I am a BABCP (British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy) accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.
As a graduate member of the British Psychological Society, I work both privately and until very recently within the NHS; my CBT training was provided by the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre who are well esteemed in the field. I have been involved as a therapist in a clinical study (the Optimal Treatment in OCD study) sponsored by the University of Hertfordshire, a feasibility study testing the efficacy of CBT in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
I have a rich therapeutic background having worked extensively with a wide range of mental health problems over the past nineteen years. On a personal level, I have had an interest in meditation for over thirty years, so I was very excited to learn more about meditation as a therapeutic tool. To me it made perfect sense as I was already personally aware of the therapeutic benefits of meditation, having practised it myself for many years. It was, therefore, natural that I would want to integrate meditation into my work as a therapist. I completed a post graduate diploma in mindfulness-based approaches at Bangor University (Bangor University is a leading UK centre for mindfulness studies). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) combines mindfulness practices (orientated around meditation – though not exclusively meditation) with some cognitive elements of CBT; this is delivered in a set programme of eight sessions and is traditionally ‘taught’ as a group programme although the set programme can also be delivered as an individual therapy.
I have found mindfulness and CBT to be a natural partnership, they complement each other perfectly (this is called a mindful approach to CBT). Simple changes in perspective to encourage acceptance of thoughts and emotions is encouraged in mindfulness; this acceptance can help when more logical CBT solutions are not effective/appropriate. I have found mindfulness to be helpful with patients who can easily make logical shifts with CBT but fail to experience any associated emotional shift.
More recently I have qualified as an EMDR practitioner, having studied with the EMDR Academy, a leading accredited training provider in Europe and the UK. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It is a unique, powerful therapy that helps people recover from problems triggered by traumatic events in their lives. It stops difficult memories causing so much distress by helping the brain to reprocess them properly.
I can, therefore, offer various therapy options –
- Traditional protocol driven cognitive behaviour therapy (pure CBT)
- Cognitive behaviour therapy with a mindful approach (CBT plus some mindfulness practice)
- Mindfulness based cognitive therapy in a group setting (set eight session programme)
- Mindfulness based cognitive therapy as an individual eight session programme
- EMDR Psychotherapy
Currently, due to Coronavirus restrictions, appointments are all conducted over Zoom, though hopefully in the coming months I will be able to recommence treatment from my treatment room in Bedfordshire.