About Me

Joan Dawson MSc, Dip Psych

  • Integrative Psychotherapist in private practice since 2006
  • Counsellor for the NHS in Primary Care for 10 years (to 2017)

Accreditation & Qualifications

  • United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (since 2006)  http://members.psychotherapy.org.uk/member/8159547
  • Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (Distinction)
  • Diploma in Psychotherapy
  • MSc (Merit) Organisational Behaviour (Org. Psych)
  • DBS Checked (Disclosure and Barring Service)


How I Work

As an Integrative Psychotherapist, I do not follow a single model of therapy but draw on different approaches to best match what you might need at any given time.   As human beings, our experience is shaped by many different factors, which may be internal (within ourselves) or external (in our environment including our relationships).  These interact to create our unique experience.  Different therapies can best address these different aspects of the self. 

Therapy is collaborative, and I would work alongside you so that together we can better understand what you are currently experiencing;  we would then identify what changes you might be able to make;  and where you cannot make a change, how you can best adjust to your situation. The changes you make will be unique to you.

While you do not need to know anything at all about therapy, for those who are interested, or want to find out more about how I work, some of the approaches I draw on include:

  • Transactional Analysis - a comprehensive approach for understanding ourselves and our relationships; it is especially good for helping to clarify what may seem very muddled, especially where we seem to be at conflict within ourselves or with others 
  • Psychodynamic Models, particularly Attachment Theory - helps us to understand how experiences, particularly in childhood, can have a long-lasting effect 
  • Theories and Research on Emotion -  why we feel different emotions and how we experience them in our body; when it is good to express them, when we may need to contain them, and how to do this
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - helps to see when we might have habitual patterns of thinking that are detrimental to us, setting a negative background tone to our life;  this may include being very critical or harsh towards ourself
  • Focusing - a way of tuning into what you are feeling, discovering more about yourself and finding a way forward
  • Compassion Focused Therapy - is a way of changing habitual self-criticism and learning to care for ourself
  • Coherence Therapy - is particularly good where you feel stuck in a negative pattern and find it hard to change 
  • Life Planning and Goal Setting - this is very useful where you may be feeling general dissatisfaction; it can help identify what is missing and find new activities, friendships or a new direction in life