Sometimes life can feel like a losing battle. If you are looking for help, I offer a safe, completely confidential environment, where we can think and talk together. I work psychodynamically, an approach underpinned by the idea that our present-day feelings are powerfully influenced by our past experiences. When we remain conflicted in the present about events that happened in the past, we often find ourselves troubled in everyday life. These are the feelings that lead people to look for help to understand and resolve these issues.
Whatever the theoretical approach, I believe that the single most important aspect of the work is the relationship between patient and therapist. I will therefore work with you in a way that is, above all else, straightforwardly human. C.G. Jung said that therapy is unlikely to be effective unless both participants are equally involved - a belief that I deeply share. I normally suggest a no-obligation initial meeting or phone call to get a feel for how we might be able to work together. I offer sessions once or twice weekly and also have a number of evening appointment slots available. I will work non-judgmentally to help you move beyond whatever it is that is troubling you.
You don’t have to be a therapist to know that talking things over can be very helpful. But you know, we’ve probably all had the experience of confiding in a friend and of the friend saying, “Oh I felt like that too. Do you remember how I was after the cat died?” and before you know it, you’re consoling them! In therapy it’s rather more structured. The word we often use to describe this structure is 'containing'. There are lots of containers. The consulting room, the time slot, the regularity of the sessions. These all provide stability, boundaries if you will, to help contain what can often seem like overwhelming emotions. This is important because very often it is the experience of fractured relationships that brings people into therapy in the first place. So, it’s important for therapy to allow, where possible, an un-fractured restorative experience to emerge. Of course, there may be difficulties some ups and downs and doubtless a few tears, but that’s life, isn’t it? Therapy isn’t something that happens in here that you take out there. Therapy is a co-arising experience that leads towards a deeper understanding of what has been and what now is that hopefully will point to a more fulfilling future.
At the core of Jung’s approach was the conviction that the whole of an individual’s experience should be included and thought about in the therapy in order to avoid 'inconvenient truths' being pathologized or disavowed. This means that as well as the individual’s commendable longings for spiritual growth their unwanted ‘Shadow’ aspects – aggressive, envious, destructive qualities - must also be included in the work. Jung’s was a vision that 'wholeistically' embraced the highs and lows of human experience. He called this striving-towards-wholeness, Individuation.
This can pave the way for the individual to move beyond their everyday view of themselves, opening themselves up to the functioning of the deeper psyche and the influence of what Jung called 'The Self'.
For example, Jung’s approach to what we generally call 'symptoms' is a beautiful illustration of these ideas in action. In a time when medication is the go-to remedy, Jung’s approach, unlike the pharmaceutical model, which focuses on symptom relief, regards neurotic 'symptoms' as teleological - a signal that a change in our way of life is needed. If we merely mask the symptoms, and go on with life as usual, then we impoverish our Self, losing access to the crucial information that is being provided and in so doing hamper development and progress.
I trained in the Jungian/Post-Jungian tradition at the Society of Analytical Psychology (SAP) and am licensed to offer once or twice weekly psychodynamic psychotherapy. I am a registered, accredited member of the BPC (The British Psychoanalytic Council) and of the SAP (Society of Analytical Psychology) as well as the International Association for Analytical Psychology (I.A.A.P.).
Call or email to book an initial session. This in no way commits you to proceed any further. I usually recommend that even if we feel the meeting has gone well that we meet for a second time a week or two later to see what might have come up as a result of our encounter. If we still want to go ahead, we’ll book a regular fifty-minute slot. It is important to understand that this is your slot for as long as you want it. It is therefore an important part of my professional commitment to you that I am there for every session. When it comes to my holidays, I will give you eight weeks’ notice of my dates so that you may plan accordingly. Of course, you will not be charged if I am away or miss a session. However, if you schedule a holiday in the middle of a 'term' or simply miss a session, I will expect you to pay for the appointments you miss. Similarly, if you come (say) 10 minutes late you will have forty minutes of your session left.
Starting therapy is a big commitment and these tried and tested guidelines promote clarity and stability when, as sometimes happens, everything else seems to be in flux.