Individuals and Couples
The aim of psychological therapy is to help you understand your problems and yourself better. Dr Lamba can help you gain awareness and insight into your difficulties within a relational framework of therapy. By gaining insight, developing new skills and ways of relating, you will slowly work your way to becoming your own psychologist. The ultimate aim within psychological therapy is for you to begin feeling free and empowered through your psychological journey.
At Blue River Psychology, Dr Lamba an integrative practitioner, holding a firm base in psychodynamic and attachment theory and this may also include incorporating techniques from other therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive behavioural, compassion-focussed or narrative therapy.
Blue River Psychology would like to help provide some psychoeducation and information on these approaches so you have a better understanding of therapy approaches.
Please know that Dr Lamba is available to provide face to face appointments in her clinic, as well as online through video counselling for people who live further afield, providing this is deemed appropriate. Assessment is an on-going process even when therapy begins as new information often comes up and changes can happen over time.
Psychodynamic and Attachment
Psychodynamic therapies do not hold a singular definition. This therapeutic approach is based on a collection of analytic therapies. The founding father of psychodynamic therapy is Sigmund Freud, but this approach developed and continually redefined itself through the work of Carl Jung and Melanie Klein (that's just naming a few!).
The goal of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious into the conscious mind, with the intention of aiding people to untangle, experience and then understand their truer, often deep-rooted thoughts and feelings, so they can then resolve psychological conflicts. The idea is that as human beings, our unconscious mind stores painful experiences and memories, which might be too difficult for the conscious mind to process.
As human beings, we ultimately defend against these painful memories from surfacing, so that we are able to cope and get on with everyday life. We may use certain defence mechanisms to help us, such as denial, projection and/or repression. Now, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater! We need defence mechanisms, they are a necessary part of our human psyche and existence. Without our defence mechanisms, we would probably struggle to cope and survive. However, it's when these defence mechanisms become over-used and problems are not dealt with, that is when these defence mechanisms can do more harm than good.
It is the deep-rooted feelings that can impact our thoughts and behaviour and cause psychological distress.
Attachment theory is a relational model, which considers how early attachment experiences can act as blueprint from which we operate and relate with others. It looks at whether we developed a secure base in which we can explore the world safely and know that we can turn to our loved ones for support if needed and believe that they will be there.
Psychodynamic therapy has a good evidence-base for a variety of psychological issues, such as major and/or recurring depression, relationship difficulties and eating disorders.
The core aim is to develop a trusting therapeutic relationship to aid the exploration of deep-rooted difficulties and internal conflicts, which can effect mood and behaviour.
There are numerous techniques to achieving the above, including thinking about the transference in the therapeutic relationship and providing interpretations about what might be happening.
Transference in Therapy
The client may quite literally transfer feelings for a significant other (a person whom they have a relationship with, a parent and/or sibling) onto the therapist. This may happen unconsciously. The therapist can then gain a window in to the client's relational world and use the therapeutic relationship to explore unconscious conflicts and defence mechanisms that may play themselves out in the room.
Here the therapist will provide thoughts or interpretations on the issues that clients bring to therapy.
Psychodynamic therapy is often used for long term therapy, but it is possible to work in a short term frame as well (depending on the difficulties one is experiencing). The aim is to help a person gain insight and awareness into their problems and the therapist will actively encourage change.
Psychodynamic therapy may be more effective for individuals who are genuinely interested in exploring their inner self, seeking insight and change within their life. There needs to be a capacity for self-reflection, curiosity of your internal world and an interest in learning about why you behave the way you do.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT can be used to treat a wide range of psychological problems and has good evidence base. The key tenets of CBT is that our thoughts, feelings and behaviour (and sometimes physical sensations), all act together to create certain patterns. Specifically, our thoughts impact how we feel and act.
The idea is that when we interpret situations in a negative way, this will usually have a negative impact on the actions we end up taking. CBT helps a client develop alternative ways of thinking and behaving, therefore reducing psychological distress.
Compassion-Focussed Therapy (CFT)
CFT aims to help promote mental and emotional healing by encouraging people in treatment to be compassionate toward themselves and other people. Compassion, both toward the self and toward others, is an emotional response believed by many to be an essential aspect of well-being. Its development may often have the benefit of improved mental and emotional health.
CFT will provide you with an opportunity to understand the basic emotion regulation system that is within us all. CFT demonstrates evidence base for many different problems, such as depression, anxiety, disordered eating and postnatal depression. However it is particularly helpful with self-criticism and shame related experiences. Dr Lamba has attended introductory training in CFT, delivered by Dr Chris Irons a UK psychologist, who has written many books on the subject.
Narrative therapy is rapidly gaining precedence in the psychotherapy world. It is an approach that seeks to externalise human difficulties and not see the person as a problem, but the problem as the problem! The therapy is centred on a non-blaming approach and involves exploring how we interpret the difficulties we are experiencing. There is a focus on your life story or stories. The stories we hold in mind about our life are created through linking certain life events in a particular sequence across time. We give these events and experiences meaning. It is this meaning that forms the plot of the story. We are continuously living in a life where we give meaning to daily experiences; the "narrative" is similar to the thread that weaves the story together, creating a story. We have stories, about our relationships, our competencies, our difficulties, our actions, our work, our achievements and/or failures and more. These stories ultimately shape our individual and social identity. In narrative therapy we use the power of stories to help you discover your real values in life.
Struggling in your Relationship?
Whilst Dr Lamba's main experience is in working with individuals, she has developed an interest in couples work, which is informed by attachment models and emotionally focussed therapy principles. Love, relationships and marriage are deeply central to our life, our identity, security, sense of belonging and overall fulfilment. It can almost be the lifeblood of our existence. A loving relationship is ultimately an intimate bond and connection with another human being, who we regard as our partner in life and who views us as their life partner. Love and relationships can define and shape us.
So what happens when this deeply important bond becomes shaken? What happens when we feel our connection is threatened in some way? We feel helpless and lost. In fact Freud said we are never more helpless than when we lose love. This quote conjures an image of boxes being packed and the partner moving out, which demonstrates a very explicit end of a relationship or marriage. But loss can also be a felt experience whilst still in the relationship.
There can be a sense that a once deeply attached bond has somehow become fragmented. This fragmentation can be due to major life events but also due to slowly drifting apart, developing alternative interests or having intense work schedules which prohibit either partner from having space to nurture their relationship.
Confidence with Dating, Relationships and Intimate Connections
Perhaps you're not in a relationship currently and you are struggling to develop or maintain intimate connections. Perhaps you are keen to meet someone to develop a meaningful and intimate bond, but struggle with "putting yourself out there". Past relational wounds or experiences of rejection can impact our confidence in meeting someone. If you'd like to work on your confidence with dating and building relationships as an individual, then our service can help you. Get in touch today!