Stress is a commonly used term these days and can cause people to feel overwhelmed, tired and irritable and this can affect relationships and other aspects of functioning. Whether you're experiencing stress at home, perhaps in relation to running a home or bringing up a family, or stress due to work, I can offer you a space to talk about this and find solutions to manage stress and reduce the damaging effects it has upon your life.
Depression is one of the most common forms of psychological distress with one in four adults seeking help from their GP. Depression impacts upon our thoughts, emotions, behaviour and physical health. Many people think of depression as feeling sad, but often people suffering from depression feel guilty, irritable, disinterested and disengaged and they have trouble concentrating and making decisions. They may be engaging in behaviours which perpetuate feelings, such as withdrawing from friends or activities they enjoy or using food or substances to cope with feelings.
Anxiety is perfectly normal response that humans have evolved to cope with real danger. However, if you find yourself worrying more than you feel you should or find that your worries prevent you from getting on with life and affecting your sleep, for example then it could be that anxiety has become unmanageable for you. Together, we can think through the types of worries you are experiencing and find ways to contain it and free your mind of the burden that excess worry is having.
Trauma - Life can sometimes throw unfortunate and unexpected experience at us. This could range from car accident to a serious assault. It can be hard to bounce back from traumatic incidents and people can develop post-traumatic stress disorder. This can cause flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of numbness or detachment, avoidance of areas or activities associated with the traumatic incident and feeling constantly on edge. Therapy can give you an opportunity to talk through and process the incident in a safe and contained environment.
Family and Relationship difficulties - You may be struggling to adapt to having a family; something no book or amount of advice can truly prepare you for! Parenthood brings new levels of anxiety, guilt and occasionally feelings of loneliness and incompetence that can take its toll on the most able of people. I can offer space to offload and think about any particular problems you might want to overcome.
It may be that you are having problems relating to a partner and need space to identify and think through, alone or perhaps as a couple, the cycles in which you have become trapped and how to break free of them and reconnect in a loving way if that is something that you both want.
Perhaps you are struggling to relate to people in your friendship circle or at work and you need space to think about the role you have adopted and the other person or people’s part in this and how to develop adaptive and meaningful relationships.
Fertility Problems - You cannot escape media articles on this subject but until you have experienced the pain and uncertainty of fertility issues, it is hard to understand the emotional toll they can take the both on the individual concerned and to the couple and sometimes the wider family. I can talk through these difficulties and help individuals or couples weigh up choices that are available so that any decision made is the right one for you.
Bereavement and loss is something we cannot avoid and whether or not it is something we were prepared for, the death of a loved one can sometimes rock the fabric of our being. In bereavement, I include the loss of an unborn baby through miscarriage medical termination, both of which can have a devastating and lasting impact on parents and are often suffered in silence. We may find ourselves feeling stuck and unable to move on to a life without the person. I can offer sessions to help you work through the stages of grief and adapt to life without that important person in it.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is sometimes misunderstood but it can have a damaging effect on one’s ability to function. Obsessions are the thoughts that sometimes but not always lead to and drive compulsive behaviours, such as checking or washing rituals that can eat into precious time and seriously affect functioning and relationships. Together, we can work to target the unwanted thoughts and behaviours that are getting in the way of you living your life!
A phobia is an overwhelming and usually unrealistic fear of a particular thing, such as animals (spider phobia, bird phobia, insect phobia or dog phobia), certain environments (water phobia or height phobia) or situations (flying phobia or phobia about visiting the dentist) A phobia can prevent you doing something or makes living a normal life difficult. I can work with you using evidenced-based approach to relieve you of the burden of a phobia in a short number of sessions.
“Severe and enduring mental health problems” include psychosis, bipolar disorder and personality disorders. Most of my experience working in community mental health teams in the NHS has involved working with people who have been given one of these diagnoses. Unfortunately, access to psychological therapy is difficult within NHS teams due to restricted resources and as a result many clients are turning to private psychologists like myself. I believe that talking therapy is essential for recovery and I pay very close attention to attachment and trauma history when working with clients who have these diagnoses.