How I Work

I am trained integratively which means that I have been taught to make use of a number of different approaches to counselling and therapy. Since completing my training however, I have gradually specialised more and more in the direction of psychodynamic therapy. This is a complex approach, but it can be summarised in two main ways: 

Firstly, it's an approach which aims to help you to understand how your past has impacted the way that you are today. Understanding the 'whys' of your life can help you to have compassion for yourself. This in turn can enable you to make choices that are for your good, instead of ones that might be self destructive.

Secondly, psychodynamic therapy seeks to make you more conscious of things that are outside of your awareness, but may nevertheless be having a powerful impact on your life. For example, you may 'find yourself' always having relationships with the same kind of pattern, without fully understanding why. Psychodynamic therapy can help you to become aware of the unconscious motivations that lead you into repeated patterns. This awareness then empowers you to make different choices. 

All of this is underpinned by a Person Centred approach, also part of my original training. This is a way of working which focusses on your inherent value as a person and the belief that each individual has the internal resources needed to grow. Person Centred counselling has three core conditions at its foundation: Unconditional Positive Regard - my stance of accepting you just as you are, unconditionally and without judgement; Empathic Understanding - my skills in putting myself in your shoes, seeing the world through your eyes and communicating that to you; and Congruence - my authenticity and genuineness. You will be sitting opposite a human being with a beating heart, not a cold professional facade. 

My primary training also included the use of cognitive behavioural skills. I only ever use this when working purely with phobias, and not in any other pieces of work. I would not be the right therapist for anyone looking for a cognitive behavioural therapist. 

In addition to the above, I have also received extensive training in relationship psychotherapy, which is a primary interest of mine. I hold a Post Graduate Diploma in Couple Psychotherapy. I work with couples of all sexualities, including open and polyamorous relationships. I am further deepening my knowledge and skills in sex therapy through further training in this area, too, via a Diploma in Sex & Relationships Therapy from the Contemporary Institute of Clinical Sexology - a CORST accredited and Pink Therapy endorsed course. 

In the past I have worked as a Play Therapist for primary aged children. Though I no longer do this work, I find that these ways of working are very transferable to adults and are particularly useful when it's hard to put things into words. Creative ways of working like these (such as drawing, painting, drama, visualisation, clay work and sand tray) are not for everyone though, and I would never insist on a client using them if they didn't feel comfortable.