At The Good Mood Clinic we offer a variety of assessments and treatments provided by experienced clinical psychologists.
Schema Therapy Specialists
We have psychologists who are specialists in the practice of Schema Therapy. If you are stuck in a life trap, then Schema Therapy is likely to benefit you. This therapy arises from the cognitive-behavioural tradition but offers much more to clients in the long-term because it emphasizes the developmental origins of a person’s beliefs and coping styles and gets to the heart of the difficulties. This is a medium to long-term therapy that is particularly effective for those who have problematic romatic/family relationships and/or personality styles that are interfering in their life. As with CBT there is an emphasis on exploring the impact of a person’s psychological vulnerability on their mood as well as how they choose to cope with their mood. However, the focus is much broader than just symptom reduction, touching more upon pervasive life patterns that keep a person stuck in unhealthy situations.
Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy is a short-term, structured therapy that has proven effectiveness in a variety of mental health problems. CBT teaches you to become more aware of your thinking style and the impact it has on your mood. There is also an emphasis on changing unhelpful behaviours so that you then have different experiences in your life that help you shape healthier beliefs.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is a relatively structured therapy that has proven effectiveness for many mental health problems, especially those that relate to emotional ups and downs (affective dysregulation or instability), the urge to self-harm and problems with impulse control. It is a particularly good therapy for those with boerline personality traits. Part of DBT is working through the dialect between change and acceptance. That is, there are some problems that we can change (e.g., impulsive behaviours) and others that we need to accept (e.g., some life circumstances over which we have no control). DBT includes different skill-based modules such as mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance and emotional regulation. The more you practice DBT skills, the more helpful they will be.
Mindfulness is taught as a way of managing (or an approach towards) difficult thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness is a process of the observation of ones experience. It is the opposite of ‘numbing’ or ‘spacing out’. When you ‘space out’ you are not aware, when you are mindful, you are very aware. When we are being mindful we are aware of what is happening in the present moment, while it is happening. We are being fully present in quite an intentional way, to whatever it is that we are experiencing, whether it be a conversation we are having, drinking a cup of tea or simply taking notice of the experience of breathing. In essence, being mindful is the awareness of where our attention is at any given time, and the ability and practice of moving that attention back into the present moment. Mindfulness can be used both as a skill to be practiced within a form of meditation (e.g., mindfulness to breath), and as an approach to daily life. We cannot expect ourselves to be mindful all the time, but we don’t have to. As humans, we tend to be programmed to be ‘anti-mindful’ or to multi-task and be aware of many things at once. Also, because we have a sophisticated brain that is wired for problem solving and planning, we tend to worry, particularly about things in the future. Excessive worry produces a lot of anxiety and emotional distress and can cause a great deal of suffering. When we are being mindful, theoretically it is actually difficult to be anxious (unless we are experiencing immediate threat), because we are not allowing our mind to wander off toward worrisome or distressing thoughts. By not ‘going with’ your worrying thoughts and not getter immersed in content about past or future stress, we find ourselves attending to the actual moment that is happening right now and thus gaining some respite from anxiety generated thought content.
Some differing therapeutic approaches are used when working with you to resolve grief and bereavement issues. Grief is a normal and common human experience. When we lose someone, it is normal and necessary to feel the pain of that loss and to go through a grieving process. The process usually includes various emotional stages such as ‘shock’, ‘denial’, ‘anger’, ‘sadness’ and finally, ‘acceptance’. Different types of losses can trigger grief reactions – death or separation from a loved one, losing a child through miscarriage, the end of a relationship, and job or financial security loss, just to name a few. In relation to the death of a loved one, the ability to experience the grieving process is especially vital. Inhibited or delayed grief arises when a person has stopped themselves from grieving (because the reality of the loss is too painful) properly and their emotions become subsequently blocked. A person may then be much more vulnerable to becoming significantly depressed the next time they lose someone or experience some type of loss. Complicated grief is a term to describe a difficult adjustment to losing someone due to other psychological factors. For example, a person may have strong feelings of guilt associated with the deceased person even though such guilt may not be justified. If these issues are not resolved, a person is at greater risk of emotional distress and depression compared with a person with no such issues. Any form of unresolved grief is a key vulnerability factor for depression and needs to be worked through in order for the person to actually adjust to and accept the loss and then to continue their life with greater resiliency. Emotional/expressive and cognitive-behavioural based therapies are used for helpful and effective grief work.