Background & Training
I qualified as a practitioner psychologist (prior to the distinction between ‘clinical’ and ‘counselling’ psychology) and started my career in the NHS, working at a large asylum on the outskirts of London.
Later, I trained as an integrative psychotherapist with Spectrum and later still as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with the Institute for Psychotherapy and Social Studies. I also completed two years of infant observation at the Tavistock Clinic and one year of body psychotherapy training at Chiron in West London.
These various influences have all helped to shape my current therapeutic approach, which is narrative-based and conversational, while remaining grounded in psychoanalytic understandings.
Clinical & Academic Work
Up until a few years ago, I divided my time equally between clinical and academic work. I contributed to MA programmes in psychodynamic counselling at the Universities of Surrey and Reading and at Birkbeck College, London, where I also lectured on the undergraduate Psychology degree.
My primary focus is now my work as a clinician and a supervisor. I continue to write and offer talks, workshops and seminars for various organisations around the country and am a visiting lecturer at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust.
I am registered with the HCPC, the government regulatory body for Health Service professionals, including psychologists. I am a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals ‘Psychodynamic Practice’ and ‘Infant Observation’ and of the Advisory Board of Confer.
In the last few years, I have worked closely with Confer to develop, as well as participate in, CPD programmes for practising psychologists and psychotherapists. In 2015, I curated and chaired my first programme of evening seminars, which revolved around the theme of narrative in psychotherapy.
I have contributed papers to a number of journals and am the author of two books Psychosomatic Health: the body and the word (2001 Palgrave) and Hidden Self-Harm: narratives from psychotherapy (2003 Jessica Kingsley). I am currently working on a third book with the provisional title ‘The skin around the self’.
Areas of Special Interest
My areas of special interest are the emergence of psychological distress in the physical realm and the enduring nature of early modes of relating.
The clinical themes addressed in my workshops include self-harm, depression, psychosomatic illness, and the aftermath of trauma.
A recent area of interest concerns boundaries around the self, including the problem of being either too much intruded on or too distant and remote in relationships.
Work in progress includes writing and organising workshops around these themes.
I have always been interested in the role of self-narration in developing and maintaining a sense of identity and this remains an important theme in all my work.