Alice Cook
UKCP Registered Integrative Psychotherapist
EMDR Practitioner
Counselling and Psychotherapy Supervisor

Alice has over 25 years experience of working therapeutically. She is a UKCP registered Integrative Psychotherapist, an EMDR practitioner and a counselling and psychotherapy supervisor. Her background has been in private practice, health and social care settings, the NHS, Higher Education and mental health work in international development. She brings long experience of working with people from all kinds of backgrounds. Alice works at our Cotswold Centre for Trauma Healing in Stroud.

My Approach

The most important starting point for therapy is facilitating a safe and trusting therapeutic environment, without which no change is possible. For people who have experienced traumatic events in their lives or have a background of difficult relationships in childhood this is not easy. Underlying all psychotherapy is the relational dimension – being deeply listened to and heard, whatever the person wants to bring and say. And so going at your own pace, allowing time for the process to unfold and feeling safe enough in a therapeutic relationship to open up and begin to share deep and painful experiences is often a large part of our work together and a huge step.

All the evidence from psychological studies is that the connection between client and therapist is the strongest factor in psychological healing. My core background is in psychotherapy and in practice, I draw from a range of disciplines, approaches and understandings. Taking an integrative approach, we will always work collaboratively and take a holistic perspective. We are not just our ‘symptoms’ although they may be what lead people into therapy. My aim is for us to look together at the whole person, and that might mean physical, mental, emotional or spiritual aspects, since all of these work together to build up our sense of identity and meaning in life.

Starting from a solid base of trust, we may use targeted treatments such as EMDR in order to help build a greater sense of inner strength and resources and process traumatic memories. We might also use other creative modalities such as visualization, art work and creative writing. These can be very helpful to express parts of the self that are difficult to access through spoken words. I aim to create a safe space in which all of these modes of expression can be accessed and explored.

I have particular experience of women’s mental health services and working with women around pregnancy, the loss of a baby, childbirth and post-natal issues. I have worked for many years in women’s mental health services with very vulnerable women who may have experienced violence or child abuse and where a sense of safety is paramount.

My background

I have worked for the last 25 years in mental health settings, as a practitioner and manager of family, community and counselling services as well as in private practice. These have been in a range of organisations including primary care, mental health, university settings and the voluntary sector. I have also lived and worked in Sri Lanka community and hospital mental health services.

My qualifications are in Integrative Psychotherapy, Psychodynamic Supervision and I am an EMDR practitioner. But I have also trained and worked as a nurse, doula and health visitor and hold an MA in Creative Non-Fiction.

Publications

  • 2016: Les femmes contre les missiles: (French re-publication of my 1983 book ‘Greenham Women Everywhere’) Cambourakis Press
  • 2012: Our stories, our learning: A guide to community mental health. VSO in Tamil and English
  • 2007: Working with Trauma – EMDR in Higher Education (with Colin Brazier). BACP UC Journal.
  • 2004: ‘Pain in the Heart: changing consultation patterns with frequently attending patients’ Journal of Primary Care Mental Health (with Dr Rhiannon England).
  •  2001: The Life Coloured Pink: A Study of the Marriage and Relationship Support Service Needs of the Turkish/Kurdish Community in East London: FWA for the Lord Chancellors Department. Also an associated video ‘Talk to me, Share with me’ a guide for Turkish speaking couples on relationship support in Turkish and English.