Philippa is a scientist-practitioner. This means that she can draw on theory and integrate it into practice with clients, using evidence-based techniques and interventions. Her work is based on strong formulative assessment, meaning that she can make sense of your presenting symptoms and find tools to individually suit your needs. Her training encompassed a pluralistic identity, which means that she is able to draw on many modalities and bring one or more of these into your therapy programme. Philippa draws on the following theories ad modalities when working with clients:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT was developed in the 1960’s by psychiatrist Aaron Beck. It is based on the principle that our thoughts are linked to our behaviours. Erroneous, negative thoughts or maladaptive thinking patterns can lead to repetitive negative behaviours and emotions. CBT aims to challenge thoughts in order to actively change behaviours. This therapy is useful for a number of issues including but not limited to phobia’s, anxiety, depression, OCD, and in some cases, trauma.
Solution Focused Therapy
This intervention falls under the CBT bracket, and is used for short term interventions to help manage and strategise solutions to problems.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy
Mindfulness simply means to pay attention to the here and now. MBCT uses psycho-education to teach awareness around thoughts and behaviours. It can be applied to overwhelming emotions and feelings.
Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT)
ACT is based on establishing your core values and working towards ensuring your behaviour is in line with these.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
Masha Linehan initially developed this therapy for those presenting with borderline personality disorder to attend specifically to vulnerability of suicidality, self-harm and emotion dysregulation. DBT is suitable for a number of presentations, and immensely helpful when people are feeling overwhelmed or are at risk and need tools to help them cope. It aims to help tolerate unbearable emotions/ feelings and increase cognitive and emotional regulation.
Psychodynamic theory approaches therapy with the understanding that early childhood experiences shape our adult lives. It attends to the structure of the personality and underlying processes such as those that are unconscious. Its roots are grounded in the assumption that all behaviours have a cause, even slips of the tongue.
Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
CAT is a combination of cognitive therapy and analytic therapy (a form of psychodynamic theory). It was designed to be used in a time limited way and seeks to work in collaboration with the client. CAT aims to make sense of maladaptive thinking patterns and previous events, which lead to thoughts and emotions in the present. Letters are often written to the client from the therapist at various stages of the therapy helping them to make sense of what has been going on for them, what they have gained from therapy so far, and what is still to be looked at.
Person Centred Therapy
Carl Rogers is the founding father of person centred/ humanistic psychotherapy. It relies on a number of conditions to be met in order for a person to have an effective experience during psychotherapy. Humanistic psychotherapy primarily rests on the notion of being-in-relationship. Relationship with ourselves and others, and the therapeutic relationship (between client and therapist) can reveal a large amount about who we are in the world.
Existential psychotherapy understands a person’s issues as being an internal conflict to one of four givens of human existence: physical, social, personal or spiritual. It seeks to offer a subjective, deeper understanding of who and how an individual is in the world. Phenomenology refers to attending to the lived, imagined and felt sense of a person’s experiences. Existential phenomenological approach makes no assumptions and places no pathological labels on an individual in regards to their lived experience.
The founder of body psychotherapy, William Reich proposes that our thoughts, feelings and emotions are not separate to our physical systems, such as neurological and digestive. Quite often people experience upset stomachs or digestive diseases as a result of stress and trauma. Philippa’s research is centred around psychotherapeutically attending to the body when working with trauma. She works holistically with a non-cartesian belief that the mind is not separate to the body. It is a ‘bottom-up’ methodology that pays attention to what we hold and what is represented in the body. Attending to the body processes within psychotherapy sessions allows the client to experience a deeper understanding of themselves and offers opportunity for long term healing.
Art is a powerful way of expressing emotions non-verbally. It can help to access supressed memories and process stagnant or current emotions. It is another form of ‘bottom-up’ processing, which moves away from sole reliance on cognitive processes.
Attachment theory was first developed by John Bowlby in the 1950’s. It proposes that our life span relationship or attachment style is developed between the ages of 0 and 4 years old as a direct consequence of our initial bond with our primary caregiver. Bowlby proposes several styles of attachment as being: insecure anxious/ avoidant; disorganised and secure. There have been many advances and developments to this theory since the 1950s, and it is commonly used within the practice room to help make sense of our relationships and feelings towards others.
This approach considers us as being part of a wider system within particular contexts. We may be part of a family, work or societal system, and our role within these systems can be explored through our relationships, dynamics and responses with others. Family trauma work can be accessed on a individual basis using this approach.