Routine psychological assessment:–
An initial 90 minute psychological assessment is carried out on all clients before any decision is made regarding choice of therapy. The routine assessment session is conducted in order to identify the specific psychological symptoms and difficulties that are deemed problematic. It involves the use of standardised assessment questionnaires and screening tools to assess the degree of symptom severity, along with consideration of whether seeking help from a clinical psychologist specialising in trauma focussed therapy is the most appropriate treatment plan. The assessment session also enables us to make sense of your difficulties by developing a shared understanding of how and why they emerged (referred to as a formulation). Finally, the assessment session informs an opinion as to what be the most suitable treatment plan, whether this be with a counsellor, therapist or a clinical psychologist such as myself. The outcome of the assessment session will be written up in a letter for you to keep. There is no obligation to proceed with therapy from myself, in fact. the letters can be helpful to present to your GP to assist in making appropriate referrals within the NHS. Hence the assessment session and outcome letter can serve as a ‘stand alone’ piece of work in itself, and used as a ‘road map’ to guide future therapy.
Specialist Psychological Assessment:-
A more in-depth specialist psychological assessment can also be conducted if requested. This more formal assessment, involves the administration of standardized psychometric measures and psycho-diagnostic tools. The purpose of this is when a more formal psychological report is required from organisations, for example occupational health, funding for therapy services or medico-legal purposes.
Traditional Cognitive Behavioural Therapies refer to wide range of ‘disorder specific’ approaches that involve the learning and application of skills to manage symptoms associated with common mental health conditions , such as anxiety and depression. There is a strong and well established evidence base that demonstrates the effectiveness of such approaches. It is precisely for this reason, that they are the dominant therapy model recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Effectiveness. CBT has a strong identity of being time limited and emphasis is placed on the active practical application of skills. These skills change the role our thoughts and behaviours play in maintaining emotional difficulties in the here and now – this was in contrast to earlier therapeutic models, such as psychodynamic/psychoanalytical models. Those earlier therapies tended to be more long term and did not necessarily require the client to be an active participant in their therapy, other than gaining insight into how the past has influenced the present symptoms.
Integrative psychotherapeutic approaches bring together elements from CBT and combine them with elements from earlier models of psychotherapy or philosophy ( attachment theory, psychodynamic psychotherapy, evolutionary psychology, systemic family therapy, Buddhism and neuropsychology). These integrative therapies have a growing evidence base indicating effectiveness in addressing difficulties that have originated earlier in life. They also incorporate creative approaches and exercises designed for clients to actively participate in self-management of symptoms in the here and now.
Integrative CBT therapies enable clients to make long-lasting change through healing the psychological wounds that originated early on in life and to develop a deeper, healthier and more compassionate relationship with ones-self moving forward.
If you are interested in learning more about the different therapy models Dr Taylor draws upon in her clinical practice, then I recommend the following:
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Compassionate Mind Focussed Therapy
Compassion focused therapy
Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
EMDR therapy is a highly effective and powerful therapy with a strong research base. As such it is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the treatment of choice for people who have experienced traumatic and emotionally painful adverse events. As an Accredited EMDR practitioner, Dr Taylor is trained to the highest standards of practice and ethical codes in trauma care. She is a member of the EMDR Association UK & Ireland and continues her professional development through attendance at EMDR Southwest training events and undertakes professional clinical supervision by an approved EMDR consultant level practitioner.
The basic premise of EMDR is that traumatic or emotionally distressing events are not encoded, stored and processed in the same way as non-traumatic events. Information from all 5 senses going into the brain ends up being stored in a ‘raw’ form and does not get integrated into long term memory and thus becomes frozen in time. When triggered, such sensory experiences are re-experienced as being in the present rather than as remembered from the past. Information about the event is not amenable to updating, despite how long ago the traumatic event occurred. As a consequence the negative and terrifying beliefs held at the time of the event become frozen in time. Hence living in a perpetual state of threat and distress. EMDR uses bilateral eye movements which ‘unblock’ the channels of processing enabling the raw sensory information and the meaning and beliefs associated with the event to travel through to the present
and become updated, re-processed and re-stored into long term memory. Now when triggered information about the event is ‘remembered’ not ‘re-lived’.
Dr Taylor uses a ‘Light Stream’ bar where clients follow the light with their eyes as the light moves from left to right. Headphones and hand held buzzers can also be used to create bi-lateral stimulation depending on the preference of client.
Further information on EMDR can be found on: