Sebastian’s evidence-based Approach

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is the psychological therapy with the most solid and wide evidence base for efficacy and effectiveness. Today’s CBT was mainly influenced by Behaviour Therapy (1950s & 60s) and Cognitive Therapy (1960s & 70s). The behaviourist movement focused on the connection between stimuli and responses. The “cognitive revolution” emphasized mental processes such as thoughts, beliefs and interpretations. The cognitive model assumes, that between a stimulus and an (emotional) response, there are cognitions which influence our responses individually. The behavioural principle regards what we do as pivotal in maintaining or changing psychological states. The areas of interest in counselling and therapy are cognition, emotion, behaviour and physiology which form an interacting system.

“I have been working with Sebastian for about a year now, seeing him once each week for an hour. I sought out a professional to help me handle the collapse of my marriage and the subsequent impact that had on my professional life, family life, living situation, friendships, and finances. Sebastian has been invaluable in keeping my mind focused, my head above water, and my emotions in check throughout this turbulent period …

G.R.W. Managing Director, Restructuring, Turnaround & Transformation Industry

CBT assumes that mental health problems occurr on the same continuum as healthy processes and not on a different dimension. The general focus is on the here and now where stressful states such as depression, anxiety and anger are often perpetuated or exacerbated by biased ways of thinking. The meaning of Negative Thoughts and Core Beliefs is examined and tested against “reality”.

Historically, the empirically supported movement of prediction and control of behaviour can be seen as the First Wave of CBT. The Second Wave took into account that language and cognition provides human beings unique possibilities of learning – processing and reflection. Today’s Third Wave approaches aim at experiencing problematic thoughts and emotions in different ways. In my approach to psychotherapy I will engage with you in order for you to find out how.

evidence-based counselling

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a metacognitive approach which emphasizes that all cognitions are mental events and as such can become objects of our awareness. We can focus on what is going on in our minds. Moreover, we can build our mental muscles to train our attention and awareness.

“… I find Sebastian to be calm, professional, objective, witty, astute, and above all, mindful. He challenges me to face head-on the issues in my personal and professional life, and brings a charismatic clarity and long term perspective to my blind spots. Often he will state the obvious, which is exactly what I need to hear. At other times, we will enquire together to reveal an underlying disfunctional pattern or behaviour. Whatever it is we’re working on, I know I can count on Sebastian to be objective and thorough. In all my interactions with Sebastian, he has been mindful, caring, and a stand for my success and wellbeing. I highly recommend Sebastian and am happy to act as a reference for him.”

G.R.W. Managing Director, Restructuring, Turnaround & Transformation Industry

ACT addresses the content of the meta-cognition and the way in which thoughts are experienced and regulated. Furthermore, the goal of this therapy is to help clients choose effective behaviours even in the face of interfereing thoughts and emotions. Psychological Flexibility can be understood as the ability to experience the present moment fully as a conscious, historical being. Well-Being is promoted through changing and persisting of behaviour in order to achieve and maintain valued living and through mindfulness.

Similar approaches are found in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) or Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB).

couple counseling

Lovers are regulators of each other’s emotional functioning. Intimate relationships have power and influence over mental and physical health. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) uses proven interventions – empirically validated – which base on attachment theory and the science of love. EFT is founded on a close and careful analysis of the meanings and contributions of emotion to human experience and change in therapy. … The goals are strengthening the self, regulating affect and creating new meaning (Greenberg L.S. 2011. EFT).

In recent years the role of emotion in marriage distress and couple therapy has become much more accepted. At this point, EFT is the most empirically validated approach to couple therapy, apart from behavioral approaches, and has 30 years of outcome and process research to draw on. The approach is grounded in a clear theoretical base. This base consists of first a theory of change, which arises from a synthesis of humanistic experiential  therapy and systems theory, and second a theory of adult love, which is viewed as an attachment process. EFT is used for a wide variety of couples and partners, including partners from different cultures, backgrounds and orientations (Johnson S.M. 2004. Practice EFT).

For further information on the base of evidence and resources for couples please click here to reach the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy.