Kate West, MBACP (Accred) Couple & Individual Psychotherapist
Office 12, Curtis House
34, Third Avenue
The Heeler Centre
Station Approach East
I've been working with clients for over ten years in psychodynamic/integrative psychotherapy. My training and experience encompasses both couple and individual work - on either a short or long term basis and I'm able to help with a wide range of difficulties.
As a psychotherapist I’ll provide a space for exploration and self-knowledge, enabling you to find answers and feel more in control. It can feel hard to understand and know what the right kind of counselling is for you. Whilst each approach does differ slightly, at the heart of all therapy is a relationship between the counsellor and client(s), a relationship that provides the foundation for self-exploration and change. For this reason, it’s important in choosing a counsellor that you feel comfortable with them as a person.
By way of more information on my background and the reasons I choose to work in this way: I believe in the presence and power of our unconscious thoughts and feelings and the effect they have in our day to day lives. In psychodynamic counselling I’m interested in these unconscious processes and how our past experiences (often very early years of childhood) have an effect on our current relationships and psychological well-being. The therapeutic relationship works to facilitate insight to help you know and understand yourself better and in so doing then also enabling you to feel more in control.
Relationship Counselling/Couples Therapy
Attending to any difficulties in our intimate relationships is extremely important. Couples do this all the time together – communicating to overcome difficulties and working through ‘safe’ conflict for effective resolution. Often though conflict arises which cannot be worked through and couples end up feeling stuck, stuck in a cycle of conflict where even ‘little things’ lead to eruptions of conflict and distress. It’s horrible to feel lonely in a relationship and can feel hopeless when the relationship has got to this stuck point but relationship counselling really can help you to work through this. I use an approach largely based on Emotionally Focused Therapy (https://iceeft.com/what-is-eft/) and together we’ll work to identify the cycle of conflict (the dance a couple enact together), and then move through to accessing the underlying emotions, reframing the problem, and eventually being able to step out of the cycle of blame that usually plays out with couple conflict and come to a place of acceptance of both our own emotions and attachment needs as well as those of our partner.
It’s understandably very difficult to make that first step to getting help but so effective once you’re able to. An unhelpful partnership can lead to recurrent mental ill-health, increased anxiety and psychological distress, not to mention the profound effects it can have on any children, so as much as it can be very hard to make the first step towards seeking help, many couples find it life-changing and enriching. They learn from understanding how each contributes to the creation and maintenance of their difficulties, how the patterns repeat, and it becomes possible for each to achieve deeper emotional growth. This work is in no way limited to romantic relationships and can be used to help overcome difficulties in any relationships.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is helpful for providing some more immediate tools for relief and as such it’s a particularly good model for short-term therapy. It’s important to mention that I don’t ever offer ‘pure’ CBT as I feel some exploratory work and talking therapy is always useful alongside the CBT but CBT does hold some power in the tools it provides to challenge unhelpful thoughts and unhelpful behaviours. It looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we act. In turn our actions can affect how we think and feel. It’s incredibly liberating to be able to come to place of understanding that we have the power over our own thoughts and that changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviours really is possible. It takes some time and practice but the tools are able to offer much relief from psychological distress.
Training, qualifications & experience
I qualified from the University of Brighton with a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Therapeutic Counselling. I also have a Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) from the Wimbledon Guild, a certificate in Relationship Counselling from the Tavistock Centre for Couples and Relationships, completion of the ICEEFT (Emotionally Focussed Therapy) Externship, and I’m a trained Counsellor with ChildLine.
I’m an Accredited member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists: www.bacp.co.uk) and adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions - this can be viewed by clicking this link (and includes detail on principles around confidentiality): http://www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework/
I’m committed to continuing my professional development and as such I regularly attend training events and workshops including:
Love and Hate: The Dynamics of Violence and Reconciliation (Brighton Therapy Partnership)
Emotionally Focussed Therapy for Couples (The Wimbledon Guild)
Understanding Shame and Humiliation in Couple Relationships (Centre for Emotional Development)
Attachment, Neuroscience and 21st Century Psychotherapy (Centre for Emotional Development)
Emotionally Focussed Therapy for Couples, ICEEFT Externship, March 2018
Please also see http://www.brightontherapycentre.org.uk
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Attachment disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Internet addiction
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
The first thing is for us to meet for an initial consultation - this is an opportunity for us to explore what has brought you to therapy.
Counselling can seem quite daunting to people and the relationship between counsellor and client(s) is key to the success of the work. The initial session will provide the opportunity for us to see if we feel we can work well together. From here we’ll discuss how to progress forward and hopefully be able to book a regular weekly session. I’ll aim to provide some guidance in the initial session as to how many sessions I feel will be required, but this is also something that we’ll review as we go.
All sessions last for 50 minutes.
This profile limits me to two addresses but I work between Hove, Hassocks and Brighton (Brighton Therapy Centre, 23 New Road, BN1 IUG: http://www.brightontherapycentre.org.uk)
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Types of client