Like most Clinical Psychologists I have training in various therapeutic approaches,
especially Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Many people have heard of this approach
and I am often asked whether I practise CBT. The answer is that I sometimes use
CBT ideas or techniques. However, if you are looking for a ‘pure’ CBT therapist
it would be best to look elsewhere.
Systemic Narrative Therapy is a psychotherapy approach based on the idea that we
are continually creating our lives in relationship with events that happen to us.
We interpret those events through our culture and our interactions with other people.
It is a flexible and non-blaming approach which respects the expertise everyone brings
to the situation. The therapist is the expert on ways in which certain problems can
often be addressed. Clients are the experts on their own lives, experiences, thoughts
and feelings. Other people might be experts on how the problem impacts on family,
friends, colleagues. It is therefore a very collaborative approach.
This therapy has its origins in Family Therapy (sometimes called Systemic Therapy
because it deals with all human social systems, not just traditional families). Relationship
with others is an important focus for the approach. We all live in relationship
with other people and how they react can be helpful or unhelpful in dealing with
problems. For this reason people who are important to you will be discussed and
might (if you agree) be invited to participate in the therapy conversations to brainstorm
how to tackle the issues.
Family therapists are used to working with couplesand also with people at all ages,
including childrenor teenagers and the elderly.
If relationships seem very important to the issues, or if you have been unable to
make any headway with other approaches, this might be a useful therapy approach to