issues I can help with
Anger & Irritability
Bereavement & Loss
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Life Transition and Changes
Post-natal Depression (PND)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Areas of expertise
SPECIALIST PTSD & TRAUMA TREATMENTS
Life can devastate us sometimes with its profound unpredictability. Being a victim of accidents or witnessing one, violent assaults, abuse and medical trauma can sear an indelible scar on us. Professionals working in high risk occupations, like police and armed force, fire brigade and ambulance workers, health care professionals and veterinarians, and journalists directly expose themselves to and deal with traumatic events regularly. While people find a way to cope and move on, it can be dauntingly difficult sometimes. Some people can struggle with the memories and the reaction it elicits for years at a time. This is called PTSD. The good news is healing is possible. The treatment begins with a detailed diagnostic assessment. The result will help us tailor a plan that accommodates your unique needs.
I offer all the three National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) approved therapy for trauma: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing and Narrative Exposure Therapy.
eye movement desensitisation reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
EMDR, famously known for its effectiveness with trauma, is now fruitfully put to use to address a number of challenges such as depression, OCD phobias and difficulties of self-regulation such as panic attacks and addiction.
EMDR does two very significant things: it “releases” the painful and negative memories that lie dormant in the nervous system, and assists the brain in processing them or “living them out”, so that the memory loses its crippling power.
An EMDR session involves the patient bringing up painful images and memories tied to traumatic experience while at the same time moving the eyes side-to-side for a few seconds. It will end with deep breaths and discussion of what surfaced during the exercise. The result of one exercise is then used as the starting point for the next cycle of EMDR. This continues until the distress is palpably minimized.
EMDR, along with CBT, is recommended for trauma and PTSD.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)
The emphasis on evidence is the hallmark of CBT. You will receive therapy that is grounded in the results of best known research on what works and what doesn’t. CBT can help you address a number of pain-points: compulsive behavior, stress, emotional distress, and other behavioural issues. It works by letting you directly see the intimate relationship between your thoughts, feelings and behavior.
It can trace the origin of your behavior in the here and now to events or experiences in the past and equip you emotionally to deal with these triggers for the rest of your life. It can help you catch yourself riding a negative train of thought or pursuing limiting ideas that serve to make you feel depressed or anxious. CBT can provide a positive disruption to your thought processes and help you “snap out”.
It is a clinically proven, scientifically sound, NICE treatment-of-choice for the treatment of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, social anxiety, health anxiety, PTSD, OCD, psychosis and bipolar disorder.
NARRATIVE EXPOSURE THERAPY (NET)
NET is a powerful short-term intervention to alleviate the traumatic stress experienced by victims of organized violence, torture, war, rape and repeated abuse. As the name indicates, it encourages narration and discourse. Individuals taking NET are encouraged to vocalize their personal, traumatic history chronologically, while being in the “here and now”.
The therapist engages in compassionate understanding and active listening and manifests unconditional positive regard. The record of the talk will give account of the traumatic event, rich in cognitive and physical detail. The therapist will use it to help the survivor reconstruct the memories into a coherent, liberating narrative.
NET can be profoundly liberating and empowering in that it can trigger deep introspection about one’s life and its events and foster a sense of healthy identity. It can bring about a deep sense of satisfaction and personal dignity.
MINDFULNESS BASED THERAPIES
A growing body of scientific and clinical evidence shows that mediation coupled with other mental health disciplines drawn from CBT improves our mental, physical and relational health. A new method of treatment, grounded in ancient wisdom and building on modern science, is now successfully used to improve human wellbeing. It is called mindfulness-based therapies.
Mindfulness understands people as a whole and helps effect change, at both the level of body and mind, the way people feel and think about stressful experiences. NICE recommends it as a relapse-prevention treatment for depression and for mood and anxiety issues associated with long-term health conditions. But the principle of mindfulness practice – paying attention to what happens in the moment – applies to many aspects of our modern life. For example, mindfulness at workplace can enhance productivity and minimise absence due to sickness.
One significant difference from traditional cognitive therapy is that mindfulness is not result-oriented, in that it does not seek to “change” our thoughts. It instead seeks to establish a new way of relating to our physical and psychological experience.