I offer help with a range of problems relating to mental health and coping with stress and managing emotions. Each of us is different and we develop problems for diverse reasons and express them in a variety of ways. I will work with you to understand the nature of the problems and the part they play in your life currently before discussing options for treatment. Identifying and describing a psychological problem can itself be difficult, although some of the issues might fall into the following broad categories:
- mood difficulties, such as depression and anxiety
- eating disorders - difficulty with controlling the amount you eat or where eating too much or too little has become a way for you to manage stress and negative moods
- problems with behaviour, such as being addicted to work, shopping, drinking or eating too much
- difficulties with managing time and procrastination
- fears and phobias
- obsessive compulsive behaviour
- problems in resolving emotional difficulties such as grief and the effects of traumatic memories
- self-esteem and relationship problems
- overcoming past trauma and PTSD
- work stress and pressure
- weight management and obesity
- coping with chronic illness.
My approach to therapy is broadly cognitive behavioural but I see myself as an integrative therapist. This means that I draw on a combination of several approaches to inform my work based on my experience and psychology training; and I am constantly working to incorporate new ideas about treatment into my work. I have trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) and sometimes use this in addition to other therapy where talking about change and trying out new strategies may not always be enough to help change longstanding emotional reactions to old, sometimes traumatic, memories and habits.
My aim in offering therapy is always to offer a treatment that fits with what we know is most effective in each case; and to help clients to learn ways to create changes for themselves, so that they can work towards becoming their own therapist or coach in the shortest possible time.
How many sessions will I need?
People often wonder what seeing a psychologist might involve. I would meet you for up to an hour and a half initially, to discuss what it is you are looking for and to summarise how I might be able to help. I will work with you to provide an assessment of your difficulties and available treatment options. If I recommend and you agree, I will offer you a programme of therapy relevant to your presenting problems and based as far as possible on evidence based approaches. If you decide that you would like to book further sessions with me, we will draw up a plan, which could involve one, two, or up to five or six further sessions in the first instance, after which we will review progress and consider a further series if that seems appropriate.
I am happy to receive emails or to talk briefly on the telephone in order to let you know whether I am able to help in a particular case or might suggest a different approach to the problem.
Supervision and teaching
Therapy supervision, lectures and workshops on eating disorders can be offered to other professionals on request.
The workshop "Planning and implementing psychological treatment for eating disorders" which I devised in 2014 together with my colleague Sally Savage, was given the British Psychological Society (BPS) seal of approval for the purpose of continuing professional development.
I have designed and run a one day workshop on the Psychology and Treatment of Obesity for the British Psychological Society, and can offer shorter or longer seminars for people running weight loss programmes to summarise and explore issues involved in helping people to change their eating behaviour and keep up all of the new habits that are involved in losing weight and maintaining the changes.
Talking about weight and shape and dieting
I also run discussion sessions for small groups of people - social groups, workplace groups, women's groups, around the issues of weight shape and body image and their effects on the way we relate to others both socially and at work, and the place of food and diet obsession in our lives. These groups can provide a safe space for people to air views and discuss issues around weight, eating and self-image which pervade our social scene - in day to day life in media communications and even within work settings and family life. I am happy to run these sessions online.