Tamar's Approach

Deciding to seek assistance for yourself or your child/adolescent might have been difficult. You might have put it off or avoided it.

It can be hard to ask for help, and talk about how you or your child/adolescent copes with life’s ups and downs.

Tamar is warm, kind, caring, and passionate and enthusiastic about helping people. She is committed to helping people develop more effective coping strategies quickly, so they can start doing the things that are important to them, and achieve their goals.

What Happens in the First Session?

We will discuss the problem or difficulty, it’s impact, what it’s stopping you (or your child/adolescent) from doing or achieving, and the coping strategies you (or your child/adolescent) are using. Together, we will develop goals for counselling, and Tamar will come up with a plan for how she is going to help you (or your child/adolescent).

Where Your Child/Adolescent is the Client

Tamar recommends that a parent comes into the consulting room for the first appointment (at least for the first part) where she will take a history of the problem or difficulty. This helps parents, children/adolescents and Tamar to all be clear about what the child/adolescent requires assistance for. Some children/adolescents ask their parent to leave the room after the history taking is complete, while others are happy for their parent to remain in the room for the entire session. Letting the child/adolescent decide this often empowers the child and helps them feel more comfortable with the process.

If the parent does not attend their child’s therapy sessions, where appropriate, Tamar provides feedback to parents with the child/adolescent present, about what skills have been taught in the session, and strategies for the child to use at home. Sometimes this includes strategies for parents to use with their child. The more the skills are practiced in between sessions, the better (and often the quicker) the outcome is likely to be.

To get an idea of how Tamar works, please download her free STAY HERE EBooklet. which she developed for parents and is applicable to many situations.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

ACT uses behavioural techniques, and focuses on how a person’s responses works for them, in terms of what’s important to them. ACT emphasises being open to and accepting of thoughts, feelings, memories and behaviours, and letting go of thoughts, feelings and memories that are unhelpful, being present in the here and now (mindfulness), identifying what really matters to you, and how you want to live your life.

ACT has a large, scientifically measured evidence base, which supports its’ effectiveness for use with children, adolescents and adults for a wide range of issues. There are over 600 Randomized Controlled Trials using ACT. Tamar uses ACT in her own life, and with her family and children. She is so passionate about ACT that she completed her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) investigating the effectiveness of ACT versus CBT as a compulsory part of school curricula (Tamar’s study is the first study to compare ACT to CBT in schools).

ACT and CBT are similar in many ways, but ACT emphasizes changing the way that you view your thoughts and feelings, instead of trying to avoid them, or get rid of them. CBT focuses on changing thoughts, and replacing thoughts with positive thoughts. Whilst this might get rid of your thoughts temporarily, the thoughts might return, and you may feel that you can’t do the things that you want or need to do (for example: going to school/university, attending parties, or performing in front of an audience).

Our thoughts aren’t necessarily rational or true, but difficulties coping can arise when we believe everything our minds tell us, and let our thoughts control our us. Rather than trying to change our thoughts, we can change our responses to our thoughts and feelings, and change our behaviours so we don’t miss out on things that matter to us.