A wealth of personal & professional experiences of deeply-rooted & complex issues contributes to making me an effective therapist for a wide range of concerns. I have a passion for helping clients to recover & be free from what holds them back in life. I work hard to create the right conditions for growth & change.
My core training is a BA (Hons) in Person-Centred Counselling & Psychotherapy from University of Warwick. This was a high-quality degree based on the work of Carl Rogers, and other humanistic psychologists such as Abraham Maslow. Rooted in the teachings of Paulo Freire, the course of study was deeply experiential and underpinned by the philosophical theories of existentialism and phenomenology.
In addition to being grounded in a person-centred approach, I have experience of working with a number of different models and theories in a variety of clinical settings. At times, I find these are helpful when working with specific issues - particularly for child sexual abuse, complex trauma, domestic abuse including coercive control, and addictions. My work also incorporates an understanding of social psychology from my doctorate in psychology and behavioural science, which gives me an appreciation of the familial, social, cultural and environmental factors that impact people. This is counter to the dominant medical model that places the cause of disorder within the individual. I see people as behaving entirely normally to abnormal circumstances and understand that much of their distress is an understandable reaction to things that have happened to them or have been done to them. I create a safe environment for exploration of these events and I have much experience in helping people to process trauma of all kinds and work with the inner child to make connections between the past and present and encourage self-parenting, self-sufficiency and self-care. I know how we are connected to everything around us and have a systemic understanding of how we operate in the world. I feel the connection to a universal energy and the healing power of nature. I draw on ancient healing practices of yoga and meditation to connect us to our intuition about what is good for us and what is harmful to us. You have all the resources you need inside of you and I see it as my job to create the right environment for you to access those.
An accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), I work to standards specified by the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice. My membership is registered on the BACP register of counsellors and psychotherapists.
I work in private practice in London and Nottingham - click on those locations for availability and fees. I also work from Bedford and by Skype, and offer walk & talk therapy in outdoor spaces. Additionally, I offer intensive therapy over weekends in peaceful countryside and coastal locations - and in Bedford , which is just north of London. Working intensively can be helpful to make a start on long-term work if you have a big story that you need to tell when the weekly 50 minute therapy hour doesn't get you far. This is well-suited to clients who have experienced abuse and/or trauma and, also, reflects the type of ongoing recovery therapy and support that is usual in residential treatment centres for a range of addictions (e.g., drugs/alcohol/food/sex). I have worked as a therapist on both prison drug rehabilitation programmes and in high-end residential addiction treatment centres. I can offer you a secure container within which to explore what is going on for you and ensure that we gently close and contain anything that is opened up, so that you leave safely. My weekend prices start from £450, which comprises 6 hours therapy, plus we walk and have lunch together as appropriate. Additional costs for food and accommodation are priced individually according to budget.
During my doctoral research, I studied the lack of support for mothers who are intentionally separated from their children as a form of coercive control. I developed a training programme to improve professionals' responses to mothers living apart from their children, which I offer throughout the year in various locations. If you are a practitioner working in this field and would like to know more about training or reflective supervision please read here for for more information and do check out my page on practitioner self-care retreats.
I specialise in the following areas:
Identity and existential issues
Depression & anxiety
Drug & alcohol problems
Food-related issues and body dysmorphia
Loss and grief
As a humanistic counsellor, I work from a relational approach, which has benefits for a wide range of relationship issues. From the perspective of a humanistic approach, which is antithetical to the current dominant medical model of the NHS, I don't diagnose and 'treat' clients. If you have been diagnosed with a mental health problem or personality disorder, our work together will likely focus on you as a unique individual rather than your diagnosis/label. Here, I use the dominant language of the current system, e.g. I state I work with depression and anxiety even though I don't use these terms myself. This is by way of shorthand for a person who might not have begun to think about their issues outside of the diagnosis/label applied to them and because it can be difficult for prospective clients to find the right therapist for them without using the dominant language.
I am trained in Irvin Yalom's interpersonal group therapy and have also run support groups for mothers living apart from their children, especially when this has been intentionally engineered by coercive controllers through the family courts. I understand a wide range of relationship difficulties rooted in families of origin when there has been abuse and trauma. I can facilitate parent-child reunion when there has been estrangement/alienation.
I have additional expertise through research and experience in the following areas:
Family violence/domestic abuse
Parent-child separation and reunion
Childhood sexual abuse