I have been a counsellor and psychotherapist for over 30 years. I have worked both within the NHS as a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist, and also in private practice as an Attachment-Based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist. I recently retired from the NHS after 23 years, and I am now working solely in private practice. I provide both long-term in-depth Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, and shorter term Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT). I am accredited in both of these therapeutic approaches.
I did my Psychoanalytic training at The Bowlby Centre in London. I was very drawn to this approach because it is very positive and hopeful. It puts a strong emphasis on our creativity, on our longing to make good relationships despite bad experiences, and on our potential to heal from these experiences. Many of the clients I work with have suffered the trauma of abuse and/or neglect during their upbringing, and are struggling with the on-going impact of this on their sense of self, and on the nature and patterns of their relationships with others.
What is Attachment-Based Psychotherapy?
Attachment-based psychotherapy is based on the understanding that people come into the world with a strong need to make relationships (attach) with others, and that it is vital to feel loved and secure enough in our relationships throughout life in order to feel safe in ourselves and with other people, to develop as individuals, to have a good opinion of ourselves, and to be able to meet our own needs and pursue our goals in life. When people have suffered loss or abuse, or have felt generally unloved, unsupported, and insecure, this can contribute to a number of difficulties. These include low self-esteem, feeling unhappy, depressed, lonely, anxious, finding it hard to trust others, problems with making good and lasting relationships, and/or a feeling of being ‘stuck’ in certain ways of thinking and behaving which prevent them from moving on in life.
What is DIT?
DIT is a 16 session therapy. It was developed to help people with symptoms of depression and anxiety, and relationship difficulties, stemming from attachment and developmental problems in their backgrounds.
Why do people seek psychotherapy?
People who come to see me for therapy don’t always know exactly why they are feeling as they do. They have often come to a point in their lives when they become more aware of, and more distressed about their difficulties. This can happen after a crisis or loss of some kind, such as bereavement or the breakdown of a relationship, or they might have just begun to feel that there is a lack of meaning or purpose to their lives. They may then feel that they need help to understand themselves and their difficulties, and to find a way to resolve things and move forwards.
How can psychotherapy help?
Therapy takes place within the context of a confidential, secure, and understanding ‘attachment’ relationship. Through sharing and exploring experiences and feelings in therapy, people can gain a better understanding of themselves, and of the 'unconscious' and repeated patterns of feeling and behaviour which perpetuate their difficulties. This can then enable them to mourn over their suffering and losses, begin to recover from them, and to make positive changes.
Attachment-Based therapy can be very effective in helping people to feel more secure and confident, more able to be themselves and to express their feelings more freely, to make better relationships, and to bring about the changes which will enable them to get more out of life.