RMN Diploma, Cognitive Approaches to Counselling and Psychotherapy (Goldsmiths College, London)
Specialist Trauma Consultant
Accredited EMDR Practitioner
I began working in mental health in the 1980s, motivated by a deep desire to learn more about how people work – what makes them unhappy, anxious, depressed or troubled – and how to help them overcome their problems.
I gained invaluable experience as part of a specialist psychological therapy team in the NHS mental health service working with people with many different types of problem from severe conditions such as bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia to depression, phobias, eating disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
I believe most psychological problems are more injury than illness: that trauma is the root of most problems – not only major traumatic incidents such as accidents, disasters or combat but also other less obviously traumatic experiences. I also believe that, as children and infants, we don’t always get what we need to develop into healthy, confident adults. Many of these types of problem can be addressed effectively with psychological therapies such as EMDR and CBT.
Meditation techniques such as mindfulness have proved very useful both in my own life and the lives of many of my clients. I am very interested in psychotherapeutic group work and have collaborated with colleagues to implement innovative group programmes. I currently co-lead the Compassionate Mindfulness Group at our service in Witney. While working on the group therapy programmes, I learned about Compassion Focused Therapy which is rooted in neuroscience and evolutionary psychology and embraces ancient techniques that we can now understand much better.
In my client work, I use elements of all these therapeutic models depending on the needs of the individual and his or her specific problems. The therapies are philosophically compatible and complement one another to provide a deep and effective resource to help people who are suffering.
“I believe we are all just trying to do our best to feel safe and happy but sometimes we need a bit of help to achieve this.”