The two main principles behind psychotherapy are observation and interpretation. When working with children, the therapist observes the child or young person and responds to what they might be communicating through their behaviour and play. The therapist also applies his/her framework of thinking to work with parents, families and carers to ensure a deeper understanding of the child’s difficulties. When working with adults, the process involves pointed conversations based on observation.
Psychotherapy relies on communication as the basic tool for bringing about change in a person’s feelings and behaviours. For children and adolescents, playing, drawing, building, pretending, and talking are important ways of sharing feelings and resolving problems. For adults, writing exercises with specifically developed prompts are often utilised to encourage deep reflection.
Systemic therapy is rooted in family therapy. It works with the systems surrounding a child or young person to foster change. If a child is undergoing difficulties the family system will more than likely be affected. The aim of the therapy is to work on the difficulties the child / young person and family may be facing by helping family members to better understand and empathize with each other. This therapy investigates how the family may be maintaining the difficulty and explores techniques that can be used to achieve change.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a structured treatment approach that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It is based on the cognitive model: the way we perceive situations influences how we feel emotionally. When a person is distressed his/her perception of and thoughts regarding the distressing event may be inaccurate, distorted, and/or unrealistic. CBT aims to help an individual identify distressing thoughts, determine the objective accuracy of these thoughts, and learn cognitive and behavioral strategies that promote healthier thought patterns and actions.
CBT is goal oriented and focuses on immediate difficulties as well as long-term strategies. It requires active involvement by the client.
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the current moment. It involves training your mind to focus on ‘the now’ in order to promote an overall sense of well being. Mindfulness works with both children and adults, and CENTRED therapists teach clients age-appropriate ways to practice. This practice involves breathing exercises and a range of activities that incorporate the five human senses.
CENTRED is a therapeutic practice that offers psychological interventions for young people and their families, and adults dealing with social and emotional difficulties.