Sandra Phillips (Psychotherapist) PG Dipl & PG Cert(s) EMDR UKCP MBACP PSA
At some point in their lives, most people will suffer from some form of anxiety or depression which could lead them to seek counselling.
Anxiety and depression are signs that either we do not understand the full meaning of something which has or is happening to us, or that we are finding it hard to understand why we feel or act the way we do as a result.
Counselling can be long or short term and is problem or task focused. Counselling happens when a client meets with a Counsellor after having identified a problem or difficulty in which they need help or support. The difficulties experienced tend to be in their relationships, or where their behaviour or someone else's is causing them difficulties, or when they have experienced a loss of some kind.
During the sessions the counsellor helps the individual to explore their problems in a confidential and impartial manner to help see them in a new way. In time, this helps the individual to reach an understanding of their problem, which then allows them to find a solution to it.
Psychotherapy literally means to nurse the soul deriving its name from the ancient Greeks understanding of human nature and the psyche.
Psychotherapy occurs when a therapist meets with a client in a private and confidential setting to explore:-
- Any difficulties the client is having or the distress he or she may be experiencing
- A general dissatisfaction with life where an explanation is not readily known
- A loss of a sense of direction or purpose
It is a common misconception that only individuals who experience mental health problems require psychotherapy,
In fact Psychotherapy is of great value to anyone who wishes to explore specific spiritual issues or less defined deeper questions such as who am I? or what is the purpose of my life?
Individuals benefit from one to one psychotherapy which seeks to help the individual to understand their problems in a new way. Often it is a relief to talk to someone who will listen without judgment.
Many couples now recognise that therapy is an effective way to maintain their relationship with some couples seeing the benefits of pre-emptive couples therapy, or a relationship MOT to see how they are doing.
I provide therapy services to couples who are in a relationship and wish to explore some difficulties they are experiencing for example, to improve how they communicate with each other.
Couples therapy allows space for a couple to openly explore their relationship in a supportive environment so that a deeper understanding can occur which often leads to increased intimacy.
I have a special interest in the perinatal care of new mothers. This has grown from my own experience of becoming a mother in the last 10 years. I found the medicalised system of ante-natal and post-natal care deeply lacking and my experience was an overly masculinised health care system.
In 2007 I spoke about this lack at the Cheshire and West NHS Partnership (CWP) very first peri-natal psychiatry conference and asked the health care teams to become aware of the deeper needs of mothers. I feel normalising pregnancy has gone too far so as to now reduce the experience for many women.
I am currently writing a book about the subject and hope to soon publish some of my work via this site.
If you would like to share your pregnancy, birth or motherhood story with me please drop me an email as I would love to hear from you.
Point of Interest: Over the last 4 years I have noticed a significant increase in the number of men entering psychotherapy. From my experience this is due to the general increase in stress, anxiety and depression which is becoming more prevalent in our society. Whilst women tend to share their anxieties with each other, men generally deal with their difficulties differently and often display physical symptoms long before they are aware of their anxiety. As a result many men overlook anxiety and depression until it significantly impacts upon their life or health. If you are unsure whether or not therapy will help you, do make enquiries.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have been practising since 1998 and I hold both UKCP and BACP registrations.
I hold the following qualifications:-
- Post Graduate Certificate in Transpersonal Counselling and Psychotherapy (CCPE London)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Transpersonal Psychotherapy (CCPE London)
- Post Graduate Certificate in Transpersonal Couples Psychotherapy (CCPE London)
- EMDR Accredited Training Parts 1, 2 & 3
- Qualified and Accredited ADR mediator.
The Transpersonal approach views all symptoms which arise within the individual or couple as something valuable that can provide deep learning, understanding and change. Therefore all symptomatology can be useful to an individual's inner growth and is often an indicator that the individual (or couple) is struggling with one of the many complex challenges we all have to face at some point in our lives.
This approach is contrary to other medical based approached such as the cognitive or behavioural approaches which are useful in tackling immediate symptoms, but the treatment comes from a belief that negative thinking or behaviour is a sign of ill-health.
The transpersonal approach believes that as humans, we are far more than cognitive beings and that when we face difficulties, as well as being asked to adjust cognitively and psychologically to something that is happening to us, we are also called to develop on many other deeper levels which are not always immediately apparent.
For example, our inner world and how we feel about what is happening in our lives is often overlooked as we are told how we ought to feel about something based on a psychological norm decided by someone else. The relationship we have with our inner world (our psyche) is called a spiritual life and many people mistakenly believe that a spiritual life is a religious life, although a spiritual life can include religious disciplines.
A spiritual life in its simplest form merely means a dedication to an inner relationship with our inner core, our inner "I" that is our very soul.
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.
UK Council for Psychotherapy
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.
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
I have a special interest in the perinatal care of new mothers, particularly the inner journey they experience as they move into motherhood.
This is a process which is very rarely talked about or understood. Much of the writing on the subject is about the mother's relationship with her baby rather than her in relationship with herself.
Concessions offered for
My fees vary and I can offer concessions and low cost therapy for some individuals and couples.
Please email me for more information.
I currently have some availability to offer appointments at short notice.
I am offering telephone and video sessions during the COVID 19 crisis.
For Couples: It is important that both individuals agree to undertake psychotherapy; it is not appropriate for either individuals to attend a couples session alone.