I passionately believe in the potential for inner growth and development in each person. My work involves helping people to recover from psychological dis-ease and past painful life experiences through facilitating the gradual discovery and growth of each person's unique, authentic Self.
When there has been trauma or other difficult or challenging life experiences most people have to let go of parts of their authentic Self (dissociate) and adopt coping strategies in order to survive their specific circumstances as best as they can. While highly adaptive initially, because it blocks out the pain of these experiences at the time, in later life there are often great personal costs attached to these survival-based strategies. Examples are feelings of a false sense of Self; of inner emptiness, unhappiness or depression; low self-esteem or insecurity; low frustration tolerance or anger; anxiety or fear; a sense of drifting through life without aims; addictions and cravings; eating disorders; self-destructive behaviours, and several others.
While dissociated, the pain connected to past experiences has not been able to process and therefore can frequently cause very uncomfortable symptoms, such as, sudden intrusive, overwhelming images; flashbacks and reliving experiences; nightmares; strong emotional or physical reactions; feelings of numbing or detachment; hypervigilance; safety behaviours; guilt; dissociative symptoms, such as feeling disconnected from life and several others. It is often events in daily life, such as interactions with a partner, which can bring out these symptoms.
However, situations which confront us with great inner pain, such as past trauma or abuse or a current life crisis, can move us into our process of inner growth and healing. Through my own personal and professional growth process, I have learnt that if we can move further into the pain, which confronts us, and process it, rather than trying to surpress or avoid it, we can mobilize our body, mind and Soul's natural healing processes and strengthen and grow internally. This helps us 1. to transform and change those strategies which are no longer useful to us now, 2. experience and intergrate aspects of ourselves, which we have split off from in the past and 3. become increasingly more authentic, accepting, compassionate and loving of ourselves. This, in turn, positively affects our functioning in life, including an improvement in our personal relationships, as well as, the relationship with our Self and thus enabling us to feel internally stronger, more fulfilled and content. I work with individuals and couples who want to address their relationship issues.
I have been the Clinical Director of The Oxford Development Centre Ltd, Oxfordshire's Independent Psychology Service and The Oxford Stress and Trauma Centre, which are all private, confidential, independent psychological treatment services, based on Witney, Oxfordshire for the past 12 years. There my team of specialists and I have been dedicated to providing such therapeutic work for our clients. Currently, interested clients can be seen by specialist therapists, following the above outlined approach, within my team at our specially designed therapeutic premises in Witney, Oxfordshire, or by myself in Stroud, Gloucestershire.
Our approach is to individually tailor therapy to each client's needs and their particular problems and goals. We work very collaboratively and feel that it is important for clients to feel empowered and included throughout all parts of their process of therapy. We recognize that clients need to feel safe and secure with the therapeutic relationship and need to be valued and met as unique individuals in order to benefit from therapy.
In order to achieve this, I draw on my extensive professional experience as a Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Trauma Expert (20+ years) and the use of a wide range of therapeutic methods, including Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT), Schema Mode Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Focussing, Energy Psychology, Mindfulness- and Consciousness-based Approaches, Holistic Western and Eastern Healing Methods, as well as, others.
Training, qualifications & experience
- HPC/BPS Chartered Consultant Clinical Psychologist
- Associate Fellow of The British Psychological Society (BPS)
- UKCP & BABCP Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist
- Registered EMDR Consultant
- ISST Accredited Schema Therapist
- Calatonia Practitioner
- Reconnective Healing Practitioner (Levels I, II, III)
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Certification (Step I, II)
- International Trauma Expert
- Conference Speaker
- Book Author
- BSc (First Class Hons) Psychology
- MSc Clinical Psychology
- DClin Psy - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
I have extensive experience (over 20 years) of working with adults suffering from a wide range of different psychological problems and have a special expertise in the field of trauma psychology, including PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) and Dissociative Symptoms, including Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). I work with people suffering from recent, as well as, long-standing trauma, including childhood abuse, for which I have developed my own therapeutic model, which has been published in some academic journals and a book chapter.
I wrote the first book in the UK explaining the psychology of trauma to the general public to enable people gain a better understanding of their reactions to trauma and help them heal. I have since written several other books on trauma therapy and positive growth, which have been published world wide. Recent publications include: 1. Chapter on 'Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) published in the 3rd edition of the SAGE Handbook for Psychotherapy and Counselling (2011), 2. Audiobook: Talks with your Therapist - Overcoming Trauma. Constable & Robinson (in preparation).
My work has received media attention and has been presented at conferences worldwide. I am actively engaged in a number of professional organizations and I am dedicated to my own ongoing process of growth and development. I am also a Reconnection Practitioner and I have extensive experience of working in organizational settings, for example, as an Executive Coach for senior managers and decision makers.
I am bilingual in German and English. I work with adults individually, as well as, with couples. Our team of specialists in Witney can also offer therapeutic work with children, adolescents and families.
Our services at The Oxford Development Centre Ltd (www.oxdev.co.uk) are conveniently located in Witney, Oxfordshire, and in Stroud, Gloucestershire and both offer convenient parking facilities nearby (free parking in Witney). Witney has a good bus connection to Oxford and, both, Oxford and Stroud can easily be reached by train from London and other parts of the country.