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Therapy styles

Dr Justin is trained in and practices the following evidence-based psychological therapies

He will discuss with you which approach or combination of approaches will be most helpful.  In general, when working with individuals, Dr Justin tends to integrate acceptance and commitment therapy with cognitive-analytic therapy, or acceptance and commitment therapy with cognitive-behavioural therapy. When working with couples, Dr Justin practices emotionally focussed therapy. Sex therapy tends to utilise ideas and techniques from a range of different therapy models.

Here is more information about the different styles of psychological therapy that Dr Justin offers.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

ACT is based on the principle that your attempts to control your ‘symptoms’ or distress may actually be making your distress worse. This is because difficult and distressing thoughts, emotions and physical sensations are as much a part of being human as your enjoyable thoughts, emotions and sensations. Therefore, if they are a part of being human, that means it is quite likely that it is not possible to get rid of them! Therefore, if you can begin to accept (not ‘like’ or ‘want’) them for what they are, you can begin to live with them and invest your energy in walking towards (instead of being distracted from) what is important in your life. Put simply, ACT is about working towards accepting yourself and committing yourself to your own values. Research shows that when people live their life in this way their distress begins to reduce.

For more information on ACT visit the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science.

Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT)

CAT explores your past and current relationships. It focusses on how coping strategies to earlier life problems may now be used too rigidly or may be ineffective. Current difficulties experienced may be made worse by habitual coping strategies. The focus is on recognising how these coping procedures originated and how they can be adapted and improved. The work is active and shared. Diagrams and written outlines are worked out together to help recognise, challenge and revise old patterns that do not work well. It is a semi-structured therapy.

For more information on CAT visit the Association of Cognitive Analytic Therapy.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT aims to help people change patterns of thinking or behaviour that are causing, or contributing to, problems. Changing how you think and behave can change how you feel emotionally. CBT tends to focus on why problems are maintained rather than why they developed. Dr Justin and you will agree goals for treatment and you will be asked to try things out between sessions. It is a structured therapy.

For more information on CBT visit the British Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies.

Couple therapy (utilising emotionally focussed therapy; EFT)

Dr Justin advocates a three session assessment which is made up of a joint session, one individual session (the session is split in half so each person has time to talk in private) and a second joint session*. During the first joint assessment session you will both be asked to provide your view of the relationship, how the relationship started and developed, and how the two of you engage with each other. In the individual session you will be asked about your family of origin and previous romantic and/ or sexual relationships. In the final assessment session you will talk about what hopes you have for the future of the relationship (e.g., to stay together or to separate) and how these might be worked towards; Dr Justin will provide you with feedback on how he sees the strengths and struggles in your relationship and on what he thinks will be helpful for you. There are a number of possible outcomes from the couple assessment: to engage in couple therapy; for one or both partners to engage in individual therapy instead of, or in addition to, couple therapy; not to engage in any therapy.

If couple therapy is pursued the sessions will enable each partner to increasingly talk about their concerns and feelings in a way that their partner is able to hear them, validate them and address their needs. As emotional intimacy develops and partners feel more connected they are usually well placed to work out their own problems or to learn/ enhance skills such as problem solving. Depending on the nature of the difficulty at the heart of the relationship and the type of support you are looking for, Dr Justin may encourage you to complete tasks between sessions.  

*A brief couple assessment can be carried out in one session, however, Dr Justin believes that this does not allow enough time for each person in the relationship to tell their story and for the complexities of the relationship to be understood – this has the potential to undermine any subsequent therapy.

For more information on EFT visit the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Sex therapy

Sex therapy focusses on issues of sexuality within the context of relationships (with self and others) whether the person is in a relationship or not and whether they come to therapy alone or with someone else. The issues or difficulties faced are often related to sexual ‘performance’ (i.e., desire, arousal, orgasm and pain). However, sex therapy also includes working with people who want to explore sexual abuse and assault experiences, sexual orientation and preferences (for example, kinky sex), or the impact of ill health on sexual health and relationships. Sex therapy is an integrative approach, drawing on ideas from systemic, cognitive, behavioural and psychodynamic ideas.  Clients are often are asked to try out specific techniques or exercises at home.

For more information on sex therapy visit the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists.

How therapy works

Common issues

Therapy styles


A range of psychological models are offered so that you can receive the therapy that works for you...