My clients receive the best psychological treatments backed by research and scientific evidence proven to deliver results. I work integratively and offer a range of evidence based treatments including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Schema Therapy and Trauma Therapy. The key to these therapeutic approaches is developing a safe and trusting relationship with you so you feel accepted and able to make the most of your therapy journey to healing and recovery.
Schema Therapy (Schema Focused Therapy)
At the core of schema therapy is the concept that emotional difficulties we experience today are strongly influenced by unmet emotional needs in childhood and adolescence. This can often arise because of childhood trauma. For example, through abandonment or abuse, emotionally unavailable parenting, or you may have felt overly criticised for not meeting high expectations. These early experiences often give rise to painful feelings of shame and defectiveness, low self-esteem, trust issues, anger, fear, sadness, and loneliness.
Using Schema Therapy I can help you identify and understand current problems in the context of your early experiences and emotional needs which may not have met in a good enough way. I can help you notice patterns you find yourself repeating that get in the way of feeling safe, confident, happy and connected to others. For example, always going out of your way to please people and pushing your needs and desires aside or feeling immense pressure to meet unrealistically high standards you place on yourself. You may notice you avoid intimacy and connection with others because you fear rejection, judgement or abuse. Or you may find yourself getting into the same toxic relationships over and over again. Schema therapy helps you to meet your emotional needs for safety, love, acceptance, emotional expression, fulfilment and purpose in the here and now. The trusting and safe therapeutic relationship I offer you will help you develop healthier ways of coping with the past so you don't get stuck in unhealthy life patterns.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy helps you understand how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours relate to one another. There are many factors that can shape your style of thinking and beliefs about yourself, other people, and the world around you. CBT helps you understand and identify the thoughts and beliefs that are having a negative impact on your emotions e.g., having a thought that others are judging you may make you feel anxious, one way of coping with this may be to avoid socialising but this way of coping is likely to reinforce these beliefs as we limit opportunities to discover that this may not always be the case. So these thoughts and behaviours maintain our feelings of anxiety and loneliness. I can help you to be aware of these processes and find new ways to cope and new perspectives on your issues. CBT is an effective evidence based treatment for a range of problems like depression, anxiety, panic and phobias through to understanding and managing highs and lows in your mood and also experiences like voice hearing or having unusual beliefs.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
MBCT is effective for treating ongoing depression, anxiety, and stress. The concept of Mindfulness comes from Eastern philosophy of living in the present moment instead of getting bogged down by worrying about our past and our future. I can help you bring awareness to your patterns of negative thinking and to notice the impact this has on your behaviour and emotional responses in a curious, accepting, and non-judgemental way. Together we can develop personalised strategies and activities to promote mindfulness with the aim to increase your self -awareness, confidence and ability to cope with stress, to manage your thoughts and feelings more effectively and to improve your decision-making ability, focus and attention.
Trauma Therapy (Trauma Focused Cognitive Therapy)
Trauma Therapy or Trauma Focused Cognitive Therapy helps you manage frightening and debilitating symptoms following a highly distressing experience. It also helps you understand how the brain processes highly stressful events like being involved in a car accident or being a victim of domestic violence. When we experience trauma, we can often be left with intense emotions like fear, horror, shame, anger and loss of control.
Post traumatic symptoms (PTSD) vary between person to person but typically includes intrusive thoughts or images of what happened, flashbacks that feel as if the event is happening again in real time or dreams / nightmares with similar themes and feelings related to the traumatic event. You might also worry about your safety when you are awake and avoid situations that remind you of the trauma. You may also experience dissociation which is like a switching off from emotions or senses, like blanking out, to cope with these memories. PTSD symptoms may also be triggered by things that remind us of the traumatic event like hearing something on the TV or more sensory experiences like smells or sounds. Trauma therapy helps you understand why these PTSD symptoms are all normal reactions to trauma and are responses to emotionally charged events. I can help you to manage unresolving symptoms by providing tailored strategies to cope with them. I can also help you examine the meaning you have given to these events in a caring and compassionate way, explore how you have made sense of them, and how helpful they are to your recovery by recontextualising the feelings and thoughts surrounding the event and managing the emotions that arise from them.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavioural therapy is a skills-based treatment to help you understand and accept who you are but also to manage difficult feelings you might experience such as depression, anxiety, stress and worry or very overwhelming experiences like self-harm and suicidal thinking. We can often find ourselves impacted by strong feelings or urges which may have a negative impact on several areas of our life and prevent us enjoying the moment and fulfilling our goals. I can help you to develop helpful strategies and problem-solving techniques so you can balance the acceptance of your emotions as real and valid with feeling empowered to manage them. I can also help you to focus on being mindful about your relationships and how we can enhance the ones that are supportive and healthy as well as manage those that are not.
When we experience loss the support from family or friends often helps us heal and live life again. Sometimes however we may find this is not enough and we may need specialist help to do this. If you have lost a loved one or anticipating the loss of someone you are close to, I am here to offer a space to speak of the grief and the pain that comes with this. Loss comes in all shapes and forms and the grief process is very similar. I can also help you process the loss of hopes and opportunities either through unfulfilled plans like having children or a desired career or having a physical health condition. I also have experience supporting people who have lost someone through suicide. I can offer you a safe and non-judgemental space to express your feelings and to find ways to cope and continue to live more meaningfully again.