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Psychological therapy models

Here you can find a brief introduction to some approaches used in our psychological work.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

An evidence-based therapy. It suggests that the way we think about ourselves, others and the world affects our behaviour, bodies and emotions. CBT looks at the content of thoughts and aims to help people identify and change unhelpful thinking and behavioural patterns.

NHS overview of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) 

A “new wave” behavioural therapy. It is a newer form of therapy that expands upon traditional cognitive behavioural therapy and other psychological ideas. These include mindfulness and behavioural strategies. ACT has a growing evidence-base and aims to increase someone’s psychological flexibility. It can help people learn to accept difficult thoughts and feelings, rather than trying to an avoid or fight them. The focus is on building a life that is based on what is most important to someone.


Aims to offer someone a safe space to talk about their problems and be skilfully heard. It can help someone find their own solutions and places their needs at the centre of the work.

Compassion focused therapy (CFT)

Another third-wave therapy. It has a growing evidence-base. CFT aims to treat shame and self-critical thoughts using a compassionate approach towards self and others.

Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR)

An evidence-based therapy. It is a structured approach for treating current distress that links to past stressful or traumatic memories. It has a three pronged approach to targeting past, present and future problems. Bilateral stimulation (such as eye movement or tapping) is used whilst focusing on a distressing memory.

Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) 

A time-limited therapy that mainly focuses on relationship patterns. It draws on ideas from cognitive behavioural therapies and psychoanalytic thinking. CAT explores how past life experiences affect the way people relate to others. It explores in how they treat themselves in the here and now and supports more workable ways of coping.

Dialectic behavioural therapy (DBT) 

An evidence-based therapy for helping people who experience very intense emotions. It focuses on helping people to regulate their emotions and tolerate distress.

Systemic therapy 

Can be used as an umbrella term for family therapy or couples therapy however is broader than this. It focuses on exploring and understanding past and present patterns in groups and systems. This helps them understand any problems and then make improvements to communication and relationships.

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