My private psychology, counselling, and psychotherapy service in Kensington aims to develop a unique understanding of each person and to offer an individually tailored approach to helping you with your problems.
You do not need to be referred by your GP or a mental health professional to make contact with me although if you are paying through private health insurance you may need to do so. When we first meet we will have a 50 minute consultation. This will be an opportunity for me to begin getting to know you and for us to explore the reasons you are seeking therapy and how you might be best helped. It is also an opportunity for you to make an assessment of me and to think about what working together may feel like. If I do not believe I can be of help, or if you would like to see another clinician, I will refer you on appropriately. We will often need to meet a few more times to decide if we are going to work together. It can very much pay off to have that initial time to make the right decision.
If we agree to begin working together, we will set a standard time and day for subsequent sessions that is always yours. A psychological therapy involves meeting for 50 minutes every week at the same time and day, in a confidential setting away from distractions in order to focus on your difficulties. The regularity, reliability, and consistency of our meetings are very important to allow a safe exploration of what you bring to therapy. More frequent weekly meetings are sometimes indicated and this is something we can explore together.
A psychological therapy is a commitment for both therapist and client(s). Although certain problems can be resolved in a brief time period, change often takes time. My role is to help you make more sense of your thoughts and feelings about important issues and why you act the way you do. As we are all embedded in a social world, all therapeutic models seek to clarify the internal rules that guide who we are and how we interact with others, which are often unconscious. My position is that there is more going on in our minds than we are aware of and therapy can help by offering insight into how our minds work and how we make sense of others' minds. This is a very individual process that can offer relief and clarity about decisions and how to move forward. It can offer an opportunity to make changes where these can be made and to accept the things that cannot be changed.
It is important to hold in mind that a psychological therapy is not like a medical treatment and cannot offer a "quick fix", although this may be what is felt to be desperately needed. The loss involved in letting old habits go and the fear of change can often generate strong feelings and are aspects of what we can talk about in therapy. Your relationship with the therapist is also a significant part of the work. Although a professional relationship, it can also be an intimate one and exploring your feelings about the process of therapy and the therapist can shed new light into your patterns of relating in a very immediate way that can be used to assist you in managing external relationships.
I have been trained in different therapeutic models (see below), but I primarily work within a psychodynamic/psychoanalytic framework.
Psychodynamic or psychoanalytic therapy is a form of psychological therapy that draws on the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. It is a therapeutic process which helps clients understand and resolve their problems by increasing awareness of their inner world and its influence over relationships both past and present. It places emphasis on thoughts, beliefs and intentions that reside outside conscious awareness, but have a defining impact on how we live our lives. These can lead to internal conflicts that are too painful to be thought about and result in distressing symptoms or restrictions to living life to the full.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is based on the assumption that the way we think about ourselves, others, and the future impacts on our feelings and behaviours. These in turn can affect our thinking, most often by consolidating particular viewpoints that, although distressing, may offer some predictability and security. CBT can therefore offer valuable insights into how a lot of problems have a self-perpetuating quality. I do offer CBT in a small number of cases.
This is an umbrella term for different therapies that, like psychodynamic therapy, can assist with processing difficult emotions in the presence of a concerned and non-judgemental listener who is guided by where the client is and where they wish to go. They often involve as a starting point the assumption that every person has the potential to develop, and attention is paid to the blocks that undermine this process.