Dane Duncan Mills
I am a hardworking, Northerner, from working-class roots currently working as a Clinical Psychologist and based in London. I offer online video talking therapy across the UK via my service Narratives of Us (www.NarrativesOfUs.co.uk), an accessible and down to earth service for people who may find themselves sort of stuck, lost, turned around, unrooted… or maybe in need of some space and time to find the right direction. Equally, it can be a place to build upon and illuminate the things already going well in life, after all, you made it this far, you're probably doing a great job.
I firmly believe that the person is the person, the person is not the problem, the problem is the problem. Maybe you are living with a label such as "anxiety", "panic" a "disorder" or "depression", and perhaps it fits well for you and serves you - or perhaps it doesn't fit perfectly, is far away from your own unique experience, adds some extra problems itself or doesn't fully capture the whole picture.
I have worked with a broad range of people in my work in the NHS and third sector. The stories that my clients have entrusted me with have at once been narratives of hardship, loss, trauma or violence, but also ones of reclamation, overcoming, resilience, survivorship, resistance and strength. The sessions also help people to connect with their own resources and to others in their teams, chosen families and communities as a way forward through times of despair or hopelessness.
I invite people to trust in their own experience and to talk about what they find important, using words or expressions that feel right to them, and which are meaningful to the culture they belong to - and I avoid jargon. When people put their stories into context they find more meaning, feel less stuck, safer and have more ideas about how to go forward.
As a person who uses therapy myself, I especially do not lose sight of how important the quality of the therapeutic relationship is. Compassion is unfortunately often ‘out of stock’ in the many burnt-out services that support wellbeing, and I really get how this is something very much needed when talking to a complete stranger about your biggest vulnerabilities!
Lastly, a special interest of mine is the pressures within society which push down, de-press on people making them feel beat upon. These pressures contribute to the distress of inequality, oppression and marginalization. I am always inspired by the creative and radical acts going on in our communities which can often be highly therapeutic for clients to know about.
Therapy With Individuals
Here's the thing: time and time again, the number one most evidenced research fact about therapy is that it is not the mode or type of therapy that is the most important factor in improving things, but the relationship, how well you connect together as therapist and client, the ‘fit’ - this is the best marker of good outcomes. This is why therapy should be with someone, not at someone.
I work with you in a way that puts you in the centre of your life story. I believe therapy is a space that can be shaped by us both with guidance from me during turbulence. I share my sense-making openly with you, and think about existing and new ways of responding to the problems life throws at us based on your expertise and skills as well as my own.
All you need is a note pad (I invite clients to take some notes too) and an internet connection.
In work with couples, it goes without saying that it is super important to ensure safety, carefulness and to be non-judgemental. Unlike some couple work - I make it clear that the ethics, boundaries and values of your couple are at the centre of our conversations, not my own.
No relationship exists in a vacuum either - so we start by putting problems and people into the unique contexts in which they exist.
I guide couples through conversations that explore preferred stories of self, and I encourage couples to listen in an appreciative way.
When in a couple relationship, our actions and inactions, our words and our silence, inescapably shape our partners sense of self. This is true, whether or not the effects of our everyday interactions are intentional. Good couple work then is about getting clear on how we hope our partners feel about themselves when they are in our presence. I help couples to identify their own hopes for how their partners experience themselves as a partner and as a person. Often the work explores, with great care, the potential ways that actions and inactions play a role in contributing to their partner's story of their self. When our actions unintentionally shape our partners self in negative ways, we can firstly become more aware of this and hold ourselves accountable. Fully acknowledging these shaping effects can be very healing to hear. This makes space to then begin to notice what kind of everyday interactions shape our partners sense of self in positive ways, and ways that they prefer.
Training, qualifications & experience
I completed a 3 year Professional Doctorate training programme in Clinical Psychology, a full-time academic course at The University of East London. I am HCPC accredited.
In the UK, Clinical Psychologists complete extensive training which includes a first degree in psychology, followed by a minimum of 2 years working full-time as an assistant psychologist, and then a 3-year applied professional doctorate course, alongside a research thesis and 6 six-month placements covering all major areas of practice across the lifespan (child, adult, older-adult, learning disability and specialist placements).
