How I work
I am an ‘integrative’ psychotherapist and counsellor, which means I believe that a single therapy approach - one of those listed below - will not help you with all issues that arise for you, and that there are many different therapeutic ways for problems to be explored and worked on. Consequently, I draw techniques and ideas from different ‘schools’ of therapy, depending on the needs of the people I see.
Psychotherapy versus counselling
In case you don’t know, psychotherapy usually deeply exploring emotional issues and their roots, and so a longer-term process - many months, sometimes years, as opposed to weeks. Psychotherapists are qualified to a higher level than counsellors and are trained to be able to ‘diagnose’ what is going on for you psychologically. Counselling, on the other hand, tends to be shorter term work to identify problems and change patterns of thinking and behaving, in the here and now.
My toolbox of therapy approaches
Here is a brief explanation of the different approaches that I integrate into my practice, in no particular order.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Put very simply, this is an approach that is useful for exploring and breaking cycles of unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, uncomfortable feelings and self-defeating behaviours, which impact on you in the present. It sometimes involves you undertaking some between-session tasks and challenges, but in its basic form it can be a tool to help you better understand what's going for you.
This approach allows you to talk freely and openly, and my role is to listen and guide you to discover solutions to your problems for yourself by nurturing greater self-awareness and drawing on your innate potential to make changes towards a more satisfying and positive way of living.
I use ideas from this approach to help people get a better sense of where they want to be - what life would be like is they changed, and got what they wanted and where they wanted to be.
This is useful approach for looking at the roots of current problems. This is done by exploring unconscious thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and patterns in relationships, that have their root in the past but continue to impact on the present.
Intensive short-term psychodynamic therapy (ISTDP)
I use ideas from this school of therapy to help people understand how anxiety works in the body to defend us against threatening emotions, and how we maintain our problems by the use of cognitive and behavioural defences, and ultimately not facing and effectively acting on our feelings.
This is helpful to look at what are called 'life-traps' or schemas - patterns of seeing yourself and others and the world - that develop as a result of what has been done to you as a child.
I use this approach to therapy to look at how we interact with others. It is useful as a way of resolving conflicts or relationship issues.
For some people learning some mindfulness, and in particular, mindful medications can be a way of controlling anxiety and depression.
If you would like to arrange an initial assessment appointment, please contact me by either mobile phone, email or contact form.