WHY CHOOSE ME?
If you're looking for a therapist, you might not really know what you should be looking for. Here are some reasons why you might choose to work with me. The most important indicator of psychotherapy working is in the therapeutic relationship, that is the working alliance between me and you. A lot of what I do in therapy is repair work. Repairing past experiences, learning to trust, testing out new ways of relating, recognising emotional needs, learning how to ask for what you want. Therefore it's important you find someone you feel comfortable with or who you think you can talk to. If you have any questions, please ask and I'll be happy to help!
I think of therapy like emotional dialysis. I help people to understand their emotions, process them, tolerate them and express them. When you can manage your emotions better, you are no longer beholden to them. When you can ask for (and get) the support that you need you'll be able to rely less on the coping strategies you've used to get by. You don't need to carry on feeling suicidal or depressed or wondering why you can't get it together.
MY Areas of interest
I have a particular interest in working with clients with depression (including post natal depression), clients who have suffered relational trauma (such as a breakdown of a relationship, emotional abuse, difficulty sustaining or being in a relationship) and CPTSD or complex ptsd (ongoing trauma normally starting in childhood). I'm also happy to work with clients experiencing other issues, so if you're wondering if I can help please ask.
I entered therapy myself because I was depressed. I wanted to help other people deal with their depression but I knew I couldn't do this until I could come out the other side and understand myself. I had panic attacks and used various coping strategies (unsuccessfully) to try and suppress my feelings. What worked for me was understanding the causes of my experiences, learning to express myself and tolerating my own emotions. My knowledge comes not just from a sound theoretical background, it comes also from a personal experience. Knowing what depression feels like means my training goes far beyond theory.
I've had a lot of therapy
I've seen around 6 different therapists and received 100's of hours of my own therapy.
Why is this important? It's important for a few reasons.:
1. I've had experience of different therapeutic approaches. I did not train in my chosen method by accident. It was the most effective approach to therapy that I had tried. Working with different therapy styles allowed me to decide what I found helpful and what I didn't. Many clients don't know the type of therapy their therapist uses. If therapy doesn't work, it's useful to try and work out why. Was there a poor connection with the therapist? Did something happen that caused the therapy relationship to break down? Was the therapist unprepared to discuss topics the client needed to discuss? Was something repeated in therapy that was traumatic for the client? Without knowing the method of therapy being practiced, it's difficult to work out exactly where the therapy broke down.
2. I can separate my stuff from your stuff. A psychotherapist needs to be able to keep their thoughts and feeling separate from their clients'. They need to be able to hold space for the client without being surprised by their own reactions. Therapists who have not done their own personal work may not be able to do this. They might struggle with their own personal reactions to a situation that a client experiences that mirrors their own. They might act in a way that does not benefit the client. I'm not trying to turn you into someone like me. I want you to be able to decide what is best for you. As long as you feel comfortable working with me, we can hold different opinions without my feeling the need to 'change your mind'.
3. When I ask you to try something different or make a suggestion about what to do, I won't ask you to do anything that I haven't done myself. I think this is important, because I want you to be prepared. I don't want you to try something and leave you to it. I want to be able to give you some idea of the process and if it's relevant I might share some of my own experience. That way you aren't in the dark and you are less likely to feel shame if it doesn't work out or feel overwhelmed. You will know that we are in this together.
4. I've spent a lot of time working on my 'blind spots'. I've had difficult discussions with my own therapists, and faced thoughts I didn't want to. I know what it's like to feel hopeless and wonder if things will ever change. I can be aware of material I might find tricky and take steps to ensure this doesn't impact you and your therapy.
I completed a 4 year post graduate diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy in 2014. This involved 600 hours of training, and required me to complete 450 client hours (working with clients), 160 hours of personal therapy (my own therapy) and 150 hours of supervision (time spent discussing client work with a supervisor). I also completed a dissertation and a transcript of my client work.
Prior to this I completed a counselling skills certificate at Metanoia in 2009.
I have received specialised training in sexual abuse and trauma and have volunteered for JAAR (Jersey Action Against Rape). I have also volunteered at Jersey BEAT (eating disorders charity).
Therapist, counsellor and psychotherapist are not currently protected titles in the UK. This means there are no restrictions about who can call themselves a counsellor, a therapist or a psychotherapist. It is therefore advisable to clarify the type of training that your therapist has undergone.
I'm accredited with the UKCP. This means I meet the high standards they set for psychotherapists, including ethical standards, standards for continued training and supervision requirements.
I have worked successfully with many clients. Becoming a psychotherapist has enabled me to combine my personal experiences with my training and to help others out of the holes they've felt stuck in. I've helped clients deal with and move past suicidal thoughts, helped them overcome panic attacks, learn to communicate their thoughts and feelings, set boundaries, learn about healthy relationships and what they look like and much more. Many clients tell me that they have not felt listened to or accepted until they came to therapy. Therapy becomes a safe space for them where they can finally be themselves as they learn how to extend that into their lives and find people who will also accept them for who they are (and want to be).
I do not post client testimonials on my site. The UKCP requests that its accredited psychotherapists do not use testimonials in any of their promotional material. This is because in order to verify that the client is genuine, confidentiality would need to be broken which is not permitted.
If you do have UK health insurance, I am covered under Axa PPP and Aviva. Please check your individual cover to ensure therapy is covered by your policy.