In the current health emergency online therapy provides a viable option to meeting face-to-face. You may have reservations around confidentiality, privacy and complicated or unreliable technology, so please email or phone me about your expectations and what is involved in meeting in this way.
How does online therapy work?
I use Zoom - a secure, reliable conferencing tool, available for Windows, Mac, iOS or Android, which can be used either on a computer or a mobile phone. Unlike Skype, Zoom has no contacts list and I simply send you a link each time. Each conversation is protected by a unique password that is unavailable to anyone but yourself. When the conversation ends the password and the link expire, so there is no means of tracing your use of the service.
You do not have to have a Zoom account to have a conversation on Zoom.
I will send in invitation to your email address, which includes a link, meeting id and password
Click on the link for the Zoom meeting (highlighted in blue)
When prompted, add your designated Meeting ID and/or password.
The meeting automatically begins in Speaker View and you can see yourself and myself on the screen in front of you.
If you do not want to see yourself on the screen, Right-click your video to display the menu, then choose “Hide Myself.”
If you want to download and install the Zoom Application (which is free of charge), go to Zoom's website and click on the Download button under “Zoom Client For Meetings”. This application will automatically download when you have your first zoom conversation.
How to make best use of online therapy
You can help yourself to make the most of online therapy by going through this checklist:
Therapy is a collaborative process: I seek to be as honest as I can be and invite you to be the same.
Therapy could be of great help to you if ...
Counselling or Psychotherapy?
Counselling is usually short-term (between 1-12 sessions) and typically addresses how to manage problems better.
Firstly, we look at what has brought you to seek help.
Secondly, we survey the changes you might want to make.
Thirdly, we consider the obstacles and/or levers which will allow you to move from where you are now to where you would prefer to be.
Counselling is not about giving advice but about listening and helping you to feel more empowered in dealing with the challenges you are facing in your life.
Psychotherapy is more open-ended (anything from 3 months to 3 years) and addresses, not only the causes of some of the problems you face but also the purpose of them.
Often provoked by some sense of personal crisis, psychotherapy helps you to step back from outdmoded or distorted ways of being, to accept and mourn their loss and to acknowledge and integrate what is emerging in your life, summoning you to change.
A variety of approaches to therapy
There are many schools of thought when it comes to the approaches used within psychotherapy with no one 'right' method. The key thing to keep in mind when exploring your options is to research and see which therapy resonates with you. At our first meeting we will be to sound out the issue you are bringing and discern the best fit to explore them in counselling or psychotherapy. I offer a number of approaches to counselling and psychotherapy.
The Psychodynamic approach takes account of the impact of early life experiences in forming (and distorting) the way we see ourselves and the ways we relate to people around us. Past events, particularly in childhood can often hold the key to understanding negative thoughts and emotions. Brought into the light of awareness they loosen the ability of fear and anxiety to limit our actions and help us to shake off harmful patterns of thought and behaviour.
The Transpersonal approach views the human psyche as having a central core, from which our finest impulses arise: love and will, humanitarian action, creativity, spiritual insight and the drive for purpose and meaning. The word ‘transpersonal’ comes from the Latin trans, meaning 'beyond' and persona, meaning 'mask'. The therapy facilitates the unfolding of the core or true Self - the person beneath the mask of conformity, habit or compulsion.This approach seeks to facilitate the emergence of the true self to promote a better understanding, not only of the causes of our behaviour, but also the purpose of them in the unfolding of our life's meaning.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, (ACT) rather than looking at what we think, seeks to change our relationship with what troubles us, coming into the present moment - even if that moment is painful - and letting go of the impulse to leapfrog into the future. The goal is not so much getting rid of unwanted thoughts, feelings or sensations, but accepting them as part - but only part - of who we are. Once we step into the 'Now' of the Present Moment, we begin to realise that we are more than our thoughts and we do not have to wait for them to go away before we can live a happier life.
Find out more about what actually happens at a therapy session here.
Whichever approach (or combination of approaches) we might use, I employ a range of techniques, including reflective listening, exploring family history, dreams, artwork, photography, body awareness, visualisation and guided meditation.
Walking Therapy offers an alternative to meeting in the consulting room. If you would like a break from the stresses and strains of the city, you might like to consider an occasional meeting in the ancient and beautiful town of Rye, East Sussex.
Rye is surrounded by circular walks and footpaths around its harbour, nature reserve and beaches and is now only an hour and a half away from St.Pancras International station.
Introducing walking outside the counselling room can be of real help to clients who may feel stuck or burdened with issues such as depression, stress or grief or who are intimidated by face-to-face therapy. Exchanging familiar but stressful surroundings for a beautiful and serene environment can shift mood and open up perspective, leaving you feeling free and moving forward.
After agreeing practicalities such as where and when to meet and wet-weather alternatives, we would spend the agreed session time talking and walking a pre-planned route, at a pace that suits you best. You could combine this with a "day out" of your own, once our session together is completed. You can learn more on my Rye website.
I trained as a Supervisor at CCPE in 2003, but my greatest teachers have been my own supervisors and supervisees over the years. Though I do not profess to have all the answers, I hope I can challenge you with some of the right questions.
I use a process model of supervision, in which both the therapy session and the here-and-now experience of supervision informs your awareness of your work. Inevitably my style of supervision is coloured by my own therapeutic approach, but I take full account of your own background, training and professional needs, all of which we can discuss at our first meeting
A preliminary meeting of 30 minutes is free of charge. Supervision is available for sessions of 50 or 80 minutes. I am happy to conduct ongoing supervision online, via Zoom.