Dr Tim Keen

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years experience working in the NHS and private settings.  I am trained in a range of psychological therapy approaches with my mainstay being Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) for which I have a completed a comprehensive two year training to Practitioner Level and EMDR in which I am trained to advanced level through a training course approved by EMDR International Association and by EMDR Europe Association.

Below I have described a little more about what CAT and EMDR is and the type of problems these approaches may be helpful with.  If you think either of these psychological therapies may be of useful to you why not contact me for a chat.

 

What problems can CAT help with?

CAT tries to focus on what a person brings to the therapy (‘target problems’) and the deeper patterns of relating that underlie them. It is less concerned with traditional psychiatric symptoms, syndromes or labels.

CAT recognises that people are so much more than their identified problems or diagnoses and helps each individual find their own language for what appears to go wrong as well as setting manageable goals to bring about change.

•     You might have problems that have been given a name by a health worker such as depression, anxiety, phobia, or borderline personality disorder

•     You might recognise that you are suffering from unmanageable stress or that you self-harm

•     You might have problems with substance misuse or suffer with an eating disorder

•     You may have a pattern of difficulty in looking after yourself properly or unsuccessful or broken relationships

•     You might have long-term physical symptoms that are difficult to manage and affect the way you feel about yourself and your close relationships

•     You might have tried other types of therapy, or different things to help you cope with your difficulties

CAT recognises that people are so much more than their identified problems or diagnoses

As a CAT therapists I commonly work with people with eating disorders, those with addiction problems (like drugs and alcohol), obsessional problems, anxiety, depression, phobias, psychosis, bipolar illness.

How does CAT work?

CAT is a very active therapy, inviting you to be the observer of your own life and to take part in what needs change. The changes needed may be small, such as stopping being caught in a trap of avoiding things, or they may be larger, such as finding new ways of relating to other people. The first thing that happens with any human encounter is our reaction to the other person. If we feel warm and happy we are likely to feel accepted. Conversely, if we feel got at, criticised or humiliated we tend to feel hurt and misunderstood, we might respond by being angry and defensive or give up trying and get depressed and isolated. Many of our automatic responses to other people stem from patterns of relating in early life.

For example, if you had learned in your childhood that you only received love and care by pleasing others you might have the belief: ‘Only if I always do what others want will I be liked’ which puts you in a trap of pleasing others, and can lead to you feeling used and abused. When you realise you have got used to being in this trap you can start to notice how often it catches you and can begin to change what you do and learn to find other more useful ways of standing up for yourself and relating to others. CAT shows you the way to change your learned attitudes and beliefs about yourself and others, and helps you focus on ways to make better choices.

CAT shows you the way to change your learned attitudes and beliefs about yourself and others, and helps you focus on ways to make better choices.

The process of a CAT therapy is to help us look at patterns of relating, and the effect these patterns are having on our relationships, our work and the way we are with ourselves. Together with your therapist, in the safety of the therapeutic relationship you will gradually develop an understanding of the ways in which you have learned to cope with what has happened in your life. Often people who have been through abuse, neglect or trauma feel bad about themselves and this can affect self-confidence. The active part of CAT helps you to take part in the process of change in your own way. CAT is a very creative therapy and the process of understanding and self discovery may involve painting as well as writing, movement , self-reflection and learning to self-monitor through journal keeping.

EMDR – Eye Movement Densensitisation and Reprocessing. What might it help with and how does it work?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.

EMDR is based on the theory that significantly traumatic experiences (one off or repeated) overwhelm the minds natural ability to adaptively process (or “digest”) the trauma experience leading to a range of characteristic problems including, for some, the hall mark symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) e.g. re-experiencing of the trauma through intrusive recollections, flashbacks and nightmares; avoidance of people, places or activities associated with the trauma; increased anxiety and depression.  Such memories may also have a lasting and broad  negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.

EMDR aims to enable and support the minds natural adaptive processing ability.  In doing so experience is moved from a stuck “trauma bubble” to become adaptively integrated into autobiographical memory (the story of our lives).  This process can reduce the power, vividness, emotionality and distress that the stuck raw unprocessed experiences can have on a person. In effect EMDR, when successful, puts past events back in the past where they belong so you can get on with your life here in the present