Therapeutic Approaches

Over the years, I’ve trained and gained experience in many different therapeutic approaches and in my clinical work I’ll combine concepts drawn from a range of traditions, theories, and research, such as Transactional Analysis (TA); Mindfulness-based Approaches; Interpersonal Neurobiology; Polyvagal Theory; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Schema Therapy; and Psychoeducation.

Whilst I take an integrative approach to my clinical work, I largely draw upon Transactional Analysis, Polyvagal Theory, and Mindfulness-based Approaches.

Transactional Analysis (TA)


An Integrative Approach

TA was developed by Dr Eric Berne in the 1950s, Transactional Analysis (TA) offers a unique way of understanding our personality, behaviours, and relationships. It’s an integrative approach, which combines humanistic, cognitive behavioural and psychoanalytic concepts.

TA provides concepts which can help us to understand how:

  • we function psychologically
  • we communicate and why communication breakdowns occur
  • decisions made in our childhood continue to influence our behaviour later in life despite painful consequences

The underlying philosophy of TA is one of self-respect, mutual respect and caring. Designed to promote personal growth and change, TA offers the opportunity to develop a range of skills that can be applied to all areas of life.

TA has been successfully applied in a wide variety of settings outside of psychotherapy and counselling, including organisational training and consultancy, parenting, education, and coaching.

Click the button below to download more information on Transactional Analysis.

Polyvagal Theory


 “The Science of Feeling Safe Enough to Fall in Love with Life and Take the Risks of Living” (Deb Dana)

Developed by Dr Stephen Porges, Polyvagal Theory is a theory of the autonomic nervous system and has revolutionized how we view the body’s response to stress and trauma. In simple terms, Polyvagal Theory helps us to understand how we cope with and move through the world in a continuous cycle of mobilisation (sympathetic), disconnection (dorsal), and engagement (ventral).

Through a polyvagal lens, we’re able to work with our nervous system to identify and interrupt patterns of protection and develop strategies to shape our system towards the regulated state of safety and connection.

When we have a basic understanding of how our nervous system works, we can become active operators of this essential system rather than being hijacked by it and behaving in ways that have a negative impact on us and our relationships.

In befriending our nervous system, we’re able to experience increased safety and connection within ourselves and in our relationships. Challenges become opportunities and we experience the world as a safer place.

To learn more about Polyvagal Theory, have a listen to the Sounds True podcast - Deb Dana, Befriending Your Nervous System or learn the basics by viewing the short, animated video created by The Polyvagal Institute – Trauma and the Nervous System: A Polyvagal Perspective.

Mindfulness


Mindfulness is simply about being aware of where your mind is from one moment to the next, with gentle acceptance – it’s the opposite of being on “auto-pilot” and “day-dreaming”. This kind of simple attention helps us to live life more fully and with a greater sense of perspective.

Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique that can help alleviate both physical and psychological symptoms as well as bring about positive changes in our emotional wellbeing. It can help reduce stress; lower blood pressure; reduce chronic pain; improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.


When we’re mindful, our attention is not entangled in the past or future, and we’re not judging or rejecting what’s occurring in the moment - we’re present. This type of attention generates energy, clear-headedness, and joy.

By incorporating mindfulness techniques into therapy, we learn to become aware of our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations as they are in the present moment so we can see things as they are, and not as we would like them to be. We learn that thoughts are just thoughts – and, not concrete reality, and we increase our ability to put distance between ourselves and our thoughts and not get hijacked and caught up in unhelpful stories.

When we actively practice mindfulness, we build our capacity to be able to turn towards and address stressful situations - we’re able to hold space to work through them and we become less reactive to what’s happening in the moment, so we can respond in ways that are more helpful and compassionate towards ourselves and others.

Mindfulness can have a deeply transformative effect on our daily lives - we can learn to tolerate unpleasant experiences or enjoy very ordinary things.

To learn more about mindfulness and its benefits please check out the short video of Jon Kabat-Zinn or delve into Mindful - a website jammed packed with interesting articles and mindful practices is Mindful.

Free, no obligation, 20-minute initial consultation.

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