My approach infuses a powerful combination of Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based therapies and biofeedback therapy.

 

How do I work?

CBT with a twist of ‘Weekes’, a squeeze of mindfulness and a splash of biofeedback!

My approach and therapy differ from conventional CBT methods and the mainstream clinical approach that seems to dominate our society. I believe a more personal and less formal approach works much better in practice. At the very core of my approach is ‘acceptance’ and I believe it is my job as a therapist to help you to adjust your attitude to a point where you can willingly accept what is happening to you and not become too overwhelmed by it. This takes courage, determination and understanding and this I promise to give to you. Approaching your illness in this way will always bring recovery as it did me and many others. I attribute most of my understanding and ability to help others recover from anxiety and depressive disorders to the wonderful teachings of the late Dr. Claire Weekes, the groundbreaking research of Professor Joseph Ledoux in the field of fear conditioning, the wisdom found in mindfulness teachings and my own successful application of all of this. I like to implement biofeedback into my therapy as this serves as a wonderful tool that helps to bring all of this together by showing you exactly how your body responds to your thoughts.

Who was Dr. Claire Weekes?

Dr. Claire Weekes was an Australian physician who achieved world recognition for her ability to help people with anxiety and depressive disorders. She was a pioneer in her field and was way ahead of her time. She used the term sensitisation to explain the condition that the nervous system becomes whilst in the anxiety state. ‘Acceptance’ based on understanding was at the core of her method – she used the concepts facing, accepting, floating and letting time pass to help her patients de-sensitise their nervous system. Claire Weekes gave understanding like very few therapists of her time and even to the majority of therapists these days. Remarkable really for a woman who was prevalent in the 1960’s and 70’s.

What are the differences between Dr. Claire Weekes approach and conventional CBT therapy?

CBT is very much an ACTIVE form of therapy. You get involved with your thoughts, you redirect them, you plant alternate/balanced thoughts, you re-frame, etc. Claire Weekes taught PASSIVE acceptance based on UNDERSTANDING. CBT is in some ways at the core of Claire Weekes’ method in that a recognition of thoughts is regarded as the main area of focus both in the establishment and recovery of the disorders. However, Claire Weekes then believed that any involvement in the thoughts should stop there and an attitude of ‘utter’ acceptance be applied to anxiety and depressive provoking situations – this is where the two differ. The better the understanding given in therapy, then the more likelihood of the patient’s ability to ‘accept’ more willingly and it is this acceptance that eventually enables recovery.

What is biofeedback therapy?

Biofeedback is a technique which can help you to learn more about your personal physiology and how you respond to stress and the world around you. It can give you a great insight into your mind and body connection and help increase your ability to mindfully relax your body when needed. Biofeedback works by using a combination of finger sensors and electrodes that measure and display physical and mental processes – making you aware of things that you can’t easily feel or detect on your own. Biofeedback is a great tool to help you become a more ‘mindful’ and resilient person, skills invaluable for consistent recovery from anxiety and depressive disorders.

Why is mindfulness an important part of recovery?

I personally overcame panic disorder, agoraphobia and depression in 2006 after suffering with it for ten years and I attribute my consistent well being to implementing a mindful approach to life. When you understand how thoughts can cause so much misery and how by changing them can bring happiness you understand how important looking after the mind is. I believe the reason most people have relapses in recovery from anxiety and depression is because they become complacent. Mindfulness helps to keep you on the ball, keep your senses sharpened and helps to keep you on the road to recovery. Learning and applying mindfulness to my daily life is one of the best things that I’ve ever done in my life.

Knowledge is power, but without action, it’s powerless!

Understanding really is the key to recovery from anxiety and depression and this is where I believe I am able to excel in helping people bring lasting recovery. I have been where you are and for many years. I have been in the depths of despair. It’s sad when I think back to how I was then but it’s comforting when I see other people suffer in the same way I did and know that there is an incredibly powerful, liberating and worthwhile journey ahead of them.