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About me

An experienced NHS Psychotherapist, I also have a private practice and offer Psychotherapy with a free initial consultation. My approach is compassionate, practical and based on research evidence. I offer a safe space to talk through issues, with practical tools to help you cope and feel better.

The heart of my work is the understanding that anyone can suffer from anxiety, depression, stress or low self-esteem as a result of their life history and/or present circumstances. We are all human. Over ten years of experience has shown me that Psychotherapy can help.

Originally working as a Dramatherapist, I later trained with the NHS as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist (CBT). I have an interest in Mindfulness, and additional training in Transactional Analysis (TA) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), all of which I use in my work when appropriate.

If you have experienced any form of childhood difficulty, abuse or neglect, or have had abusive or dysfunctional relationships as an adult, I have specialist knowledge and skills in working with PTSD, Complex PTSD and the impact of abuse. I worked in a Women's Refuge as a Children's Worker for six years and I currently train NHS staff on how to be aware and respond to abuse.

I offer the pragmatic ideas of CBT, Mindfulness, TA and ACT, alongside the use of imagery, dreams and creative methods of Dramatherapy, depending on your needs. By combining these approaches, you can gain a greater understanding of yourself and your circumstances, change your behaviour and thinking, and achieve a more fulfilled life.

It is important that therapy is something we work on together, so I will check-out my understanding with you throughout your therapy. I will share ideas, theories and diagrams with you. By first getting a detailed understanding of the problem, I will use my skills to help you target changes where they will be most effective. We will agree therapy goals and regularly review our progress, to make sure we are focusing our work on what is important to you.

Because I have a clear understanding of the theory behind my work, together with practical techniques, I specialise in short-term work that can deliver deep, powerful and lasting change.

If you would like to find out more, you can contact me to arrange your free consultation.

Training, qualifications & experience

Accredited by the British Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapists (BABCP).

A high standard of Continuing Professional Development, for example attending CBT Masterclasses with leading CBT Psychotherapists such as David Trickey, Dr Nick Grey, David Veale, Dr Kate Davidson and Dr Michelle Cree among others. I have also trained with leading ACT trainer, Dr David Gillanders.

May 2017 Supervising Certificate from University of Surrey

June 2011 Post Graduate Diploma (PGDip) in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy from the University of Brighton

June 2006 Masters (MA) in Dramatherapy from the University of Exeter

2009 Transactional Analysis TA101 training course at Wealdon College

2002 Certificates in Counselling studies and Counselling Skills from Strode College

After completing my counselling certificates, I began my training as a Dramatherapist in 2003. As part of this Masters qualification, I ran group and individual Dramatherapy sessions, as well as having individual and group personal therapy. After I qualified I worked as a freelance Creative Arts Therapist for a Residential Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre, an NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), and various other organisations and clients.

Since April 2010 I have worked for an NHS Adult Mental Health Service, treating people with Depression, Low Self Esteem, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Attacks, Stress, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Complex Trauma as a result of childhood or adult abuse and neglect.

In addition, I worked for 6 years as a Children's Worker in a Women's Refuge offering family support, and therapeutic play sessions to children aged from 0-12 years. I am a trained Freedom Programme facilitator and have a thorough understanding of Domestic Abuse and its impact on adults and children. I now train NHS staff on how to be aware of, and respond to, abuse.

I have regular Supervision on all my work and adhere to the code of ethics of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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.

BABCP

British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies

The BABCP is the lead organisation for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the UK.

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the practice, theory or development of CBT. BABCP also provides accreditation for CBT therapists.

BABCP accredited members adhere to the Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics in the Practice of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, and are willing to be scrutinised in this adherence as required.

HCPC

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.

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Trauma-Focused CBT (tCBT) for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Trauma-Informed Therapy for Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Cpstd)

Compassion Focused Therapy

ACT Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for long term health conditions, including Chronic Fatigue

Fees

£65.00 per session
Free initial in-person, telephone or online session

Additional information

I offer a free, 40 minute initial consultation.

I charge £65 a session.  

Sessions are 50 minutes long.

I am currently available on Thursday and Friday mornings.

I charge £70 per session for Supervision

Availability

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

I have availability on Thursday and Friday mornings either face to face or online or telephone  .

Parking is free in the area.

Further information

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT) is a highly effective form of therapy.

Cognitive means 'mind', so we will look at how you think about things. This includes not just 'internal-commentary' type thoughts, but also images that may go through your mind, underlying beliefs and 'automatic' or habitual thinking that you may not be currently aware of.

The Behavioural aspects of CBT looks at what you do (or don't do) in relation to the problem you want to work on. Changing your behaviour can be a quick and powerful way to change how you feel.

You will be invited to test different ways of thinking and behaving, to see if they work for you. We will work at your pace and you will always be in charge of your own process.

CBT pays close attention to emotions and feelings, and we will always use them as a guide. In addition, both your past history and current circumstances will be explored, so that you can put problems into perspective. Because I have a Masters level degree in CBT, and a very high standard of Continuing Professional Development, I am able to use CBT effectively with people who have complex problems, a history of abuse or neglect and traumatic or dysfunctional family backgrounds

Dramatherapy is a powerful therapy that can quickly uncover core issues.

In Dramatherapy, we can use any of the creative arts to help you process your thoughts and feelings, and gain a greater insight. It can help you to explore aspects of your personality, open up new ways of being and improve your confidence.

We can explore your dreams, images and experience through art, sound, movement or sand tray work, if desired. The advantage of this creative way of working is to tap into your subconscious and open up communication with non-verbal parts of yourself and your issues.

You do not have to be 'arty' or 'dramatic' to benefit from this psychotherapeutic approach. In my one-to-one therapy, I tend to work with images or dreams, symbolic objects and visualisations rather than role play. For example, if someone was feeling stuck with a particular situation or problem, I would invite them to close their eyes and see if an image came up that represented the situation. We would then explore the image and see if there was a possibility of change within it. I might invite them to be open to a Helper appearing in the image, and see if the Helper has any gifts or suggestions. In my experience, this type of visualisation can bring unexpected answers and insights. It can also be used as a way of charting progress over time: someone might start therapy with an image of being stuck down a deep, dark well. By the end of therapy they might be above ground, looking to the horizon.

Working Together

Although they might appear very different, CBT and Dramatherapy work well together. In recent years, CBT researchers have been increasingly interested in the effectiveness of working with images and visualisations to effect profound and lasting benefits, creating a cross-over in these two types of therapy.

In my experience, CBT provides a clear framework for change and Dramatherapy enables us to work at a deep level. Used together they can help to transform your life.

New Malling
Lewes
East Sussex
BN7 2EE

Type of session

In person
Home visits
Online
Phone

Types of client

Adults
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

DBS check

In England and Wales, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB) carry out criminal records checks for individuals working with vulnerable groups, such as children. To find out more, visit gov.uk , or contact this professional directly

Online platforms

Skype
Zoom
VSee
Whatsapp
Sonia Guinnessy

Sonia Guinnessy