How I Work
the start of therapy Therapy provides a safe place to discuss and explore your concerns within a confidential, therapeutic relationship. Being able to talk with someone not involved in your day to day life can be helpful in itself. You can say anything you need to.
Therapy will always be carried out in a spirit of understanding, encouraging you to be curious about yourself, open and accepting, while acknowledging there are changes you wish to make.
We begin by looking at what you already know about the problem(s) you are bringing. This may be a little, a few thoughts or a sense of what is wrong; or you may already have a lot of ideas to share. You may simply know that you feel low, depressed or anxious. Whatever you say is fine.
discovering more We may then focus on a particular feeling to identify more clearly what is troubling you. At this point past experiences, often from childhood, may emerge as significant now.
We may discover a set of beliefs or early decisions - conclusions that you drew as a child in response to difficult situations or experiences, and which you may still unconsciously live by. You may be aware that you think about yourself in ways that are not helpful to you now but feel you cannot change.
Sometimes problems may be to do purely with events in your life now; you may have generally felt ok in the past, but something has changed, such as your health or the demands on you. If you have had a traumatic experience, then we may look at a specific therapy for this (EMDR).
making sense of your experience If suitable for you I may record what emerges, using a 3 part model that I have developed. This provides a framework for making sense of what has seemed confusing. You can take this away to help you remember and reflect on what we have discovered. Stepping back and seeing things clearly can sometimes lead to spontaneous, positive change. It takes into account that most of what is going on within us is outside of our conscious control; we can find our experiences hard to tolerate, leading to conflict within ourselves, and sometimes with others. The model provides a framework for understanding these tensions, and identifying what will be more helpful.
changing sometimes a fundamental change can happen quickly; these 'light bulb' moments can occur when a long-standing, unconscious belief from an old situation is brought into focus and there is a realisation that it doesn't apply now. At other times change may involve more deliberately building new habits, including relaxing and calming practices; it may involve taking action, or finding ways to cope better with a difficult situation or relationship.
Therapy is not a straight line; we will go from one stage to another, we may go back. We may look at one problem, and then another may emerge. How therapy progresses is unique to your experience. It may be brief or it may take many sessions. Bearing in mind the cost of therapy, I keep a focus on positive change and review with you the progress you are making.
As an Integrative Psychotherapist I draw on a range of theories and therapy models, including: Transactional Analysis; Gestalt; Focussing; Attachment Theory; Compassion Focussed Therapy; Coherence Therapy; theories of child development; evolutionary theories of emotion.