Debbie LewisIntegrative psychotherapist
It was my own experience of therapy that lead to my decision to change career and retrain as a psychotherapist, after many years editing lifestyle magazines for major brands such as IKEA. Being able to enter a safe space, where I was free to talk to someone, that was non-judgemental and professionally trained to listen, about whatever was on my mind, was a very liberating and ultimately empowering experience. The time I spent in therapy gave me a much better understanding of who I was, how I dealt with relationships and also helped me gain perspective on my anxiety, which meant that eventually it stopped getting in the way of me getting on with my life. The aim of therapy is to eventually arrive at the stage where you no longer need to go and in time I was able to internalise much of the work and become my own therapist as it were, which meant I felt more able to make healthy decisions in my life and gradually the future began to look more hopeful and full of possibilities.
I have spoken of my own past experience as a client as my aim and hope is for each of my own clients to have as positive an experience of the therapeutic process as I did. As an integrative therapist I use all of my professional training and many years of experience to help and support my clients throughout our work together. I have undergone two intensive trainings which have lead to my accreditation with two of the UK's most prestigious membership organisations, the UKCP and the BPC. As part of my commitment to my professional and personal development, I continue to have regular supervision and attend workshops and seminars.
My main approach is psychodynamic which means that I am interested in early relationships and past experiences as a way of understanding what is happening in our lives today. But I am also interested in attachment theory, mindfulness, the powerful link between our minds and bodies and some of Jung's theories, for example his idea of individuation, which simply put is about us moving toward a sense of 'wholeness.' I have worked within the NHS, the charity sector and in private practice and have experience of a wide range of issues including loss and abandonment, anxiety and depression, sexuality, betrayal, domestic and sexual abuse, family and parenting issues and addiction and infertility. I am also very interested in how our relationships can play such a major part in our wellbeing, and how often we get caught up in relational patterns that we may not necessarily be conscious of. As Freud said, much of therapy is about making our unconscious patterns, conscious, so we are in more of a position to explore new ways of being and make better choices.
It is true that at times the work can be challenging, but I am committed to being alongside my clients at every stage of their journey. My experience both as a client and a therapist, has lead to my firm belief that it is the therapeutic relationship that ultimately leads to change and enrichment and is at the very heart of the work.
Making the first move to see a therapist can seem daunting I know, but for me looking after our mental wellbeing is as important as taking care of our physical health. Arranging an initial consultation is always a good idea, so we can address any concerns and together focus on what you hope to achieve, leaving you free to decide whether you would like to proceed.
33 West Hill Rd
I offer daytime and evening appointments and my consulting room is five minutes walk away from Brighton mainline station. There is on-street parking. Unfortunately due to the flights of stairs, I do not have wheelchair access.
Issues often worked with
My standard fee in Brighton is £50 per session, and in Victoria it is £70, this includes the cost of our initial meeting. I also offer a limited number of concessionary spaces in Brighton.
Sessions are usually weekly and last for 50 minutes. When we agree on a convenient day and time to meet, then that becomes your regular time.
Training and qualifications
Introduction to Jungian Therapy, The Guild of Analytical Psychology and Spirituality, London
Advanced Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy, Regent's University, London
Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy, Anna Freud Centre, London.