My Background and Approach
I have worked in the field of mental health for over 20 years and qualified as a clinical psychologist in 2008. For me, it is important that I am genuine and connected to my values throughout all areas of my life. I believe self development and growth are a life long journey. This is why being human and being a psychologist are one of the same for me; I don't 'switch' into a different mode just because I am at the office! I do bring my sense of self to my work and I hope to help my clients to connect with their sense of self too; which may have felt lost or disconnected for many years.
I am registered with the Health & Care Professionals Council (HCPC), which is a requirement in order to practice as a clinical psychologist in the UK. It is easy to check on their register online and shows that I am fully qualified and continue my learning and professional development. I am also chartered with the British Psychological Society and a member of the UK branch of the EMDR Association, having completed all 3 levels of core training in EMDR.
It can feel overwhelming to not only reach out for support, but to also try and make sense of all the different types of therapies and approaches available. How will you know what suits you and whether it will work?!
My experience has taught me that there is not one single type of therapy that suits everyone and so I tailor my approach by integrating theories, techniques and strategies from the models I am trained in.
But how do I decide?
Well, this is something which is guided by the assessment and the joint understanding that we come up with together. We will then have a clearer idea of goals and how to move towards them. I have my framework but the sessions are collaborative and I will run my ideas past you, as well as welcoming your ideas.
What do these actually mean? They are all approaches which I connect with myself, hence grounded in my own values of compassion and welcoming all parts of ourselves in order to understand what might be happening and why.
Though we might enter therapy to 'get rid' of a feeling or a part of ourselves that we feel uncomfortable with, I encourage a process of curiousity about these feelings; I have come to understand that they are trying to communicate something, and once we know what that is, we can work on what is needed and heal this.
The mass of neurological and developmental research shows that our early relationships have a significant effect on our sense of self, how we interpret the world and of course, our relationships with others, which can mean that we get drawn into repeating relationship patterns (including our relationship with ourself!) This is why our understanding in therapy will also include an understanding of early relationships in one form or another; the past can tell us why we might feel stuck in a situation in the present. Although we can't change the past, we can begin to understand what parts of us get activated to operate in certain ways because of our experiences. Experiences, especially highly emotional or consistent ones, shape the pathways in the brain and create blueprints for us to operate by. We need these to guide us, but some experiences might have created blueprints that are not so helpful in the present.
Therapy helps the brain to process these experiences and adapt to a healthier way of operating. To do this, I believe we need to pay attention to all parts of ourselves as they offer us valuable clues about our needs and how to overcome challenges and difficulties by reconnecting with our true sense of self; our core being, which might feel lost and disconnected.
My approach is trauma informed, which means we can work together to understand what is underneath the symptoms that you come to therapy about. This way we will find the best way to guide you towards your goals.
I am registered as a provider with the following insurance companies: WPA, Aviva, AXA and Cigna