what you needed as a child. Schemas are pervasive patterns that are resistant to change and can affect you in different ways throughout life, often leading to problematic coping methods, unfulfilling relationships and problem behaviours. Schema therapy can help you learn how to meet your emotional needs as an adult in healthy ways and develop better coping skills.

What is interpersonal therapy (IPT)?

Interpersonal therapy is a structure, and time-limited attachment-based approach to treating psychological conditions. This type of therapy assumes that relationships and life events have a direct impact on mood and can contribute to people becoming symptomatic. Through this approach, symptoms are considered in their interpersonal context and interpersonal problems are resolved in order to reduce distress, improve well-being and functioning.