Integrative therapy, or integrative counselling is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies. Integrative therapists take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole and techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances.  A key advantage of integrative counselling and psychotherapy is its flexibility and focus on the whole of an individual. The integration of different approaches means therapy can be tailored to meet a variety of needs and concerns.

We provide short or long term counselling and psychotherapy for women and men of all ages (18+).  Shires Psychotherapy is strongly committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.

After making the initial contact, we will arrange a mutually convenient time for an initial consultation which carries no obligation to continue. This session will be 60 minutes, rather than 50 minutes as with regular sessions. This session will give you an opportunity to get a sense of how we work as well as for us to gain a deeper understanding of the difficulties you are experiencing. It will also give you an opportunity to decide whether the therapist is right for you, one of the most important elements of successful therapy. 

'Our philosophy is everybody is capable of change and has the potential to be the best they can be'

Shires Psychotherapy employ the following evidence-based modalities, approaches and theories:

(click ▼ for therapy description)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) combines two different approaches for a practical and solution-focused therapy. The therapy is very active by nature, so you may be expected to take a proactive role within your treatment, which may include completing tasks at home.  The idea behind CBT is that our thoughts and behaviours have an effect on each other and by changing the way we think or behave in a situation, we can change the way we feel about life. The therapy examines learnt behaviours, habits and negative thought patterns with the view of adapting and turning them into a positive.

CBT has become one of the most popular forms of talk therapy. It is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for common mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. 

 Attachment Informed Psychotherapy

From birth, we develop a close bond with our main caregivers (usually our parents). This attachment helps us to learn and develop in a trusting environment, even at such a young age, we know our parents will be there for us. However, strong and ‘secure’ attachments are not always made and in these cases, the security and safety element associated with parents is lost. This can make it difficult for the child to deal with new experiences and form relationships. Not forming this bond can lead to a set of behavioural and emotional difficulties which can affect development and lead to mental health problems later in life.

For adults who never addressed their attachment difficulties, psychotherapy can be incredibly beneficial. It offers space to explore losses, gain a sense of closure and learn how to create bonds as an adult (if this is a problem). This can all help adults with attachment difficulties build better relationships with friends, partners and their own children.

Mindfulness Based Interventions  

As humans, we have a tendency to work on autopilot a lot of the time - completing tasks automatically without really giving them any thought. Consider your drive to work in the morning - are you thinking about changing gears and steering, or are you mentally planning the day ahead?

Mindfulness aims to reconnect us with ourselves to alleviate stress. It also helps us to feel more attuned with our emotions and generally more aware of ourselves both mentally and physically. It is a specific way of paying attention to what is happening in our lives in the present moment, as it truly is. Of course it won't eliminate life's pressures - but with practice it can help us take notice of (and hopefully stop) negative, habitual reactions to everyday stress. The most common way this technique is practiced is through mindfulness meditation. This usually involves clients focusing on sights, sounds and physical sensations while trying to reduce 'brain chatter'. 

 Compassion Focused Therapy

Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) looks to help those who struggle with shame and self-criticism. Often these can be the driving forces behind other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. It is considered an integrative therapy as it uses tools and techniques from other psychotherapies.  The primary technique used is called Compassionate Mind Training (CMT). This aims to help people experience compassion and develop non-condemning attributes. CFT is particularly helpful for those who have the following; deep feelings of shame or guilt, a history of bullying, a history or physical or emotional abuse, an unrelenting inner critic, difficulties trusting, difficulties (or an inability) to feel kind towards themselves. It can therefore be helpful for those with the following mental health challenges; anxiety and panic attacks, depression, self-esteem issues, self-criticism, anger and self-harm.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) takes the view that by accepting negative thoughts and feelings, individuals can choose a valued direction in which to take action and make positive changes. In this way, ACT does not aim to directly change or stop unwanted problems and experiences. Instead it teaches individuals to develop a mindful relationship with them - promoting a psychological flexibility that encourages healthy contact with thoughts, reconnection with the here and now, realisation of personal values, and commitment to behaviour change. ACT can be beneficial for a wide range of individuals. The empowering message of the approach - to alter the function rather than the existence of unpleasant thoughts and feelings - makes it particularly useful in helping clients to cope with problems such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, trauma, substance abuse, eating disorders and chronic health conditions.

 Schema Focused Cognitive Therapy

Schema-Focused Cognitive Therapy (SFCT) is an integrative approach to therapy that combines the best aspects of cognitive-behavioural, experiential, interpersonal and psychoanalytic therapies into one model. SFTC has shown remarkable results in helping people to change negative patterns which they have lived with for a long time, even when other methods and efforts they have tried before have been largely unsuccessful. The schemas that are targeted in treatment are enduring and self-defeating patterns that typically begin early in life. These patterns consist of negative/dysfunctional thoughts and feelings, have been repeated and elaborated upon, and pose obstacles for accomplishing one's goals and getting one's needs met. Some examples of schema beliefs are: "I'm unlovable," "I'm a failure," "People don't care about me," "I'm not important," "Something bad is going to happen," "People will leave me," "I will never be good enough," and so on. The goal of schema therapy is to help you break these ways of thinking, feeling and behaving, and replacing them with healthier alternatives. SFCT is used to help many conditions and concerns, but particularly those who feel the origin of their condition/concern comes from their early life.

MultiModal Therapy 

MultiModal Therapy (MMT) is an integrative approach to psychotherapy based on the idea that humans are biological beings that think, feel, act, sense, imagine, and interact—and that psychological treatment should address each of these modalities. According to MMT, each individual is affected in different ways and in different amounts by each dimension of personality, and should be treated accordingly for treatment to be successful. It sees individuals as products of interplay among genetic endowment, physical environment, and social learning history. This therapy is helpful for most mental health issues.

 Person Centered Approach

The counsellor or psychotherapist in this approach works to understand an individual's experience from their point of view. The counsellor must positively value the client as a person in all aspects of their humanity, while aiming to be open and genuine. This is vital to helping an individual feel accepted and better understand their own feelings - essentially helping them to reconnect with their inner values and sense of self-worth. This reconnection with their inner resources enables them to find their own way to move forward.

'The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change'
Carl Rogers

Shires Psychotherapy is able to provide expert psychological therapy for a range of difficulties:

Anxiety

Phobias, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Worry

Attachment Disorder

Childhood Experiences, Attachment Issues

Bereavement and Loss

Depression

Bipolar Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Low Mood

Life Changes

Low Self Confidence/Low Self Esteem

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Physical Health Issues

Cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, Chronic Pain, Diabetes

Relationship Issues

Stress

Trauma

Work Related Stress

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