What does it mean?
The terms counselling & psychotherapy are broadly interchangeable. Counselling perhaps leans towards problem-solving and the latter more of a journey; the boundaries however are fluid.
Both have evolved over recent years to meet the needs of a more informed, tech-savvy society.
Contemporary counselling and psychotherapy is a relational process and although it remains non-judgemental, confidential, supportive and professional, there is now an active process that takes shape between client and therapist.
Everyone is different and so the work moulds and shapes itself to fit the needs of the individual.
What is it like?
In simple terms, therapy is a process of speaking, listening and thinking.
It's fuel is curiosity. Contained within the body of a unique relationship where hopes and expectations invite change, toward an outcome neither party can quite foresee.
Therapy is often referred to as 'work' by those who practice it as relationships require intention, commitment, thoughtfulness and time.
"A way of being with"
Opportunities for change appear - as blind spots in how we sense that others might perceive us are revealed - within the body of what we can hold together as client and therapist.
My name is Dan. I am a well established BACP registered counsellor & psychotherapist working with a broad range of people (in the UK and abroad) to, alleviate their suffering, deepen understanding and search for meaning in their lives.
Following extensive work during Lockdown policy I now practice one-to-one online, alongside in-person sessions from consulting rooms in Highgate and London Bridge.
Why this type of therapy?
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a long established and well researched approach which links present experience with past events & relationships. By adjusting to new understanding, meaningful and lasting change can occur.
Often clinical terms or phrases are attached to particular behaviours & experiences. For example, OCD, ADHD or Depression .
These terms might attempt to offer some meaning for what we experience, but behind the term or diagnosis, is a person with thoughts and feelings...
Listed here, are a number of common reasons for seeking therapeutic help.
Intimate relationships are the life blood of our existence and the source of great joy and also unbearable pain. You might be in a meaningful long-term relationship or something more fleeting. This might be about family issues, friends, parenting or with colleagues or associates? You might be losing a sense of yourself - what it means to be you somehow? Maybe you're feeling stuck, abused or in some way dependent, lonely or experiencing the pain of a break-up, separation or divorce.
Sex & sexuality
Insecurities around sex & sexuality need to be handled with openness, sensitivity and warmth as at it's core, this about vulnerability & intimacy.
I work with any gender, sexual orientation or those who are simply disinterested in sex. I work with individuals exploring festishes, chemsex & in particular porn addictions & aggressions or acting out around sexual behaviour.
In many instances dependencies are coping mechanisms underpinned by trauma, neglect or perceived threats. They can bring temporary relief of course, but often saddle us with longer-term problems.
Anything can be addictive so I won't attempt to make a list, suffice to say there are familiar culprits.
More often than not it's about how we take care of and value ourselves; this is where we might begin.
The shame & secrecy surrounding self-harm will be approached with care and thoughtfulness. This could take the form of cutting, anorexia, bulimia or something else.
We will think together about why that on the one hand this behaviour brings such relief, but equally such confusion and concern.
Can this behaviour be a sort of self-care?
Explosive anger directed at those you care about or who get in the way of things? Is this anger directed towards yourself? Is this expression appropriate? Are you trapped by it and in a state of repressed anger, hatred or envy?
How does anger present itself in our work together? We won't judge it, but will work to understand it.
Low self-esteem is a crushing state to experience. You may be dreading a public speaking engagement or feeling chronic unease in social situations?
You may be overly critical of your appearance, your weight, how you look or your performance in the bedroom. Speaking about these tensions will get you some space to think, to notice & perhaps quieten this critical voice.
Loss & bereavement
Feelings of loss can manifest in relation to anything - whatever you're attached too. However the grief of losing someone you love deeply can become debilitating. Whatever your beliefs about death, speaking to someone can bring enormous comfort.
I can provide the time and emotional support in whatever way is useful and perhaps a chance revisit your own life in the reflection of those you've lost.
Low mood & self loathing is often described as anger turned inwards. In many ways this is useful however, without being able to communicate these depressive conflicts you remain disconnected, unmotivated & unable to see a way out.
Speaking to someone offers the chance of seeing a light, in this darkness.
Recognition of anxiety & stress in society is commonplace, but do we really understand it? Is it brought on by external events or does the threat come from within?
Has the anxiety become chronic? Is it somatic, such as with panic attacks, hives, face picking, hair pulling, headaches and so on?
I have a deep interest in discovering the forms that anxiety takes. Is it a warning signal or is it parental in becoming a somewhat comforting & familiar, yet often unwelcome feeling.
The impact of physical injury, surgery or enduring pain on our emotions is often overlooked. Many (indeed we) may observe the physical traumas but often mis-read or even begin to neglect the affect this has on our mood or outlook.
Having someone alongside you on this journey as you cope with dealing with or overcome injuries - determined to understand the impact on you - cannot be underestimated.
The self-worth we garner from our work is significant. Establishing working patterns, our careers; the interpersonal & financial implications of success, change & failure, can attract their own set of problems.
Through interpersonal conflict, recruitment, retirement or transitional issues, I can help you consider what strategies and decisions might be right for you.