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Psychological Treatments on offer in Dumfries
For various mood problems including depression, anxiety, trauma, Post traumatic stress, stress symptoms and many more. Main treatments explained here:  CBT, mindfulness based Therapy Compassionate Mind therapy and ACT.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

What is it and how does it work?

CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy is based on the theory that it is not the situation itself we are in that causes us most distress but how we view and interpret it. The way we make sense of the world around us now is often tainted by our previous experiences.    What we think affects, how we feel and behave in situations which has been shown in research evidence.
CBT and Depression
Thus when we are low or depressed in mood we tend to think more negatively  (e.g." I will never get better, I am crap at this")  and tend to avoid doing things, such as meeting people. However, that cycle tends to draw us more into depression. Similarily when we feel anxious we usually worry about the what if's related to anxious body symptoms such as shakiness, heart beating fast. For example you may worry about having a heart attack, collapsing or making a fool of yourself when feeling anxious. This can lead to avoidance or unhelpful safety strategies which keep the anxiety going.
Thus both our thoughts or cognitions (=C) and what we do in situations (= Behaviour  )  are important factors which can keep negative feeling loops going. Thus this treatment targets both with an aim to untangle  ourselves from these negative downward loops.  Treatment focus in CBT is usually more in the here and now and it is a very active form of treatment, where you will  be asked to  try out new ways of coping in between sessions in order for you to progress quickly.   You will also learn to either distance yourself from difficult thoughts or challenge them and thus learn other more  balanced ways of looking at the world.
Who benefits from CBT?
This  psychological treatment  approach has been found highly effective  in research and health board guidelines for those suffering from low mood or depression and various anxiety problems, including panic attacks, phobias, excessive worriers, OCD, etc. It also cen be beneficial for anger issues and some addictive tendencies and specific eating problems such as Binge eating or Bulimia.


What is it? 


 The Compassionate Mind therapy approach is  based on Paul Gilbert and Collegues' theory and research (e.g.  in: Mindful Compassion, P Gilbert and Choden, 2013 or P Gilbert: The Compassionate Mind, 2009, see self help books).


This approach is specifically helpful for people who have deep-routed negative self-esteem or are very hard on themselves, often leading to chronic depression or social anxiety. If you feel you are constantly dragging yourself down with negative messages, which you cannot shift, this can often be a very helpful form of treatment. If like other people  you get plagued by extreme  negative messages about yourself such as "I hate myself" " I am unlovable, worthless " etc this can be a useful approach. Compassionate Mind therapy will help you find the origins for these messages and than re-train your mind to be kinder to yourself through repeated compassionate mind practices. 
Theory Behind it and what does Compassion Mind
therapy involve:
According to  this model of working it is believed that for some of us due to our upbringing and childhood experiences our emotional threat-system is over-
developed and keeps bullying us. 
This system is the source of painful and difficult feelings, such as anxiety, anger, shame or  low mood. We all have this threat system in common as it has evolved as a protection system to keep us safe.  Due to this evolution of our brain, our brain gives more priority to dealing with threats  and negative thoughts than with pleasurable things. Your threat system is your basic ‘fall back system’ the easiest of all to feel and to trigger.
Thus it is not your fault , if you are feeling frequently low or anxious due to what you have been through it makes probably sense and helped you keep safe in the environment you grew up in.
Through various psychological treatment techniques  including mindfulness,  you will learn some helpful insights and more importantly self-compassion strategies. Thus you will  through compassionate mind treatment gradually train yourself to think and feel more self-soothed and calm. This  can also  help you   to slowly  start looking at  yourself from a more helpful and kind point of view.
Who might benefit?
Entreched long standing depressed people, who have extreme negative thoughts about themselves, personality disorder clients, childhood trauma victims including sexual abuse, physical abuse etc. or very low self-esteem & social anxiety which is  of long standing nature. Fore more information check out the link below:
Compassionate Mind Therapy  in Dumfries
Mindfulness Based cognitiveTherapies

What is Mindfulness and how does it work?

