Therapy in the NHS

I have been continuing with my placement in an NHS Mental Health Trust and it seems that with every visit I learn something new.  I had been familiar with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) before the start of my placement through my lectures and my own prior knowledge. However, this week I attended a team meeting in a sexual behaviour unit in a forensics unit and learned about the Dialectical behaviour therapy treatment programme.

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), a cognitive behavioural therapy, was developed byMarsha Linehan, PhD, at the University of Washington, and is a type of psychotherapy (sometimes called “talking therapy”) for borderline personality disorder (BPD). Of course I get reminded that in psychiatry one is often dealing with the treatment of sometimes severe mental illnesses.  In psychotherapy, especially private practice, one is less likely to encounter clients with the onset of such illnesses. Mentalization-based treatment (MBT) is a type of psychotherapy created to treat people with borderline personality disorder.Reflecting back group psychotherapy is also a new concept to me. However, it is apt that I am about to start group process work on my course when compulsory attendance is required for the  duration of the work.

I am often asked why I don’t offer a critique of these models in my blog posts.  However, whilst I might have some preliminary thoughts and views, I need to gain exposure of how these models work in practice before I can comment on the effectiveness of these models. One thing for sure is that awareness of more treatment models is helpful for devising short term treatment models for my new placement in a counselling centre in West London which offers clients 6 sessions, in the first instance.  This will be a great  opportunity to blend theory with practical application.

My NHS placement also offers invaluable insight into how treatments such as ECT andpharmacological treatment work for depressed patients.    More about this in future posts …..

Psychotherapy in the NHS
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Eating Disorders

About Noel Bell

Psychotherapist in London. Check out my blog posts and more at
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