I am trained and supervised as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and an EMDR therapist; and although that might be helpful to someone wanting to look at my work and understand something about the way I practice, my technique or my thinking, perhaps, I’m not sure how much is helps understand what therapy with me might be like.
You will bring with you ways of thinking about life that will, from the start, make your therapy unique. I do not have a consistent ‘method’ any more than I would expect the conversations I have with different people in all areas of my life to stick to the same patterns and rhythms. Life is unpredictable. We are all different and we need different things at different times (even if we all tend to need some of the same things in our lives), including to be approached in ways that feel right for us.
A risk in therapy is that it might seek to normalise us: to iron out the quirks and unusual things about us that might make us so much fun to be around once we are comfortable with them. Quiet and cautious need not ever be dull. Loud and wild need never be dangerous or disruptive – at least not in a way that is bad for you and for others unless you intend it to be so.
I believe that we are not immediately transparent to ourselves. We don’t know ourselves as well as we’d like to think. Sometimes we need someone else to help us understand who we are, what we do, and what we have done. This is why I am interested in whatever ‘the unconscious’ might be and why I believe psychoanalytic thinking can be fruitful. In my experience it allows for the most diverse and exciting ways of thinking about life and what it can hold for each of us.
I often use EMDR techniques to help clients explore their conscious lives and realise how much more about themselves they know than they think they do, or to be able to think and talk about things that previously might have felt impossible to consider: from traumatic events to disturbing thoughts and feelings.
The therapy I offer is associative. My job is to try and help you join your life up, to bring as much of your experience as possible within your immediate grasp so that, in any moment, you are best able to cope not just with whatever life throws at you and what you throw at it. By the time you have finished working with me I hope that you might feel inclined, perhaps very quietly or maybe with a lot of noise, to throw yourself and your ideas into the world with the kind of freedom that might make your life truly worth living, whatever its constraints.
What happens in therapy with me? We sit in a room facing each other, or not, if you like – you may want to lie on a couch or get up and walk around – and we talk. Or we sit in silence and think. We ask questions of each other. We slowly get to know each other and realise things we did not know to begin with. You may find yourself becoming able to think and say things you did not believe possible, and with this to do things differently, and to feel very different in the world. The more in command of your life you feel, even if this means accepting there are many things you cannot command, the less anxious you will feel, and the more connected to people and things you choose you will become. Perhaps that will leave you happier.