We didn’t come into the world understanding what it is all about. From our earliest days, we struggled to make sense of the confusion in
which we found ourselves. Although our understanding grows and changes, many of the things we learned from the early times, continue to
shape and affect who we are as adults.
Sometimes, we contribute to the difficulty by the sort of person we are – our character, our
nature, our attitudes, our beliefs. We can have a vague feeling that something is wrong, that it shouldn’t be this way – but not know exactly what is wrong or how to deal with it.
But even in the best of circumstances, our developing understanding is partial, is skewed or just plain wrong.
And for many, early life is anything but ideal. Many have experienced a childhood, which was insecure, or loveless, or cruel – or where there was abuse (physical, emotional, sexual) or abandonment (by death or separation). Any child would struggle to make sense of those things – and often make wrong assumptions – such as believing it is our fault or that we are inherently bad or wrong.
And because we live ‘inside’ our own lives, we often cannot see how our beliefs and attitudes are skewed, unhelpful or damaging; indeed, we usually believe that ‘this is the way life really is’. We live ‘in the moment’, rarely reflecting on who we are, how we have become like this –
knowing that something is wrong but not knowing what or how it can be changed. And it is so easy to believe that it is we who are wrong.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy believes that many of the themes which drive us are out of sight to us – and largely hidden from others.
Nevertheless, this ‘unconscious’ material is always trying to make itself known, in all sorts of strange ways. Often, it drives who we
are in the world, so that we think and act in ways that are unhelpful or confusing to others – and sometimes to ourselves! And until
we can listen to it and know something about it, we can never truly understand ourselves and the things that shape and drive us.
My way of working is often called ‘exploratory’ or ‘depth’ psychotherapy. It takes time, space, careful attention – and often courage. Certainly, it is not – should not be – an easy option. My role is to share this exploration with you, to offer my expert understanding and my experience, to make it possible for the unknown to become known, the unspeakable to be spoken – in a way that is safe, if not entirely uncomfortable.
This is an intensely personal journey; it is yours – unlike any other. As I have sometimes put it, it is a journey into an unknown land; you may have only glimpsed parts of it. I have never been there – but I am an expert in the art of exploration and will accompany you on
For those who would like more technical understanding of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), I recommend taking a look at the ‘flag statement’ of the CPJA, the relevant ‘modality’ of the UK Council for Psychotherapy.
My main personal inspiration comes from the work of Heinz Kohut and ’Self Psychology’, from ‘Attachment Theory’ (John Bowlby) and from the thinking behind ‘British Object Relations’ – particularly Donald Winnicott, Melanie Klein, and Michael Balint. These theoreticians provide
insights and models of the mind and of human development, which help to understand who we are. However, they are only models and no model is perfect.
You are unique, with your own individual framework of understanding.