Reigate Psychology Service | Different Therapies Explained
Understanding different types of therapies including: CBT, Mindfulness, Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescents (IPT-A), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Family Therapy, Psycho-sexual Therapy, Section.
CBT, mindfulness, Interpersonal psychotherapy, Cognitive Analytic Therapy
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Different Therapies Explained

Different Therapies Explained

Reigate Psychology Service only provides psychological therapies which have demonstrated their effectiveness in improving a persons difficulties. These are therapies which have been evaluated with sufficient scientific rigour to be included in the National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE) guidelines for a range of difficulties.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT has the most developed evidence base and is the most recommended therapy by NICE. It can be used to effectively treat a number of common and not so common psychological difficulties. There are a number of different CBT practices, at their most basic a low intensity therapist will follow a manual when providing therapy. The majority of highly trained clinical psychologists will develop a detailed individual understanding, we call it a formulation, of your difficulties and integrate other psychological perspectives within a CBT treatment package.


Mindfulness is a simple concept of paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. This increases awareness, clarity and acceptance of our present-moment reality. It can help us to become aware of thought/ emotional and behavioural processes, so rather than reacting in automatic, habitual patterns that may be unhelpful, we can choose how to respond in a given situation.


Mindfulness does not conflict with any beliefs or traditions, religious, cultural or scientific. It is simply a practical way to notice thoughts, physical sensations, sights, sounds, smells; anything we might not normally notice. Present moment awareness is often missed as our heads are too busy in the future or in the past – thinking about what we need to do, or going over what we have done. The actual skills might be simple, but because it is so different to how our minds normally behave, it takes a lot of practice.


In a car, we can sometimes drive for miles on “automatic pilot”, without really being aware of what we are doing. In the same way, we may not be really “present”, moment-by-moment, for much of our lives: We can often be “miles away” without knowing it, missing out on what is actually happening. On automatic pilot, we are more likely to have our “buttons pressed” where situations can trigger old habits of thinking and responding that are often unhelpful and may lead to worsening mood (and for which we may only be dimly aware). By becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, from moment to moment, we give ourselves the possibility of greater freedom and choice; we do not have to go into the same old “mental ruts” that may have caused problems in the past.


Mindfulness has become extremely popular in recent years, though the practice goes back centuries. There is a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating its utility for a wide range of mental and physical issues. It is also growing in popularity for a non-clinical population and is being used by professionals and also increasingly with children. There is also a growing body of neuroscientific evidence demonstrating its positive effects, using neuroimaging.


Self help Mindfulness books:
Mindfulness for Health: a practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing. Vidyamala Burch & Danny Penman (2013) Piatkus books. (comes with CD –female voice)


Mindfulness: a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world. Mark Williams and Danny Penman – (comes with a CD – male voice)


Websites and apps: – lots of information on mindfulness weekends and training courses, with CDs to buy – meditation downloads – mindfulness downloads and links to resources – free meditation podcasts from UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center – Headspace is a free smartphone app by a British former Buddhist monk, with ten different 10-minute mindfulness tracks to try daily, and notifications to remind you to check in with yourself.


Interpersonal psychotherapy for adolescents (IPT-A) is a time-limited (12 sessions) psychotherapy which has shown to be effective in the treatment of depression.

The treatment is based on the premise that, regardless of the underlying cause of depression, the depression occurs in a social and interpersonal context and is therefore inextricably intertwined with the adolescent’s interpersonal relationships. The goals of therapy are to reduce the depressive symptoms and to improve interpersonal functioning by enhancing communication skills in significant relationships.

Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

CAT is a collaborative relationship based therapy looking at the way a person thinks, feels and acts, and the experience and relationships that underlie these things (often from childhood). Itt brings together understandings from cognitive psychotherapies (such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and from psychoanalytic approaches into one integrated and effective therapy. It aims to identify how patterns of relating may be maintaining your current difficulties and to help you identify ‘exits’ from these patterns towards a happier more connected life. The therapy has an interpersonal basis and hence uses the relationship with your therapist as a tool for change.


It is a programme of therapy that is tailored to a person’s individual needs and to his or her own manageable goals for change. It is used effectively to treat a number of mental health difficulties as well as working on psychological distress in general. Evidence of CATs effectiveness has been particularly recognised in studies looking into using the approach with people who have experienced childhood physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect and trauma, and individuals who struggle with personality issues, eating disorders and depression and anxiety. It is a time-limited therapy – typically between 16 and 24 weeks. More information about CAT can be found on the ACAT website.

Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR had demonstrated benefit in treating psychological trauma arising from experiences as diverse as war related experiences, childhood sexual and/or physical abuse or neglect, natural disaster, assault, surgical trauma, road traffic accidents and workplace accidents. EMDR has been found to be of benefit to children as well as adults.


How does EMDR work?

When a person is involved in a distressing event, they may feel overwhelmed and their brain may be unable to process the information like a normal memory. The distressing memory seems to become frozen on a neurological level. When a person recalls the distressing memory, the person can re-experience what they saw, heard, smelt, tasted or felt, and this can be quite intense. Sometimes the memories are so distressing, the person tries to avoid thinking about the distressing event to avoid experiencing the distressing feelings.


In EMDR, the alternating left-right stimulation of the brain with eye movements, sounds or taps seems to stimulate the frozen or blocked information processing system. In the process the distressing memories seem to lose their intensity, so that the memories are less distressing and seem more like ‘ordinary’ memories.

Family Therapy

Family therapy (also known as systemic psychotherapy, family counselling, family systems therapy, couple and family therapy, marriage and family therapy) works with families, couples, individuals and other involved people to nurture change and development. It views change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members and emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health. Research has shown that family therapy is useful for children, young people and adults experiencing a very wide range of difficulties and experiences.


It’s approach is to explore problems within the system of relationships in which they occur and to promote change by intervening in the broader system rather than in the individual alone. It’s underlying assumption is that regardless of the origin of the problem and regardless of whether the clients consider it as an “individual” or “family” issue, involving families in solutions benefits clients.


During therapy sessions the aim is to enable those family members, couples and others who care about each other to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.

Psycho-sexual Therapy

Common Psycho-Sexual problems treated

  • Compulsive masturbation/sexual compulsive behaviour
  • Compulsive use of pornography
  • Hypersexuality or what is commonly called ‘sex addiction’
  • Issues around sexuality
  • Excessive worry about becoming infected with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) 
  • Relationship difficulties including sexual problems
  • Painful sex including problems such as vaginismus, dyspareunia (click here for information)
  • Erectile problems
  • Ejaculation problems eg. premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation
  • Trying to come to terms with what it means to be HIV+
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