Dr Antonietta Dicaccavo, PhD. CBT Psychotherapist &Counselling Psychologist
I am a fully accredited CBT psychotherapist and a registered counselling psychologist with experience in the NHS and private practice. I offer cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to support clients working through a range of issues. Everyone experiences difficulties in their life at some time, and cognitive behavioural therapy is likely to help you to better understand and cope with them.
Some people also use therapy to get to know themselves better, understand how their past experiences influence their current situations and, to explore and develop new approaches to life.
I am also happy to work with trainee counsellors who accrue time in therapy as part of their training, particularly if they are seeking support with cognitive behavioural approaches to working.
My way of working
My therapeutic approach is based on the understanding that the ways we feel, think and behave are inter-related. By modifying thinking and behaviour, to become more adaptive and flexible, we are likely to be able to change difficult and distressing feelings.
In this way, it is not necessarily just events themselves that cause us distress, but the way we think about and respond to what happens to us which affects the way we deal with life. This approach is described in psychology as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT for short.
My way of working is also based on the understanding that individuals are more likely to grow and develop in the context of warm, respectful and accepting relationships. Through a collaborative and supportive relationship with the therapist, clients can learn how to challenge unhelpful thinking and learn new ways of approaching life that are likely to give rise to a more peaceful and satisfactory ways of being.
On the basis of extensive research, CBT is recommended as the first choice approach for depression and anxiety (National Institute of Health & Clinical Excellence) and is used extensively in the NHS for a broad range of issues.
Training, qualifications & experience
*I am a CBT Psychotherapist, fully accredited by the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
* I am a Practitioner Counselling Psychologist, registered with the Health Professions Council (the independent Government appointed regulator of psychologists in the UK).
* I have a BSc(Hons) in Psychology, a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology and a PhD in Psychology.
* I am a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society.
I have previously worked with clients in the NHS, in private practice, and in University student counselling.
* I train masters and doctoral students in the use of cognitive behavioural therapy at a University in the South West.
I have undergone training and worked with clients using person-centred, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural therapy. My preferred approach is an integration of these elements. I describe my main way of working as relational cognitive behaviour therapy as clients explore the impact of unhelpful ways of thinking on their feelings and behaviour, within an empathic relationship with the therapist. In this supportive context, clients are able to challenge their thinking and develop more adaptive ways of being.
I adhere by the codes of ethics for the Health Professions Council (HPC), British Psychological Society (BPS) and British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) and abide by their professional standards and practices.
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.
They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.
Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Emotional neglect, parent-child attachment issues, motivation, family issues, loneliness, low mood,sadness, unhappiness, fear, worry
Contact me to discuss (some concessions available).
Initial consultations are normally charged at half the fee.
Typically, CBT will comprise 12-20 sessions, depending on the nature of the issues brought forward by the client.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy explained
It can be difficult to find practitioners offering cognitive behavioural therapy outside the NHS; most private practitioners offer "humanistic" or "person centred" approaches. Over recent years, CBT has gained much popularity and it is widely used in the NHS by Counselling and Clinical Psychologists. The research evidence for the effectiveness of CBT is strong and it is seen as the intervention of choice for a range of problems, particularly depression and some forms of anxiety (National Institute of Health & Clinical Excellence).
It was originally developed in the US by Aaron T. Beck in the late 1970s and is built on the assumption that emotional difficulties such as depression, anxiety and anger are maintained by unhelpful beliefs, such as I am a loser, I cant cope alone or I should always get what I want. Therefore the therapy aims to change the clients thinking as a way of promoting more balanced emotional states.
During CBT, the client and therapist spend time exploring the meanings that the client gives to situations, their feelings and their physical reactions. Although there is a focus on thinking, the purpose of this is to reach and understand emotional states, and see how these are related. By understanding the kind of thinking that goes along with distressing emotions, the client is likely to be less frightened and confused with how they are feeling. There is an emphasis on getting to know how we think and to keep this realistic.
CBT is a structured and time-limited approach. Therapist and client agree goals to be worked on and the client practices therapeutic tasks between sessions in order to reinforce and consolidate their learning. In this way, by the end of therapy, the client is likely to take with them what they have learned in sessions and to be more equipped to deal with any future difficulties.