Michael Desmond CBT (BABCP) EMDR. Psychology BSc Psychotherapy BSc

Michael Desmond CBT (BABCP) EMDR. Psychology BSc Psychotherapy BSc

South Benfleet


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About me


Please call for a free 20 minute chat to see if CBT or EMDR are right for you

I am a BABCP Accredited Cognitive Behaviour Therapist and EMDR practitioner. I work full time in the NHS but offer a limited amount of evening and weekend appointments in private practice. I work from home in a detached garden office / therapy room. Please see the 'further information' section below for information on CBT.

BABCP accreditation is awarded after completion of a Post Graduate Diploma in CBT at selected Universities. This accreditation is required to work in the NHS. I therefore practice CBT as stipulated in NICE guidelines and follow research based treatment protocols for the problems below.

EMDR is a specialised therapy for the treatment of PTSD. I was trained by the EMDR Academy. EMDR is a powerful technique but not suitable for all clients, for example those with neurological or vision problems. The EMDR Academy therefore only trains accredited therapists.

I provide CBT for the following (either CBT or EMDR may be used to treat PTSD):

  • Depression
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Health Anxiety (worry about having an illness / medical condition)
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (excessive and uncontrollable worry)
  • Specific Phobias (enclosed spaces, flying, animals etc)
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (when thoughts focus on flaws or imagined flaws in a physical feature or features to the point where the client may describe them self as 'ugly', 'disgusting' etc.
  • Emetophobia (overwhelming anxiety pertaining to vomiting)
  • Agoraphobia (Fear of situations or places because of thoughts of escape being difficult. This can lead to intense fear / panic)
  • Stress
  • Skin picking / hair pulling

If you are currently self harming or having serious thoughts of ending your life, engaging in planing this or gathering the means to act on thoughts please contact your GP immediately. If you feel that you are at imminent risk / in crisis please go to your nearest accident and emergency department where there will be staff on duty to assess and offer the necessary support. If you feel unsafe but less urgently, your GP can offer a 24 hour emergency appointment. The Samaritans are available 24 hours per day on 116 123 and offer a listening ear and support for those that feel alone or would rather speak to someone confidentially.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • Psychology BSc (Hons) First Class
  • Counselling and Psychotherapy BSc (Hons) First Class
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Distinction)
  • (EMDR) Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Provided by the EMDR Academy

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited



£70.00 Per 60 minute session

Pre booking 20 minute telephone assessment free of charge

Further information

Information and FAQ's

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a researched based psychotherapy used to treat depression, anxiety disorders (see above for list) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The CBT model of therapy gathered pace in the 1970's and is now widely practised in the NHS by accredited therapists.

The therapy is best explained with reference to Greenberger and Padesky's (1995) book Mind Over Mood. Imagine that a person consists of four systems that interact

  • Thoughts, beliefs and assumptions (cognition)
  • Emotions (feelings)
  • Behaviour (everything we do or do not do)
  • Physical sensation (E.G., racing heart, nervous tummy)

The fifth system is the environment; everything outside of your own skin; people, objects, weather, politics and so on.

If you are looking for therapy it's likely that the five 'systems' are not working harmoniously. CBT works on the assumption that we cannot directly access the physical or emotional (you can't reach in a turn down a racing heart). Also, we cannot mould the environment to suit us and us alone. In CBT then, we asses what is happening in all of the systems and then question the validity of current thoughts and beliefs held (cognition) and the function of current behaviours. We then experiment with alternatives, hence CBT, with the aim of an overall change in the for systems. The client then experiences and acts upon their environment differently.

The model of therapy then is fairy simple, undergoing therapy though can be hugely challenging; old assumptions, ways of viewing the self, World, others and the future are questioned, behaviour such as avoidance which gives temporary relief but ultimately maintains unhelpful thinking is also challenged. The therapist's role is 'guided discovery' through this challenging process, using researched based techniques. Pacing is crucial as well as realistic and achievable goal setting which is done collaboratively. Challenging yes, but ultimately rewarding; if you are prepared to take responsibility, your gain will be autonomy.


Why do you offer CBT and EMDR for a limited range of problems?

These are the areas that my training has focused on. I only offer CBT or EMDR for problems that I have a sound knowledge of and experience in treating. This ensures high standards.

How many sessions will I need?

If the client engages well with the therapy, if there are clear goals and an evidence based treatment plan an average would be 12 sessions. Enduring OCD, Body Dysmophic Disorder and worry may take longer. Ethically, I cannot prolong treatment that I do not believe is helpful. A joint review, discussion at session three is useful in assessing the suitability of therapy.

How should I contact you?

By either e-mail or text during the day. After 6pm on Tuesday -Friday call directly. Call at weekends.

HOW does it work from there?

We will arrange a 15-20 minute free telephone mini assessment to get some basic information. If further information is needed I will e-mail a questionnaire. It may be that CBT is not right for you or that I am not the right therapist in which case I can make a referral. This process saves you £70 and a possible wasted journey. Following this, if you feel that CBT is right for you we will book an initial session which will be your regular slot weekly. Sometimes there will be work to do between sessions that cannot be achieved in seven days so there may be longer gaps.

Please e-mail or call if you have any other questions.

Maps & Directions

South Benfleet, SS7

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: No
Face to face counselling: Yes
Home visits: No

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: No


Accessibility information
Wheelchair access: No


Evening and Saturday morning slots

Types of client

Young people
Older adults

Supervision & training

I gained my Post Graduate Diploma in CBT at The University of Hertfordshire and trained in supervision at the University of Surrey.

View supervision profile