My Approach

I believe that we are a product of our experience, and that when we understand where our difficulties arise from we have the power to change them. I feel privileged to occupy a role as a clinical psychologist where I can help people to understand how difficulties have developed and support them to see a way forward. In my way of working I prioritise developing a strong therapeutic relationship. I endeavour to provide a safe environment where you can feel comfortable to talk about your experience, and my approach is warm, compassionate, honest and authentic. I use a range of evidence based models of psychological therapy to enable us to understand and formulate this experience. The psychological approaches that I use are outlined below.

Psychological Therapies Available

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

The aim of CBT is to understand the link between our negative thoughts, the complex emotions these elicit, and the behavioural responses associated with these thoughts and feelings. Whilst there is good short-term efficacy for CBT some people can find that thinking differently does not always lead to feeling differently. This is one reason that clinical psychologists usually combine CBT with other models of psychotherapy.

Third Wave CBT Therapies

Third wave cognitive therapies extend traditional CBT by the focusing on the process of thoughts and how we relate to them rather than simply the content of thoughts. They also introduce the concepts of self-care and self-acceptance.Third wave cognitive therapies include mindfulness based therapies, compassion focused therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy.

Mindfulness Based Therapy

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an approach that focuses on living in the present moment. Most of us notice that when we feel low, anxious or under stress our mind is often drawn towards what has gone wrong in the past or what could go wrong in the future. As well as focusing on the present, the emphasis of mindfulness is on learning to work with difficult feelings, and accepting ourselves as we are.

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

CFT is useful for people who are self critical and experience a high degree of shame. This approach focuses on training our minds to become more understanding and compassionate towards ourselves and others. CFT can help us to learn to tolerate distress and step away from negative judgement and condemnation.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT uses both acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavioural strategies to increase psychological flexibility. ACT is particularly effective in helping people live in the present moment in a conscious way whilst being able to make meaningful choices and decisions that help us move towards the things in life that are important to us. 

Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

CAT combines an understanding of relationships, with ideas from psychodynamic and CBT perspectives. The aim of CAT is to understand the link between how we have leaned to view ourselves and how we subsequently relate to ourselves and others. CAT is a useful approach when we find that we are drawn towards unhelpful or unhealthy relationships patterns.

An Integrated Approach 

A strength of psychologists is that we are trained to work from a number of different therapy models, and we can therefore use an integrated approach to psychological therapy. This allows psychologists flexibility so that we can draw on different approaches, depending on what you need and what you want from therapy. We agree this collaboratively, and we work together to find the best way forward.

A flexible and skilled application of these psychotherapies can often lead to new understandings and effective solutions in areas of your life where you may currently feel stuck.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

EMDR is a powerful evidence-based psychological therapy that was developed to help people fully process and recover from traumatic events in their lives. I have completed Level 2 of EMDR practitioner training. 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Although I have experience in a wide range of psychological models I am continually committed to developing my skills as a clinical psychologist further. Currently, I am focusing on developing skills in Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitisation Therapy (EMDR) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Below is a list of CPD events that I have recently completed or that I will be completing in the near future:

  • 2016-2018 Diploma in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), Catalyse.

  • May 2019 Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Russ Harris.

  • October 2019 EMDR Level 1, EMDR Academy.

  • January 2020 EMDR Level 2, EMDR Academy.

  • March 2020 ACT for Anxiety and Depression, Intermediate Level with Russ Harris.

  • April 2020 EMDR Level 3, EMDR Academy.

 

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  Dr Andy Dunn, Chartered Clinical Psychologist, York. © 2019