The following gives you an overview of the principles that Werner uses in his work. A core principle is to offer all clients the choice to work therapeutically for as long as they wish. There are no limitations on the amount of sessions a client has; duration and quantity of sessions is tailored to the individual needs of the client. Clients do not get pigeonholed, which allows to deal with whatever individual issues clients may present.
Another important principle is the integrative multi-modality framework used when working with clients. This means Werner uses the most effective approaches with respect to current research into counselling and therapy. An overview of these approaches is given further below on this page. Furthermore, research by experts such as Michael Lambert, Andrew McAleavey or Louis Castonguay and other experts about how psychotherapy works demonstrated that a good relationship between therapist and client is paramount in the successful outcome of therapy; therefore, the quality of the relationship between the practitioner and client occupies a central place.
The main approaches Werner draws from in the integrative framework include: schema therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches, acceptance-commitment-therapy, compassion focused therapy and person centred and relationship-based approaches.
Person-cantered/the therapeutic relationship:
Many studies have shown that the quality of the relationship between you and your therapist is hugely influential for a positive outcome of therapy. This relationship is even more important than the theoretical model the therapist uses.
Schema therapy, developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young, addresses old underlying emotional schemas that have become life traps. These feel like automatic patterns that you may know well but you may feel these patterns are too strong to change. The emotions these schemas bring up tend to be much stronger than our thoughts and people struggle with handling these schema-based emotions.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT):
A very effective approach, as confirmed in many studies, to shift or change thoughts and views that make us anxious, insecure or depressed.
Acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT):
ACT, developed by Dr. Steven Hayes, is a therapeutic method based around acceptance, mindfulness and understanding our personal values and on getting us into connecting to our values more effectively, which allows us to make decisions that may be difficult but important and meaningful. The objective of ACT is not elimination of difficult feelings; rather, it is to be present with what life brings us and to “move toward valued behaviour”
EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing)
EMDR is based in the work of Dr. Francine Shapiro and is employed in the treatment of trauma. Over recent years it has be but is now being used to successfully treat individuals in a wide range of conditions such as depression, OCD, phobias and difficulties of self-regulation such as panic attacks and addiction.
Compassion focused therapy (CFT):
Compassion focused therapy, developed by Professor Paul Gilbert, addresses shame and other patterns that make us overly rigid through the demands we impose on ourselves; this can lead to anxiety and depression.
According to the Canadian Institute of Integrative Psychotherapy integrative psychotherapy is defined as embracing an attitude towards the practice of psychotherapy that affirms the inherent value of each individual. It is a unifying psychotherapy that responds appropriately and effectively to the person at the affective, behavioral, cognitive, and physiological levels of functioning, and addresses as well the spiritual dimension of life.
An easy way to illustrate how the principles of our integrated framework work is shown in the A-B-C graphs below:
In the image on the right you see how our emotional and cognitive processes are interconnected. In it the A stands for an activating event (A=Activation), such as a workplace problem or a physical sensation in the body or a memory. The B stands for beliefs (B=Beliefs), which is the way we think about the event. This way of thinking may be very intellectual or it may be a very emotional way of thinking. The C stands for consequences (C=Consequences), which is the way we feel and behave following the activation of our Beliefs (B).
And it is the B where we potentially cause ourselves a lot of anxiety, fear, low confidence and depression. Therefore, the B needs to change in order to reduce the difficult consequences. Our integrated framework offers a number of ways of doing this, as shown in the next graph.