I am an Integrative Psychotherapist based in Stoke Newington, on the border of Dalston.
I offer a private, strictly confidential and non-judgemental service. I stress the last point in the belief that psychotherapy has the potential to be one of the few truly non-judgemental relational spaces available to us. It focuses on the individual's experience, whatever it may be, highlighting those that for various reasons remain largely unexpressed or unacknowledged – perhaps because they are painful, frightening, overwhelming, shameful or simply seen as wrong, maybe ugly or unattractive. On a basic level keeping such experiences 'inside' or 'bottled up' can leave one with a sense of isolation, loneliness or even undirected rage. Putting something into words and exploring it with another person has the potential to change an experience through the creation of a new context: it becomes something that is shared, felt, thought about, and may lead to action and change.
Having an integrative training, my practice is informed by multiple modalities, including humanistic/person centred, systemic, existentialist and CBT approaches. The core is however psychodynamic, which for me centres on three primary areas. The first is loss, which may concern death, but more often refers to areas of loss within relationships – loss of care, respect, support, consideration, desire, etc. The second is trauma, and although loss can certainly be experienced as traumatic, trauma emphasises an element of violation which may not be present in loss. It describes experiences which breach or break the 'usual order of things'; brutal or frightening experiences which have little place within our conception of the world or within the world as it is seen by society generally. These two areas refer to an injury. Psychotherapy cannot change the fact that it happened. It instead works with the third area of focus, the response to injury. How did one adapt in order to be able to live with loss and trauma, and might there be other ways of doing so? Ones which are perhaps less costly – less destructive and painful? These are ingrained patterns – defence mechanisms and modes of coping – that we are hardly aware of. We notice them only indirectly from the evidence of our stumbling. Clearly something is wrong, but it is hard to say what or why exactly. Why am I stuck in this situation? Why does the same thing always seem to happen to me? Why can I no longer function properly or as I would like to? Why have I become this person? Why do I do this thing? Why do I treat people in this way? Why can't I grieve? What are these feelings about? Why do I feel nothing? Why am I so overwhelmed by anxiety, depression, anger, sorrow?
Coming to psychotherapy can be a daunting prospect, accompanied by feelings of vulnerability and wariness. Clients for instance often speak of anxiety and difficulty sleeping in the build up. In my experience however, the first session is generally felt to be a relief. The first meeting is an assessment session, where you tell me about yourself and your reasons for coming, and it is also crucially about deciding whether you feel we can work together – do you feel comfortable, might therapy be beneficial to you and if so in what ways?
I would be very happy to answer any questions or queries so please feel free to contact me for further information, or to discuss setting up an initial appointment.