The first step ...
I know that showing up to a first session can be difficult. You will be really welcome, and I will do my very best to make you feel at ease.
At our initial, free 30 minute consultation, in person or online, I'll invite you to tell me a bit about yourself and what you're struggling with, but this first meeting is just as much for you to get a sense of me and whether I'm the right therapist for you. At the end of that session you're welcome to go away and think about it, check out other therapists, or make another appointment - it's completely up to you.
What are regular sessions like?
I aim always to bring warmth and a lively sense of curiosity to our sessions. Therapy is a space for thoughtful reflection, but light-heartedness and humour are definitely allowed too! People sometimes think therapists 'just listen' and don't say much. I will certainly listen very carefully to you, but I'll also ask questions, guide you through explorations of your inner world, and offer my perspective.
I might also offer information about your brain and nervous system to help explain what's happening if you're emotionally overwhelmed - people sometimes find it helps to know this and to be reassured they're not going 'crazy'.
Regular sessions last one hour. Please see here for fees and other practicalities.
The approaches I use ...
My training in Psychodynamic Therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS) all focus on recognising past experiences, how we got through them, and how both our experiences and our survival strategies impact us now. However, Internal Family Systems (IFS) is the approach that I find offers the greatest potential for real change.
About Internal Family Systems (IFS)...
If you've seen the film Inside Out, you already know something about Internal Family Systems... the film's tagline, “Meet the little voices inside your head,” is very similar to how IFS describes the parts of your personality: like different people inside of you. When you have a decision to make, for example, you might say something like 'one part of me thinks I should do it, but the other part isn't so sure'. Or in a relationship, there might be a part of you that says 'I really want to be with this person' but another part that feels like you need more space from them.
IFS recognises that there are many different parts of you, each with their own opinions, feelings and memories, but if these parts aren't recognised and understood, they can have us feeling conflicted, out of balance, stuck, confused and unhappy.
IFS is a transformative, evidence-based method of therapy that helps us to understand those different parts of ourselves better, to learn what caused them, and to know what triggers them. But more than that, IFS offers a way to truly heal parts of us that are stuck in the past, so that they no longer cause difficulties in our lives now.
IFS has been shown to work with many problems people bring to therapy - from relationship issues to anxiety and depression to bereavement to eating disorders to childhood trauma and PTSD.
IFS can work just as well in online therapy as in face to face sessions, so please take a look at information on online sessions if that would be a good convenient option for you, or if you're looking to access therapy during the Covid 19 restrictions.
"Thank you for all your help and support over the past nine months. You have given me the tools to carry on in everyday life", F, 30
My private consulting room in Wivenhoe, Essex
An introduction to Internal Family Systems Therapy (with thanks to Karen Locke)
How IFS can help us with our inner critics
A short interview between relationship expert Esther Perel and founder of IFS, Dr Richard Schwartz.