Steve Banfield, UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist

Steve Banfield

Streatham SW16
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Steve Banfield, UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist

Steve Banfield

Streatham SW16
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My Approach

I work in private practice, aiming to provide a service which suits your needs. My approach is to establish a trusting relationship within which to explore the issues you bring to therapy. I work supportively but with challenge, so that you can re-examine and change your ways of living when these are not working for you.

My training is integrative, meaning I have knowledge and experience of using different modalities. These include cognitive-behavioral techniques aimed at changing self-defeating patterns of thinking and behaving. I also adopt a psychodynamic approach when we 'go deeper' into your past life/development, in order to work out how harmful events and experiences impacted you in the past and are still negatively affecting you now in your present life. I work relationally, meaning my starting point is identifying with your experience as you sit in front of me, what you're thinking and feeling right now, and what that means in terms of our understanding how to make helpful changes in your life.

About Me

I am a qualified psychotherapist, with BACP registration and UKCP accreditation. I trained for five years at the Metanoia Institute, and have eight years’ public and private sector experience, which includes long- and short-term work. I hold a first class degree in psychology, a diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling, and an MSc/Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy from Metanoia/Middlesex University. In addition to private practice I have worked in NHS placements and in charity settings such as Samaritans, Cruse and Mind.

I work with

  • Individuals

Special Interests

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.

I learned early in my career, as a Samaritans volunteer, how prevalent physical, emotional and sexual abuse are. Thankfully, we are becoming more open about exploring this problem as a society; nevertheless, it is challenging for survivors to talk about it, the experience of abuse often being closely bound up with fear and shame, emotions which are hard to face. My approach is to proceed slowly and gently, adjusting the pace to the individual's needs. Remembering difficult events can be triggering, so exploration must be gradual and 'titrated', with breaks when necessary and supported by breathing and mindfulness exercises to help emotional regulation.
I learned about 'anxiety' in NHS placement, where most of my patients were diagnosed with 'anxiety and depression'. What I discovered over two years was that 'anxiety' affects people of every age, race, socioeconomic group and gender and for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it is not even clear where the anxiety originates, it is so 'well-learned'. I work with anxiety by investigating the whole individual, exploring family background, work-life balance, relationships, etc., which is where the anxiety often stems. Mindfulness, breathing and relaxation techniques may be taught/used to treat the physiological 'symptoms' of the anxiety.
I likewise learned about 'depression' in NHS placement, where, as I've said above, many patients were diagnosed with 'anxiety and depression'. What I discovered was that 'depression' (like anxiety) affects people of every age, race, gender and socioeconomic group, and for many reasons. Sometimes, it is not clear where the depression comes from. Often, there is a strong 'inner critic' in the client's head, telling them they are not worth much, which is of course depressing. I work with depression by investigating the whole individual, i.e., family background, work-life balance, relationships, etc., which is where depression often starts. Self-esteem is a focus, with the aim being to increase self-confidence and enable the client to feel less self-critical, more self-compassionate.
I view OCD as a highly anxious state of mind; the behavior that can result has unfortunately been the butt of unhelpful stereotyping on TV and in society generally. It is a serious issue, however, which I've had some experience helping clients with. I've often found that behind the intrusive thoughts, the obsessive rituals, there is a history of anxious thinking and behavior rooted in traumatic childhood or adolescent events. The simple fact of growing up in a highly anxious family, for instance, can be at the root of the problem. My approach is to investigate the client's history and upbringing. I address the intrusive thinking and rituals with psychological-education which aids understanding of the varieties of 'intrusive thoughts', behavioral rituals, and what they might mean (and not mean). I use mindfulness and CBT techniques to address unhelpful behavior and thinking, with a focus on understanding and easing difficult sensations in the body when high anxiety occurs.
Trauma can be experienced in a wide range of situations. I've had clients come to therapy suffering from the effects of, e.g., long-term bullying, a disapproving/punitive parent or partner, as well as various forms of abuse, about which I've written above. Trauma is difficult to talk about, being closely tied to feelings of fear, shame and anger. Uncovering and understanding these emotions takes time and patience, and I've found it essential to tread slowly and cautiously, adjusting the pace to suit the individual 'survivor'. Where appropriate, a 'self-parts' approach is used, whereby I encourage the client to make contact with younger parts of him/herself, which were shamed, scared or disabled by experiences which have sometimes even been forgotten or are difficult to access. Therapy is slow, gradual, titrated, with breaks, and with mindfulness, breathing and relaxation techniques used to promote calmness and emotional regulation.

Types of Therapies Offered

  • Integrative Psychotherapist

What I can help with

  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Trauma

Types of sessions

  • Face to Face - Long Term
  • Face to Face - Short Term
  • Online Therapy

Streatham Office

Valley Road
Streatham SW16 2AB
UK

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UKCP College

  • Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College (HIPC)
Steve Banfield

Steve Banfield

Streatham SW16

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