Types of Therapy
Lewis Psychology Online therapists are trained to at least masters degree level, which means we are trained in more than one counselling psychology modality. This enables us to formulate cases, plan strategies and tailor interventions to suit the needs of the client.
Our team of highly qualified online counsellors and psychologists deliver a large range of counselling and psychotherapy approaches as detailed below. Do not worry, you do not have to choose your counselling psychology model from the list below, your online therapist will tailor your treatment to suit your presenting issue, your personality and your therapy goals.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an empirically-based contextual CBT that combines acceptance and mindfulness-based strategies to reduce the influence of fear and avoidance of difficult psychological experiences (e.g., thoughts, feelings, images, memories). ACT can help you to become more aware of your patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, and develop greater flexibility in how you respond when you notice these patterns. ACT helps clients identify deeply held personal values and to use these to guide meaningful behaviour change. By gaining a better understanding of your patterns and values, ACT can help you to live your life in a way that is consistent with these values and to engage in your life more fully. Research has shown that ACT can help with symptoms related to depression, anxiety, stress and substance misuse.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is based on the theory that thoughts, feelings, what we do and how our body feels are all connected, if we change one of these, we can alter the others. CBT also helps us to consider how the situation or environment that we’re in is impacting on us. When we feel worried or distressed, we often fall into patterns of thinking and responding that can be very unhelpful.This can lead to us feeling trapped in a vicious cycle that we don’t know how to get out of, and us believing all of the negative thoughts that we may have about ourselves, others or the world. CBT works to help us notice and change unhelpful thinking styles or behaviour patterns. CBT has lots of practical tools that can help you in the here-and-now. CBT will help you to learn new skills that you can practice between sessions which will help you to manage your difficulties more effectively and stop them having a negative impact on your life. CBT is used for a wide range of issues and often appeals to people who like to focus on the here and now rather than exploring the past in great detail.
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) helps those who struggle with the shame and self-criticism that can result from early experiences of abuse or neglect. CFT teaches clients to cultivate skills in compassion and self-compassion, which can help regulate mood and lead to feelings of safety, self-acceptance and comfort. Mental illness can result, in part, from an imbalance between the threat, drive and soothing systems. People high in shame and self-criticism may not have had enough stimulation of their soothing system early in life, and too much stimulation of their threat system, as a result, they can struggle to be kind to themselves or feel kindness from others. They may be highly sensitive to criticism or rejection, whether real or perceived, and internalise that disapproval. The goal of CFT is to correct the imbalance in the emotion regulation systems.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
The core skill of MBCT is to recognise and disengage from mind states characterised by self-perpetuating patterns of ruminative negative thoughts. Such patterns, if left unchecked, are likely to produce a downward spiralling of mood and eventually lead to anxiety or depression. In MBCT, you will learn how to disengage from one mode of mind and enter another mode, this will enable you to process problematic information in ways that are more helpful. The basic tool to effect this change of mental modes, or shift of mental gears, is the intentional use of attention and awareness in particular ways. By choosing what we are going to attend to, and how we are going to attend to it, we place our hand on the lever that enables us to change mental gears.
A schema or ‘lifetrap’ starts in childhood and reverberates throughout life. It began with something that was done to us by our families or other children. We were abandoned, criticised, overprotected, abused, excluded, or deprived. Long after we leave the home we are grew up in, we can continue to create situations in which we are mistreated, ignored, put down, or controlled and in which we fail to reach our desired goals.
A schema is difficult to overcome, not least because they feel comfortable and familiar to us, and they’re very resistant to change. Are you drawn to the same type of partner over and over, where you subjugate your own needs to the point where they’re never met?Do you find yourself always overreacting to the same kinds of situations, getting ‘triggered’ all the time? Are you stuck, seemingly forever, in some area of your life, but can’t change?
The objective of schema therapy is to help you recognise those repeating patterns of unhelpful behaviour in your personal relationships and to help you change them.
Gestalt therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach which draws on the belief that people have a natural tendency towards health, but old patterns of behaviour and fixed ideas can create blocks interrupting the natural cycle of wellness, therefore affecting communication with others. Gestalt therapy addresses what is happening in the moment, bringing into awareness an individual’s representation of the self, as well as their responses and interactions with others. The belief is that to be fully present in the here and now creates within the client the potential for more excitement, energy, and the courage to live life directly. A Gestalt therapist also looks at how the individual resists contact in the here and now and how they resist change.
Person-centred counselling is based on the assumption that as humans we have a natural ability to reach our true potential, however, this tendency can be impacted by early life experiences. Person-centred therapy involves providing an environment that is safe, supportive and non-judgemental that can help to recreate the conditions that help us to reach this potential. These conditions enable an individual seeking support to gain a better understanding of their difficulties by providing a space where you can freely express your emotions and feelings. Person-centred therapy is seen to be ‘non-directive’ which means that you will take the lead in what is discussed in therapy. This may include talking about the past or how your difficulties are impacting on you in the here and now, this means that sessions can feel less structured than other forms of therapy such as CBT. This type of therapy is also called client-centred or Rogerian therapy.
Transactional Analysis (TA)
The name ‘transactional analysis’ refers to the analysis of how people communicate and relate to each other (how they ‘transact’). TA uses observation of here and now interchanges (the interpersonal) in order to improve communication and relationships and also as a route to understanding personality. The analysis of the transactions is based on Eric Berne’s theory of ego states – Parent, Adult and Child – three different ways of being, that shape our internal world and our behaviour. These ego states are often developed in the past and re-created in the present, maintaining old and unhelpful patterns, these patterns can be brought into awareness and made available for change.
Systemic therapy is a generic term for therapies which deal with peoples relationship with one another, the interactions of groups and their patterns and dynamics. Systemic therapy has its roots in family therapy and family systems therapy, and approaches problems practically rather than analytically. It does not seek to determine cause, nor assign diagnosis, but rather identify the stagnant patterns of behaviour within the group or family and address the patterns directly.
Couples therapists usually employ systemic theory. They help clients to learn and practice communication and conflict resolution skills, with a view to making their relationships more healthy and satisfying.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a term that encompasses therapy of an analytical nature; essentially it is a form of depth psychology that focuses on the past experiences to determine current behaviour. The client is encouraged to talk about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people, the primary focus being to reveal the unconscious content of a client’s psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension.
Through the relationship with your therapist, you will gain an understanding of some of the unconscious patterns that affect your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This increased awareness of the previously unconscious motivations behind difficult feelings and behaviours and this awareness can lead to symptom relief and to make changes in the way that you respond in your relationships.