What is Psychological Therapy?
The Hollywood Clinic primarily uses evidence-based therapies as the basis for its psychological treatment, which ultimately leads to more effective controlled treatment trials. The program uses brief, structured, focussed treatments that mainly assist patients with the here-and-now problems that have lead to their admission.
The overall goal of the treatments is to increase patients understanding of their difficulties and to teach them skills to respond and better manage their distress.
Group Therapy Program
The majority of the psychological treatments take place within a group therapy program. Group sessions are lead by the Unit’s clinicians who help the group work together in an atmosphere of trust and respect.
The group is able to give support, offer alternatives and give feedback to each other. In the climate of trust provided by the group, people are able to help each other by sharing experiences. During group therapy, people begin to see that they are not alone and it is encouraging to hear that other people have similar difficulties.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Therapy focuses on the negative cycle between painful feelings, unhelpful thinking, and unhelpful habits.
The focus in cognitive therapy is to help people to:
- Identify and recognise unhelpful thoughts;
- Develop distance from unhelpful thoughts and identify alternative ways of seeing oneself, one’s problems and the world;
- Develop a set of useful behaviours to cope with painful affect;
- Learn strategies to be more active in developing and actioning goals that help one to live life in closer accordance with the values that give their life meaning;
- Improve self-acceptance by changing the unhelpful beliefs that they hold about themselves.
Schema Focussed Therapy (SFT)
Schema Therapy is an innovative psychotherapy developed by Dr Jeffrey Young for personality disorders, chronic depression, and other difficult individual and couples problems. Schema Therapy integrates elements of cognitive therapy, behaviour therapy, object relations, and gestalt therapy into one unified, systematic approach to treatment. Schema Therapy has recently been blended with mindfulness meditation for clients who want to add a spiritual dimension to their lives.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a branch of cognitive behaviour therapy and uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour change strategies, to increase psychological resilience.
ACT commonly employs six core principles to help people develop psychological resilience and flexibility:
Cognitive diffusion: Learning to perceive thoughts, images, emotions, and memories as they are, not what they appear to be;
Acceptance: Allowing painful thoughts, emotions and sensations to come and go without struggling with them;
Contact with the present moment: Awareness of the here-and-now, experience with openness, interest, and receptiveness;
Observing the self: Accessing a transcendent sense of self, a continuing of consciousness which is changing;
Values: Discovering what is most important to one’s true self;
Committed action: Setting goals according to these values and carrying them out responsibly.
Mindfulness is an ancient practice found in a wide range of Eastern philosophies, including Buddhism, Taoism and Yoga. Mindfulness involves consciously bringing awareness to your here-and-now experience with openness, interest and receptiveness. It has recently been adopted by Western psychology as it is, and has been, demonstrated to be helpful for chronic depression, anxiety and a range of health problems.
Mindfulness exercises are included as part of the group programs.
For more information: www.actmindfully.com.au