BSc: Psychology & Neuroscience – University of Manchester.
PhD: Cognitive Science (on memory and learning) – University of Edinburgh. Diploma: Humanistic Counselling – Hills Road College.
Advanced Certificate: Adlerian Studies – Bottisham College.
We can all find our way, given the right circumstances. I see therapy as a genuinely collaborative process to gain a better understanding of what’s going on for you and why; what you can accept, and what you want to be different; and how to get to where you really want to be. I work with anyone who is 15 years or older.
The biggest predictor of positive change in therapy is the quality of the therapeutic relationship, so it’s up to us to make something that works. I am warm, empathetic, genuinely non- judgmental and not afraid to (appropriately) challenge; and I look forward to working with you.
I’ll listen to you, encourage and support you, and help you clarify exactly what you are grappling with. Sometimes that might be enough for you to better hear yourself and understand what you need to do now. At other times, a more focused exploration of associated thoughts, assumptions, expectations, hopes and fears may hold the key. Or perhaps you need explicit ideas for managing symptoms or making changes. Or to gain a better understanding of what you are going through and why… Or to be supported to challenge and rebuild unhelpful beliefs…
In therapy, I prefer to focus on what is going on now – as that is what we can change. However, our feelings, thoughts and behaviours are always rooted in learning in the past. Understanding our underlying motivations, beliefs and expectations – acquired from past experiences – can help make sense of current feelings, thoughts and behaviours that may seem unhelpful or negative in the present; and can help us see how to move forward whether in acceptance or change. Questioning habitual patterns of thinking is often the key to positive change.
Competent counsellors recognise the value of drawing on a variety of approaches, tools and models to aid their work with clients. I am an ‘integrative therapist’, with a Humanistic positive view of people and their potential. I also draw on the psychodynamic Adlerian approach (which sees people primarily as social beings with purposeful goal-oriented behaviour), and use cognitive behavioural approaches and other ideas and tools when appropriate.
Neuroscientific and neuropsychological perspectives also increasingly offer key insights and guidance into what really works – and what doesn’t – in therapy. These ideas can particularly enhance therapeutic progress with anxiety, depression or trauma; increase success in making changes to how we feel; and improve our mental well-being and resilience, for example.
Understanding things from a biological perspective gives hope too: we are literally wired for change. Whilst we can learn unhelpful patterns, we can unlearn them too – if we want to.