Psychotherapy is a confidential space that helps you deal with difficult moments in life and further your personal development.
Therapy provides you with a better understand of yourself by developing a deeper awareness of your body, emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. This can involve becoming more aware of how childhood relationship patterns are affecting current relationships. Apart from developing more insight about yourself, the aim of psychotherapy is to provide you with tools that help you change how you behave, feel and think, so that you can live a freer and more genuine life with a greater sense of wellbeing.
Although I have been trained in different therapeutic approaches, being an integrative psychotherapist means that I draw on different ways of working to find the ones that are most appropriate for your needs at this moment in your life. This is something that we will discuss and decide together throughout the therapeutic journey.
If you would like to work with issues related to sex and sexuality, there is also the possibility of combining psychotherapy with somatic sex education.
I work in English, Maltese, Italian, or French, and I have a good understanding of Spanish.
Therapeutic approaches used
Integrative therapy centres on the fact that humans are complex beings with different physical experiences, thoughts, feelings, behaviours, relationships, social contexts, and for some, spiritual lives. This means that no single therapeutic approach can fully understand and deal with a person’s difficulties. Instead, what happens in therapy depends on what best suits your needs and which therapeutic approaches work best with specific issues. Integrative therapy also aims at developing your psychological flexibility. For example, if you are more of a rational person, in therapy we will put some more focus your emotions and your body, while if you tend to be guided more by your emotions, we will focus more on using your rational side. This helps you become a more resilient person.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a psychological treatment that focuses on working with the effects of psychological trauma. Trauma can arise from various kinds of experiences ranging from single events like road traffic collisions, natural disasters, surgery, or assault, to more complex situations like childhood abuse, complicated bereavement, or personality disorders.
EMDR focuses on helping the brain process these traumatic memories because they would not have been stored properly in our memory and so interfere with our normal coping mechanisms. Normally, we process our memories using our past experience of ourselves and the world we live in. However, if you are involved in a distressing experience, you may feel overwhelmed and this blocks you from processing the information. As a result, the distressing memory becomes ‘stuck’ in your brain and so can continue to have a powerful influence on your life many years after the event. When that memory is then triggered in the present, you can end up re-experiencing that event as if it’s happening now. It can also lead you to being very prone to getting angry and very vigilant of your surroundings, or it can lead you to being emotionally numb and trying very hard to avoid being reminded of that distressing memory.
In EMDR therapy, we stimulate the ‘stuck’ memories so that the brain can process them as normal, thus reducing the distress those memories cause you. This usually entails moving your eyes repeatedly from left to right, though it can involve other ways of stimulating your left and right sides. However, this therapy isn’t just about these movements as it also includes a number of other procedures that help reduce distress.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) aims at breaking patterns of behaviour and thought processes that are negative, dysfunctional, or distressing. It involves examining how you think and how this links with how you behave and feel. CBT includes between-session tasks aimed at helping you become more aware of your experiences and at changing some of your behaviours. It is usually a shorter-term form of therapy and is more geared towards adopting better strategies to manage life difficulties.
Psychodynamic therapy is based on the belief that since childhood we develop ways of protecting ourselves from having to deal with painful or difficult aspects of ourselves. These defences can become unhelpful and result in emotional problems and relationship difficulties. Psychodynamic therapy helps you become more conscious of these internal conflicts, safely experience the feelings which are causing your distress, and begin to resolve those conflicts. It involves looking at your past in depth to understand how it is affecting your present. Hence, it is long-term therapy that enables you to get to know yourself at a very deep level.
Person-centred therapy is based on the belief that we have an ability to solve our own problems because we desire to fulfil our potential as human beings. It is when this potential is blocked or obscured by painful life experiences that mental health issues arise. Hence, in therapy, we work on identifying and removing these obstacles through self-directed growth and change. This form of therapy is more focused on the present moment and is less directive than others forms of therapy.
Therapy is strictly confidential, something that we will discuss in our initial meeting. In exceptional circumstances, I may have to breach confidentiality if I feel there is a serious and immediate risk of harm to yourself or to someone else, but I would always aim to discuss this with you beforehand.
Sessions are 50 minutes long. If we decide to do more specialised work, such as EMDR, we might need to have longer sessions. This is something that we will discuss together.
At our first meeting we will establish the frequency of our meetings. This is usually weekly or fortnightly. We will also decide an indicative number of sessions. We will discuss this again when we approach the end to see if it would be more beneficial to extend therapy. You are always free to end therapy at any point in time, though I suggest having a closing session. If you need to cancel a session, please give me at least 48 hours notice.
My rate for a 50-minute session is £80. If we decide to have longer sessions the fee is pro-rata.
If you are struggling financially, I do have some lower cost places. Please contact me to discuss this.