Practice Model: Psycho-Social Analytic Therapy

In the last 18 months I have been engaged in the creation of  a new model of work. It is based on ideas from evolutionary psychology, critical analysis of research on the nature of mind, sociology, anthropology, language and communication philosophy and some ideas built into the foundations of  psycho-analysis. I call the model P.S.A.T which stands for Psycho-Social Analytic Therapy.

The reason for developing this new way of working is because I have found it interesting and to a degree frustrating that therapists who use their  different models of thinking and working  do not seem to have have not significantly questioned the limits of  their models or their own working models and practices and certainly do not seem to want to connect their ideas to those ideas and theories taken from science, sociology, evolutionary theory, language and philosophy and simple but powerful critical analysis of ideas. As a clinician who’s ethos includes science and rational philosophical thinking I have found it essential to constantly question my own ideas and practices so that my work with clients is constantly improved. If theories don’t make sense or if there is no evidence that they work I stop using them. I also find it absurd that boundaries have developed around certain therapeutic models and that the boundaries do not always have a rational or scientifically clinical basis for their existence.

Regardless of the model my ethos remains unchanged.  I aim to be gentle, empathic and respectful of my clients. To remain aware and appreciative of  gender, age,  sexuality, culture, faith, race, ability, economic group. Have my clients’ best interests as the highest obligation and to be intellectually rigorous in my approach to clinical development and thinking generally.

Using ideas from many schools of  psychotherapy and psychoanalysis and developing and adjusting both the theoretical basis of the notions and the working practices I have created my own model. It takes account of current and scientific thinking about individual psychology, evolutionary psychology and combines it with psycho-social and sociological and anthropological thinking about human beings in society, in groups and in families. My model is analytic in sense that I hold the belief that there is a reality and that the individual client or couple or family are living in the reality the totality of which involves them in distress and emotional pain. The individual exists but so to does the group and or the couple. They cannot be separated, but they may require individual, separate, help or support. I also subscribe to the philosophical notion known as social construction. Essentially I hold that individuals in communication, whether directly as in conversation and dialogue or indirectly as through culture, the media and in society generally, co-create meanings and or beliefs and or cultural practices are ever changing.

With couples, and or with families, (together and or separately), I may explore each persons thoughts, feelings, beliefs and history – through appreciative enquiry and dialogue – while also exploring the individual’s, couples’, group’s social and behavioural dynamic. With families this same exploration may be appropriate, but it may be much more complex because of the increased social dynamics; more people, more individual psychologies in play.