STARTING THE PROCESS
Finding the right therapist can be a confusing and frustrating experience and may take some time to find the right 'fit'. I suggest that you aim to meet with several therapists before you make a decision.
Here's how the process could look if you decided to get in touch with me.
You would make contact via email, text, WhatsApp or phone we would arrange to have a brief telephone call to discuss your needs. I can answer any questions you may have around therapy and any practicalities. Then, should you want to move forward, we will arrange a more in-depth consultation.
We will meet virtually or in person for approximately 1 hour which will give me chance to get to know you, understand what you are looking for and determine how I might be able to help. It will also be a chance for us to determine that all important 'chemistry' necessary for a good therapeutic relationship. You are assessing me as much as I am assessing you.
If you are unsure what you are looking for, this meeting could function as a one-off to help guide you to find the right support. This could include therapy for specialist conditions, psychiatric referrals, group therapy or a recommendation to speak to your GP about medication. Having working in the NHS for a decade I am skilled in the full range of mental health assessments and knowledgeable about private, third sector and NHS services that might be of help to you. I might also refer you to a colleague should I/we feel it might be a better fit.
I will then give you some time to digest the session and ask you to get in touch when you've decided whether or not you'd like to work together.
Therapy can be as short as 4 sessions, where the focus might be on a specific, acute issue or as long as several years, with the aim for a more fundamental change in personality and emotional development. It usually becomes clear, once we begin, what might work best for you - I usually suggest 4 sessions in the first instance.
Therapists come from many different theoretical schools, which can be quite confusing when you are just looking for someone to talk to. Is is worth looking up 'therapy approaches' online to see which speaks to you. My core training was psychodynamic, which provides a foundation to my way of working, but I would now consider myself an integrative therapist, drawing on a variety of therapeutic approaches, depending on your needs, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Existential Therapy and Person Centred Therapy, Attachment Theory and Group Analysis.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy helps to understand and resolve problems by increasing awareness of your inner world (unconscious) and its influence over your relationships both past and present, aiming to reducing symptoms and alleviating distress. CBT is a practical therapy based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. Existential therapy places emphasis on the human condition as a whole and uses a positive approach that applauds human capacities and aspirations while simultaneously acknowledging human limitations. The basic tenets of person-centred therapy are the autonomy of the client and their capacity to self-heal and develop when the therapist provides a psychological environment based on specified conditions. I draw on attachment theory that describes four attachment styles: Secure, Anxious/preoccupied, Dismissive/avoidant, and Fearful-avoidant. This can be very useful lens through which to work on issues of intimacy, sex, commitment and conflict. My group trainings also place importance on the family, cultural, social and political world in which we live and how we make sense of that as individuals.
My view is that therapy can help most people - from work stress, anxiety, depression or relationship issues, those with diagnosed mental health conditions, to those who might be experiencing a loss of meaning in their lives or who are seeking a greater sense of fulfilment.
Research points to the relationship between the client and therapist being the main vehicle for change in a successful therapy. I can offer a safe, collaborative and confidential space, free from judgement but challenging where necessary, to help you to get where you need to be.