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Dayton Steelman
Registered BACP Therapist and AFT Systemic Practitioner Member

Dayton Steelman

In Dayton’s current practice as a therapist and systemic practitioner for Priory Hospital Roehampton’s CAMHS tier four, CAMHS eating disordered and CAMHS private inpatient units, he provides therapy to both families and individuals.

The therapeutic work with clients may range from the duration of two weeks to more than a year, dependent upon the severity and acuity of the presenting problems, and length of admission. Throughout systemic work with clients in these settings, Dayton draws upon the theoretical foundations found within third wave CBT approaches such as mindfulness based CBT, DBT, and CFT.

Approach to treatment

In practice with clients, Dayton focuses attention on how one’s thinking may affect the way one feels and behaves. Thoughts, behaviours, and feelings are important dimensions and education on coping skills to increase awareness and effectively manage cognitions and emotional experiences, through practical skills-based strategies, empower clients to take an active stance in their world and to become independent agents of change within their lives. Therapeutic homework is often assigned between sessions so that clients and families may practice what they learn in therapy to reinforce and strengthen the coping skills and areas of family functioning that are being developed.

Dayton’s overarching approach draws primarily from theories found in systemic family therapy: a view of the person and presenting problem within the context of their family and wider ecosystem.

  • In working with clients within that framework, elements of emotionally focused therapy that is based in attachment theory are used to foster the repair and healing of family connections.
  • Gestalt therapy also informs this practice as it enables a space for working within the here-and-now with families and individuals.
  • In Dayton’s current work with clients in family and individual therapy, tools are drawn from third wave cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approaches such as mindfulness based CBT, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and compassionate focused therapy (CFT) to assist clients with developing coping skills to manage their mental health in line with the current evidenced-based treatment.

As Dayton’s theoretical orientation is strongly influenced by models found in systemic family therapy, namely emotionally focused therapy based in attachment theory, there is value placed on the interpersonal dimensions within family systems rather than focusing primarily on the intrapsychic domains of a client.

Dayton first learned about and formulated this theoretical orientation during a specialization in marriage and family therapy within his Master’s degree in clinical mental health counselling in 2012 in the US. Based on this orientation, Dayton’s approach addresses systemic realities that may have impact on one’s functioning, mental health, and relationships.

These systemic realities may often be linked to one’s family-of-origin issues and then played out in current relationships. Dayton is encouraging of family, partner, and significant others’ involvement in therapy as development of a systemic and attachment based formulation. By doing so, unpacking associated key emotions and using them to prime new responses, becomes the heart of change in therapeutic work with clients and their families.

Training

  • Bachelors of Arts in Psychology – University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • Master of the Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counselling – Appalachian State University
  • Concentration in Marriage and Family Counselling
  • Certificate in Addictions Counselling

Dayton has received specialist training and practiced as a family centred treatment (FCT) clinician.

FCT is an evidenced-based systemic family therapy model and is based on an integrative approach of emotionally focused therapy and eco-structural family therapy. Both of these approaches rely upon changing the emotional tone and interaction patterns among family members. Both attachment and eco-structural theory stress the importance of emotional experience and expression.

Dayton’s practice is informed by these theoretical approaches through the emphasis that is placed on getting to the function of behaviours rather than simply treating the symptoms. Upon the collaborative discovery with clients and their families of relational patterns that may have existed, or currently exist, the therapeutic work aims to restructure systems and individual coping mechanisms for change and healing. Whilst

Dayton’s work with clients is often via access to a family system, individual clients also benefit from an empowered sense of agency that evolves from an enhanced understanding of the vital role one may have in shaping their current personality and behaviours to respond to their systemic and contextual environments.

 

Qualifications
  • British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists – Registered Psychotherapist (Accreditation Pending and Expected January 2020)
  • UKCP Association for Family Therapists – Systemic Practitioner Member

My position at Priory is as a therapist and systemic practitioner. I primarily provide family therapy and on some special occasions, am available to see clients individually. I am registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist and am also a member of the UKCP Association for Family Therapy as a systemic practitioner.

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