What to expect from me…
Hello and welcome to my website…
I would like to extend a warm and understanding, welcome. Getting off to a good start is important in any relationship – and I really want to achieve this! I fully imagine that you’re anxious about coming to talk about your problems and I want to assure you, that I will do my best to put you at ease and make you feel comfortable, whatever you need to talk about – no matter how big or small an issue, it will be met with a non-judgemental ear, but rather a helpful and supportive one. I am here to help, not hinder.
If you’re wondering what to expect from me and how I would help you, I would describe my style a bit like having a good, solid, dependable, loyal, loving and disciplined friend, at your side. I will always give you a warm welcome and will try my hardest to make you feel comfortable. I will then (if you don’t already know) explain how counselling/therapy works, again in order to help you settle in and feel as comfortable as possible. I will then ask you to share your problem/s which will enable me to describe how I will be able to help you. We would also discuss what you would like to get from counselling/therapy and set goals to keep us focused and on-track. My aim is to help you reach your goals and leave counselling/therapy as soon as possible.
In a nutshell:
1. We establish and clarify the problems that you want help with.
2. We will identify what keeps your problems alive – what keeps your problems going. We need this for the next step – the Treatment Plan.
3. Together we will formulate a Treatment Plan – just as a Doctor and Consultant does – this is my approach in accordance with my specialist N.H.S.\University of Sussex, training.
4. Execute the treatment plan in accordance with goals for therapy.
5. Client leaves therapy once goals have been reached.
I would regularly review progress and find out if you’re getting what you need from counselling/therapy – I encourage an open and honest therapeutic relationship and do my best to make sure you feel safe to be open and honest. Being able to be fully expressive in a safe enough environment can feel liberating.
I take a warm, non-judgemental and collaborative approach. I let you take the lead, but I keep an eye on your goals for counselling/therapy, to make sure we don’t waste your time and reach a point where you feel ready to cease counselling/therapy as soon as you feel ready.
In the final phase of counselling/therapy, I will help you to take away a synopsis of the work covered and an onward plan to help you keep on-track, post counselling/therapy.
Here’s a bit about my qualifications, because it’s really important when receiving therapy, that you’re in expertly trained and qualified hands. That’s the least that you deserve and should demand! Also it’s really important to hear from my clients, so why not take a minute to read some of my client testimonials (in the next section), if you want to get a better idea of how I work. You don’t need to take it from me. My clients words paint a clearer picture – one that I value and that I’m very proud of. After all, what am I without satisfied clients?
I qualified 14 years ago as a Psychotherapist after having completed a 5-year UKCP accredited training, in 2005. I graduated with a Masters Degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy. This means that I can work with clients according to their personal requirements, rather than using a ‘once size, fits all’ approach. In other words, I can offer you counselling and psychotherapy or pure Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – we can both decide which will best help you with your problems.
I have the ‘gold-standard’ training (full time) and qualification (Masters level) from University of Sussex, in CBT. Importantly the course is accredited by the UK’s leading CBT body, the BABCP. Be aware that many CBT training programmes are not accredited by the BABCP – this means that the rigorous standards set by the BABCP, are not met. My qualification in CBT means that I can apply and work for the NHS (the vast majority of CBT courses, do not provide entry into the NHS) treating those with the most complex disorders – Schizophrenia, Personality Disorders, Phobias, Depression, Panic, OCD and Anxiety. NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines, based upon trials and evidence, advocate (a BABCP accredited training/qualification) CBT for the most chronic of mental health problems.
Anxiety and Depression specialist…
Like most Cognitive Behavioural Therapists specialising in treatment for anxiety, depression, relationship problems and worry, I believe that negative thinking patterns actually cause you to feel anxious or depressed. Anxiety (as opposed to productive stress) is triggered by thoughts of threat or danger and looking at your life in a pessimistic, self-critical way.
Likewise, depression primarily results from thinking about loss or other incidents which damage your self-esteem. A negative loop of emotionally damaging effects is created. You can, however, learn to identify thoughts, moods and behaviours at an early stage and intervene to break the destructive cycle.
In addition to increasing your awareness and examining the accuracy of your thinking patterns, I work in a therapeutic partnership with you to confront your fears and to encourage change. When patients take the difficult step of dealing with troublesome issues – rather than avoiding them – they usually discover that their worst fears aren’t nearly as terrible as they imagined.
Research has shown that creating new patterns of thinking and action can actually change the organization of the mind. Positive Emission Tomography (PET) and MRI findings indicate that cognitive and behavioural modifications occurring in a psychotherapeutic setting actually modify the dysfunctional neural circuitry associated with mood disorders. With Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, you are functionally “rewiring” your brain!
Therapy, like life, is a journey. Often we need to slow things down enough to make sure we are going in the right direction.
I look forward to meeting you…