I have special interests in approaches to Assessment, Formulation (making sense of problems) and Therapy which use what is known as a Narrative Therapy Framework.
I have attended additional specialist training with Gendered Intelligence, for working in therapy with gender diversity.
As a Clinical Psychologist, I have also been trained and have experience in using a range of approaches to a high standard. These include: Systemic Family Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Compassion Focused Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Psychodynamic and Mentalization Based Therapy modalities. I tailor our sessions to what is useful to you, and sometimes invite us to use techniques or ideas from these approaches were useful - but always in a way that is centred on you.
I attend regular special interest groups to keep up to date with current research and ways of working.
Registered / Accredited
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.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.
They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.
Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Where talking to a Male is prefered / Despair / Hopelessness / Loss / Hardship Stuckness / Feeling Lost / Down / Worried / Cross / Sad / Living with Labels (such as "generalised anxiety disorder", "depression", "OCD", "anxiety", "post traumatic stress", "phobia", "panic attacks").
Bisexual, Gay, Intersex, Lesbian, Non-Binary, Queer and Transgender Allied.
Sliding Scale Fees
I offer a fair sliding scale for my clients, which you get to choose on an honesty basis depending on if you feel your income is low, medium or high compared to your counterparts living in your area earning the same as you.
Individual Sessions - 60 Minute Session
Sliding Scale: Starting from £120 to £150.
Couple or Family Sessions - 60 Minute Session
Sliding Scale: Starting from £150 to £190.
*90 Minute Sessions are also available.
What do people like about online video therapy?
Personalise your own space as needed, with your own soothing strategies: for everyone it’s different, maybe for you it’s blankets, candles, a plant, insense, cushions for a relaxing atmosphere… or maybe it’s a desk and whiteboard to build a working mindset.
Take therapeutic support with you when travelling, moving home, or country.
Avoid the added commute around work or the school run!
It is a practical way to invite a friend or family member to the session - they can sit with you in the room, or drop in online with a shared screen. This might be to gain their out-of-the-box perspective or if you wish to share aspects of your story.
Alot of people do not have a fixed routine, and online therapy adds flexibility when you just need a quiet room and a laptop.
Have your home comforts around you ready for immediately after a session: you might play music, have a bath, draw, journal, visit a neighbour.
If you use a laptop, why not write things that you want to hold onto, for yourself. You can also share your screen if useful.
Fury friends and whiskered family members are welcome here, in fact research shows stroking a cat or dog lowers stress levels, isolation and helps to provide emotional support and comfort.
Bring a cup of tea or coffee just how you like it for the session. In many cultures, talking over a cup of tea helps to provide focus.
Some people find face to face therapy kind of intense to begin with. The geographical distance can open up the sense of calm and safety which can be extra useful when discussing vulnerable things.
If some of the description examples below resonate with you, then Narratives of Us might be an awesome fit:
Something difficult to describe happened to me… it’s after my attention.
There’s a hole in my bucket of contentment… no matter what I fill it with.
I’ve been given a label but it seems far away from my unique experience. I mean… there’s anxiety, there’s anxiety and there’s anxiety, right?
I‘m in a funk… that I just can’t seem to shake off easily.
Summertime Sadness… when everyone else seems so happy.
Sleep pattern? What sleep pattern? I’m tired of being tired.
I get angsty, the world seems terrible and even unsafe… little things play on my mind.
There’s a tidal wave of uncertainty out of the blue, and I want solid ground.
The rug has been pulled right from under my feet… and it’s not okay by me actually.
I have the grey tickles of worry and stress… the black curtain of really low mood.
I have reason to be really cross and in moments I feel like shouting really loudly.
I’m in a dillemah… my heart says one thing but my culture says the opposite, what do I do?
I’m beat. I feel beaten down on. I don’t have the energy.
Someone really important to me is no longer in my life how they were.
Secretly, life feels like a video game stuck on the tutorial level, on a mission without the manual.
I don’t know where I fit in, where I belong, what to do with my life.
It’s like something is missing, and that’s fine, but I don’t know what.
Even in a place of lots of people, lonliness is there.
Social media is giving me more than just FOMO.
Is everybody here is fake happy too?