How I work

When we are troubled by our ability to cope with something there is usually a relationship component to our difficulty. If we can understand how this affects us, we are better placed to take control of our own lives. The technical term which most closely describes my practice is Relational, which integrates psychodynamic therapy and the humanistic therapies. So, what do these terms mean?…

The psychodynamic model puts relationships – both past and present – at the heart of emotional life: it aims to help us understand the flows of emotions, feelings, wishes and reactions both within ourselves and between us and other people. And, those other people are both those people who are around us in our life now, and those who were around us much earlier on during those years that shaped us.

The humanistic therapies are very influenced by the Person Centred approach developed by Carl Rogers, which emphasis the contactful-ness and human-ness of the therapeutic relationship. Much of the value of therapy lies, I think, in being in the presence of someone who seeks to understand, explore, contribute ideas etc, without being punishing, retaliatory or belittling. Both of these above approaches work with feelings, and what we do with them, i.e. we look at the connection between feelings and behaviour.

The therapeutic relationship itself is an important component in the work we undertake. If you come to see me, it is important that you feel safe enough within that relationship to explore (if you so choose) any difficulty which is felt. Creating a sense of trust and safety is therefore high on my agenda. My job is to develop a conversation with you in which I try to get to know you. Along the way, I communicate to you how I see you, and we explore together whether my perceptions fit with yours. This work is therefore challenging, as it needs to address areas that are uncomfortable to face (eg guilt, shame, sadness) or else need thinking about afresh.