While there are now many different theories and models of psychotherapy, there are four common factors between all effective therapies: 1) an emotionally charged, confiding relationship with a helping person; 2) a healing setting; 3) a rationale that provides a plausible explanation for the client’s symptoms; 4) a method that requires active participation of both client and therapist which is believed by both to be a means of restoring the client’s health. Research has shown that psychotherapy is very effective for a lot of people, but there is little evidence that any one model is more effective. What really seems to matter is that client and therapist have a good working alliance and that they both believe in the approach they are taking together.
For this reason, I put the therapeutic relationship at the centre of the work and I use my knowledge of multiple models and approaches to develop a language that makes sense to both of us. Some say that there are as many different therapies as there are therapists. I would take this further and suggest that there are as many different therapies as there are client-therapist relationships. This is because we work collaboratively to create the therapy that is best for you and your needs.
My original training was in Gestalt psychotherapy. This theoretical model encompasses the four factors mentioned above. The focus is on developing awareness of present experiences (thoughts, emotions, sensations and actions) in relation to the present context. The more aware we are of our experience and the conditions of the present moment, the better we can take care of our needs, or fulfil our desires. We often react to the present situation out of habit, with diminished awareness. These habits will have been developed in relation to a past situation and might not be the optimal response. The aim in therapy is to develop awareness of these reactions, so that we can choose the best possible response for the present moment. With such awareness we can live our lives more fully with more vitality, continually adjusting to the ever-changing situation.
Gestalt is by definition an integrating approach and lends itself well to bringing in ideas from other theories and models, while at the same time remaining firmly grounded in its own method.
Below is a list of training that I have completed, which may influence my work.
• Gestalt Psychotherapist (MA and UKCP registered Gestalt Therapist)
• EMDR (fully trained EMDR therapist)
• Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
• Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
• Mentalisation Based Therapy
• Attachment Theory
• Systemic Constellations
• Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (level 1)
• Schema Therapy
• Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
• Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)