Thoughts from the Couch

    • Writing my book – Thoughts From The Couch

      During the first lockdown I spent an enormous amount of time walking as all the gyms were closed. Exercise has always been a large part of my life. It was a soulful and filling experience as, in the silence and in amongst nature, I was able to reflect quietly on …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – True to your Self or selfish

      For some, part of therapy is learning who they are – re-connecting to lost parts – gaining a greater understanding of their values, wants and needs and taking care of themselves, perhaps for the first time. Some of my clients have little or no understanding of what it actually means …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Horrifying stories

      As a trauma therapist, I have a front row to suffering that on occasions leaves a lasting impression on me.  I am exposed every day to the distress of others that has me bear witness to traumatic, terrifying and cruel events that can include images, some of which have left …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Healing through ritual

      As a therapist, I incorporate and harmonise theories and interventions from a wide range of approaches that I have come across over the years. I do not believe in limiting myself to options that are fixed in a single approach as I work with a diverse group of clients and …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Terminal diagnosis

      Somewhere deep inside, most often pushed away out of sight and mind, each of us knows that one day we will die. Most of us go about our day to day lives doing our best to ‘live’ and then in a moment, often when we are unprepared, fate opens a …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Time to say goodbye

      Therapy is one of the few relationships that we enter into acknowledging that a time will come when it will end, and yet, so often neither therapist nor client is prepared for the powerful feelings that can emerge when faced with the actual ending. Attachment and separation are intertwined, thus …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Belongingness – a need

        It is not uncommon for me to ask a client where they feel they belong and for them to consider quietly and, after a while, answer ‘nowhere.’ Belongingness is a basic human need, that along with the need to form attachments is universal among human beings across all cultures. …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – The relational space

      We know relatively little about what really makes a long term relationship work. If we think about the institution of marriage, for longer than not, they were arranged for social economic and political reasons, not for love. With the divorce rate being as it is we can but assume that …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Sexual arousal circuit

      As a psychosexual therapist, I have had to work on my own sexual issues in the knowledge that the degree of comfort I have in facing myself and my own sexuality will adjudicate the limits of the therapeutic support I can extend to my clients. Like most bought up in …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Attachment and trust

      Trust is complicated and very difficult to define. It is fundamental to life as without it we live internally isolated and fearful. The parent-child relationship is our first social relationship that teaches us that we can communicate in order to get our needs met as part of our human impulse …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Loving our imperfect body

      For many people, their relationship with their body is the cause of much unhappiness. Is it any wonder when we live in a society that steadily and unfairly suggests we should be changing it in one way or another? Chronic body dissatisfaction is an epidemic with negative body image issues …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – The individual journey of grief

      This thing that we call grief that connects us all is one of the most talked about topics in my therapy room. Grief can refer to any form of loss as a person may grieve the loss of a loved one, a limb, a home, a sense of self and …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – ‘Love’ in the therapy room

      The susceptibility to develop intense feelings for your therapist has been known and talked about since the early days of psychoanalysis. It is often the theme of jokes and curiosity from others when I mention that I am a therapist. Yet for the client who experiences erotic transference, it can …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Musical moments

      By the time a client arrives in the therapy room, most have exhausted the strategies they have thought of to try and solve their issues. They are looking to me for support as they face whatever is happening in their world that is causing them concern and or distress. For …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Jealousy – the green eyed monster

      Jealousy is an underlying human feeling found in everyone, and yet of all the emotions few willingly admit to succumbing to the green-eyed monster without feeling an element of shame. Many people blend jealousy with envy as they are difficult to separate, but although part of the same picture, they …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – The importance of boundaries

      One of the most important lessons a parent can teach their child is about setting and respecting boundaries. Something that sets a limit or defines a line that is not crossed. Most often boundaries are a way of creating safety and for children to learn the importance of the words …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Existential crisis

      Sixteen weeks has passed and the United Kingdom is still in the midst of a partial nationwide lockdown, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the daily numbers of deaths in the UK has fallen significantly, which is good news, it is hard to forget that there have been 45,119 …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Let’s talk about sex

      Although having sex is a perfectly natural part of life what I see in my practise how difficult most people find it to talk about. I have witnessed how sex is far more prominent now than when I was in my formative years. I recognise how the portrayal of sex …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – Keeping curious

      One of the things I often hear when working with couples is ‘it was so easy at the beginning, and now we feel so distant.’ They speak of the past when their relationship was new and exciting. Each meeting filled with a deep desire to get to know and connect …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – On being real

      It has taken decades for me to develop my own style and become the therapist I am today. I remember starting out with all the fears of a green therapist, wondering whether I was good enough, what my clients would think of me and above all, whether I would be …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – The lost self

      I am always aware when clients first come to therapy that they bring with them the ways they have learnt to survive in the world, as a result of their upbringing and life experiences. So often, I see clients who are living with the consequences of having lost the ability …Read More
    • Thoughts From The Couch – In the beginning

      Over the past few years I have noticed an increase in the number of couples looking for pre marital counselling. Although statistics show that around 50% of marriages end in divorce, divorce rates are at their lowest levels in over forty years.There are various reasons suggested and more than likely …Read More
    • Thoughts from the Couch – Holding hope through hopelessness

      Hopelessness is an emotion which is characterised by a lack of optimism, passion and hope. It makes us wonder if life is worth living. I understand that there are times when my role, as their therapist, is to hold my clients losses, hurt, fears and despair, shouldering the burden of …Read More
    • Thoughts from the Couch – The many voices of silence.

      For many, when they think of psychotherapy they think of talking, but sometimes, words seem woefully inadequate. The pain, the shame, the experience, too extreme for it to be simplified or minimised by words.Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, but speaking seems to …Read More
    • Thoughts From the Couch – Finding our way home through poetry

      Whether working in individual, couples or group therapy I see no two persons as the same. Research shows that neither the minds nor the bodies of two people work in exactly the same way and that we all learn differently. Over the years, I have learnt to be flexible enough …Read More
    • Thoughts from the Couch – The Shame of Loneliness

        Historians will be writing about this strange period of time for the rest of the 21st century. Many of us will emerge changed as this pandemic proves to be much more than a health crisis, more, it is a human, economic and social crisis. Our lives have shrunk beyond …Read More
    • Thoughts From the Couch – When therapists also need therapists

      I believe that a therapist needs to be willing to do their own work when necessary and it was with this in mind that I recently decided to find myself a therapist. Over the past few months I have been dealing with clients as well as family and friends who …Read More
    • Thoughts from the Couch – The Sins of Parents

      There are things that happened, or didn’t, in childhood that seriously impacted the way some of us think about ourselves and the way we have lived our lives. We often, unconsciously, live out the core beliefs, we have come to know so well, based on our childhood experiences. For most …Read More
    • Thoughts from the Couch – Adapting to a New Way

      The world feels very strange right now, it is changing fast and we have no idea how it will play out. If we were to cast our minds back to the beginning of the year, none of us would have believed that, within a few weeks, our lives would be …Read More
    • Thoughts from the Couch – Physical Touch in Self Isolation

      From the time we are on the womb through our elderly years, touch plays a primary role in our development and physical and mental well-being. For those abiding by the current social distancing guidelines and living alone, hugs, a pat on the back, a caress of the arm, these everyday, …Read More