A range of approaches to therapy A range of approaches to therapy

People come to counselling for many different reasons, though most often when things become difficult or painful or when talking to someone outside a situation seems helpful. Issues raised include: relationships; self-esteem and personal identity; physical and mental health; academic and work concerns; sexuality; abuse; eating; homesickness; alcohol and drugs; bereavement; anxiety; depression; spiritual concerns.

The different approaches to therapy on offer are explained below:

Person-Centred Counselling Person-Centred Counselling

Person-Centred counselling is the main approach used by counsellors at UEA. This form of counselling and psychotherapy has been developed over the last seventy years and has also been influential in the fields of education, health and social services. The approach is founded on the notion that each individual has the resources within themselves for healthy and fulfilled living, but that often these resources can become obscured through difficulties in relationships, our circumstances and environment or the choices we have made.

Person-centred counselling is characterised by acceptance, a careful and deep understanding and openness on the part of the counsellor. There is no set agenda and the client is free to explore any or all of their experience or circumstances. This process of discussion and exploration helps lead individuals to become more self-aware and self-understanding. Clients typically talk of becoming less anxious or depressed by the end of counselling, of having a clearer understanding of themselves and feeling that the way they have changed can be taken forward to other life circumstances.

Some recent comments from feedback sheets include: 'I feel I've realised a lot about myself'; 'I feel more comfortable with my emotions'; 'My self-esteem has vastly improved'; 'I am less depressed'; '[I] worked out what is important'.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a talking therapy that can help you manage problems by addressing the way you think and behave. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems. CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.

This approach aims to help you crack the cycle by breaking down overwhelming problems into smaller parts and showing you how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel. Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis. (source www.nhs.uk

For a concise explanation of CBT and how it works, have a look at an Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from the NHS.

Guided Self-Help Guided Self-Help

You may be offered some sessions of guided self-help. In these sessions a Mental Health Advisor will recommend some self-help resources relating to your problem or concerns. You will be invited to work on these materials in your own time and to return for one or two follow-up sessions to discuss how you have got on and whether your situation has improved. The main resources we use for self-help can be found on our Self-Help pages.