WhY DO people come for psychotherapy?
The following are just a few scenarios why people might come to therapy.
You keep choosing relationships with people that you know are not healthy but can't resist anyway. And only those kinds of people are attractive. You don’t like ‘nice’ people.
It feels like you are continually finding yourself in a job you don't like and can't stand the people that work there. This makes you feel depressed, anxious and your self esteem feels low.
You avoid conflict as the feelings you would like to express feel ‘too much’ or overwhelming. Instead of expressing your emotions at the time you are left only with feelings of anxiety, frustration or worse, feeling ashamed.
You know deep down that you are a creative person but you feel this part of you has all but disappeared. You want to express this part of you but you don’t know where to start.
OK, but How does PSYCHOTHERAPY actually work?
The (very limited) examples above often arise from not feeling supported or listened to at times of distress and often when it was most needed in life. These are often the result of cumulative experiences which build up and form your sense of self: ‘I’m not a person who people listen to’, ‘My anger is too much’, ‘I am too sensitive’, ‘I’m not creative really’ or ‘I am selfish.’
Therefore perhaps the most curative aspect and the very foundation of psychotherapy is when you actually experience a felt sense that you have been heard and seen as you wish to be, not as someone else wants you to. In fact you may notice while you are in psychotherapy that being heard has never felt like a priority for you before. If you have, for example been brought up in a household where the needs of others take priority, or that listening was not really valued, this can often be the case.
Psychotherapy is different from speaking to a family member or friend as my role is to listen and not to try and ‘fix’ things for you. The space is yours to think about your life experiences and how they have impacted upon the present day, without judging or telling you what I think is best for you.
PSYCHotherapy,creativity and the imagination
Psychotherapy can help you to mourn what has been lost and in doing so, you may realise that there are new perspectives about the past, present or future that you had never considered before. Suffering can be the result of a rather concrete worldview that you have internalised somewhere along the line. You may then punish yourself repeatedly in your attachment to this way of seeing yourself, yet you feel you don’t have any other options. This process closes down your imagination and your creativity too; the very things that hold the potential to bring you out of suffering.
The process of psychotherapy can shed light in sometimes unexpected ways on these sometimes painful attachments. It can be very liberating to experience this kind of insight and be witnessed in doing so by another person without judgement. This enables you to harness your innate creativity and imaginative capacity. You can then consider the possibility that the messages you have internalised do not have to define who you are any longer. ‘Maybe I’m not really an inherently selfish person - perhaps I needed to be selfish at that moment’ or ‘Maybe I do actually have something to say, I certainly care enough about it!’
how long does it last?
Psychotherapy is having a weekly space to reflect in some depth upon your relational experiences and the associated unconscious processes which have a bearing on your present life. It is therefore based on a model which takes time and does not provide a ‘quick fix.’
However, you may feel that there is a particular issue you would like to focus on and you feel that this can be overcome in as little as 6 to 12 sessions.
DO i have to use art materials? i can’t draw!
Not at all! It is not a pre-requisite that you use art materials in therapy. You may feel what works best for you is to talk about what is happening for you.
If you wish however, you might sometimes combine talking with expressive arts such as drawing/ painting or working with clay. Drawing/ artistic skills are not needed at all! These non-verbal methods of expression are sometimes therapeutic in that they can help you to get in touch with the creative, imaginative parts of yourself that you may feel that you have lost touch with. It can also help you to calm feelings of anxiety, or safely express your anger and make greater sense of it. Read more about art therapy.
Some of the AREAS I work with:
Anxiety and Stress
Work based conflict
Survivors of narcissistic abuse/ relational trauma
Communication issues/ Assertiveness
Problems with sleep
Sexuality and intimacy issues
Relationship issues - problems with codependency/ controlling behaviour
Bereavement and loss
Although I absolutely welcome clients from all areas of life, with my personal experience as a musician, visual artist and Psychotherapist this provides me with a unique set of skills to work with people who are musicians, artists, or performers or from other creative fields. I also have a lot of experience previously in business in both the commercial and third sector which I feel is important in terms of understanding and relating to the everyday experiences and challenges of those working in the field.