My involvement in this work dates back to the mid 1970′s when I started my Diploma in Applied Behavioural Sciences at what was then North London Polytechnic ( now University of North London).
I went on to train as a psychotherapist with Tricia Scott in the 1980′s and began practicing in 1985.
I have continued to add to my training and development as a practitioner, including training as a couple therapist with the Centre for Gender Psychology/Re.Vision and, most recently, qualifying as a Sexual Grounding Therapist in 2010.
In addition to practicing as a psychotherapist I have been training counsellors for more than 30 years and was Director of Inter-Psyche, the only NHS based counselling training organisation in the UK, from 2005 to 2017
For details of relevant professional qualifications see below
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 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. Maybe it’s enough for you to know that and you won’t need to see me after all!
Most 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 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.
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 partners closer together, whilst at the same time supporting their independence. This may not make immediate sense I know, but couples are strange like that!
Education & Credentials
Training, qualifications & experience
Diploma in Psychotherapy 1985
MSc Health Psychology 1995
Diploma in Contextual Couple Counselling 2005
Qualified Sexual Grounding Therapist 2010
United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy registered Integrative Psychotherapist
Member of College Of Sex and Relationship Therapists (COSRT)
Member of the Association of Sexual Grounding Therapists and Trainers
Professional Member Association of Somatic and Integrative Sexologists
30 years in private practice.