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PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPY
 


Dr Loumidis has helped many hundreds of people to overcome their problems.

He skilfully tailors empirically based psychological therapies, of scientifically proven efficacy, 
such as cognitive behavioural therapy, often combining different therapies and approaches to personal sensitivities and individual circumstances.

Why seek psychological help?
  • Over a lifetime, about one in three of us with have a problem with stress
  • Over a 20 year period, 75% of women and 50% of men consult their GP about a mental health problem
  • Anxiety and depression account for one-third of days lost from work due to ill-health
  • Anxiety and depression are now the most common problems among long-term sickness benefits claims.
  • These problems case as much severe impairments in social and physical functioning as chronic physical illnesses
  • Anxiety, panic, depression, phobias, poor sleep, and trauma, are more common than psychotic illnesses
  • Most people with common mental health problems do not receive any treatment.

Range of Therapy
The choice of psychological treatment (or therapy) depends on your individual needs and preferences and Dr Loumidis will discuss this matter with you. Individually tailored therapies combining elements from various therapies are also available for certain types of problems. Dr Loumidis offers a wide range of scientifically based and clinically tested psychological treatments (or therapies).

Idiosyncratic case and problem formulation
Every person is treated as an individual and your idiosyncratic problem formulation will form the basis of your individual treatment plan. The choice and content of therapy sessions is informed by an in-depth assessment of your needs and relevant clinical research and practice.  These are flexibly tailored to your goals, which you can re-negotiate at any point.

Evaluating progress
Dr Loumidis will periodically evaluate how well you are progressing, often using a range of outcome measures and psychometric tests and will discuss your progress with you. With your consent he will write progress reports to your referrer and/or your GP and copy any correspondence to you, if you so wish.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most researched psychotherapy, which has been proved to be effective in the treatment of several disorders (Department of Health, 2001). Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies are psychological approaches which are based on scientific principles and which research has shown to be effective for a wide range of problems. CBT helps people identify and understand problems in terms of the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour. The approach usually focuses on difficulties in the here and now, and relies on you and Dr Loumidis developing a shared view of your problems. This then leads to the identification of personalised, time-limited therapy goals and strategies, which are continually monitored and evaluated. More information is available from the
British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

Counselling
Counselling is a systematic process which gives individuals an opportunity to explore, discover and clarify ways of living more resourcefully, with a greater sense of well being. Counselling may be concerned with addressing and resolving specific problems, making decisions, coping with crises, working through conflict, or improving relationships with others.

Bereavement Counselling
When someone close to us dies or is in the process of dying, people may have trouble coping with the intense feelings of grief, or may feel a strong sense of isolation or confusion. Some people find it helpful to talk about these feelings with someone from outside their family or friends. Bereavement counselling focuses on helping people and relatives understand their grief and to adjust to life after loss. It can also help people to understand other people around them who may be expressing their grief in different ways.

Behavioural Therapy
Behavioural therapy is based on the principle that many of our actions are the result of things that we have learned in the past or more recently. The focus of behavioural interventions is on definable behaviours that can be readily monitored and addressed in therapeutic interventions. It is a very directive therapy which sets objectives (in collaboration with you) for you to attain. Dr Loumidis will offer you homework assignments to help you understand your difficulties and achieve your goals. It is particularly good for treating phobias, obsessional and compulsive behaviour and can also be helpful in dealing with some sexual problems. Anxiety management and exposure therapy are particular types of behavioural therapy.

Anxiety Management
This approach involves a varying mixture of behavioural strategies. The strategies commonly include education about the nature of anxiety (e.g. fight-or-flight response), recognising hyperventilation, the slow-breathing technique, relaxation training and graded exposure. Stress management, assertiveness training and structured problem-solving may also be included, depending on your needs.

Graded Exposure
People who avoid particular places or people because of anxiety (i.e. those suffering from phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder or panic) are encouraged gradually to face the things they fear, starting with easy situations and building up slowly to harder things. Breathing and relaxation techniques are used to help you remain in the feared situation until the anxiety diminishes and you can learn that you can cope with the situation. Dr Loumidis will prepare you and provide you with support but will not always need to accompany you in your assignments.

