Although my career began as a teacher and leader in Special Educational Needs, a desire to understand feelings, behaviour and the human mind began to unfold, and I became driven toward solving the questions that start with why.
After leading many impromptu counselling sessions with my students, I witnessed the empowering feeling it brings to simply aid someone to find a way forward, just from taking the time to listen and work collaboratively to set goals in order to take positive steps towards the future - whatever life throws our way.
Having completed a master’s degree in Psychology, my journey towards counselling and psychotherapy truly began, and whilst I still maintained a career in education, my new skillset allowed me to support my pupils and their families, and my colleagues on more of a holistic level. However, I became fascinated by a form of Psychotherapy called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and completed a Level 4 Diploma in CBT for adults, children and adolescents. I became a member of The British Psychology Society (BPS) and the Complimentary Medical Association (CMA), which led me to a move in my career from teaching to a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist where I have to-date worked with clients presenting mental health problems such as: anxiety, stress, ADHD, ASD, depression/low mood, self-harming, anger-management, OCD, personality disorders, trauma, loss and bereavement and many more. Through CBT, we collaborate as therapist and client, to formulate the right sort of intervention and therapy based on pre-existing and current presenting problems and create a set of goals to work on so as to replace negative thoughts, emotions and behaviours with positive ones.
It is incredibly rewarding to experience the CBT journey with my clients, and to watch them become themselves: confident; comfortable in their own skin, to think independently, make positive choices and leave with the tools and strategies to face life’s challenges.
I am committed to upholding the highest ethical and legal standards, as well as participating in professional development to keep up to date with the best practices in the field of counselling and psychotherapy. In fact, my commitment to a future of continued learning will see me commence my Ph.D. this year, in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, specialising in the field of Cyberpsychology.
CBT is a hands on, short term, goal orientated psychotherapeutic intervention that focuses on the process of changing the negative patterns of thinking that provide the basis of an individual’s problems. It is a highly effective, client focused therapy that leaves the past and concentrates on the future.
The pathways in the human mind are formed by both our experiences and the basic chemical reactions that happen on a regular basis, which alone can be crippling for the sufferer. CBT works by changing attitudes, thoughts and beliefs held in our cognitive systems and shows us how they can affect us in a way that can change our behaviour. This type of therapy works with the mind and the client to improve patterns of thinking that cause problems in the life of the sufferer when their thoughts, based on experience, tend to define their experiences.
Cognitive: Relates to the processes within the mind – imagination, decision making, thinking, memory and mental processing of information and concentration. Anything that happens within the mind is a cognitive process.
Behaviour: Describes what someone does, whether it is action, inaction, interaction or reaction. It relates to how people repsond to and engage with themselves when alone and others whilst in company.
Therapy: This is an approach that is in place to significantly improve a negative, destructive or unhelpful condition in a professional manner to improve the situation or experiences of the client.
A client benefits from CBT by learning specific principles and guidelines which they will be able to apply at any point during their life, and therefore empowering the client throughout their lifespan.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a talking therapy which can work very effectively for children and adolescents to help them overcome conditions such as anxiety disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, low mood and depression, stress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, anger management, phobias, bullying and behavioural problems. Children with ADHD and ASD can also benefit from CBT as it helps them manage some of their experiences in a positive and healthy way. CBT for children has grown in popularity in the last few years, and there is a large evidence base showing it to be highly effective, and more effective that many medications alone. Given that CBT teaches lifelong skills and coping strategies that can be applied across a situation, it can have different long-term benefits for the child or teenager.
63% of young people experienced significant improvements in anxiety conditions following CBT.
Kodal, A., et al., (2018).
An initial CBT assessment appointment is offered in order to identify and confirm that CBT is the right therapy for the you, ensuring that the client will benefit from this course of therapy. If so, the assessment appointment can also determine the affecting factors of the presenting issue and how many CBT sessions will be needed.
A treatment plan will be created with SMART goals, including client consent to attend each session and actively take part in all aspects of the therapy, both during the sessions and between sessions. During the sessions, you’ll work with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts, such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions.
After working out what you can change, your therapist will ask you to practice these changes in your daily life and you’ll discuss how you got on during the next session.
The fundamental process behind all CBT based therapy is this:
The therapy teaches the client to recognise damaging thoughts before they affect feelings, behaviour and then life in general. With the eventual aim being that CBT teaches you to apply the skills you have learnt during your treatment to your daily life. This should help you manage your problems and stop them from having a negative impact on your life, even after your course of treatment finishes.
CBT is a therapy with a simple approach and continues to be a successful form of therapy all around the world, changing the lives of many young people and adults in a positive way. Studies have proven that CBT has most effectively been the therapy of choice for insomnia, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, eating disorders, anger control problems, depression, psychotic disorders, fatigue and varying levels of stress from severe to the day-to-day stresses of life.
CBT varies from other therapies due to providing a structured course of treatment and structured therapy sessions that encourage the client the be active in a plan of action for healing. It will teach the client completely new thinking processes that should last forever, therefore it will teach the client to be his/her own therapist.
CBT is different from Psychotherapy as it concentrates on the behaviour of current feelings and thoughts involved to assist the client in improving the thought process in order to create more positive life experiences in the future, whereas Psychotherapy places emphasis on learned behaviour and treats how a person acts and reacts with emphasis based on the client’s past experiences. CBT explores the past only as much as is necessary, focusing on the feelings of the present and moving forward into the future.
80% of adults benefit from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Butler and Beck (2000).
The number of sessions that will be required is always based on the individual and their needs, a generic basis is 15 sessions, 5 exploratory and clarification, 5 working on thought pattern therapy and 5 to prepare for the future and ensure the therapy process has made a lifelong change for the better. CBT sessions usually last between 30 to 60 minutes and it is recommended the client has a session once a week or every 2 weeks. In addition to this, the client must be working on the CBT practices in their everyday life.
Confidentiality is vitally important during any form of therapy, as a CBT therapist, my aim is to inspire trust in people at their most vulnerable time and the following my practice will always be part of that role
Any written information about a client will be stored securely in a locked cupboard or will be kept electronically in a secure and encrypted folder. This includes volunteered or prompted information and the obligation to maintain confidentiality will continue beyond the course of therapy.
As a therapist, I am ethically bound to ensure that any contact with the client is not repeated or any information passed to a third party under any circumstances other than the reasons for disclosing information legally noted here:
1. A client is under 16 and child protection legislation applies.*
2. There is risk of professional misconduct involving another professional.
3. If the particular client is being used as part of my own professional supervision
4. Information is shared with your GP following a referral (GP referral is not necessary to receive CBT).
*Parental/Guardian consent is required for clients under the age of 16.
All prices are based on hour-long sessions but length and cost of sessions may vary based on need.
Under 16s £35
Educational settings £55