Michaela Dunbar, Clinical Psychologist, HCPC
I understand that looking for a therapist can feel bit overwhelming and confusing. I hope the information below will help to answer some of your questions but if you would like to know more, please contact me in confidence via our team at Avenue Therapies by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (01420540220).
The first thing to say is that I am a Clinical Psychologist, registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). As a Clinical Psychologist I am trained to doctoral level to deliver researched and evidence-based therapy from a variety of therapeutic ‘models’. This allows me to tailor therapy to your individual needs by selecting aspects of therapy models that will be most helpful to you. If you want to find out more, I have written a little about how a Clinical Psychologist is different from a Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Psychiatrist below.
People look into therapy for a variety of reasons including psychological, emotional, personal or relational difficulties. I am passionate about understanding each person as an individual and tailoring therapy to their unique needs. I have trained in a breadth of psychological models which allows me to adapt therapy appropriately by selecting the aspects that will be most helpful to you. I have written more about the psychological models I work with below.
It’s important for people to have a good experience of therapy. I understand that whether you are an adult, parent, child or adolescent, coming to therapy is a big and important step, and the idea of talking to a stranger about things that you are struggling with, and you may have never spoken about before, can seem daunting. With that in mind, my first aim is to cultivate a trusting, confidential, and non-judgmental relationship that makes you feel comfortable and safe enough to share your experiences and difficulties with me. From this starting point, my aim is to help you to develop a helpful understanding of your difficulties from which we can work towards implementing change strategies to support you in your journey forward.
Each person I meet with in therapy is a unique individual who is the expert of their experience, so our work together will be collaborative throughout, so that together we can explore what your obstacles are to thriving and meeting your potential.
I value the role of the therapeutic relationship in enabling, mobilising and empowering people to move towards their full potential. The therapeutic relationship offers a collaborative space to explore and understand current difficulties from which change and new ways of being can grow. My intention as a therapist is to facilitate understanding and change that will ultimately enable the client to leave the therapeutic relationship and continue on their journey through life in their valued direction.
I am also part of Avenue Therapies, a community practice of highly experienced and qualified Psychologists and Psychological Therapists. We offer clinics over a variety of locations. For more details please visit http://www.avenuetherapies.com/contact. Many of the team have attended advanced level training and have particular specialisms so, although I may not be an expert in the area you would like support with, it is likely someone within our team is. We offer a variety of different therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Schema Therapy, Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), Psychodynamic Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Therapy and Systemic approaches. Was also have Occupational Therapy services and close links to local Psychiatric colleagues. All of the team at Avenue Therapies work in accordance with the guidance set by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
I have experience supporting adults, children and adolescents with a range of issues including OCD, panic attacks/anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, self-harm, chronic pain, chronic fatigue. I also work with behavioural difficulties in children and young people, including providing parenting support using Webster-Stratton. Prior to this, I worked in mental health research. I offer individual sessions with adults and young people and I also offer family therapy sessions where this would be helpful.
What to expect from your therapy sessions
I work to provide a safe, contained and confidential space on a weekly basis in which you can share the difficulties you want to work on, at a pace you feel comfortable, so we can work together towards understanding and change in the direction of your values.
The first session is the assessment and will be slightly longer than a normal session at 90 minutes. This is to give enough time to explore what you have come to therapy for, what you have tried in the past, what helped and what didn't help. At the end of this session, I will try and make some recommendations around what may be most helpful for you. Following our meeting, I'll summarise our conversation in a letter which I will email to you.
After the assessment session, the sessions will be 55 minutes. Each person I work with is very different so it is difficult to predict how many sessions will be needed. From a personal therapeutic perspective, my aim is only to work with a person for as long as it is helpful and to empower the person to leave therapy with the skills they need.
How is a Clinical Psychologist different?
Clinical Psychologists train to a doctoral level in a range of therapeutic models which allows them to tailor therapy. Formulation is a particular skill of Clinical Psychologists for making sense of individual difficulties and needs and tailoring therapy from different models to the person. Counsellors and Psychotherapists are also qualified therapeutic practitioners but are generally trained in one therapeutic model and not to doctoral level. Psychiatrists are also doctors but they work with people experiencing mental health difficulties using medications to help manage these difficulties rather than talking therapies.
Training, qualifications & experience
- EMDR – Part 1, Sandi Richman (2017)
- Trauma Focussed CBT, David Trickey (2017)
- DBT essentials, the Association for Psychological Therapies (2017)
- Basic Life Support, adult & paediatric (2017)
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Eating Disorders: Dr Christopher Fairburn, (2016)
- Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: Dr Tom Lynch, BPS (2016)
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Level A: Dr Susan Howard, (2015)
- Compassion Focussed Therapy: Dr Paul Gilbert, BPS (2013)
- Doctorate in Clinical Psychology - University of Surrey 2016
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Emotional abuse
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you are looking to engage in therapy and would like to discuss further what you are looking for, please get in contact either by email (email@example.com) or phone (01420540220) via the professional and discrete team at Avenue Therapies. You can also view further information at www.avenuetherapies.com.
I look forward to hearing from you. Michaela
My clinic is based in South London, a short walk from Forest Hill or Honor Oak Park stations. I hold my clinics on weekday evenings.
Mon 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm
Tues 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm
Thursday 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm
As I mentioned above, I work as part of a larger practice called Avenue Therapies. This is great as we have a range of therapists to suit many different difficulties and can often be more flexible to when you want to be seen.
We also offer Asperger / Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) assessment, diagnosis and support (http://www.avenuetherapies.com/autism-assessment) and Occupational Therapy (http://www.avenuetherapies.com/occupational-therapy).
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Mon 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm Tues 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm Thursday 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm Saturday 10am-1pm
Types of client