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Psychology Services Portsmouth

Psychological Therapies

Each team member offers a slightly different range of therapies having elected to do different trainings over the years.  The descriptions below are brief outlines of the main therapeutic approaches available with links to their main UK organisations if you would like to read more.  The therapy offered to you will be selected based upon consideration of the problem you are wishing to work on, your own goals and preferences, the current evidence base identifying the recommended treatments and the practitioner's experience and recommendations.  


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): 

This therapy is recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the treatment of the following conditions:

  • anxiety disorders (including panic attacks, specific and social phobia, health anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • schizophrenia and psychosis
  • bipolar disorder

There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating many other conditions, including:

  • chronic fatigue
  • chronic pain
  • physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis
  • sleep difficulties
  • anger management

CBT can be used if you are on medication prescribed by your GP or you can use CBT on its own. This will depend on the difficulty you want help with and will be discussed at your assessment appointment.

For further information:


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): 

This therapy is also recommended by NICE in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Research has been conducted demonstrating its benefits 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
  • workplace accidents.

Since its original development, EMDR is also increasingly used to help individuals with other issues and performance anxiety.

For further information:


Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT): 

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is time-limited and structured. Its central idea is that psychological symptoms, such as depressed mood, can be understood as a response to current difficulties in relationships and affect the quality of those relationships.

Typically, IPT focuses on conflict with another person, life changes that affect how you feel about yourself and others, grief and loss, difficulty in starting or keeping relationships going. 

For further information:


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): 


ACT is a mindfulness based behavioural therapy that increases awareness and openness to our current emotions and thoughts.  Rather than challenging the content of these, ACT fosters acceptance and adaptation.  Based on the premise that our emotions are appropriate reactions to our experiences, but our reactions may not be helping us to live the life we wish for – ACT introduces specific skills to increase psychological flexibility.  The therapist works with 6 core principles to help the individual alter the relationship they have with their self talk and emotional world and  embrace behavioural change, in line with personal values. There is an emphasis on creativity and experimentation.


ACT philosophy and skills are often interweaved in therapy by experienced therapists who have received additional training.  ACT is not a protocol driven therapy such as CBT, so not necessarily diagnosis specific, but will appeal to people depending on what kind of help they have had before or are currently looking for. Now included in the UK NICE guidelines for the treatment of chronic pain, it has also been clinically proven to be effective for depression and anxiety.


For further information:


Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT):

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) aims to help promote mental and emotional healing by encouraging people in treatment to be compassionate toward themselves and other people.  Compassion both toward the self and toward others, is an emotional response believed by many to be an essential aspect of well-being.  Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) looks to help those who struggle with shame and self-criticism. Often these can be the driving forces behind other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

For further information:


Psychodynamic Therapy:

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in the client's present behaviour. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are client self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behaviour.  Psychodynamic therapy helps you understand how your current feelings and behaviour are shaped by your past experiences and your unconscious mind and impulses.  The relationship with your therapist is key to this therapeutic approach.  Having an accepting and trusting relationship with them encourages you to talk freely and openly about topics like your childhood and your relationship with your parents.  This can help you understand what you’re feeling now, why you behave in a certain way and how this affects your relationships.  Your therapist will encourage you to talk freely about whatever comes to mind. This is known as free association. You can talk openly, honestly and without being judged.


For further information: