cognitive behavioural therapy, cbt, counselling cheshire, crewe, mental health, depression, ocd, ptsd, anger management, anxiety and stress

My Profile
I am an experienced psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer, and have over 20 years of experience in treating a wide range of problems and mental health issues. In November 2016 Val was the first of three people in the world to graduate with an academic qualification in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR).

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Please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be more than pleased to help.

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Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT)

CBT can help you to change how you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). These changes can help you to feel better. CBT looks for ways to improve your state of mind by exploring how you currently think about yourself, the world and other people and how that effects your reaction to situations.

Strong research shows that the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy promotes self help and enables people to maintain the improvements made during their course of therapy. CBT has numerous clinical research trials to support its use with a range of psychological problems. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Department of Health recommend the availability of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for common and severe mental health problems.

Further information about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is available on the web site:

Third Wave CBT Therapies: ACT, CFT, SFCBT and BA Therapies - Third wave CBT therapies are adapted to the needs of the individual.

ACT - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

ACT is a revolutionary mindfulness-based approach for overcoming stress, anxiety and depression. ACT differs from CBT in that instead of challenging distressing thoughts by looking for evidence and coming up with a more rational response (CBT), in ACT, the thought is accepted as a thought.

It teaches you a variety of techniques and ways to undermine struggle, avoidance and loss of the moment. ACT uses three broad categories of techniques: mindfulness, defusion techniques, acceptance and commitment to values-based living.

Further information about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is available on the web site:

CFT - Compassion Focused Therapy

Compassion Focused Therapy CFT), also known as Compassionate Mind Training (CMT). Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) was developed to help individuals who experience high levels of shame, self-criticism, emotional difficulties, low mood and/or high levels of anxiety.

CFT increases awareness and understanding of the automatic reactions we all experience that have evolved in humans over millions of years and which the individual has also learned from early childhood. The key principles of CFT are to motivate individuals to care for their own well-being, to become sensitive to their own needs and distress, and to extend warmth and understanding towards themselves. The client is encouraged to employ these self-soothing actions as they engage in CBT techniques.

Further information about Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is available on the web site:

SFCBT - Schema Focused Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

Schema therapy provides psychotherapy that is especially well suited to individuals with entrenched, chronic psychological problems. Jeffrey Young, Ph.D. began developing schema therapy in the mid-80s in an effort to help individuals with chronic characterological problems that were not being adequately helped with traditional cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).

Schema therapy blends techniques from various therapeutic methods as a means to permanently alter the behaviour patterns of individuals with these life-long issues. The therapy is founded in the belief that schemas, or maladaptive behaviours, are formed in early childhood and relived throughout adulthood.

Individuals are helped to understand how their childhood development and background relates to the difficulties they experience in adulthood. The therapist will take a detailed personal, relationship and family history about the individual's early experiences and relationships with key caregivers in the individual's life.

The core belief that schema therapy is founded on is that of needs fulfilment. If the basic needs of childhood are not met: affection, guidance, love, shelter, and safety, then the individual will enter into adulthood with an emotional deficit in these areas. That is, when the schemas form and continue to disrupt the life of the individual through unhealthy choices, toxic relationships, diminished social skills, destructive behaviour patterns, poor sense of judgment, poor feelings of self-worth and a general dysfunction on all levels of behaviour.

Schema therapy will help an individual to construct nurturing relationships and discover one's own true origins. Schema therapy can help an individual build feeling of self-worth and adequacy. With these as a foundation, the individual can work with the therapist to design and achieve goals that result in a healthier, happier life experience.

Further information about Schema Focused CBT (SFCBT) is available on the web site:

BA - Behavioural Activation Therapy

Behavioural Activation was originally designed as a treatment for depression. However, it has been found to be helpful with other problems. Behavioural Activation treatment focuses on changing behaviours to address problems individuals may be experiencing.

The main goals in behavioural activation therapy is to increase activity levels and prevent avoidance behaviours and help the individual take part in positive and rewarding activities which can improve his/her mood.

Further information about Behavioural Activation Therapy (BA) is available on their web site:

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

EMDR is a relatively new integrative psychotherapeutic approach. It was specifically developed to treat severe trauma, but is increasingly used to treat other problems/disorders. EMDR theory asserts that when you are traumatised by an overwhelming event, your natural coping mechanism can become overloaded. This overloading can result in disturbing experiences remaining frozen in your brain (unprocessed state). Unprocessed memories and feelings are stored in the limbic system of your brain in a 'raw' and emotional form, rather than in a verbal 'story' mode.

The limbic system maintains traumatic memories in an isolated memory network that is associated with emotions and physical sensations, which are disconnected from the brain's cortex where we use language to store memories. The limbic system's traumatic memories can be continually triggered when you experience events similar to the difficult experiences you have been through. Often the memory itself is long forgotten, but the painful feelings such as: anxiety, panic, anger, despair are continually triggered in the present. Individuals' ability to live in the present and learn from new experiences can become inhibited. EMDR helps create the connections between your brain's memory networks, which enables your brain to process the traumatic memory in a very natural way.

After a thorough assessment you will be asked specific questions about your traumatic memory. Eye movements similar to those during REM sleep will be recreated by asking you to watch a bar of moving lights, or instead, following sounds or pulsars using tactile pulsars or headphones. This is achieved through 'bilateral stimulation'; alternating attention between the two hemispheres of the brain so that it transfers information between them. This will last a short time and then stop and then you will be asked to report back on the experiences you have had during each of these sets of eye movements. The memory tends to change in such a way that it loses its painful intensity and simply becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past.

Further information about Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is available on the web site:

The below link is a video explaining how Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) works on trauma memories. It is then followed by a demonstration of a typical EMDR session.

Further information is available on the following web sites: and / or

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Valerie Grattage-Rushton
Telephone: 01270 256712
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