How I Work
In my work with you I will try to understand your world - and help you to understand it too.
As we talk, I will get to know you and help you get to know and understand yourself a bit better.
As you develop greater self-awareness, you will start to understand more about how you respond to others and how you relate to yourself.
Through therapy, you will be given a different experience of relationship and you will be able to find out how you can have better relationships, including an improved relationship with yourself.
It is thought that trauma and impingement in infancy and early childhood can cause parts of ourselves to separate off and that these parts will remain out of conscious awareness, whilst still influencing how we are in the world. The act of talking about emotional issues - even traumatic ones, can allow us to process the feelings around them and thus become more integrated - this is the goal of therapy.
I understand that it can be hard to talk about issues that are distressing. That is why I will make sure you are ready and that you can feel safe sharing your thoughts and feelings.
By remaining a compassionate and empathetic presence in the face of difficult emotions, I allow you to experience yourself as "whole" - and at the same time, more separate, helping you to develop good boundaries and the ability to tolerate others' emotions as well as your own.
As part of the process of therapy, I will help you improve your self-knowledge and your ability to manage anxiety and other more challenging emotions. This is particularly important for those who have BPD or are self-harming.
I understand the challenges of therapy and the fears that we all have around becoming vulnerable and revealing our vulnerabilities to others. I will prioritise building trust to help you to feel comfortable in opening up the space of reflection and emotional exploration. I will also support you in becoming temporarily dependant on the therapeutic relationship - something that is necessary if the therapy is to work. So I will encourage you to look after yourself and to manage the breaks between sessions, even though, at times, separation may cause distress. As you develop these self-soothing and self-awareness skills you will need therapy - and your therapist, less and less.
And so my aim, and the aim of most therapists is to make themselves redundant - slowly!
These are all qualities young people need to have and to nurture in themselves. To be all we can be, to have the confidence to explore and take risks as well as knowing when to protect ourselves and focus on the basics – these are skills which can be taught and nurtured in young people.
Adolescence and young adulthood can also be a time to explore different personas, different identities and different pathways.
Therapy can help to open up the space of emotional growth and development and provide a secure base for reflection and introspection. In working with young people I aim to improve confidence, help them develop good relationships and give them the strength to explore and have fun as well as take time out for introspection and self-exploration. It is about balance, including managing emotions and relationships. Adolescents (and to a lesser extent, young adults) still need their families, but they also need space to develop themselves and to live the lives they want. It is a time of testing self and others, exploring relationships and friendships, and making sure we look after ourselves within and throughout this process.