You may not know what you are looking for, what the various kinds of therapies are, or even whether a talking therapy is right for you. Sometimes it can even be hard to know what is wrong, or whether your concerns are valid. In these situations I can offer a consultation, which is partly an assessment and partly a psychoanalytic exploration of your concerns, and then a recommendation, which may be treatment with myself, or an onward referral, or simply a stand-alone meeting.
“ It is always amusing for me
to observe that even those who do not believe in your theories find it so difficult to resist your ideas.”
Einstein to Freud
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is an open exploration of your thoughts and feelings, which leads into an uncovering of the unconscious factors that lie behind your difficulties. What we cannot face knowing about often becomes something "unconscious", which means left out of awareness, but remaining active beneath the surface, influencing our personality, so leading to intractable problems. The psychoanalytic exploration provides an opportunity, and support, for learning about our whole selves at depth, so freeing up our mind to address our situation more honestly, and more effectively.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is not like most other psychological therapies. It is not about solving problems or learning new skills. The scope is more profound and the process is more searching, slower and longer lasting. In brief, the aim is to deepen self-knowledge and self-acceptance in a lasting way, by entering into a particular kind of relationship with a therapist. This relationship is often long lasting, over some years, and comes to involve a level of openness and honesty that is not possible elsewhere in our daily lives. The relationship with one’s therapist may be likened to that with a close family member, who knows you well, perhaps better than you know yourself, but it differs in that the relationship is not a mutual friendship, but a professionalised focus on you and your mind. Unconscious beliefs and feelings inevitably find an expression in the therapy, and in the evolving relationship with the therapist, providing an opportunity for learning from this live emotional experience.
The raw material I work with is your day to day thoughts, your dreams, and the stream of consciousness that passes through your mind as you are present within the session. I work with a couch, so that the patient can lie down, as this can help the process of speaking more freely, called "free association". Whilst counselling and most NHS therapies have a frequency of one session per week, because psychoanalytic psychotherapy is aiming for more deep-seated and long-lasting change, the frequency is usually 3 sessions per week, but for a lower session fee than is usually charged for once a week sessions. With more sessions, there is more space and a chance to find one's own pace. Deeper levels of contact and understanding become more possible, and things can open out that would normally remain buried, or half-known.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy can help with a range of difficulties, but will be more applicable to those looking to understand and develop something within their personality in a longer term process of exploration. Psychotherapy might also be helpful to those who have found counselling useful, but who are now looking to go "deeper" into things and to build sustained change in their lives. The approach may frustrate those look that are looking for direct advice, or to learn specific coping strategies.
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Psychoanalysis only differs by the frequency of the sessions, which are 4 or 5 times weekly.
Whilst this may sound very “intense”, it can feel quite the opposite, since with more time there is more space, and less need to rush, and so trust and new developments can take their time to emerge, and their meaning then found.
Making time for a daily session can be difficult, but I may have hours in the early morning before work, and in the late afternoons and evenings, to facilitate fitting analysis into your day. I charge less per session for more frequent sessions.
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I offer supervision to psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors who have an interest in developing a psychoanalytic understanding of their clinical work, on a one-to-one or seminar basis.
Please note that I do not offer medico-legal services (such as reports for compensation claims).
I also do not accept Medical Insurance payments.
I do not provide a crisis service or prescribe medication.
All my clinical work is in person only.