Copyright © 2014 Dr Alex Fowke. All Rights Reserved.
People come to therapy for many different reasons. It's not uncommon for anyone to feel as though life is
tough or overwhelming from time to time, and this can make it difficult to carry out the everyday tasks
that we normally take for granted.
Work pressures, exam stress, relationship/family tensions, health problems and financial
difficulties are some of the most common contributors to psychological problems and concerns,
and sometimes these situations don't improve despite our best efforts as well as help from family
and friends. As such, people come to therapy to address various difficulties including:
Clinical psychologists aim to reduce psychological distress and enhance and promote psychological well-being in their clients. Clinical Psychology integrates the science of psychology with the treatment of complex human problems. Clinical Psychologists have a specialist knowledge of psychology and have trained specifically to be able to help people with a range of health-related problems; as such, they have an indepth understanding of the psychological aspects of people's problems. Therapists with the title 'Clinical Psychologist' have a BPS-accredited Doctorate-level degree in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) through courses focused on both research and practice. Despite the title 'Doctor', I am not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medication.
Clinical Psychologists apply scientifically-validated procedures to help people change their thoughts, emotions and behaviours. They have training in a range of treatment approaches and psychological theories. In their therapeutic work they draw on different theoretical methods to develop the best treatment plan for each individual client. As such, therapy is driven by working with the client, rather than trying to fit the client into a specific model. Therapy is not contingent on clients having a specific psychiatric diagnosis; instead, treatment plans are guided by the difficulties that the client recognises as being most problematic.
Psychotherapy is a collaborative effort between the client and therapist. It provides a supportive environment for you to talk openly and confidentially about your concerns and feelings. As well as developing a greater understanding of your own thinking patterns and coping styles, therapy can also help you to learn different ways of dealing with difficult life situations, and this can contribute to improvements in psychological well-being and reductions in emotional pain.
With my knowledge, skills and experience in delivering evidence-based psychotherapy, I can help you to...
get to the root of your problems, figure yourself out, and develop an understanding of your inner world
become aware of the things that might be keeping you stuck, making things worse, or stopping you from achieving your goals
gain a clearer understanding of difficult emotions, learn positive ways of reacting and make effective and meaningful changes in your life
get along with people better and feel more confident in coping with life's challenges
restructure negative and unhelpful thought patterns so you can interpret situations in a more realistic and balanced way
establish new behaviours and skills that can stop the unhelpful cycles and patterns that repeat themselves
test out ideas and integrate the things you learn in therapy in your life through between-session practice assignments
Clients report a range of common difficulties that start to affect their work and personal life. If you experience any combination of these symptoms, or if you (or others) have noticed a significant change in your behaviour then it could be useful for you to explore this in therapy:
Avoidance and/or procrastination
Perfectionism (striving to be the best)
Rumination (constantly thinking about your problems)
Intrusive/unwanted thoughts or racing thoughts (including excessive worry)
Difficulties managing strong emotions (including anger)
Problems coping with or adjusting to physical health conditions
Chronic and inflexible patterns of behaviour, and difficulties related to change
Difficulties forming and maintaining healthy relationships
Erratic and destructive behaviour
Inability to tolerate stressful situations
Poor coping strategies, including self-medication through alcohol and/or drug abuse, gambling etc
ongoing mental health problems (e.g. depression, social anxiety, bipolar disorder)
situation-specific life circumstances (e.g. divorce, bereavement, retirement)
psychological support in a broader sense (e.g. personal coaching, general self-development)
(click on the tree...)
Whilst you can't necessarily prevent bad things from happening or stop the world from being
unkind, therapy can help you understand the ways in which the experiences you have impact on the
way you feel and how you see yourself, other people, and the world around you. Therapy can help you deal with life's slings
and arrows better. As Jon Kabat-Zinn, an eminent Mindfulness teacher, wrote, “You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to
surf” (from Full Catastrophe Living: Using the wisdom of your mind and body to face pain, stress and illness ).