We offer a range of evidence-based psychological therapies...
At NETS we pride ourselves on offering a wide range of evidence-based psychological therapies. Evidence-based psychological therapies are ones that have been demonstrated to be effective through scientific research. Below is a list of therapies we offer, and you can find further information about all of these therapies via our Links page.
A key advantage in seeing a Clinical Psychologist is therefore that we are able to tailor interventions to suit our clients’ needs. This means that we are able to adapt approaches and draw on different models, typically called an integrative approach to therapy. This has the benefit of getting the best from a range of evidence-based interventions, as needed, which becomes particularly relevant or necessary when difficulties are more complex than those which typically form the focus of the large-scale research trials on which recommendations for a particular therapy model (e.g. CBT) are based.
Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
CAT is an integrative therapy which draws on psychoanalytic theories to make sense of how we form relationships with ourselves and others, and draws on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to make sense of how resulting patterns of thinking, feeling and coping can develop and keep someone stuck. Therapy focuses firstly on understanding these patterns and 'mapping' (drawing) them out, and then focuses on identifying 'exits' - new, healthier ways of responding.
For example, if you had learned in your childhood that you only received love and care by pleasing others you might have the belief: ‘Only if I always do what others want will I be liked’ which puts you in a trap of pleasing others, and can lead to you feeling used and abused. When you realise you have got used to being in this trap you can start to notice how often it catches you and can begin to change what you do and learn to find other more useful ways of standing up for yourself and relating to others. CAT shows you the way to change your learned attitudes and beliefs about yourself and others, and helps you focus on ways to make better choices.
CAT is recommended in the NICE guidelines for Anorexia and Borderline Personality Disorder, but has also been shown to be effective in helping people with anxiety, addiction, stress, depression, complex trauma, and those who have difficulties forming and/or maintaining healthy relationships. CAT is a time-limited therapy and is usually offered over 16 or 24 sessions.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is based upon 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. When people feel worried or distressed we often fall into patterns of thinking and responding which can worsen how we feel. For example, our natural reaction when we feel anxious is often to avoid things that trigger our anxiety, which can provide some temporary relief but maintains the anxiety in the long term. CBT works to help us notice and change problematic thinking styles or behaviour patterns so we can feel better. CBT mainly focuses on the 'here and now', rather than focusing on our early life or the past. NICE recommends CBT in the treatment of the following conditions:
Anxiety disorders (including panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Schizophrenia and psychosis
There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating many other conditions, including:
Physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a form of therapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Central to EMDR is the idea that our bodies are designed to heal ourselves, and we already possess all of the necessary tools to achieve this. However, if our system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures, EMDR therapists help clients activate their natural healing processes. EMDR involves using something call bilateral stimulation (following the therapists fingers to stimulate eye movements) to help resolve the blocks to emotions being processed properly. Although this might sound strange or look like hypnosis, it is not a form of hypnosis, and people are fully conscious and in control throughout. For people who might experience problems with eye movements, tapping or other forms of bilateral stimulation can be used instead.
Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. EMDR is one of the psychological therapies recommended by NICE for treating PTSD, but has also been shown to be effective for a wide range of other difficulties including anxiety, depression, phobias, OCD, complex grief, as well as people who have disturbing memories that cause distress or impairment.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT)
TF-CBT is a specially adapted form of CBT designed to treat people who have experienced traumatic experiences or have PTSD. Along with EMDR, it is one of the two therapies recommended by NICE for treating PTSD.
TF-CBT involves firstly understanding how past traumatic experiences have affected your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and identifying the things that trigger distress in the present. Like traditional CBT, it aims to help a person identify unhelpful patterns of thinking and coping that can appear to help in the short term, but actually keep you stuck in the long-term. For example, most people avoid talking about the traumatic things they have experienced, however this prevents the memories from being stored in the correct part of the brain and results in these memories intruding on us when we don't want to think about them (e.g. through nightmares, flashbacks or upsetting thoughts popping into our minds).An important part of therapy involves talking about (or 'processing') past traumatic experiences in order to help the brain recognise that these events occurred in the past, rather than feel as if the trauma is happening all over again.
Before any processing takes place, a person is taught stabilisation skills to help them build confidence in managing their PTSD symptoms (such as hyper-vigilance, nightmares, flashbacks) and prepare them for the processing stage. TF-CBT also usually involves exposure work (gradually confronting trauma-related avoidance), learning to manage triggers, and cognitive restructuring (challenging unhelpful thoughts that keeps PTSD going). After completing processing, the final stage of TF-CBT usually involves developing a relapse prevention plan and thinking about how to move forward with life post-trauma.