Looking for Support?
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about therapy. And so many different kinds of therapy, and so many different therapists, coaches, counsellors, psychologists – and what’s the difference anyway?
You can work with me 1:1, take my course, or choose to work with one of the Psychology Collective
Let me tell you a bit about me, and a bit about what I offer and feel free to get in touch to see if we could work well together.
I specialise in helping people during pregnancy, birth and the early years and can see you on your own, with your baby, or as a couple. This is a time of huge transition and it is not uncommon to experience an emotional fall out from this. I work in collaboration with you to introduce compassion and confidence to your parenting journey.
Sometimes you may not feel you need therapy but would like the opportunity just to think things through. I also offer ‘pick my brains’ sessions, to chat through a particular problem or question you have.
I work as part of a collective and you may find one of my highly skilled, dynamic colleagues a better fit for you. Feel free to get in touch if you would like to think about how we can support you.
What I Can Offer…
You might just want to have a little bit of space to think about a specific problem or question but aren’t interested in a full 50 minutes to think things through. Or you just can’t imagine finding the privacy to speak around your children. Perhaps you are looking for a few ideas to shift something that is feeling a bit stuck, or you want some quick thoughts on a particular issue. You let us know a specific question or topic, I’ll apply my psychological knowledge and together we’ll come up with a few ideas.
- An email consultation with me or the appropriate member of the Collective – a group of psychologists with individual skills in pregnancy, birth, new parenthood, couple relationships, family relationships, children and teenagers.
- One email response to a specific question or topic with some bullet point suggestions
- One follow up email to clarify suggestions if necessary (please note any new questions/topics will be classed as a new email consultation)
- This is on a ‘pay what you can’ basis
Sometimes things just feel hard, don’t they? You’re feeling frazzled, having arguments with your partner, you’re more irritable than usual, your baby is fussy and you don’t know why, you keep losing your temper with your children…. I’m often contacted by people who just want to have a bit of space to chat something through. I’ll bring my experience of working as a clinical psychologist with parents and parents-to-be for over 10 years. You bring a question, problem or idea and we can mull it over together.
- A 50 minute phone, online or email session focused on a particular topic or question (to be agreed via email prior to the session)
- Email feedback from me on possible next steps
This is for you if:
- You just have a couple of questions or a specific problem
- You are happy to speak via phone/online
This is not for you if:
- You are currently seeing another therapist or mental health professional
- Your mood is currently very unstable
- You have a number of concerns or more longstanding issues
(in this case you might want to speak to your GP or a healthcare provider, or discuss an assessment with me)
Meet for Therapy – fully booked
If you would like to meet on a regular basis, either in person or online, on your own, with your baby, or as a couple then please contact me about arranging a therapy assessment. You may be experiencing a diagnosable perinatal mental health problem such as ante- and postnatal depression and anxiety, post traumatic stress or panic. Or you may have a more general sense of not feeling quite right, you may be experiencing concerns about bonding with your baby, wondering about the impact of parenthood on your relationship, or reflecting on your own childhood. Therapy creates a safe space to explore all of these things.
I tend to work in a fairly exploratory way and take 3-5 sessions to get to know you and think about what might be causing you difficulties at the moment. Sometimes this understanding can feel like enough, but often people choose to continue sessions to experiment with different ways of responding, and have a weekly outlet in a supportive environment. I tend to see people for around 20 sessions, but am happy to see you until you feel ready to end therapy and clients sometimes contact me again when they are going through a new life transition.
Going to therapy for the first time can feel hugely intimidating, the thought of opening up to a stranger. You are welcome to contact me via email to ask any questions about the process of therapy before making any commitment.
Fee: £150 per session
*I am registered with some insurance companies or accept payment via bank transfer
- An email or call prior to meeting about what you are looking for (and whether I am the right person for you or whether another member of the Collective or someone else might be more suitable)
- Assessment sessions and, if agreed, weekly sessions in person (central London location) or online
This is for you if:
- You would like to have a safe space to explore your mood and relationships
- You are able to commit to regular sessions at the same time every week
This is not for you if:
- You are seeing another therapist at present
- You can’t commit to weekly sessions
- You are feeling suicidal or worried about harming yourself or someone else (If you are worried about your safety at the moment, or having thoughts about harming yourself or others, please seek urgent help from your GP about a crisis referral or visit A&E)
Having trained as a hypnobirthing teacher in 2010, I now combine my knowledge of hypnobirthing and positive birth with my psychological experience specialising in birth trauma. Whether you are having your first child, or have been through a previous birth, we will work together to help you enter your birth experience feeling empowered and supported.
These are bespoke sessions for you and your partner, and fees are negotiable.
WHAT IS THERAPY?
