Read our posts about therapists

Floating: Technologically Assisted Mindfulness

Floating: Technologically Assisted Mindfulness

When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for two hours? I’m not talking about lolling on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’m talking about doing nothing - minimising distractions to the degree that all you are left with is your own mind. This can be achieved through “Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy” (REST) – in short, what happens when you immerse yourself in a flotation tank. In a previous post I spoke about how technology can get in the way of mindfulness. But what if technology might also offer us a quicker and more direct experience of...
» Read More
Sometimes Therapy Goes Wrong

Sometimes Therapy Goes Wrong

The course of true therapy may not always run smooth. Conflicts and ill feelings can arise just the same as elsewhere – therapists can offend, get things wrong, be clumsy or annoying as well as others. Like others too, they can also be unprofessional, unethical and even, it's tough to think, criminal. It may be that your therapist hasn't done anything 'wrong' as such, but you just feel as if you aren't getting anywhere or you have a vague and repeated sense of unease in the consulting room. Therapy works best if you are able to be as open and honest about any...
» Read More
Coming Off Anti-Depressants

Coming Off Anti-Depressants

After over a decade of taking anti-depressants I am now drug-free. I don’t feel entirely comfortable using that phrase, not least because I am an asthmatic and use inhalers on a daily basis, but most importantly because it feels far too evangelical, too much as if I have achieved a superior state to the one of being ‘on drugs’ and I don’t believe that one bit. I first took anti-depressants because someone tried to rape me. It was in broad daylight on a university campus. I was a long way from home, a student learning a foreign language during a long summer holiday...
» Read More
Therapy and Cultural Difference

Therapy and Cultural Difference

London is a very multi-cultural place and so cultural identity is an important consideration when choosing a therapist. But what is culture? Some people think that cultural difference is about coming from a faraway country or belonging to an ethnic minority group. In reality, culture is so ubiquitous that even therapy has its own culture; in fact one that, for many people new to it, is shocking to start with. For example, sitting in a room with a stranger, sometimes in silence, sometimes talking about some very difficult feelings, is an alien culture for somebody who...
» Read More
Online Dating - the Secrets to Success

Online Dating - the Secrets to Success

I'm a huge fan of online dating. I have several friends and many clients who have found love that way. And when it works, it works well; a recent study suggests that couples who meet online are more likely to move successfully through the infamous 'seven year breakpoint' than couples who meet in traditional ways. But online dating is often challenging. For many, the journey, however hopefully started, often becomes a yo-yo of frustration and self-doubt as well as excitement and hope. In my work I've come to recognise 'online dating disillusionment' when I see...
» Read More
Self Protection: A Therapist's Guide

Self Protection: A Therapist's Guide

I often get asked about how I can listen to my client's distress all week without crumpling with exhaustion or getting distressed myself. I tend to give a short answer so as not to put people off asking me anything ever again, something like, “My training involves learning to protect myself/ I make sure to have plenty of supervision”. But there's a much better, longer answer that involves re-calibrating how I empathise in order to ensure my own self protection. Supervision is part of the self-care necessary for any therapist, but it is also an ethical requirement....
» Read More
What's in a name?

What's in a name?

Having waited nearly an hour for a client who didn’t show up for his weekly psychotherapy appointment with me, I contacted the main office of the charity where I work to see if he’d left a message. Indeed, he had contacted the service but couldn’t remember my name so the message didn’t get to me.  After recovering from the mild humiliation with my colleagues, I began to wonder what was really going on. Did my client think so little of me that I was just another in a long line of people to speak to, or was something else afoot? I have never texted or emailed my...
» Read More
Mindfulness Tames the Monkey Mind

Mindfulness Tames the Monkey Mind

I screwed up. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good either, and it was entirely my fault. In the vernacular of my youth, I dropped the ball, hard. So, naturally I gave myself a hard time about it. And then, I gave myself a hard time about it again. Whenever I thought of it (and it was a lot) the worry and shame came, the adrenaline and cortisol burned in my chest, and I chased the disturbing thought down the rabbit warren of my emotional interior. Funny, that, as I’d been practicing mindfulness for some time and I thought I’d got the hang of it. Yeah, right. The thing...
» Read More
How to Stay Out of Debt

How to Stay Out of Debt

People who are great with money tend to stand out, because they’re a minority.  Most of us, at some point, find ourselves in debt, wondering how it happened. We try to live within our means, and yet still we’re overdrawn at the end of each month.  If this sounds like you, it’s time to look closely at your relationship with money and find a way to change it. Money is a symbol - coins, cards and paper have no meaning, except what we invest in them. But money is a powerful symbol because - whether we realise it or not - it takes us back to something in our childhood. Only...
» Read More
How Much Should I Pay for Therapy?

How Much Should I Pay for Therapy?

Whenever a friend consults me about starting therapy the second question after “How do I find a good therapist?” is usually “How much should I pay?”. It is a fair question. None of us like to feel we are being taken for a ride, but there is also the concern that lower fees may mean the therapist has less experience or is, simply, less good. It is not necessarily the case. Quite often the most experienced, most highly trained therapists charge the most reasonable fees. This could well be because they are psychoanalysts who traditionally charged a relatively affordable rate...
» Read More