Each of our therapists will have their own way of working with clients and this will be determined by the approach or approaches they are trained in, their background and their experience. Additional to their unique background and experience, each of our professionals has also received additional training on Emotion Focused Therapy which is the approach we share in our institute.
Emotion Focused Therapy is a popular therapy that has been shown to be effective in helping individuals and couples with a wide range of difficulties including: anxiety, depression, behavioural difficulties, trauma and eating disorders.
Overcoming such difficulties however, is not an easy task. Very rarely do simple strategies solve problems. Instead, people may get stuck in those same-old distressing feelings or patterns of behaviour, unable to fully realise change. The problem is that many of our difficulties rest upon deeper emotional issues that we are barely aware of, such as how we feel about ourselves deep inside, and how we treat ourselves both in the way of self-criticism as well as behaviourally.
Individuals and couples receiving therapy will often involve working with the difficulties which you are experiencing usually presented as symptoms, but also getting to, and reworking the deeper emotional issues. To do this, we use research-based therapeutic interventions to help guide you into the difficulties you face, putting words to how you really feel inside, and helping you draw out those deeper feelings that are locked up inside (we name them core emotions) hidden behind other emotions or ways to cope. There is a wealth of research supporting such methods and demonstrating that it is through this process that relief from distressing symptoms is realised as the underlying emotional problems are reworked. Such change goes beyond the symptom modification; this is change from the inside out.
What to expect from therapy:
As therapy can be a deep process, you may need to meet regularly with your therapist for up to a year (or more). There are also people who come for short term counselling, in which case you may expect to come for between six and 12 sessions, depending on the issues you are experiencing and your goals. People often enter into psychotherapy directly, realising they have deeper issues that need exploring. However, it is just as usual for people to begin counselling and then realise there are underlying ‘patterns’ and ‘themes’ in their lives, which may be better addressed using psychotherapy. No matter how you start the therapy process, you would usually be able to continue with the same practitioner. Our professionals are highly trained and able to undertake both counselling and psychotherapy with clients. After six sessions your therapist would usually want to review with you how things are going and collaboratively decide how you want to progress one step at a time.
At CiEFT we believe that no two people are the same; nor their pain is; and this is the basis we work from. Central to everything we do is that different people are helped by different processes and activities at different times in therapy. Based on specific moments within the session we may use different techniques to help you, including: focusing, emotion regulation or evocation, imagery and gestalt chair dialogues.
It is important to remember that although we share our Emotion Focused Therapy expertise, therapists offering psychotherapy have different ways and styles of working. Some may seem quite active in the session while others may appear more detached and analytical. All of our therapists however tailor the treatment to every person, according to the difficulties you may present with, and what your goals and preferences are.It is important to find a practitioner style that works for you.
Having said that, there is a basic structure to therapy with us, which can be thought of as four steps:
STEP 1: Consultation & Alliance Building
This is a first introduction to therapy to see if the therapist and the therapy approach feel right for you. It is important to find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable with to bond and discuss private matters. Therapy with us begins with a consultation, during which you will be able to meet with the therapist to talk about the difficulties you are facing and what you would want to achieve in therapy. During this discussion you will make a collaborative plan with your therapist on how therapy will progress considering what you want to work on.
Develop therapeutic alliance and bonding with the therapist.
STEP 2: Exploring
Once you have completed the consultation and decided to work with us you will begin meeting with the therapist on a regular basis. Our practitioners will work with you to explore your ‘patterns’ and ‘themes’ and how they link to things about you and your personality. Examples of things that you may explore are: your upbringing; challenges you have faced in life; and how you cope with difficulties. The aim is to enable change by understanding why things are going wrong and transforming these maladaptive patterns which will lead to different ways of thinking and behaving. The therapist will help you explore your difficulties, and will work to draw out any underlying emotional issues that you have. Together you will begin building a clear plan and focus for the therapy based on what is most important to you.
- Understand your difficulties at a deeper level.
- Build a plan for therapy and overcoming your difficulties.
- Develop a sense of hope that you can change your difficulties.
- Develop a sense of understanding of your patterns and begin to work on deeper emotional processes.
STEP 3: Processing, evoking & transforming
Once a clear picture of what is going on inside you is formed, work shifts to deeply processing the underlying emotions and processes.
The therapist will help guide through exploring and expressing your deeper emotional pains, and guide you through responding to yourself in a more compassionate and useful/adaptive/ way to help you gain control of your emotional inner world and actualise your goals. .
- Learn how to connect to and express your emotions in ways that are beneficial to yourself and your relationships.
- Understand why some of your patterns repeat themselves causing you difficulties.
- Learn how to control your emotions rather than allowing them to control you.
- Gain a sense of emotional freedom.
- Gain a sense of control over your difficulties issues.
- Construct alternatives through generating new emotions, and reflecting to create new narrative meaning.
STEP 4: Consolidation
Our aim it to help you eventually become your ”own therapist”. Once you begin to experience a change within how you feel about yourself, the focus will shift to ensuring that this change translates into real-world difference.
Not only as you progress in therapy but also before ending treatment, your therapist will help you integrate the changes you have achieved in therapy in real-life situations, processing any obstacles that you may have along the way, and consolidate a new way of being with yourself and others.
- Practice what you learn in therapy in the world and with other people.
- Develop the confidence you need to face and overcome the challenges that life throws at you.