About therapy

Pluralistic

No single “school” of therapy has a monopoly on the truth, or on helpful insights and methods. I will try to offer you whatever different insights and methods I think you might find helpful, and then you can decide what works for you.

Meaningful

Therapy is not a quasi-medical process in which I examine¬† and diagnose your “symptoms”. It is a shared exploration of meaning, attempting to understand how you have given meaning to things, and whether other meanings may be possible.

Relational

Although tools and techniques can be useful, what really makes therapy work is just being with another person who genuinely listens and helps you talk through your situation and try to make some sense of it.

These are some approaches to therapy that I may draw on in my work with you.

Contemporary Psychotherapy

My training with the BeeLeaf Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy has given me a thorough grounding in this approach, which draws on current research as well as respecting the different needs and different timescales of different clients.

Power Threat Meaning Framework

This framework for understanding mental distress was published in 2018 by the British Psychological Society. It sees “mental health” issues as not as medical diagnoses, but as our best attempts to make sense of and deal with threats we have faced as a result of the way oppressive power has operated in our lives.

Pluralistic Therapy

My general approach to therapy is pluralistic, and I may also draw on this more specific approach which has been described mainly by Professors Mick Cooper and John McLeod. It provides a framework for client and therapist to reach agreement on the goals, tasks and methods of therapy that will be most helpful.

Trauma-Informed Therapy

In recent years there has been increasing recognition of the way that past trauma of many kinds can deeply affect the rest of a person’s life. I don’t assume that all problems are due to trauma, but when they are, I can offer ways of working drawn from the writings of Judith Herman, Bessel van der Kolk, and others.

Hypnotherapy

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the therapeutic use of trance states, which is very different from popular ideas of stage hypnosis. Hypnotherapy can make it easier for your mind to open to change and welcome new ideas, but it never takes away control and never puts you in any situation that you would not be happy with.

Outcome-Oriented Therapies

There are many kinds of outcome-oriented therapies, including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Brief Solution-Focused Therapy. These can all be very useful in some situations, particularly when the problem issue and the desired outcome are very clearly defined.

About supervision

Supervision can be like a shared journey, in which I try to help you work out a path through tangled client situations and thorny ethical dilemmas.

My supervision training was with CSTD (Robin Shohet and Joan Wilmot), focusing on the “seven-eyed model” of supervision. I’m also familiar with the “formative, normative, restorative” and other models.

My approach to supervision (as well as therapy) is pluralistic, and I’m happy for you to follow whatever therapeutic modality you have been trained in. However, I will challenge dogmatic beliefs about therapy if I see these resulting in a failure to respect the humanity of the client.