Psychological Therapy

Psychological therapy gives us an opportunity to focus on your difficulties as you see them, in a safe, therapeutic and helpful way, with the aim of improving psychological wellbeing.

  • I work with those experiencing emotional distress of any kind that impacts on living a full life (anxiety, low mood, depression, suicidal feelings or self harming behaviours)
  • If you are experiencing the impact of developmental/complex or specific trauma (PTSD symptoms such as nightmares, hyper vigilance, anger, fear and significant avoidance)
  • If you have difficulties within relationships or with intimacy in close relationships
  • If you experience long-standing patterns of relating to others that cause anxiety, distress and interpersonal difficulties

A psychological assessment allows us to explore your history and current difficulties so we can gain a full understanding of your life context and the meanings underlying emotional distress. This insight underpins the therapy relationship, while an integration of therapeutic approaches allows me to work with each individual’s specific needs and goals.

I prioritise an attachment perspective, believing that basic emotional needs of security and support must be adequately met in order for people to learn and develop. I believe that a priority must be to provide a secure base from which to explore, as therapy works towards achieving greater insight, easing emotional distress and focusing on emotional and behavioural change to unhelpful life patterns.

I have a particular interest in Schema Therapy which focuses on understanding how early life experiences have contributed to emotional and relational difficulties that can be long-standing and complex. I am currently in the process of accreditation as a specialist Schema Therapist with the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST).

My training and experience includes several core psychological modalities;

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy – combines a range of therapies based on the theory that thoughts, feelings, what we do and how our body feels are all connected. If we change one of these we can alter the others. It combines cognitive therapy (examining the things you think) and behaviour therapy (examining the things you do). CBT is based on the idea that the way we think about situations can affect the way we feel and behave.

Trauma-Focused CBT – is helpful for those who might be struggling with the impact of a traumatic event.  I was fortunate to train within a specialist NHS trauma service, therefore privileged to gain experience working specifically with post traumatic reactions such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex trauma reactions (where there have been multiple traumatic experiences over a longer period of time). EMDR can also be incorporated within trauma-focused treatment, as can Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) and Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) where indicated.

Eye Movement De-sensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) – is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been proven effective in the safe treatment of trauma. Further information about this approach can be found at www.emdrassociation.org.uk.

Schema Therapy – is a model of psychotherapy that stems from cognitive behavioural therapy, designed initially for those who did not respond to classical CBT. An integration of insights, methods and  techniques derived from a range of approaches such as Attachment Theory, CBT, Gestalt and Psychoanalytic Object Relations, the focus of schema therapy is on complex, lifelong behavioural and interpersonal patterns. Attention is given to healing the developmental and relational origins of psychological distress, interrupting unhelpful coping patterns and building healthier coping strategies that enhance relationships and day to day living.

Mindfulness – refers to being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the present moment, and learning to notice and accept them without judgment. Rather than habitually reacting to stressful situations, unwanted thoughts, or unpleasant feelings, it enables you to be a compassionate, accepting, and non-judgmental observer of them. Practicing mindfulness can make it much easier to calmly cope with challenges that previously seemed overwhelming. Mindfulness is typically combined with all of the core psychological models.

Person-Centred Therapy – a humanistic approach based on the work of Carl Rogers who, rather than viewing people as inherently flawed, with problematic behaviors and thoughts that require treatment, identified that each person has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change (the “actualizing tendency”).  The priority is to recognize and trust human potential, providing empathy and unconditional positive regard to help facilitate change by following the client’s lead whenever possible, so people can discover personalised solutions within themselves. I view the humanistic values inherent to this approach as an essential component of the therapy relationship.

Cognitive Behavioural Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) is a specific therapeutic approach that was designed to help those struggling with chronic or persistent depression, where depressive symptoms have persisted for more than two years duration and interfere with living a full and connected life.

Systemic Therapy – is an option when family members wish to attend together.

Confidentiality is very important. All sessions will be conducted in confidence and this will be maintained and applied to all records in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998). The only exceptions are; if you direct me (with written consent) to inform someone else, if it is determined that you, or someone else (eg. a child or a partner) is at risk of harm, or if it is a legal requirement and I am summoned to do so (eg. to a court of law). Wherever possible, I will consult with you before breaching confidentiality and discuss this with you first of all.