“Look … first and foremost, I’m a scientist. That means it’s my responsibility to make observations and gather evidence before forming a hypothesis, not vice versa.”Allen Steele
For those who are seeing a therapist/counsellor under a Mental Health Treatment Plan, there are a number of guidelines we need to meet. The treatment needs to meet Medicare’s Focused Psychological Strategies. These include psychoeducation, cognitive behavioural therapy, skills training, relaxation strategies, interpersonal strategies and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing). For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, we are also able to include Narrative Therapy.
Luckily, many of the therapies that I have trained in meet these requirements. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT or tapping), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). However, the choice of therapy is not mine to make, it is always the clients. So here is a brief introduction to each.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is a therapy which was developed in 1990 by Marsha Linehan and has four key skills to learn: mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and distress tolerance. This therapy can be taught one on one or in a group.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (or tapping as it is also known) is a stress reduction tool developed by Gary Craig in the 1990’s. Research has shown that this can reduce cortisone (stress hormone) by 40 per cent. It involves tapping on certain points of the body and an opening statement. What I love about this technique is that the client can continue to work on issues as they arise in the comfort of their own home (once it is learnt).
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy was developed by Steven Hayes in 2004. This therapy is also based on mindfulness in which utilising the client’s core values to develop psychological flexibility. The therapy breaks mindfulness into three categories: defusion, acceptance and being in contact with the present moment.
Each of these therapies utilise mindfulness – which I believe assists in the everyday stresses of life and allows us to reconnect with ourselves and the world around us.
As always, finding the right therapist for you is essential and to assist with this – I offer a complimentary introduction session of 15 minutes to see if I am the right fit for you. This can be either face to face at my clinic, or virtually through the magic of Telehealth.