My interest in therapy stems in part from a very positive personal experience of long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy. As a practitioner, I know that the self-awareness gained from long-term personal therapy is essential in order to be able to work safely and ethically.
After working as a musician for many years, I decided to train as a music therapist, in order to explore more diverse forms of musical expression and work more directly with the communicative and healing potential of music.
I've worked in this capacity since 2002, within the NHS between 2004-2015, in both hospital (acute mental health, neurological rehabilitation and physical illness) and community settings (people with emotional and behavioural problems, communication disorders and learning disabilities). I've also worked extensively with children and adolescents within schools. I don’t currently offer private music therapy sessions, but if you are interested in knowing more about this approach, please click here.
Since training as an integrative counsellor I have worked with clients with a wide range of problems. Before developing my private practice, I worked for two years within a local community counselling service, and for 3 years at a London branch of Victim Support. In addition to more general counselling issues, I have particular experience and interest in the following areas:
I have extensive experience and a special interest in trauma work.
One-off incidents, such as experiencing or witnessing a traumatic accident or assault, can sometimes result in high levels of post-traumatic distress which respond well to therapeutic support and understanding.
I have particular interest, however, in working with female and male survivors of complex trauma, such as childhood abuse and neglect (including extreme and organised abuse) as well as domestic and sexual violence. I have experience in working with trauma-related dissociation and dissociative disorders. I work for The Clinic for Dissociative Studies in London, an independent provider to the NHS offering specialist psychotherapy and support to people with dissociative disorders, most of whom have histories of severe abuse and complex trauma. I am involved in assessment and training at the clinic, as well as offering ongoing therapy.
My trauma therapy approach is primarily relational,ie focusing on building a strong therapeutic alliance, and I work flexibly according to the needs of each individual. Body awareness and stabilisation (learning to recognise and manage intense sensations or feelings) are important in re-establishing a sense of safety and preparing the ground for more in-depth trauma work, if that is what is needed. I also work to help people understand their early relationships and attachment patterns - how these may be unconsciously sought or re-enacted in the present day, sometimes affecting the ability to stay safe.
I have additional training in both attachment-based and cognitive approaches to working with trauma and have completed my training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Re-processing) with the EMDR Association.
Over the last 4 years, I have been invited to be a guest speaker on various counselling and psychotherapy training courses, offering presentations about working with trauma-related dissociation.
I have extensive experience of working psychotherapeutically with people with a range of disabilities, including learning disabilities, acquired physical or cognitive disabilities, and communication disorders such as autism. This has given me some understanding of the impact that disability can have on individuals themselves and those close to them.