Kate West, MBACP (Accred) Couple and family Psychotherapist
I've been working with clients for over ten years in psychodynamic/integrative psychotherapy for couples and individuals. I'm particularly passionate about working with couples and families and specialise in these areas of therapy.
Relationship Counselling/Emotionally Focussed Therapy for Couples and Families
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’ escalate. 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 why and how the couple is getting stuck and feeling disconnected (usually the cycle of conflict), 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, 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. It's also not restricted to couples who have already reached the point of regular escalated conflict and if possible it's enriching for any relationship to have some reflective space and prevent any difficulties that may ensue if left unattended.
By way of more information on my core 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.
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 full EFT (Emotionally Focussed Therapy) training, as well as EFT for families level 1 and EFT for individuals level 1, 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
Emotionally Focussed Therapy Core Skills (parts 1&2) September 2018
Emotionally Focussed Therapy Core Skills (parts 3&4) Nov-Dec 2018
Emotionally Focussed Therapy Summer School, working with Trauma and attachment injuries, July 2019
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
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
Couples, families, EFT
Please contact me for information around fees as it depends on individual or couple work, and on the time of day.
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 and the relationship between counsellor and client(s) is key to the success of the work. The initial session will provide the opportunity for you to see if you feel I'm a good 'fit' for you. 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.
The assessment process for couples typically takes 3 sessions, the first altogether, then I recommend an individual session each.
Typically sessions last for 50 minutes. In some instances I'm able to offer longer sessions for couples of up to 70 minutes.