My approach is inclusive, down-to-earth and collaborative, helping give you a clearer understanding of your problems. I use a range of established, proven techniques to help you cope better.
Integrative Arts Psychotherapy (IAP)
Not everything is easily expressed in words, and using the arts provides a unique way for new insights to emerge. As an integrative arts psychotherapist, I use the creative process to investigate and resolve your issues through increased self-awareness and self-expression. Creativity can help change the way we think and behave, encouraging increased self-awareness and understanding.
IAP uses a range of different art forms, which can include the visual arts, music and drama. You don’t need any particular skill or experience to benefit from this therapy.
Integrative psychotherapy encourages the development of the individual, along with their relationship to themselves, to others and to the wider society. Central to achieving this is a safe and trusting working relationship between client and therapist. The discipline also takes into account other established models, such as psychodynamic, client-centred, behaviourist and cognitive therapeutic approaches.
Trauma can result from any experience when an individual perceives themself, or someone close to them, to be at risk of serious harm or death. This can trigger overwhelming stress and impede an individual’s capacity to cope. Typical causes of trauma include:
- Sexual assault
- Domestic violence
- Natural disasters
- Conflict or war
- Road accidents
- Childhood experiences
- Emotional abuse
- Bullying (including cyber-bullying)
- Chronic illness
Sometimes people come to therapy specifically as a result of a single traumatic experience (single episode trauma), or after enduring a period of trauma (complex trauma). It is also now recognised that being indirectly exposed to traumatic experiences can cause trauma symptoms. This is known as ‘secondary trauma’, for example, call centre staff dealing with victims of abuse.
Many types of psychotherapy can be invaluable in supporting people in such cases, and I use the term trauma counselling where the agreed focus of the work is to help the current trauma symptoms rather than explore past experiences, longer term issues or other aspects of your life that may also need attention.
Trauma counselling can help:
- Process traumatic events safely
- Reduce common symptoms such as nightmares and flashbacks
- Reduce anxiety levels and manage mood fluctuations
- Provide coping strategies and practical support
- Help prevent prolonged psychological difficulties
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This helps solve emotional and behavioural problems using a number of goal-oriented systematic procedures. It focuses on specific issues and involves helping people choose particular strategies to help address their problems and change their thinking and behaviour.
Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)
This reduces the effects of disturbing memories caused by traumatic events. EMDR is used within a comprehensive treatment plan to promote your recovery from a relevant problem. It aims to reduce the symptoms of trauma, including those commonly associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR processes information or memories that have got stuck in the brain’s neurological pathways and it aims to develop new and more accurate associations with the memory.
In this current climate, psychotherapy sessions online or on the telephone have become another viable option for many clients. I believe that virtual sessions can be extremely valuable and that, from a client’s perspective, can produce the same level of outcomes as face-to-face.
Therapy sessions via telephone or Skype can be particularly useful if:
- You are unable to get to face-to-face meetings due to shielding or self-isolation, your location, schedule or for mobility issues
- You feel less anxious talking to someone from a familiar surrounding such as your own home
- Can be used as an alternative at short notice if something unexpected means you cannot make your planned appointment
- Can be used in combination with face-to-face therapy, for example some people have their initial appointment face-to-face and then some subsequent Skype sessions
Psychological debriefing (PD) is a model used to help people process and resolve traumatic incidents. Typically, it has been used by the emergency services following events such as natural disasters, stabbings and other attacks, but can effectively be used after other traumatic events.
It is a structured model that allows individuals to debrief their experience and focuses on the facts of the trauma rather than the feelings associated with it.
PD can be carried out one-to-one or in groups, and the process is covered in one session. Typically, this would last around one and a half hours with an individual person, and around two and a half hours with a group. Part of the session allows for psycho-education around the physiological effects of trauma, and an assessment of further recommended support.
Combined Mind Body Therapy (CMBT)
If the body is overwhelmed by an emotional state for a prolonged amount of time, it can react by manifesting physical and psychological symptoms that we may not be aware of. The combination of counselling and acupuncture can be an effective way to help sustain wellbeing. The CMBT method is an integrated and structured six-week approach, using counselling and acupuncture. I work alongside a licensed acupuncturist to help you address the deeper issues, enable you to break repetitive patterns and move on.