Compliance Therapy
This is a form of counselling, usually used for people with severe mental illness who are reluctant to take medication. It encourages you to take an active role in monitoring your illness and negotiating treatment decisions. Your views about medication are elicited, ambivalence explored and options considered in an atmosphere of support and empathy, avoiding blaming. This interactive approach has proved more successful than a simple didactic approach.

Family Interventions (for people with schizophrenia)
A form of 'psycho-social intervention', this comprises giving information to you and your family about the illness, and helping them to improve their ability and confidence in tackling problems effectively. The approach is broadly behavioural and the family is encouraged to set realistic goals. This means that the family is able to avoid making unrealistic demands on you and to make the environment of the person who is ill less stressful. Relapse rates are reduced.

Interpersonal Therapy
Interpersonal psychotherapy uses the connection between the onset of symptoms and current interpersonal problems as a treatment focus. It deals with current, rather than past, relationships, and maintains a clear focus on your social context and dysfunction rather than your personality.

Problem Solving Therapy
Structured problem solving can help you sort out and deal with stresses that contribute to worry and depression. It involves encouraging you to identify specific problems, to order them in terms of importance and then to focus on one problem at a time, writing down potential solutions and identifying specific steps that they might take to implement the solutions. A main aim is to assist you to incorporate the principles of efficient problem solving and goal achievement into your everyday lives. The aim is not for Dr Loumidis to solve your problems for you, but to give you skills so that you can effectively overcome problems and achieve goals for yourself. Self-management
is a key goal, with Dr Loumidis adopting the role of teacher or guide.

Motivational Interviewing
This is a directive, client-centred counselling style for eliciting behaviour change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. Compared with nondirective counselling, it is more focused and goal-directed. The examination and resolution of ambivalence is its central purpose, and Dr Loumidis will be intentionally directive in pursuing this goal. It can be helpful for people with alcohol problems, drug addictions, gambling problems, and
also a wider range of problems where people are resistant or ambivalent about changing.

Supportive Psychotherapy
Some people have ongoing difficulties in their lives which cannot be resolved, who become disorganized when confronted with stressful situations, or may have a personality style which makes it very difficult for them to benefit from other treatments. Dr Loumidis will offer a safe and trustworthy forum in which you discuss the troubling aspects of your lives and act as a strong guide/authority figure, outlining things that the you should do and not do. This type of therapy is not exploratory and doesn't delve into the past histories.

Schema Therapy
Schema therapy is an innovative psychotherapy for personality disorders, chronic depression, and other difficult individual and couples problems. Schema therapy integrates elements of cognitive therapy, behaviour therapy, object relations, and gestalt therapy into one unified, systematic approach to treatment.

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)
REBT (formerly known as RET) is a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. REBT is an action- oriented psychotherapy which teaches individuals how to identify their own self-defeating thoughts, beliefs and actions and replace them with more effective, life-enhancing ones.

Psychosexual Counselling
This is a specialist form of counselling which can offer help for range of problems such as general sexual problems (such as difficulty reaching orgasm, pain during intercourse, problems controlling ejaculation or in reaching orgasm) sexual health concerns, sexual phobias and paraphilias, gender dysphoria and sexual orientation difficulties.

Systemic Therapy
Systemic and family therapy aims to identify and explore patterns of belief and behaviour in roles and elationships. The therapist actively intervenes to enable people to decide where change would be desirable and to facilitate the process of establishing new, more fulfilling and useful patterns. Therapy is often relatively short term.

Individually Tailored Therapies
Often people's difficulties need to be understood and formulated using more than one theoretical framework and Dr Loumidis may choose a mix of techniques from more than one therapy approach. The resulting therapy is pragmatic, tailored to the individual.

References

WHO (2004). WHO guide to mental and neurological health in primary care (2nd edition) London: Royal Society of Medicine Press.


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