Helen Cordery Psychodynamic psychotherapist , WC1X
Ever wonder why you seem to get caught in the same old dysfunctional patterns around relationships? Perhaps you only go for unavailable people? Or perhaps you find it hard to make relationships, leaving you feeling very alone. You might also have something distressing in your past which stubbornly seems to be intruding on your present life. If you are nodding your head as you read this, attachment-based therapy might help.
A little bit about me - I have always been interested in our emotional world - how we feel about ourselves and the world around us, how we think, what makes us tick, and why we do what we do - and how this impacts on our relationships with other people. For many years I pursued this interest via psychotherapy theory and experiential courses at Regent's College and the University of Kent at Canterbury. I was particularly drawn to the ideas of psychoanalytic psychotherapy - that our past experiences shape what we do now, mainly out of our awareness (via our unconscious). As part of this journey, I engaged in my own personal therapy, which continues to help me lay many of my ghosts to rest.
But it was fairly early on in my learning about therapy that I came across John Bowlby's Attachment Theory. This was a lightbulb moment for me - that our earliest relationships shape our brains, and thus our capacity to form relationships with others, for good or ill.
As a result of learning about attachment theory, in 2006 I decided to embark on the clinical training at the Bowlby Centre. I completed the training to become an attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist in 2012. Because working clinically starts during the course I have been working as an attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist since 2009.
No doubt as a direct result of my previous professional identity as a dietitian, I am very interested in the interface between mind and body. I worked as a dietitian for over 20 years, mostly within the NHS, but also within private healthcare, and as a freelance practitioner. As a dietitian, I specialised in working with eating disorders. Since becoming a psychotherapist, I continue to enjoy working with people with disordered eating. Although I have now stopped practicing as a dietitian, I believe my experience adds something very powerful to my psychotherapy work in this field.
Life isn't all about work - to relax, I enjoy knitting (which is known to be a very therapeutic act!) and listening to folk music. I also love spending time with family, meeting with friends, going to the theatre, live music, eating out, and walks in the country.
Training and qualifications
I am a qualified attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist, having graduated from the Bowlby Centre in 2012. I registered with the UKCP in 2014.
Many people think that psychoanalytic psychotherapy involves your therapist sitting quietly, listening to what you say, interacting very little. Perhaps they might offer you a golden nugget of their thoughts, but more often than not they are quiet. This is not how I work. I belong to the relational style of psychoanalytic or psychodynamic psychotherapy, where the working relationship between client and therapist is the healing component of the therapy. Many of my clients tell me it is my emotional honesty and 'realness' that is what makes working with me so helpful to them.
My training is primarily suited to working long term with clients, and so in order to develop my skills at working in the short term, I am in the process of training to offer Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT). DIT is a 16 session therapy programme specifically designed to help with depression and/or anxiety. It is one of the only forms of psychoanalytic psychotherapy currently available on the NHS (usually within IAPT services). I plan to offer this within my private practice once I qualify (hopefully later in 2016).
I am registered with the UKCP and am a Registered Member of the BACP (MBACP), and abide with both organisations Code of Ethics
My standard fee is £60 per session.
I have capacity to work with a small number of people with limited finances. Please let me know if this is something you would like to discuss with me.