I have training in a broad range of therapies including Cognitive Behavioural (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation & Processing (EMDR) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). All my clients are treated as individuals irrespective of a diagnostic label. I believe there is far more to a person than a label and use an integrative approach to therapy that reflects what works best for the person. Many people become depressed or anxious for example, but how they get to that point will be different for each one. Understanding a persons unique story is therefore vital in helping a person to make positive change and improve quality of life.
When you come to see me, I will listen to your concerns, and then use my knowledge and experience, alongside your own story and experience, to create bespoke interventions and therapy. We usually need to meet a few times to build an understanding of what’s been going on, and how best to help. We then agree a therapy plan.
It is important to understand that Clinical Psychologists are NOT a diagnosis based profession. We work using a process called Clinical Formulation. What this means, is that whilst a person may have a diagnosis or symptoms of anxiety or depression, or some other condition for example, that diagnosis tells me nothing about the person behind it. It is the person rather than the diagnosis that I, as a Clinical Psychologist place emphasis on. I am interested in you; your story, how has this problem developed and why it persists.
If my client is a child/young person I would usually see him or her with you (parent/caregiver) for the first appointment, irrespective of your child’s age. This is because, children and young people live in a family environment and parents are experts in their own children. You have a lot of valuable information about your child that is essential to my understanding of the problem that you and your child would like to discuss with me. I would then see your child by themselves on a further two occasions, and then on a fourth meet with you all to discuss my opinion about what may be most helpful. I would then see the young person by themselves for a therapy intervention.
Understanding your child/young person, and how they make sense of the world around them and the people in it, is crucial to figuring out the best way to help your child, irrespective of the diagnosis. Lots of parents will ask me things like, is there a strategy we can use to fix this now? what can we do now? The answer is, that quick fix strategies used in isolation without understanding the person seldom work. Once therapy is in progress, I check in with parents periodically to update on progress. I use a variety of methods to engage children and young people in conversation; Youtube videos, drawing, and play based work with my youngest clients. Children are given the same right to confidentiality as adults unless there are safeguarding concerns.