People come to therapy for many different reasons. Therapy is unique to you and together we can work with whatever you choose to bring.
Sometimes it is to get help with difficult feelings, such as low mood or depression, anxiety, loneliness, shame, fear or low self-esteem. Other people because they feel unfulfilled or stuck in their work, career or personal life. Some individuals may be struggling with a life transition such as changing jobs, children leaving home, menopause, retirement, loss or divorce. Others may be struggling with their sexuality, and others may not be entirely sure what is wrong but feel a sense of dissatisfaction with life. We can use therapy for any of these reasons.
The cognitive behavioural tradition has a wide range of evidence based interventions effective for problems including depression, generalised anxiety, panic, agoraphobia, specific phobias, social anxiety, and addictions.
What happens in therapy
I will work collaboratively with you within the context of your own life, so each therapy session is unique. The work will be guided by what is important in your life, what you value, and sessions are guided by these values. Working in this way gives us focus and helps us to measure whether we are moving in the right direction.
Together in a compassionate and non-judgemental environment we will explore, at your own pace, how your difficulties arose and what keeps them going. We will gain an understanding of your life-draining and difficult patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours and give you skills and tools to enable you to manage these difficult thoughts and emotions more effectively. We will practice these skills in session and agree on practice between appointments, in order for you to use these skills in your daily life. In this way therapy is not confined to our hour a week.
My role is to facilitate you to become your own therapist by giving you a greater depth of understanding about yourself and how you respond to difficulties, giving you alternative, more helpful ways of being, thus making you better able to cope when difficulties arise.
I work in the tradition of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which is not a single therapy, but a group of approaches such as ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and Compassion Focused Therapy.
CBT works on the idea that the way we think about a situation affects the way we feel, not just our emotions and moods but also how we feel physically, which in turn affects how we respond and behave.
The type of CBT that I practice draws on cutting edge research into Eastern philosophy such as mindfulness and compassion, combined with Western psychology. I will work with you to help establish what is important to you, and how your values will help you live a richer and more fulfilled life.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not able to provide an intervention in a crisis.
Although I have extensive experience working with people struggling with active suicidality, immediate risk of harm to themselves or others, and active severe addiction, I am not able to work with these presentations in private practice. This is because these needs are best met by a multidisciplinary (and sometimes multi-agency) approach and direct links to crisis care, neither of which I am able to offer.
If you need help in one of these areas, I recommend urgently speaking to your GP to discuss referral to specialist mental health or addiction services, or in the event of an emergency or need for support out of hours, please contact your local accident and emergency unit.