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

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. 

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.

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