My Therapeutic Approach

My theoretical approach to therapy is psychoanalytic. I draw particularly on the thinking of Carl Jung (1875-1961). I am also influenced by other psychoanalytic thinkers, like Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Melanie Klein (1882-1960), and by attachment theory, and recent developments in neuroscience.  

Broadly speaking, my aim is to help you explore your issues and concerns in the context of the past as well as the present. My intention is to deepen understanding of the roots of these concerns, and, thereby, enable hidden aspects of experience and identity to find a more constructive and creative place within both you and your relationships with others. 

Although, as I have said, my approach acknowledges the past as of central importance, our work will not – contrary, perhaps, to some expectations of therapy - be exclusively about your childhood memories. It is the way past and present interact dynamically with each other that I will seek to address with you. 

One particularly important area of the present from a therapeutic point of view is the relationship with the therapist. This relationship can often come to reflect the patterns of relating that have caused the very concerns that have led someone to seek therapy. It can, therefore, bring the patterns of the past alive. However, in contrast to what may have happened then, it does so in a therapeutic, non-judgmental context, the aim of which is to achieve understanding and change by deepening awareness and working through the roots of such patterns and concerns. 

In such work I do not believe that it is my role to impose my views on you. On the contrary I think of us as ‘co-workers’ attempting to understand what you bring to the sessions. Although, of course, I have psychological knowledge and training, it is the skill to collaborate with you that makes the relevant knowledge meaningful for you specifically. You, in turn, will therapeutically benefit most, if you can develop your capacity to consider, and take on board, the role of your internal world and unconscious processes in shaping your behaviour, your personality and, to a perhaps surprising extent, your external world. Learning to do this will not be comfortable and usually involves significant phases of emotional pain as, aspects of yourself, which have had to be denied, become conscious to you - and are struggled against. However, through this pain, the division that has had to be maintained within yourself, can begin to heal, and a more 'whole' you can start to emerge.

For me the process of psychotherapy does not simply involve the overcoming of problems. It is also about helping individuals become more truly and fully themselves. When this occurs, problems are not so much solved, as out-grown. 

Carl Jung - a selection of quotes 

‘The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction both are transformed.’ 

‘It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how things are in themselves. The least of things with a meaning is worth more than the greatest of things without it.’ 

‘Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding of ourselves.’ 

‘Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of others.’

‘Until you make the unconscious conscious it will direct your life and you will call it fate.’ 

‘There is no coming to consciousness without pain.’ 

‘It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others, yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how continually he feeds it and keeps it going.’

‘Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.’ 

‘Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event.’ 

‘The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.’ 

‘Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.’

‘We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.’ 

‘What if I should discover that the poorest of the beggars and the most impudent of offenders are all within me; and that I stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I, myself, am the enemy who must be loved – what then?’