Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a goal oriented, short term psychotherapy treatment that adopts a solution focused approach. It is interactive and hands on, offering evidence based practical tools in order to reframe patterns of thinking or behaving that perpetuates the problem the person is struggling with. By doing this, it helps to show how the person can gradually alter the way they feel. It is the most researched method and focuses on the development of effective personal coping strategies. Widely known to be effective in the treatment of mental health as a whole. CBT is based on the premises that maladaptive thoughts and behaviors play a role in the development and maintenance of a psychological condition including the symptoms associated with these conditions. When compared with psychotropic medication treatment, studies have shown that CBT alone is as effective on its own in the treatment of less severe forms of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, traumas and other issues. Sometimes, CBT in the long term provides better results than medication alone. For some people however, combination of both CBT and medication may be the most appropriate method of care.
CBT over the years has been developing, and thus various forms of the approach have resulted. Today CBT is an umbrella for all cognitive based psychotherapies such as cognitive therapy, rational emotive therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, multimodal therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, cognitive hypnotherapy, biofeedback, mindfulness based therapy and the list goes on.
Cognitive hypnotherapy is a relatively new evidence based approach founded on recent discoveries in neuroscience and evolutionary psychology. It is through merging the proven effective theories of cognitive behavioral therapy along with the humanistic sciences of positive psychology, Gestalt theories, traditional hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming that it evidently provides opportunities for further healing, recovery and change.
Hypnotherapy has unfortunately been stained with a lot of misconceptions such as being controlled, doing something or saying something that they do not want to do or say or being unconscious and have no recollection of what is happening. This of course is not hypnotherapy. In fact, it is a collaboration in which the person undergoing the process is an active participant making use of a very effective tool with the assistance of a qualified therapist in order to process changes that have typically been difficult to achieve alone in a typical state of consciousness.
Hypnotherapy can be described as a focused state of awareness in which the person is very aware of everything and will find him/herself in a more open/receptive mind set, also known as an altered state of consciousness. It is in this state, in which a person can easily learn to initiate by themselves that changes in our thought patterns, emotional responses and behavioral modifications can be achieved. It is a very effective tool in combination with all the other mentioned therapy approaches above to assist in reinforcing understandings and learnings in order to reach full potential.
This is a very effective tool for reducing stress, anxiety, depression, changing habits such as smoking, emotional eating and many other issues.
Mindfulness Based Therapy
Mindfulness is a psychological process by which we bring our attention onto both the internal and external experiences happening in the present moment. There are various ways of practicing mindfulness.
The most common is through seated meditation with the eyes closed. However, there are other ways of achieving this state. The word ‘Mindfulness’ comes from the Pali term ‘Sati’, which is an important part of Buddhist traditions.
The recent popularity of mindfulness in recent years is considered to have been initiated by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Biofeedback is a process by which we use technology in order to measure our physiological functions. This provides us with important feedback allowing us to develop both a better understanding of ourselves but also learn improved ways of regulating our biological functions. Some of these processes are known as brainwaves, heart rate variability, muscle tone, skin conductance, pain perception.
Biofeedback such as heart coherence is very effective in helping improve one’s overall health performances through regular use. It has demonstrated to be effective not only in regulating our physiological functioning but more importantly in regulating our thoughts and emotions which in turn positive affect our behaviors. With continued use, eventually these changes are maintained without the use of biofeedback equipment.
This technique has proven to be effective for reducing stress, anxiety, alleviating symptoms of depression, attenuating symptoms of trauma and improving general mental and physical well-being.
In traditional medicine, a medical doctor will examine you by performing various tests in an attempt to explain your presenting symptoms in order to come up with a diagnosis for the disease or condition. Through the latest medical guidelines, they will then prescribe what is conventionally appropriate for that particular diagnosis.
Functional Medicine on the other hand will treat each person as a unique individual. They will require laboratory tests and look for biochemical, lifestyle and environmental causes of that person’s health problems. The treatment then proceeds according to the specific causes that were identified.
In Functional Medicine, two people who have similar presenting symptoms can be discovered to have completely different root causes for their symptoms. This means that they would benefit from completely different customized treatments. The great strength of this approach is to help anyone who has been experiencing any kind of chronic health condition that isn’t being properly identified, explained or improved through conventional medical treatment.