"If you can trust and open up to your therapist, your journey of self discovery and healing can truly begin," says therapist Christine Douglas.
Based in Paisley, Scotland, Christine places Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) at the heart of her practice. Helping clients approach negative thoughts from a realistic perspective and challenging their root causes, Christine specialises in supporting individuals with general anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What do you enjoy about your work?
People are my passion, as is improving mental health. I enjoy seeing the changes in my clients from their first session to the last. As a CBT therapist, I am part of the process of empowering others with the skills I have learnt to understand and help themselves. I have seen feelings of hopelessness change over time to hope, self loathing to self acceptance and even self love.
Why do you think therapy is important?
Therapy allows an individual the opportunity to be themselves in front of another human being. Often we have many faces we put on for the world our family , our work, our friends, hiding our real feelings for many reasons; for example fear of being judged or fear of being rejected. Sharing with an impartial listener in itself can not only be a great relief but also start the healing process. I always tell my clients that I am not here to judge, to criticise or to advise them, but I will offer warmth, empathy and unconditional positive regard. I will use the skills I have learnt to help them give voice to their thoughts and feelings, understand where they came from and the behaviours that follow.
With self understanding clients are empowered to make changes and work towards their goals step by step to lead a happier more fulfilled life. I never cease to be amazed at the power of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and the transformations in my clients from session to session by applying the learning we embark on through therapy, to their daily lives. The skills used in CBT are empowering and life changing offering a new and improved way of living.
What is your favourite self help book and why?
My favourite self help book is Mind over Mood by Greenberger & Padesky. I have a copy and recommend it to my clients. It's jam packed with easy to understand, simple yet powerful steps to overcome emotional distress.
Favourite quote and who is it from?
I have two really. The first is 'Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching" by C.S Lewis. Integrity is the quality I value most in myself. When life offers me choices and challenges, this wee quote reminds me to always do the right thing - even when no one is watching!
The second is "Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway" by Susan Jeffers. I read this quote in a book by the same name that I picked up in my 20s, and now in my 40s it remains with me still. It reminds me that fear is a normal state associated with change, and change to me means new challenges and growth. So when I know I want to do something but it scares me, I embrace the fear (its a natural reaction!) and do it anyway.
What are your own wellbeing habits?
To me, balance is key to well being. I am passionate about my work and could easily sit from morning to night in my office with clients, reading, researching. I do know, however, were I to do this in the long term other areas of my life would be effected negatively.
I actually use one of the worksheets I use with my clients on myself sometimes. (Yes - as a therapist, I do benefit from therapy too!) It's called 'Healthy Me.' This looks at your life divided into all the areas beneficial for overall health. Pleasant activities, relaxation, having goals, self care, connecting with others, exercise, healthy thoughts, and social support. Filling this in its easy to see which areas have a lot going on and which areas could do with a bit of work. For me, it's exercise!