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Much of my work is about tapping into the resources present in individuals and in relationships, helping to create clearer and more empathic communication.
People come to therapy for a range of reasons, but a common factor is often a sense of dissatisfaction - with themselves or in a particular relationship - and a sense that something needs to change or that a decision has to be made.
Seeing a trained counsellor who will help you to reflect, and not try to push you one way or another, can be valuable in regaining a sense of autonomy and purpose.
Many life problems have both immediate or surface issues and deeper relationship issues. For example, someone struggling with addictions of any kind may need help with the behaviour cycle around the addictive pattern, while also looking at the impact of the problem on key roles e.g. as a partner or parent.
My approach is sometimes labelled "Systemic Psychotherapy" and is about the impact of key relationships, past and present, on our mental health, self-regard and functioning in our various life-roles. The model's awareness of the importance of a relational context makes it a powerful and effective route to change. I regard families as a resource for support and change rather than a source of problems, and will often seek to widen involvement in the work to achieve better understanding and lasting change. That said, I do not seek to impose a way of working so if the best way to start is with some individual sessions, that's fine.
I believe in talking plainly and without jargon and in using techniques that have been proven to be clinically effective. Keeping this in mind we will review progress against the changes you are seeking to make to live a more fulfilled life.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have worked in Children's Services and Child and Adolescent Mental Health services for over 30 years. I gained broad experience of public service social work initially before specializing and gaining a Family Therapy qualification. I developed my knowledge and skills working closely with Child Psychiatrists, Child Psychotherapists, Clinical Psychologists and others, and managed and supervised a team of specialist Psychiatric Social Workers as well as a Drugs Education Project aimed at young people. I have enjoyed a great deal of contact with schools of all kinds, including setting up Peer Support training in a number of schools (mainly secondary) and running support and consultation groups for teachers and SENCOs.
Through these experiences I learned assessment and intervention techniques to help families, individuals and groups, and also learned to work co-operatively with other professionals whose models sometimes differed from my own. I have a good deal of experience of live supervision of family sessions and how a new perspective can shift an impasse in the work with the family.
My qualifications enable me to hold a registration with UKCP as a Family, Couples and Systemic Therapist. Thinking "systemically" is about connections in key relationships in people's lives and to create better understandings which harness the supportive power of those relationships in the direction of healthy change.
I continue to attend a broad range of post-qualifying courses and have a monthly supervision session to look more closely at my work.
I have also undertaken training in Alternative Dispute Resolution. This covers a range of approaches to resolving stuck situations and this, taken together with my previous training and experience, enables me to offer a mediation service in stressful divorce and separation cases which often involve difficulties over contact with the children after the break.
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a leading professional body for the education, training and regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its register is accredited by the government's Professional Standards Authority.
As part of its commitment to protect the public, it works to improve access to psychotherapy, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against its members.
UKCP standards cover the range of different psychotherapies. Registration is obtained by training or accrediting with one of its member organisations, or by holding a European Certificate in Psychotherapy. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Consultation with Professionals and organisations my client is dealing with.
Mediation during divorce.
Support and advice during disciplinary proceedings.
I can also provide client/family consultation on behalf of professionals or authorities seeking a family systems perspective or second opinion. Fees for this kind of work are negotiated on a case by case basis.
I can also offer non-managerial consultation for small groups of professionals in order to help them gain perspective on organisational issue and changes affecting them.
Concessions offered for
INDIVIDUALS: £60, 1½ hour session: £75
COUPLES: £75, 1½ hour session: £95
FAMILIES: £90, 1½ hour session: £110
Weekend sessions or home visits can be arranged where necessary, and my fee will vary according to what is required. Similarly, if formal reports are required, this will be on a negotiated basis.
I can offer reduced fees under certain circumstances, for example for students and unwaged and low income single parents. A fee schedule can be agreed in advance of our first meeting. Additionally, I will try to be helpful should your financial circumstances change midway through therapy.
Work referred by statutory bodies or via a court process is negotiated on a case-by-case basis and takes account of associated paperwork and any report-writing required.
When I work
I can arrange sessions during the day, M-Thu evenings (last appt 7:30pm) and Saturdays (last appt 12:15pm). Once an appt is agreed I prefer to make this a regular arrangement.
Taking the decision to seek advice, counselling, or therapy is a significant and sometimes courageous step. This is part of the process of getting ready to re-evaluate, and begin to achieve life changes.
It is my task from first contact to create a process that is supportive and easy to understand, even if some of the issues we have to look at might be difficult. Our work will also be constructive, helping you to build towards a healthier future. I will pay attention to your strengths and abilities as well as looking at those areas you regard as problematic. Our discussions will very likely take account of your many roles in life - family, other relationships, career and so on.
My parent organization, the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice, defines Family Therapy as follows: “Family Therapy helps people in close relationship help each other. It enables family members, couples and others who care about each other to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, to understand each others' experiences and views, appreciate each others needs, build on strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.”