A broad experience
My clinical experience is very broad in terms of developmental stages, types of treatment, types of presenting problems and level of severity.
- Developmental stages – I understand the developmental forces that shape adult identity. The therapy service that I offer is for adults only so the bulk of my clinical experience is with adults, but I have knowledge of development across the lifespan. My doctoral dissertation was about infant development. I worked with toddlers at risk for abuse and neglect at the Center for Early Childhood Services in Philadelphia and I worked with school aged children at Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. I worked with adolescents at Long Grove Hospital in 1982 to 1983 and I worked with older adults in London in 1983 to 1984.
- Types of treatment – My psychotherapy practice is based on a blend of psychoanalytic insights, humanistic principles and relational theories of attachment. This means that I consider how personality is shaped by the relationships you have had with other important people in your life and I use the relationship that we develop in treatment as a vehicle for change. I know about many other approaches to therapy and counselling, including family therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, hypnosis and EMDR and group therapy. I do not offer these types of treatment but during the first few consultations with a new client, I have in mind the broad range of choices available to address psychological problems and I will refer clients to another practitioner if I think that they need a different approach to what I can offer.
- Type of problem – People seek therapy because something is distressing them. The nature of that distress can take many forms. Since my first client contact in 1981, I have worked with hundreds of people with all sorts of psychological problems. These include anxiety, depression, trauma, bereavement, family and relationship conflicts, low self esteem, personality disorders, psychosexual problems, confusion about one’s identity, problems with child birth and parenting, a history of childhood abuse, and cross-cultural issues.
You could think of me as a psychological general practitioner for adults. If I think you would benefit from the assistance of someone who has some specialist expertise that I do not have, I will discuss this with you so that we are both in agreement with the treatment plan. For example, you may need detoxification from drug and alcohol abuse or we may decide that the problem requires an approach that involves the whole family. The aim in an initial consultation is to look at what you need as the centrepiece of treatment and help you to find what is best for you, whether that would be working with me or not.
- Severity – I am well equipped to determine how severe the problem is and ensure that the treatment I recommend is tailored accordingly. I have worked in all sorts of settings, from a college counselling centre where high functioning young adults needed support in adjusting to life at University through to an in-patient psychiatric ward with patients who were mentally ill. In between those two ends of the spectrum, I have worked in a short term counselling service in a GP surgery, a more intensive long term out-patient psychoanalytic psychotherapy service for people with a personality disorder, and a community mental health centre. In addition, my work with the Courts means that I have encountered all sorts of individuals in difficult situations.