VICKIE NORRIS MSc (Psych), PG Dip, BA (Hons), BABCP accredited
Hello and welcome.
My name is Vickie, and I am a fully qualified, BABCP accredited Psychologist and Cognitive Behaviour (CBT) Therapist. I have extensive experience in treating a wide range of issues; I specialise in anxiety related issues mostly.
I understand that arranging your first therapy session may not be easy, and finding the right therapy and even the right therapist can be tricky. So I do hope the information I have provided below helps answer any questions or concerns that you may have. But if there is anything else you need to know that I haven't mentioned below, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
After I qualified as a Psychologist, I progressed on to completing counselling qualifications and post graduate level qualifications in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I was drawn to CBT's pragmatic, problem-solution orientated focus, as this matched my own way of thinking. Lets not just talk about your problems - lets do something about them!
Qualifying at post graduate level in CBT, and gaining extensive experience in successfully treating many peoples' problems enabled me to earn my accreditation with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). You will find me listed on their website's accredited practitioners list. This accreditation acknowledges that I am recognised to practice CBT in full. Only therapists who have been trained at post graduate level in CBT and have the necessary relevant experience are recognised by the BABCP.
Let me tell you a bit about my experience now. My career in mental health began in 2000 when I started working for a mental health charity. I subsequently joined the NHS, working with patients experiencing serious mental health problems. I went on to work for a local NHS IAPT psychotherapy service, treating a wide range of psychological issues. I now take referrals from both the NHS and the private sectors.
In the interests of ensuring best practice, I am constantly attending relevant workshops and conferences, reading books and journals, and communicating with fellow pscyhotherapists to extend my knowledge. This is the best way to keep up to date with the latest developments in psychotherapy, so that I can ensure I give you the best treatment possible. In addition to be being fully approved by the DBS, practise only within ethical guidelines from professional offices to protect your safety and ensure that your therapeutic journey is not only comfortable but also effective.
What to expect from your first session
We begin by exploring your problems and understanding them from your perspective. We need to know when did they start? What might have triggered them? What makes them worse? What maintains them? What thoughts and emotions do they trigger? We would then agree your goals - what you want to achieve in therapy. We then find the solutions to your problems together using a process called guided discovery. And then as therapy progresses, we both work towards helping you to achieve your therapy goals.
How will we work together
How we meet is entirely up to you - and whatever suits you best. Most people find its best if we meet in person at my office. Alternatively we can meet online e.g. via Skype, or by phone.
What happens next
After you contact me, I will respond back to you as soon as I possibly can (within 48 hours maximum). At this point it would be good to briefly discuss your issues before we both agree that its appropriate to take things further. Therapy can be daunting to start with but don't worry - you wont need to worry about what to say - I will guide you through this process. The sooner you contact me, the sooner we can start working on helping you to reclaim your life.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am trained and experienced in treating many issues, including:
- Depression/low mood
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Low Self-esteem
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder (Constant worry)
- Panic Attacks
- Health Anxiety
- Anger issues
- Other specific phobias (e.g. choking phobia, medical phobia, flying phobia, emetophobia)
- Assertiveness and communication skills
- Interpersonal difficulties
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you are unsure as to what your problem might be, please call for a no obligation chat to discuss your specific problem(s).
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Social anxiety disorder
- Confidence issues
- Communication problems
- Interpersonal difficiulties
- Phobias and fears
Fees vary depending on whether therapy is face to face or remote. Please enquire for more details.
What is CBT?
CBT stands for cognitive behavioural therapy. Cognitions are our thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that we hold about ourselves, the world and others. Behaviour is anything we do that is observable from our everyday activities to the way we communicate.
According to CBT, psychologically we are each represented by 4 interacting systems: Thoughts, behaviour, emotions and physical sensations
CBT is based on the idea that emotional difficulties (e.g. depression and anxiety) result from unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving. The way we think and the way we behave are under our control and can therefore be changed. If we change these two aspects of ourselves then, it is likely that there will be changes in the other systems. So, the aim of therapy is to address these unhelpful patterns.
The way we think and behave evolve over our lifetime as a result of the interaction of our experience and genetics. CBT is based on the idea of freedom and choice: thoughts and beliefs are not facts, although it can feel that way. Likewise, behaviour is not set in stone. Fundamentally it is possible to control these two aspects of ourselves.
A simple way to illustrate how the interaction of thinking and behaving can lead to distress is demonstrated by this panic attack example:
Imagine that a train passenger begins to feel hot and becomes aware that their heart rate has increased. They become anxious and start to think something bad is about to happen. They get off the train at the next stop, sit on a bench and wait for the sensations to subside. They then get on the next train and complete the journey. While in that moment they may think they have resolved the problem, in reality they have inadvertently maintained it. Their belief and behaviour was irrational and unhelpful, as the behaviour (escape) confirmed their irrational belief that if they hadn’t left the train, something awful may have happened. While panic attacks can feel very distressing, and in many cases are even confused with more serious problems such as heart attacks, in reality they are a harmless physical response. From we can see how strong the interactions between thoughts, feelings and behaviour can be.
'It is not events that disturb us but what we make of those events' Epictetus 1 AD
Please note: Anyone experiencing physical symptoms should seek medical advice to ensure that there is no physical problem before seeking therapy.
What to expect from CBT
Conducting a thorough initial assessment starts to piece together an understanding of your issues. This may involve exploring past events as well as what is going on presently, things that make the problem worse, your goals, your thoughts, emotions, behaviours etc. By gaining a good understanding of your problems we can then decide your therapy goals and devise a suitable treatment plan tailored to your needs and objectives.
Some of the processes in CBT involve:
- To unpack your cognitive style (how and why we think the way we do).
- Look at how your thinking interacts with your behaviour.
- Distinguish between the helpful from the unhelpful.
- Experiment with new beliefs and behaviours.
- Monitor the result of these 'experiments'.
- When the blend is right, maintain this new way of thinking and behaving.
- Plan how to continue to extend therapeutic gains beyond therapy and prevent relapse.
Thank you for reading my profile. I do hope that your questions were answered here. But if you still have further questions then please do call or message me for a no obligation discussion.
I look forward forward to hearing from you soon.