I always provide an initial psychological assessment, based on a detailed interview regarding mood, current stresses, and background issues. This will provide a basis to determine whether therapy is appropriate for you,, and will help to identify what issues may be considered priorities for therapeutic intervention.
The most common problems I treat include:
- Adjustment to longterm or short term health conditions
- Stress responses in regard to work, relationships, life events
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Adjustment to life transitions, ageing, and grief
- Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)
- Sleep management, including insomnia, oversleeping, and other sleep disorders
- Substance use issues(alcohol and cannabis)
- Women’s health issues
- Young adults experiencing difficulties affecting relationships, stress, or emotional adjustment
What I can offer:
I offer a flexible and individually tailored approach to the client's problems and the context in which these arise.
Every client is provided with an initial comprehensive assessment, looking at current problems and any relevant background factors, including family dynamics, trauma, illness, separations, etc. If therapy is considered appropriate, the goals of therapy will then be discussed following the assessment..
The therapeutic approach will depend on the client's specific needs and goals. I use an integrated approach, with the aim of providing the individual with a tailored range of evidence-based therapeutic tools to enable them to manage difficulties when they occur.
Some clients choose simply to have a comprehensive psychological assessment of cognitive, emotional, or behavioural problems. Others may opt for either time limited problem-focussed therapy, or longer, open-ended therapy.
My approach integrates a combination of evidence-based therapies which have been researched and demonstrated to be effective in treating emotional disorders and neuropsychological problems..
My primary approach is:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):
CBT aims to help you understand the thoughts and feelings that lead to problem behaviours. It is a practical approach that involves identifying unhelpful, negative thinking styles and underlying beliefs (schema) and finding more adaptive and helpful ways of thinking. CBT involves challenging your automatic thoughts and perceptions and identifying the underlying beliefs that may shape thinking patterns. It involves active collaboration between client and therapist, and practical, homework exercises are a key component of therapy.
Other recent therapies which may be used in combination with CBT, or on their own, include:
Mindfulness-Based CBT (MBCBT):
This involves learning skills to reduce rumination (repetitive negative thoughts and patterns) to.disengage from habitual ‘automatic’ unhelpful cognitive patterns. The core skill is intentionally ‘shifting mental gears’. MBCBT focuses on training the mind to be more aware of the present, thus enabling thoughts and feelings to become less intrusive.
Compassion Focussed Therapy (Compassionate Mind Training):
This tackles the high levels of shame and self-criticism often associated with anxiety and depression, by enabling you to become more aware of your automatic reactions to threat, and becoming more self-compassionate and catching self-critical thoughts when they arise. Compassion Focussed Therapy is based on developmental psychology and neuroscience, helping us understand and modify reactions to perceived threats.
Cognitive Remediation Strategies
This approach is valuable for individuals who are experiencing memory and attention problems due to stress or neurological illness/injury, and includes strategies aimed at improving executive functioning (organisation and planning), and strengthening focus by reducing environmental and cognitive distractions.
Attentional training is a valuable way of learning how to focus the mind and keep our attention from wandering. It strengthens the ability to process information, and thus to remember it later. There are a number of techniques for attention training, including Mindfulness.
Memory strategies involve organising, processing, storing and retrieving information more effectively. They may include internal (mental) strategies, as well as electronic or environmental strategies.