The Bristol Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy Clinic


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Coherence Therapy



Coherence Therapy falls into a category of therapies known as 'experiential' therapies. Unlike Cognitive Therapy that works with conscious thought processes, experiential therapies seek to identify the unconscious emotional constructs that cause your symptoms to happen.



Throughout childhood we develop unconscious beliefs about ourselves, other people, and how the world works as a result of our experiences. We construct an emotional picture of what things are like so that we can develop useful strategies to protect ourselves from perceived dangers and threats, and prevent ourselves from being hurt.





"Coherence Therapy helps you identify the unconscious constructs that necessitate your symptoms and bring them to a resolution."





These unconscious constructs are known as schemas. The job of a schema is to enable you to react instinctively to potential threats. While your schemas initially serve to protect you from harm, as you age some of your schemas become redundant - in other words you no longer need them to stay safe. If you've ever found yourself repeatedly performing a certain behaviour, or experiencing a specific emotional or physiological reaction to certain situations or people - without intentionally wanting to act in that way - then it's quite likely that unconscious schemas are at work influencing your behaviour at an unconscious level. Coherence Therapy gently helps you identify the unconscious constructs that necessitate your symptoms and bring them to a resolution.



How can I have unconscious beliefs?



Your schemas, or unconscious belief systems, are held in a part of your brain known as the limbic system. The limbic system is sometimes referred to as the emotional brain. This  part of your brain is capable of acquiring and processing information without your conscious intellectual involvement.



Knowledge, acquired through experience, becomes memory. Memory, rather than being a single system, is actually made up of different sub-systems such as autobiographical memory, working memory, and episodic memory. Long term memory is divided into two types: Declarative (sometimes called 'explicit') and Non-declarative (sometimes called 'implicit').





Declarative memories are consciously processed, consciously remembered, and available to recall, whereas non-declarative memories are acquired without intellectual involvement through such things as repetition, priming, and conditioning. A client of mine hit the nail on the head when he said, "So it's kind of like emotional programming, rather than intellectual programming."



Because implicit memories are formed through experience, kind of like learning through osmosis, Coherence therapy uses experiential techniques to help you identify them.  Whereas Cognitive Therapy helps you locate symptom-generating thought processes, Coherence Therapy helps you locate symptom-generating implicit emotional processes.



Coherence Therapy is structured on a scientific understanding of an important brain process known as memory reconsolidation. Memory reconsolidation is your brain's in-built system for updating redundant beliefs. You can learn more about Coherence Therapy here.



A testimonial from a happy Coherence Therapy client:



I was looking for a coherence therapist because I'd heard it was good for dealing with relationship problems and I came across Seb. Straight away he was welcoming and easy to talk to. As the therapy progressed I recognised my emotional reactions to the things we discussed in the sessions and I quickly started to see why I had been the way I was. The end result is that I feel so much more at peace with myself and I no longer feel the need to sabotage my relationship! My partner and I are really pleased with the results. Thanks Seb!



T.B. - Relationship / Commitment Issues







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