I have been working as an integrative psychotherapist since 1985. I offer specialist support with relationship and sexual issues to individuals and couples as well as supervision to practising counsellors and psychotherapists. I also have extensive group-work experience, both in the United Kingdom and in Europe.
What I’m offering
I’m interested in offering support to individuals and couples who are having difficulty in their relationships, not just to get the relationship ‘back on track’ but also to deepen and develop it so it is the best it can be.
Availability and Location
I practice in two locations. I’m in London on a Monday and in East Grinstead on a Tuesday. At the moment I’m fairly full in East Grinstead and have limited space in London. However, these things can change very rapidly and I am also sometimes able to offer sessions on other days of the week in East Grinstead so do contact me anyway. I may also be able to refer you to a colleague if appropriate. I also offer individual and couple sessions via Skype. These can be arranged at mutually convenient times during the week. As I work in two different locations, it would be helpful to me if you could say which is your preferred location when you contact me.
My Approach to Individual Psychotherapy
Over the years I’ve been practicing as a therapist, my approach may have evolved considerably, but the principles remain the same.
People mostly come to therapy because something isn’t working in their lives. That something could be enormous and traumatic or it could be a more general sense of dis-satisfaction. There are two ways of looking at this. We can work at ‘fixing’ the thing that isn’t working. This is like treating your ‘symptoms’ and sometimes, when those symptoms are overwhelming, we do have to do this. The other approach is to look for the cause of those symptoms, seeing the symptoms as a sign that something isn’t working at quite a deep level.
Life can be difficult for all human beings and it impacts on all of us on a daily basis. Work, relationships, money, health are things that none of us can take for granted. However, as human beings, I believe that we all have an innate capacity to seek out and maintain a fulfilling and rewarding relationship with the outside world and to cope creatively when things go wrong. BUT, it doesn’t always feel that way does it?
When things go wrong, it’s tempting to focus on the thing itself – the depression, the bereavement, the relationship break-up, the illness, the redundancy etc. This is understandable, but it’s not really the business of psychotherapy. As a psychotherapist, I’m interested in how you experience your bereavement, for example, and why it’s difficult for you to deal with. I’m also interested in supporting you in accessing your own innate capacity to not only cope with whatever life throws at you, but to grow and achieve your full potential as a human being.
In this way, I suppose you could say that my goal is to make myself redundant since, if I can enable you to access your own capacity to cope with life and live it fully, you won’t need me anymore!
My Approach to Couple Counselling
Living in a close relationship with another human being isn’t easy. Sooner or later the ‘honeymoon period’ comes to an end and you have to find a way of living with each other, deepening the relationship and allowing it to grow or, all too often these days, you split up. If you’re reading this page because you’re thinking of coming for couple therapy, you may be relieved to know that this process happens in all relationships.
Many people, faced with problems in a relationship, come to one of two conclusions. Either, ‘I’ve chosen the wrong (type of) man/woman as a partner and maybe I’ll have better luck with someone else.’ or ‘We’ve got a problem with…….and we need to find a way of fixing it.’
As a couple therapist, I see things differently. I do understand, believe me, from my own experience that problems in a relationship can be a sort of ‘living hell’. Arguments, sexual difficulties, infidelity, disagreements about the children, different priorities and just finding the time to talk about any of this hardly seems positive does it? And yet, if we can, seeing the difficulties that are arising between us as a ‘wake up call’ that something needs to change in this relationship can lead to growth, not only in the relationship itself, but to both of us who are involved in it.
This isn’t easy. It really is a hard work option because it means looking at what both partners contributed to the situation and what personal growth is going to be required from both in order for the relationship to flourish.
I see my job as a couple therapist as one of promoting understanding both within the individuals and between the partners, moving away from blame and the importance of being right. This means that, although some couples will come to me with the conscious or unconscious wish that I’m going to be ‘on their side’, my role is not to be a judge of who’s right and who’s wrong. These terms are meaningless in the couple therapy room and in a functional couple relationship.
My experience is that things change in a relationship as a result of increased understanding. People feel free to bring more of themselves into the relationship, things they may have considered to be unacceptable to their partner or that their partner might have previously found difficult to understand or appreciate. This brings the partners closer together, whilst at the same time supporting their independence.