Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, structured form of psychotherapy that focuses on the client's present. In this model of therapy, the clinician and the client work as a team to identify the client's dysfunctional and distorted thoughts and beliefs, and both challenge and modify those thoughts and attitudes. Using this model, the client is educated on the relationship between his or her thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Current research supports the use of CBT for the treatment of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse, and personality disorders, just to name a few.
During CBT, the therapist will identify and challenge a client's negative thought patterns. The therapist will also help the client understand the impact those thoughts have on his or behaviour and feelings. By doing this, the therapist and the client will be able to come up with alternative thoughts that lead to more positive feelings and behaviors.
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy approach designed for working with distressing or traumatic memories. The theory behind EMDR is that many psychological difficulties are the result of distressing life experiences which have not been stored in memory properly and are said to be unprocessed or blocked. These traumatic memories may need some help to become processed, and EMDR is one way to do this.
Normal memories are stored in the part of the brain called the hippocampus. You can think of the hippocampus as a sort of a librarian which catalogues or processes events and stores them in the right place. However, some traumatic events (such as accidents, abuse disasters or violence) are so overwhelming that the hippocampus doesn't do its job properly. When this happens memories are stored in their raw, unprocessed form. These trauma memories are easily triggered, leading them to replay and cause distress over and over again.
EMDR uses bilateral stimulation to process trauma memories. Clients think of a troubling memory and identify feelings and thoughts connected to it. Bilateral stimulation (BLS) is used in the form of tones, tapping or the use of hand pulsars to stimulate the left and right hemispheres of the brain in order to process trauma. The processing will be repeated until the memory no longer causes distress and the appropriate meanings and beliefs are processed.
EMDR is a evidence-based, scientifically proven treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). EMDR may be effective to treat other conditions, such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse, if these conditions involve trauma memories or other distressing memories.
EMDR sessions are typically longer than typical therapy sessions (up to 90 minutes). The number of sessions needed will depend on the type and severity of trauma which you have experienced. Typically 8 to 12 sessions may be necessary for simple traumas, with more sessions necessary for multiple traumas. Traumas have been known to be resolved in a shorter period of time.
In Gestalt, the only goal is awareness. Awareness includes knowing the environment, responsibility for choices, self-knowledge, and self-acceptance, and the ability to contact. Gestalt therapy facilitates problem solving through increased self-regulation and self-support by the client. As therapy goes on, the patient and the therapist turn more attention to general personality issues. By the end of successful therapy the patient directs much of the work and is able to integrate problem solving, characterological themes, relationship issues with the therapist, and means of regulating his or her own awareness.
Psychotherapy is most appropriate for persons who create anxiety, depression, and so forth by rejecting themselves, alienating aspects of themselves, and deceiving themselves. In short, people who do not know how they further their own unhappiness are prime candidates, providing they are open to awareness work, especially awareness of self-regulation. Gestalt therapy is especially appropriate for those who know intellectually about themselves and yet don't grow.
Gestalt theory believes that in order to change, we must accept who we are. In contrast, the more a person works to become something different, the greater the chance that they will remain the same. This is the paradoxical theory of change; we change when we become aware of what we are as opposed to trying to become what we are not.
CBT & Clinical Hypnosis
Integrating Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with Clinical Hypnosis offers a powerful combination of these treatment strategies. Studies have shown Clinical Hypnosis can enhance Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment and treat trauma. (Hammond, 1994; Lynn, Kirsch, Barabasz, Cardena, & Patterson, 2000). Research is also demonstrating that hypnosis is a useful tool for the treatment of anxiety, depression and fears. Clients whose issues may fall into the areas of psychological problems, habit change, or performance enhancement, may benefit significantly with hypnosis. Clinical Hypnosis enhances cognitive and behavioural therapies. It can be thought of as the glue that holds together the different aspects of treatment.
It is important to note for clinical treatment of depression, anxieties and fears that a light hypnotic trance will suffice. The majority of the population drifts in and out of a light trance throughout the day; for example, when driving to a familiar location or becoming absorbed in a movie or a book. The trance state is a natural phenomenon. During the trance state there is heightened concentration for the specific purpose of maximising potential, changing limiting beliefs and behaviours and gaining insight and wisdom. Clinical Hypnosis practised by a trustworthy and professionally qualified therapist is completely safe and clients are always aware in and in control.