Kim Coldham-Fussell - Registered Clinical Psychologist
I have found that change is most likely to happen when we work together in a way that makes sense to you, that works towards achieving your goals, and is a good fit with the issues that have brought you to seek help. 

I believe that a good match between therapist and client is critical. The therapeutic relationship is an important and intimate one - you have to feel understood and safe, and you have to like your therapist!  If you feel that I am not the right person to help you, I am happy to assist you in finding another psychologist. 

I was trained in the application of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and the techniques remain unrivalled for the treatment of some issues in my opinion.

However, the therapeutic model that makes the most sense to me, and that I love working with, is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

ACT is a set of mindfulness-based therapies which work by strengthening both the acceptance of emotions and circumstances of your life, as well as the resolve to live in way that is consistent with your true values. In this way, you will learn to respond more flexibly when difficult thoughts and feelings show up, rather than reacting unhelpfully, or trying to escape from your own emotions. I think that attempts to avoid or escape uncomfortable or painful  feelings is at the core of most psychological suffering. 

ACT is quite revolutionary, as the focus is on allowing feelings and making room for them, so that they may pass - rather than getting caught up in struggling, resisting, or repressing emotions.  Many other therapies focus on trying to control, eliminate or 'out-logic' feelings. This just doesn't work.  

To illustrate, ACT will not promise to get 'rid' of your anxiety - but it will work to reduce the impact of anxiety on your life, so that it doesn't bother you as much, or get in the way of the things you want to do.  A side effect of getting on with your life, rather than waiting until your anxiety has gone, is that your anxiety will naturally lessen.  

ACT also addresses the origins of your beliefs about yourself, others and the world - often developed in childhood, and also known as 'schema' - and allows for reflection about these beliefs and whether they are helping or holding us back.  

ACT is growing in worldwide popularity and has very good empirical support for a wide variety of psychological problems.

When it comes to children, the system surrounding the child is of critical importance.  Children cannot be treated in isolation, or be expected to make changes on their own.  In essence, I believe children are doing the best they can to meet their needs.  

The treatment of children may include CBT and ACT techniques, helping them to develop skills to meet their needs in a more functional way. But it will also include making changes to their routines or environment, and helping the adults around the child learn to correctly interpret behaviour and then respond in the most helpful and consistent way.  It will be a team effort.  





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