Integrative Intuitive Professional and Warm
Michelle sees her key strength as forming good relationships with her clients and colleagues. She draws on a depth and breadth of training and experience in her therapy, which gives her flexibility, insight and appreciation of complexity. She is passionate about her work and has a strong interest in helping people develop to their fullest potential.
Michelle has training in Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behaviour that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel. It is used to help treat a wide range of issues in a person’s life, including anxiety, panic, depressed mood and relationship problems.
CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behaviour by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that we hold (our cognitive processes) and how this relates to the way we behave, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.
During this time, the client and therapist are working together to understand what the problems are and to develop a new strategy for tackling them. CBT introduces them to a set of principles that they can apply whenever they need to, and which will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.
Cognitive behavioural therapy can be thought of as a combination of psychotherapy and Behavioural therapy. Psychotherapy emphasizes the importance of the personal meaning we place on things and how thinking patterns begin in childhood. Behavioural therapy pays close attention to the relationship between our problems, our behaviour and our thoughts.
Michelle has extensive training in Psychodynamic therapy and believes that it is particularly successful in helping clients change behaviour. It focuses on one’s unconscious processes as they present in the here and now. The goals of Psychodynamic therapy are increased self-awareness and insight, and understanding the influence of past experiences and relationships on the present. A psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships so as to improve relationships and patterns of communication.
Neuroscience and Mindfulness
Michelle has developed an in interest in neuroscience and psychotherapy and the effects of trauma on the brain. She believes it is important to help clients understand that our past traumatic experiences and ways of coping and managing behaviour are stored in our central nervous system and hardwired into our brain. The brain adapted to an environment that is not like the life he or she wants. For example, if a person is used to experiencing trauma and doesn’t have it, he may recreate it because that is where he feels most comfortable. Therapy helps to remodel the brain to get the person to where he wants to be instead of continuing to live in the past.
Another interest for Michelle is the use of mindfulness techniques in helping us learn to manage our feelings and emotions and bring peacefulness into our lives.
Practising mindfulness helps you:
To be fully present, here and now To experience unpleasant thoughts and feelings safely To become aware of what you’re avoiding To become more connected to yourself, to others and to the world around you To increase self-awareness To become less disturbed by and less reactive to unpleasant experiences To learn the distinction between you and your thoughts To have more direct contact with the world, rather than living through your thoughts To learn that everything changes; that thoughts and feelings come and go like the weather To have more balance, less emotional volatility To experience more calm and peacefulness To develop self-acceptance and self-compassion (Russ Harris, internet the Happiness Trap )
In the course of her clinical training and practice, Michelle has gained expertise in working with:
o Generalised Anxiety disorder
o Bipolar disorder
o Adjustment disorder
o Unexplained somatic complaints
o Sexual disorders
o Sexuality issues related to lGBTI issues
o Post-traumatic stress disorder
o Bereavement disorder
o Panic disorder
o Mixed anxiety and depression
o Hyperkinetic (attention deficit) disorder
o Adult and child learning disabilities
o Mental disorder, not otherwise specified
Michelle’s work has involved liaison and networking with professionals, community organisations, psychiatrists and G.P’s.