Life is difficult, sometimes overwhelmingly so. Psychotherapy can be helpful. At times of distress we often feel at our most isolated; we may find it hard to see beyond our immediate unhappiness and to draw on our inner resources. A therapist can provide a safe and enquiring space to explore, find our footing again and grow from our challenges. Therapy may not always feel easy, but at its best it can be supportive, empowering and liberating.
Taking the initial step of contacting a therapist can be scary but as an experienced counsellor and psychotherapist I trust that I am able to ‘meet you where you are’ and provide a safe, non-judgemental space to work collaboratively with you and to explore ways to help you move forward.
Sometimes the many labels we therapists use to describe our trainings and ways of working can be confusing. Whilst I list my qualifications and trainings below I’ll also try here to give you a sense of my approach with a bit less jargon.
Most of us have some sense of how we have been shaped by our earlier experiences in life. These experiences often create a pattern – a template for how we meet the world around us. We often lock away difficult experiences in a way that protects us from pain but can leave us feeling only partially ourselves. By uncovering these inner patterns and facing difficult experiences we become freer to move forwards in our lives.
As well as the past, each stage of life can throw up new challenges – achieving independence from our families, managing the challenges of a committed relationship, establishing ourselves in a career or experiencing the pains of loss or ill health. Both past and present are connected and therapy can help us identify and navigate areas where we are being prevented from living as fully as we would wish. I aim to offer a therapeutic relationship which provides a supportive, enquiring space in which these patterns can be identified and worked with. It is a space in which you can quieten and attune to the many thoughts and feelings that might be hidden, even to yourself.
Every therapeutic journey is different and I will explore with you whether a short block of sessions might be enough or whether longer term work might be needed. Either way I will usually begin by offering 6 or 12 sessions and then review with you what would be most helpful.
Child and Adolescent Therapy
For children and young people their patterns of relating to the world are still being formed – shaped from moment to moment. New experiences and challenges can have a significantly greater impact simply because children have fewer past experiences to draw on and with which to contextualise their difficulty. Often they do not yet have language for their experience so may express their distress through their behaviour. I work with young people to help them connect with, express and develop language for their emotional difficulties. This can help them to feel less unhappy and angry, increase their capacity to concentrate and learn, develop their resilience and improve their relationships with family and friends. I am trained to work with the creative arts and with younger children I take a variety of approaches, such as paint, clay, sand tray and puppetry, to help them access their feelings.
On contacting me I will offer you a short telephone consultation to discuss your concerns. From there we’ll arrange an initial face to face consultation to explore whether I can be of to help you. This would give you a sense of me as a therapist and enable you to assess if I am the right therapist for you.
If you are looking for therapy for a child or young person the process would be the same. I would invite both parent(s)/carer(s) and the child or young person to the initial consultation.
Training, qualifications and experience
I am accredited as both an adult counsellor and a child psychotherapist and work in private practice with adults, adolescents and children.
I hold a Masters Degree in Integrative Child Psychotherapy (Institute for the Art in Therapy and Education) and a Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling (Highgate Counselling Centre). I have trained in short term interventions and am currently working towards accreditation in Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents (Anna Freud Centre). I have also trained for two years in Core Process Psychotherapy, a Buddhist informed psychotherapy (Karuna Institute), and undertaken foundation trainings in Fundamentals of Psychosynthesis (Institute of Psychosynthesis), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT) and Art Therapy (British Association of Art Therapist).
I am accredited by both the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
I began my training in counselling and psychotherapy over 25 years ago, alongside a successful career in IT as a business analyst. I have worked with adults at Highgate Counselling Centre, as a therapist in CAMHS for the NHS, for the charity Place2Be and in primary and secondary schools. I have practiced meditation for 30 years and have run mindfulness courses in several large companies.
As well as ‘talking therapy’ I am trained to work with the creative arts in my therapeutic work and whilst this is often of particular value with children, it can become a powerful tool for exploration in adult work for some clients, should they wish to use the arts.
I abide by the ethical guidelines of UKCP and BACP and as such I am in regular supervision to support my work and am committed to regular continuing professional development.
Like all UKCP registered psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors I can work with a wide range of issues, but here are some areas in which I have a special interest or additional experience.