I am a psychodynamic counsellor and psychotherapist and have experience working in NHS adult mental health care as well as local counselling services. I have spent over 30 years running and managing my own business as well as working in a number of helping and support roles. I live and work from home with my family on the South Northants, North Oxon, Warwickshire borders.
I came to counselling through voluntary work with young people, youth offenders and a young homeless charity. Much of my early work revolved around problem solving, support and helping young people find ways back in to education, training and employment. Through this work I came to understand, and to experience, the profound effect poor mental health can have on shaping the future of the people I was trying to help. I decided I needed to expand my training into psychotherapy and although my initial training was as a person-centred counsellor, I came to appreciate and acknowledge that to make change, a deeper understanding of what makes someone ‘tick’ is best acheived by exploring their past and present relationships and how these have impacted on their current experience of their life.
Psychodynamic therapy, which has its roots in psychanalysis, really connected with how I felt about my own life experiences which lead me onto study at Leicester University on an MA psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy programme accredited by the BACP (British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists).
Training as a psychotherapist is a challenging and demanding endeavour and requires significant commitment. It is a training requirement that therapists undergo their own therapy for a number of years, in part to experience the treatment they themselves will be delivering but also to heighten self-awareness and to explore our own unconscious processes. It is in the unconscious that psychodynamic therapy looks for answers to our dilemmas and to gain understanding and meaning. In short, it is about revealing blind spots in our personalities and discovering what it is we do that gets in the way of accepting who we are and our relationships.
As a father of grown up children and having spent over 30 years in business, I have a significant degree of life experience that has really underpinned my training as a psychotherapist. It has been a humbling and life changing process to spend this part of my life helping others to explore and reflect on their lives. The therapeutic process involves both of us and I have learnt so much from each of the individuals I have had the privilege of working with. Therapy is challenging. It entails commitment and risk taking. It requires honesty and a desire to uncover difficult truths. It is not about your therapist giving you answers but about entering into a joint endeavour where you might experience change together but change takes time. It is often the case that therapy involves experiencing difficult emotions before you begin to feel better but it is through the connections we make in therapy that we gradually become more aware of and accustomed to the difficult parts of our lives that trouble us and that feed depression and anxiety.
Therapy isn’t necessarily for everyone but if you are feeling low or depressed and you are interested in an exploratory approach to understanding your problems, I can assure you that if successful you will experience significant change in how you experience yourself and those around you.
What is psychodynamic counselling?
Psychodynamic counselling is helpful for people who feel stuck in the way they feel about themselves, their relationships and life in general. Symptoms of depression and/or anxiety are common and often connect in some way to our life history, to our relationships and our sense of self-identity or self-worth. My work is based on an exploration of how your life events have informed who you are, combined with a search for meaning and a deeper understanding of why you feel as you do today. Working together with me will help you find the answers you crave and a way to make sense of your life and a way to move forward. Ultimately, our aim in working together will be to change the way you feel about yourself.
So how will this help you?
What we know is that depression and anxiety are closely linked to how we relate to others, how we see ourselves in our main relationships and how we feel about ourselves. Working psychodynamically with a trained therapist will involve building a new therapeutic relationship where you can safely share your experiences, your feelings about your relationships and to explore new ways of thinking. Our work together will involve a period of supporting you through expressing your difficulties and acknowledging the impact they are having on you. It will involve looking at the things you do that get in the way of you living the life you want, and it will involve trying to work out or find other more adaptive ways of managing relationships, conflict, loss or change.
Therapy is a challenging but life changing experience.
We will spend time challenging the way you think, reflecting on your own part in your dilemmas and trying new ways of thinking. Therapy is not about being given the answers to your problems but rather, through the experience of therapy, to find understanding and meaning and ultimately to change.
Training & qualifications
- MA Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy Leicester University – BACP accredited training
- Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy – short term treatment for low to medium severity depression and/or anxiety – training with Anna Freud Centre, accredited by the BPC
- Long term psychotherapy training in adult mental health in NHS secondary care
- Short term dynamic interpersonal therapy training within primary care NHS IAPT service
- Institute of Group Analysis foundation in group analysis