How I help

Therapy is designed to help you work on the psychological problems you are facing and develop solutions to thoughts, behaviours or patterns that prevent you from being well.


Depression

 


Anxiety

 


Relationships

 


Bereavement

 

St Albans Church scaffolding

I find it helpful to think about therapy as a form of ‘scaffolding’. If you imagine yourself as a building and find that parts of your structure are in poor condition, therapy can be a highly effective way of getting temporary support to do repair or strengthening work, leaving you healthier, stronger and happier in the long term. 

 

If you’re not sure whether therapy is right for you at this stage, my ‘Do you need therapy? page can help.

An overview of the therapeutic process

Initial assessment

When we first meet we will spend time talking about the difficulties you are experiencing, as well as your background and lifestyle. This helps me to develop a good understanding on the approaches that will be best suited to you.

Therapy

In our second appointment I will share a psychological understanding of your difficulties, and we will draw up a map with all the factors that are contributing to them. We’ll use this map to guide therapy, and to review progress along the way.

It’s often useful to set goals at the outset of therapy to focus our time. Some clients are particularly interested in deepening their self-understanding and the roots of their psychological distress, whereas others prefer to focus on developing specific strategies to manage thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

I’ll discuss this with you, as well as the number of sessions I recommend to reach your goals, taking into account the specifics of your situation and NICE guidelines. As a rough guide, I usually work with clients for 8-12 sessions. We will regularly review to ensure the therapy is on track.

I use a number of different evidence-based approaches in therapy as I strongly believe in working with individuals rather than frameworks or diagnostic labels. You might be interested in understanding a little about the three approaches I draw on most frequently:

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

This approach considers how your thinking and behaviour influences and possibly maintains your low mood and worries. By identifying beliefs and behaviours that hinder your emotional wellbeing we can explore practical changes you can make to manage and overcome them.

Systemic Therapy

This approach considers patterns in your current relationships with others. We’ll look at your interactions with any individuals or groups important to you, such as your family, partner, colleagues or friends.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

This approach is interested in helping you to explore and uncover your inner world and understand how unconscious issues might be linked to your distress. The focus is often on understanding root causes, and how early childhood experiences influence your current situation.

Long lasting wellbeing

We will plan the ending of your therapy together, and if appropriate to your needs, we will meet less frequently to prepare you for this. We will create a summary to remind you of the work we have done together, which you can take away and refer back to.

We’ll also discuss self-care techniques you can use to help you maintain a good level of emotional well-being in the long-term: habits such as sleeping and eating well, having outlets for creativity and keeping physically active.

Some clients find it helpful to return for ‘top-up’ sessions, and I am happy to offer these where necessary.

Practicalities

I provide all therapy from The Albany Centre, located in the centre of St Albans. All appointments are 50 minutes long, and are usually weekly, though we can set a schedule to suit you.

If you would like to start therapeutic work, feel free to contact me to ask any questions or book an appointment.