Psychological therapies are used as treatments for various kinds of mental distress. Some therapeutic modalities include cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, trauma-focused therapy – there are many types of psychological therapies.
In the real-life setting these types of therapy are not single entities. By treating an individual as a person and not as a disorder, elements from different science-based therapies should be combined and tailored to suit each individual’s needs. Generally, our feelings, thoughts, behaviours - how these are impacted by broader systems (e.g. families, schools, relationships and so on) and inequities in those systems are tackled with psychological therapies.
Overall, the aim is to reduce psychological distress.
Anyone experiencing mental distress or anyone interested in maintaining a healthy level of mental well-being. This can be individuals, couples, families or groups. If someone is under the age of 18 they can access psychological treatment with the permission of a parent or legal guardian.
Typically, sleep problems are treated with medicine. This is not the only way to treat many sleep problems, including sleeplessness, problems falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia) and circadian problems (e.g. when the timing of sleep is too early or too late, shift work, jet lag). Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disturbances, that is, problems with falling asleep or staying asleep. Insomnia can affect us at any age and can be aggravated by external stressors and anxieties. Insomnia is also linked to depressed mood. Most of us do not get the recommended quantity (hours) or quality of sleep (for example, feeling unrefreshed or tired after waking up). In general, children 3 to 5 years old require 10 to 13 hours of sleep, children 6 to 12 years old require 9 to 12 hours, 13 to 18 years old require 8 to 10 hours and adults generally require between 7 and 9 hours. While the quantity matters, it's also important to focus on the quality. Do you feel rested? Do you feel rejuvenated? Do you struggle with your daytime functioning? Are you irritable? It might be that the quantity or quality of your sleep is insufficient to optimise your health and functioning.
Behavioural sleep therapies are embedded within my clinical psychology practice aimed at improving sleep and overall well-being (e.g. improvements in mood and daytime functioning). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is the most widely used technique which has stood the test of scientific and clinical scrutiny. Studies have shown that CBT-I is more effective than sleeping pills in the long-run as sleeping pills should only be prescribed for short periods and may not be appropriate for some groups like children, adolescents and many adults for medical or other reasons. Prolonged use of sleeping pills can lead to dependency. Behavioural sleep treatments address the underlying causes of insomnia and improved sleep is likely to be long-lasting.
Behavioural sleep therapies can also work alongside medical treatments for some sleep problems (e.g. adjunct psychological therapies for adhering to CPAP treatment).
It really depends on the individual and the problem. If someone has been experiencing mental or sleep distress for a few months or years then it makes logical sense that it would take some time for psychological therapy to actually work.
The timing and frequency of sessions will be determined in consultation with each client and tailored to suit their particular needs.
Psychological/psychometric assessments are standardized questions designed to assess specific and measurable psychological characteristics. These assessments are sometimes required by schools, workplaces, for legal purposes or sometimes in conjunction with therapeutic services.
There are many psychological characteristics that can be measured by psychometric assessments.
Some of the most requested assessments include depression, anxiety, cognitive development, adaptive functioning, psychoeducational, trauma, personality and psychopathology. There are also more specific assessments that may be required depending on the context for which the assessment is needed.