I am qualified and specialised in both Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology.
This means that the approach used is based in several years of study and practice in both the therapeutic and scientific field.
At the heart of psychodynamic theory and practice is the idea that human behaviour is meaningful. People’s actions, like their dreams, are not just random events and of no significance. We are all the time, not only giving expression to our knowledge and experience of the world, but also living into the future and creating the world we inhabit. It is in this sense that our actions are ‘dynamic’ rather than being explained in causal terms.
However this is often not a transparent endeavour in which we see and know what we are doing and act accordingly. Our actions and our experience can be motivated by what is dynamically unconscious. Events, especially ones from childhood that were experienced as too painful and that could not be integrated and ‘used’, are denied or repressed, but still retain, in a dynamic way, their meaning and significance. It is the ‘retention’ of the original meaning, that then comes forward in adult life as a symptom or a problem.
It is this sense, that something is going on in a person’s life, something ‘dynamic’ which they cannot understand or control that often motivates them to seek out a therapist. Here, through the setting of a regular time and space where the therapist and the client can meet, it becomes possible to create a separate and safer environment from the ordinary world outside.
Within the therapeutic space, the client can then, over a period of time, talk about and express through memories, dreams, free associations, phantasies and feelings what is meaningful and significant in their life. This process will involve not only their relationships outside, but also their relationship with the therapist as it unfolds in the therapy. It is primarily this dynamic interaction between their world outside and their relationship with the therapist that allows the past to become present in the here and now.
What is healing in this process is that the client, by following their own thread of emotion and meaning and in being facilitated in this process by the attentiveness of the therapist, in due course finds a way to express what is troubling them and to understand its significance both in relation to the past and the present. But perhaps more important is that the process of therapy takes place over time, and allows new meanings and new possibilities to be created as the therapy unfolds.
Counselling Psychology is a specialty branch of Psychological Science and Research which focuses on how humans function both within and without at all ages. The field addresses the emotional, social, physical and mental health, school and work concerns people can experience at various stages in their lives, concentrating on common life pressures but also on more severe issues with which people may struggle as individuals and as a part of families, groups and organisations.
Counselling psychologists support clients improve the sense of well‐being, alleviate feelings of distress and resolve crises. They also provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of more severe psychological symptoms.
Counselling psychologists consider how people relate, how they think and behave, their experiences of the world and how they function in their everyday life. Counselling psychologists use psychological and psychotherapeutic theory and research.
The relationship between a psychologist and client is considered to be central for counselling psychologists as it helps to inform the understanding of particular psychological difficulties as it applies to clients. As part of counselling psychology training and continued professional development, counselling psychologists engage in personal therapy as a client as they may bring aspects of themselves to their work, derived from their training, wider knowledge, and lived experience.