Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to help with life’s challenges Psychology For Better Living Dr Paul Sigel, Clinical Psychologist, Central London W1 & EC2

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Helping clients develop new perspectives & strategies that “feel right” for them

My Approach

I provide several forms of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), because they offer a comprehensive framework for working with clients across a range of problems. These therapies have demonstrated their effectiveness by building a substantial evidence-base—which increases the confidence and reliability for using them to make improvements for the individuals & couples I work with.
I also believe that effective therapy also relies on helping clients feel comfortable and understood when they discuss their problems. From the first time I meet a client, I am focussing on how to foster a good working relationship between us so that we can work together to address their problems. What’s most important is finding an individualised way of working for each person I see, including a shared sense of how therapy can best meet their needs.

CBT that "feels right" for you

CBT, in most of its forms, has many useful principles for helping people address problems and “live better.” Yet these principles must be personalised and adapted—so that the strategies & skills “feel right” for the individuals using them. This means that the CBT I provide is not a “one size fits all” approach. For example, while many clients value structured sessions and homework exercises that are goal directed, others will prefer more open and exploratory work.

What to expect in therapy

It's very natural for clients to feel a bit apprehensive when they come for their first session. Often people will be sharing experiences and information that are quite private and personal. In this context, I encourage people to feel comfortable to speak as freely as they wish. This includes not feeling pressure to say more than they would like or feel able to when we first meet.

When meeting for an initial assessment, my starting point is to understand the person(s) and how they experience their difficulties. During the session, we often discuss the nature of their difficulties, including how they started and what keeps them going or makes them worse. We may also look at some of the ways they have found to cope already or ways they’ve coped with similar problems in the past. If possible, I try to identify what they are hoping to achieve in our sessions. This helps to establish the goals for our work.

In our initial sessions, we will identify the particular problems and factors that are contributing to them. This will lead onto developing a plan for addressing these factors over the course of therapy.

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