What difficulties can I help with?

I have experience of working with both individuals and couples of all ages,  genders and sexual orientations. I'm very comfortable and experienced in working with individuals with less conventional life styles and believe that the focus of therapy should be on what you identify as problematic,  not what others view as different.

 

I work with most areas of mental health including:

 

  • Anxiety issues,  such as general anxiety disorder,  panic disorder,  obsessive compulsive disorder,  specific phobias and other non specified anxiety
  • Depression,  both short term and long term
  • Post traumatic stress disorder and acute stress issues
  • Bipolar affective disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorder,  including borderline personality disorder / emotionally unstable disorder,  narcissistic personality disorder,  etc.
  • Addictions,  including alcoholism, gambling, substance misuse etc.

 

I also work with individuals who don't have a diagnosed mental health disorder but have difficulties with more general issues such as:

 

  • Relationship issues
  • Work stress
  • Managing grief
  • Adjusting to major life changes
  • Developing a sense of identity
  • Exam stress
  • Self harm and suicidal thoughts
  • Understanding sexual issues

 

Most people know that they aren't doing well but don't always know why or what that is caused by. If you are struggling but aren't sure if your issues fit any of those mentioned above, get in touch and we can chat through if I can help or if I can direct you to someone else who has more specialist experience.

 

I'm sorry but I don't have experience in working with children under the age of 16 as this is a very specialist area, and can't offer family therapy as I practice independently.

medico-legal services

I have several years experience of providing medico legal reports and make a committment to see the client and deliver subsequent reports in a speedy and professional manner. I can provide coverage in the Sunderland, Durham and Newcastle area and can often offer appointments closer to the clients locality than my existing clinics.

For more information on the specific services I provide in this area, my fees and any other issues, please contact me at :

What therapies do I offer?

As I mentioned in my opening blurb,  I practice mainly from a cognitive perspective.  This approach means that I believe that people’s thoughts and belief systems affect both their feelings and behaviours. There are a number of cognitive therapies out there which I incorporate within my approach or apply directly.  These include:

 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT):

an approach where the therapist and individual work together to look at the patterns of thinking and behaviour which underpin various issues,  treatment usually involves a mixture of understanding and challenging thinking patterns alongside trying out new behaviours through a series of planned “experiments” a good review and descriptor of cbt can be found via the MIND CBT page

 

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT):

this approach was developed primarily to help individuals manage high levels of self harm but is now considered the treatment of choice for borderline personality disorder / emotionally unstable personality disorder.  Dbt as it was originally developed involved a mixture of skills groups,  individual therapy and telephone coaching.  The aim was to teach people practical skills in managing their emotions and their relationships.  I offer a dbt informed approach which means that I use the materials developed as part of the original therapeutic approach to help people learn and apply new skills on a one to one basis. A good overview of dbt can be found

at the MIND DBT page

 

Schema therapy:

this approach states that in early life we develop a number of “rules for living” which guide our behaviour and that these often remain unchanged through to adulthood.  When people have difficult early experiences,  these rules or belief systems were often aimed at surviving the difficult experience and become actively unhelpful once the person is in a different environment.  This approach involves identifying the core belief systems or “schema” and how they are being acted out and reinforced in current life.  Once these have been identified, practical ways to modify those schema which are now unhelpful address developed.  For more info, visit the Schema Therapy WIKI

 

Narrative therapy: 

this approach believes that we all develop an internal story, or narrative,  of our life which shapes the way we view ourselves,  the world around us and other people.  It posits that through changing the story and thus changing the way we view this,  we can deal with the world and any difficulties we have in a different way. This is a very creative approach and uses lots of visual imagery to help a person feel stronger and develop new ways of tackling issues.  It is particularly good for people who struggle with the rigidity of traditional cognitive approaches and who find visual modes and creativity the most comfortable to operate within. For more info, visit the Narrative Therapy WIKI

 

My general approach is to work out with the person a shared understanding of their problem and clear goals to work on.  We can then use techniques from all of the above therapies to tackle the identified problems and work on achieving the goals,  depending on what approaches are most effective in each situation.

Prices and payment

As of July, 2017 session fees are £120 per individual sessions (60 minutes) and £160 for couple sessions (90 minutes). There is no extra charge for phone calls,  emails or assessment / update / discharge reports.  However, reports required for legal purposes are charged at a different rate which will vary depending on the requirements.  Please contact me to discuss these rates if you require more information.

 

Payments can be made by cash,  cheque, PayPal or direct transfer and can be made at the session or an invoice can be sent,  depending on preference. I am also registered with a range of healthcare insurers - please contact me if you wish to check if I am registered with your insurance company or if you require my provider information.

Medico-legal services

I have a wide range of experience of providing reports for court, both in the context of expert witness reports and in writing reports for mental health tribunals and child protection cases. I am happy to conduct medico-legal assessments in the Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle area and can be flexible regarding travel to other areas of County Durham if appropriate clinic rooms can be identified. 

Please contact me for fees, terms and conditions, a copy of my CV or if you would like to discuss a referral.