For some Clients with more chronic but less severe mood issues a mindfulness approach can be more helpful.
This approach teaches us with various exercises to stay focussed in the present moment- rather than constantly struggeling with avoiding emotions such as anger, low mood or anxiety. The focus in the here and now with acceptance and kindness often helps reduce our suffering with worries about the future or helps us facing difficult emotions we might otherwise learn to avoid. We know from research and experience that when we avoid tricky feelings they often  come back with more force.   The struggle with pushing  thoughts away can away all the time can be extremely exhausting as it keeps them more stuck in our mind, thus creating rumination.
How can Mindfulness change this?
Mindfulness teaches us to gently and kindly focus our mind on one thing at a time such as our breath and our body. It also shows us to be more kind and compassionate with ourselves and  more accepting of what thoughts and feelings show up. Thus over time we can feel calmer and more at ease with ourselves. This is quite a different approach from CBT where we directly challenge thoughts, here this is a more gentler and holistic approach, which nevertheless requires practice and commitment for it to be effective. However research has shown that regular mindful practice leads to a more calm, positive mind and  benefits general wellbeing ( see M.Williams & D. Penman, 2011, in Finding peace in a frantic World; see selfhelpbooks & Barrie Davenport, 2014).
Who benefits from Mindfulness or MBSR:
Clients with chronic relapsing depression, anxiety stress, a mixture of health and moodissues and many more. If you want to find out more about this treatment approach and if this woudl suit you just contact Dr Karina Woldt, Clinical Psychologist Dumfries on the number above.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Our minfulness trained clinical Psychologist offers roughly once to twice a year an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress reduction Course following the principles of mindfulness and of John Kabatt Zinn and Mark Williams. These are small group based coping skills courses which can be helpful if you are stressed out, have recurring depression, but are currently less severely symptomatic  or have chronic health issues such as pain management issues or fatigue. 


The core skill that you will learn as with individual Mindfulness  therapy is  a way of paying attention, on purpose and non-judgementally, to what goes on in the present moment in your body, mind, and the world around you. 


Most people completing MBSR programmes report that they gain lasting benefits, such as:

  • more energy and enthusiasm

  • a greater capacity for relaxation

  • enhanced self-confidence

  • an increased ability to handle stressful situation


The course is based on an amalgamation of the MBSR course developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the USA and the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course, developed by Segal, Williams and Teasdale.


For more information  I will let you know regarding course availability nearer the time and provide a leaflet. If you are interested in being put on a waiting list for an upcoming course in the area than please let me know and leave me an email number .

ACT: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy


What is it?

The main aim of ACT is not like in so many other therapies getting rid of the difficulty or focussing on complete symptom reduction. ACT  comes from the therapeutic knowledge and research experience that by  wanting to avoid difficult thoughts and feelings, they tend to often get bigger and more noticable - the paradox of "secondary suffering". Thus ACT's main aim is to refocus back on what is really important to you in life- your main values. The aim is to create a meaningful rich life that is worth living, rather than focussing on symptom reduction per se.   As Russ Harris puts it in the "Happiness Trap" self help book:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, known as ‘ACT’  is a mindfulness-based behavioural therapy that challenges the ground rules of most Western psychology. In that it proposes negative feelings and thoughts are normal part of normal human life. However, those that get entangled in their negative thoughts and mood often are  tend to try and avoid negative thoughts the most thus getting "fused" with these trcky experiences. 

Try the following experiment try for 2 minutes not to think of a bright pink Hippo. How often did you think of one? Make a line each time. Now do the same by simply letting your thoughts be and pass by. Did you notice a difference?


Treatment here follows an eclectic mix of metaphor, paradox,

and mindfulness skills, along with a wide range of exercises and values-guided interventions and changes helping you to a more enriched life.


Who does ACT work  benefit?

ACT has proven to be effective with a diverse range of

clinical conditions; depression, anxiety , OCD, workplace stress, chronic fatigue and other health conditions. For further reading see Russ Harris the Happiness Trap ( see self help books) or link below and go to patient related handouts:

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