Psychological therapy, or ‘talking therapy’ can help you deal with a range of problems, such as anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, life transitions, bereavement or loss, childhood difficulties, experiences of trauma…or simply feeling at a bit of a loss as to where to go next. Therapy refers to a wide range of different options for treatment, and every therapist is different. I’m experienced in a range of therapies such as brief psychodynamic therapy (specifically Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (particularly ‘third wave’ therapies including mindfulness and compassion focused therapy) and Systemic Therapy. I’ve also completed further training related to couples, birth, group work and attachment based models. I draw from all of these different approaches to offer a comprehensive approach tailored to your unique needs.
WHAT IS A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST?
Clinical Psychologists are ‘jacks of all trades’, learning about the many different factors which may influence people throughout their lifespan, such as previous childhood experiences, current relationships, health, genetics, brain development, disability, cultural influences and so on. This means that they are able to offer a holistic approach to problems, taking into account a person’s context.
Clinical Psychologists often work in partnership with other professionals and under supervision to ensure they are continually developing their practice and offering the most appropriate service. This means that if, following assessment, I felt that another professional either within our collective or in a different service would better suit your needs, I would discuss the best possible plan with you. I may also discuss with colleagues or a supervisor to ensure that you are receiving the best support. I may also wish to speak to your GP or Health Visitor, or other services, if I felt they could be of help to you. However, I would never mention you to another professional without discussing it with you first.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THERAPY?
Initially, we would meet for 50 mins for an assessment session. This would enable me to learn about you, your background and current situation, what brought you to therapy and your hopes for future sessions. Assessments may go on for two to three sessions but we would discuss this following the initial assessment.
Together, we would then decide whether or not further sessions would be required. Sometimes these initial meetings are enough to help people move forward, at other times sessions may continue for a longer period of time, as decided by us together. I work with the majority of clients for around 20 sessions, but do also see people long-term over months or years. I work in an informal, dynamic and collaborative way – bringing my clinical experience to support you as the expert in your own life.
DO I NEED THERAPY?
Still, even now, there is a lot of stigma and misinformation about therapy. That you’ll have to lie on a couch (you’re welcome to, I understand you’re probably sleep deprived!), there will be long silences, it’s only for people with ‘real’ mental health problems. That going means maybe YOU have a ‘real’ mental health problem.
There are also lots and lots of quick-fix solutions out there now. You can use a text therapy service to try and improve things wherever you are, or see someone for three sessions of life changing magic, or read a self-help book! It can be hard to see the value of sitting in a room with someone (let’s face it, an expensive someone) week in and week out.
But therapy can be truly transformative, and often it does take a while to see real, long lasting, meaningful change. I work using evidence based techniques drawn from a range of different approaches and with the support of experienced mentors and colleagues. Sometimes progress can feel slow when you want rapid change, but I believe that you are coming to therapy because you want things to be actually different. Not just to learn new skills (you will learn some of them too), but to truly feel more acceptance with yourself and your life. I work firmly based on the evidence that shows the relationship between the client and the therapist is one of the key factors in a successful outcome, and we will use our collaborative relationship to improve other relationships and experiences in your life.
Therapy is not always right for everyone, and it is not always the right time. But it really can work!
I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2009, at University College, London (a BPS and HCPC accredited course and one of the leading courses in the UK). But psychology and psychological ways of thinking have always been the backdrop to my life, with parents working in Clinical Psychology and Social Care. I couldn’t really have done anything else!
I have worked in a variety of NHS, social care and voluntary settings, with individuals and groups, from newborn to older age, with mild to more long standing difficulties and from diverse cultural backgrounds. Having specialised in perinatal psychology towards the end of my training, I then worked in primary care psychology with pregnant women and new parents, helping them deal with the transition to parenthood, including ante- and post-natal anxiety and depression, bonding difficulties and relationship problems.
Having left the NHS in 2018, I now work independently in collaboration with a brilliant group of colleagues. I see people in central London, or online. My aim is to provide you with a service that can offer a range of different options to support you throughout pregnancy, birth and the early years of parenthood. Whether this is through more traditional one to one therapy, or more informally through an online community or course, I believe that psychological knowledge and discussion can enhance our family lives in so many ways.
Need a Community?
Parenting can feel like a really lonely time, but finding a safe community of others can be transformative.
Working with parents as long as I have, a key theme for me is the frequency with which mental health problems are related to a lack of social support. We are so unusual in the West in the lack of support we give to parents and parents to be. During pregnancy many people feel that – rather than rest and enjoy their changing body – they need to prove that they are as hardworking and resilient as ever. After birth, even after a difficult experience, people are out and about within days (and often back to work too). When visitors come to see new parents, they frequently expect to be handed the baby and made a cup of tea. Compare this to other cultures where new mothers are encouraged to stay in bed with their baby while friends and family members come to bring food, tidy up and look after other children. Is it any wonder that the rates of post natal mental health problems are so high?
Since 2015 I have run an online parenting support group, with an explicit ‘no-judgement- rule, called ‘The Village’. You’ll find a welcoming community of parents – from the newly pregnant to those with grown up children – who are there to offer support and solidarity. We have regular discussion topics, weekly check-ins and education on topics too.