GENERAL COUNSELLING AND CONSULTATION
You may have a sense of something not feeling right in yourself but are unsure what the issue is or what might help. I offer one off and extended consultations as well as exploratory counselling to help you think about yourself and clarify what might be contributing to how you are feeling. Sometimes this can be enough to help you understand what needs to change and how to go about it. Sometimes it can lead to us agreeing to meet for a longer period of time for a more focused psychological therapy.
Schema therapy helps you identify problematic life patterns (Schemas) that have arisen as a result of unmet childhood needs and helps you understand better how different parts of the self are involved in the maintenance of these patterns. Schema therapy goes beyond giving you an intellectual understanding of your life story. In the course of your therapy you will engage in experiential exercises which will help you break negative patterns on a deep, emotional level.
Mentalizing means being able to see oneself from the outside (how thoughts, feelings and behaviours are understood by and influence others) and imagine others from the inside (what their intentions, thoughts, feelings, wishes and desires might be). Mentalizing mostly happens automatically, outside of our awareness. It is only when something unexpected happens that we pause and ask ourselves, ‘Why did I do that?’ or ‘What did he mean by that?’ Being able to mentalize is crucial for a stable sense of self and for good relationships with loved ones, friends and colleagues. Fulfilling and healthy relationships are based on being able to take perspective and have curiosity about oneself and other people.
Everyone can mentalize. However, the capacity to mentalize can get inhibited under high levels of stress. Sometimes this can be linked to a particularly difficult period of time, such as a divorce or problems at work or at school. Other times it can be linked to chronically high levels of stress.
Mentalization-based therapy focuses on strengthening the ability to reinstate mentalizing whenever it breaks down. It has been shown to be an effective intervention for emotional instability, family discord, eating difficulties and depression and suicidality.
Mindfulness means becoming aware of the workings of the mind without feeling compelled to act on thoughts, feelings or urges that might arise. Regular mindfulness practice can strengthen emotional regulation, reduce ruminative thoughts, and give you more choice about how you want to respond to internal and external events. I offer mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness skills training based on dialectical-behaviour therapy (DBT) principles.
EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITISATION AND REPROCESSING
EMDR is an effective intervention for treating psychological trauma relating to single traumatic incidents or childhood experiences that are feeding into present day problems, such as phobias, anxiety disorders, confidence issues and low self-esteem. EMDR helps process traumatic memories that have become ‘stuck’.