Your journey to better mental health
Starting therapy or counselling can feel overwhelming. Finding the right therapist is vital, but with so many different types of therapy and practitioners on offer it can be difficult to choose. We offer a free initial 15-minute consultation so you can ask any questions and get a feel for what working with Dr Chris will be like.
The Therapeutic Relationship
We believe that the therapeutic relationship is incredibly important when it comes to the effectiveness of therapy. Put simply, if you don’t have a good working relationship with your therapist then the therapy is less likely to be successful, regardless of the type of therapy being provided or how skilled, qualified or experienced the practitioner is. For this reason, we offer all new clients a free 15-minute phone consultation so you can get a feel of what working with us will be like. Offering the best therapy for anxiety and stress it really matters to us that you achieve the outcomes you want, so we want to make sure we’re the right fit for you.
We Can Help With
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Low self-esteem
- Work-related stress
- Relationship difficulties
- Insomnia and other sleep problems
What We Offer
- A non-judgmental, safe space to think out loud, learn and be listened to.
- An individualised approach tailored to your specific needs.
- Support in identifying your personal goals for therapy.
- A detailed assessment of your difficulties and strengths.
- A psychological formulation that is meaningful to you.
- Encouragement to reflect and give honest feedback throughout the process in order to provide the best therapy for you.
Our Therapeutic Approaches
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT is an evidence-based psychological treatment that is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and has been shown to be the best therapy for depression, anxiety, panic, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), stress, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), low self-esteem and anger, and many other issues.
CBT involves exploring the relationship between thoughts, feelings, behaviours/actions and bodily sensations. CBT is also about learning to identify and understand the impact of our automatic thoughts, as well as the ‘rules’ that we may carry around with us, and our deep-rooted beliefs about ourselves, others and the world around us. CBT helps to highlight how what we do impacts on how we think and feel and can identify the behaviour and thinking patterns that keep the problems going. Many people describe feeling overwhelmed or confused about their problems. CBT is useful for helping to break down problems into smaller parts. It involves completing tasks between sessions and is regarded as a highly collaborative type of therapy.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a therapy often used to treat people recovering from traumatic events. Both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend EMDR for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) given the robust evidence of its effectiveness. During EMDR the therapist typically stimulates the eyes from side to side whilst helping you to safely reprocess the traumatic incident. It is thought that getting the brain to focus on something else (the eye movements) whilst revisiting the trauma allows the brain to reprocess the memory and eventually become desensitised to the trauma, helping you to gain new insights into the experience and feel more able to cope with the memories.
Psychodynamic approaches are less about learning skills and strategies and more about having space to think out loud, to reflect on past and present experiences and try and develop a deeper understanding of oneself. This approach can help you understand how your past experiences have shaped who you are and how you have learnt to cope with and respond to the demands and stresses of life. It is generally accepted that consciousness operates beyond that which we are overtly aware of. In other words, some of our beliefs, thoughts, desires, wishes, and needs are embedded within our unconscious mind. The aim of brief psychodynamic therapy is to identify and understand unconscious conflicts that are resulting in specific psychological difficulties, symptoms or relationship/interpersonal problems. Gaining greater insight into these difficulties can help you to begin making positive changes in your life and learn from previous experiences in order to break unhelpful patterns of behaviour. This approach may be particularly useful for people experiencing relationship or interpersonal difficulties, loss, poor self-worth or feeling uncertain about life direction or one’s sense of self.
Have you ever noticed just how much time you spend thinking about the past or the future? Thinking about things you’ve done, things you think you should have done, things you feel you ought to do, all those ‘To Do’ lists, worrying about something that’s yet to happen or perhaps wishing you could fast-forward or rewind time? Then there’s being on autopilot where we lose track of time, forget our surroundings, we’re busy living our lives but don’t really feel a part of it. Add to this the frantic, relentless pace of life and all of its demands. It’s exhausting.We can help by offering the best therapy for anxiety and your specific needs.
Mindfulness is about learning to pay attention to the here and now – the present moment – in an accepting, non-judgemental way. Through practising mindfulness, you can learn to feel a greater sense of peace and contentment. Learning to feel more present in your life can help you to feel more in control and energised. It can also enrich the quality of your life, helping you feel like you’re living rather than just existing, which can bring with it a renewed appreciation and understanding of your life and of what it is to be you.
With its roots in Eastern meditative practices, mindfulness is increasingly used as a therapy in its own right (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) or practised alongside other approaches (e.g. CBT). It has gained popularity in recent years and been endorsed in the media and by celebrities. Some schools use it to help pupils focus and cope with exam stress, whilst many businesses encourage their employees to practice it to help cope with the demands of work.
Do you feel that you’re much harder on yourself than you are with other people? Do you expect much higher standards from yourself, or perhaps even demand perfection? Or maybe you tend to speak to yourself in a harsh, critical way – things you’d never say to a friend who was in the same position, feeling the same way. Compassion-focused therapy is about learning to question and challenge your inner bully, that ever-present internal critic that all too often makes you feel bad about yourself, who gets you to dwell on past mistakes or failures, kicking you whilst you’re already down. Freeing yourself from this inner bully can have a positive impact on your psychological wellbeing, allowing you to develop a healthier, kinder relationship with yourself.
Mentalisation is about learning to keep the mind in mind, to better understand our own inner world and the inner world of other people. Learning to mentalise more effectively helps us make sense of our thoughts, feelings, needs, desires and beliefs and how these impact on others. Equally, it is about learning how these internal processes in other people affect us. Our ability to mentalise is intuitive, but we run into difficulties when this ability goes offline too often, usually because we are stressed or overwhelmed with strong emotions such as anger or anxiety. Problems in mentalising can result in interpersonal conflict, relationship problems, low self-esteem and feelings of confusion and hopelessness. Understanding mentalisation can also help us become more effective at getting our needs met and help us to make sense of other people’s actions.
Are You Having Trouble Sleeping?
We also provide online, evidence-based treatment for insomnia (CBTi) and psychological support and treatment for other sleep disorders. Sleep and mental health are often interlinked. It is not uncommon for insomnia, for example, to be a symptom of anxiety. Therefore, it may be better to work on the anxiety first. Likewise, recent research shows that treatment of insomnia can lead to an improvement in the mental health problem. Our expertise in both mental health and sleep means we will treat you as a ‘whole’ rather than focusing on an individual symptom.