Stephanie BushellPsychodynamic psychotherapist
How I Work
I am trained integratively which means that I have been taught to make use of a number of different approaches to counselling and therapy. Since completing my training however, I have gradually specialised more and more in the direction of psychodynamic therapy. This is a complex approach, but it can be summarised in two main ways:
Firstly, it's an approach which aims to help you to understand how your past has impacted the way that you are today. Understanding the 'whys' of your life can help you to have compassion for yourself. This in turn can enable you to make choices that are for your good, instead of ones that might be self destructive.
Secondly, psychodynamic therapy seeks to make you more conscious of things that are outside of your awareness, but may nevertheless be having a powerful impact on your life. For example, you may 'find yourself' always having relationships with the same kind of pattern, without fully understanding why. Psychodynamic therapy can help you to become aware of the unconscious motivations that lead you into repeated patterns. This awareness then empowers you to make different choices.
All of this is underpinned by a Person Centred approach, also part of my original training. This is a way of working which focusses on your inherent value as a person and the belief that each individual has the internal resources needed to grow. Person Centred counselling is underpinned by three core conditions: Unconditional Positive Regard - my stance of accepting you just as you are, unconditionally and without judgement; Empathic Understanding - my skills in putting myself in your shoes, seeing the world through your eyes and communicating that to you; and Congruence - my authenticity and genuineness. You will be sitting opposite a human being with a beating heart, not a cold professional facade.
My primary training also included the use of cognitive behavioural skills. I only ever use this when working purely with phobias, and not in any other pieces of work. I would not be the right therapist for anyone looking for a cognitive behavioural therapist.
In addition to the above, I have also received training in relationship psychotherapy, which is a primary interest of mine. I work with couples of all sexualities, including open and polyamorous relationships.
In the past I have worked as a Play Therapist for primary aged children. Though I no longer do this work, I find that these ways of working are very transferable to adults and are particularly useful when it's hard to put things into words. Creative ways of working like these (such as drawing, painting, drama, visualisation, clay work and sand tray) are not for everyone though, and I would never insist on a client using them if they didn't feel comfortable.
OnlineI provide my services online
Issues often worked with
Face to face and Zoom video therapy are charged at £75 per session whether for an individual or a couple/relationship.
Assessment sessions are charged at the same price.
All sessions are currently via Zoom only until such time as government guidelines change regarding the use of face masks indoors.
Training and qualifications
I have spent over 10 years in total undergoing therapy training, the vast majority of which was at a postgraduate level. This means that it involved in-depth and complex theory, deep thinking and reflection. It also involved critically supervised practice and ongoing critique and feedback on my integrity and the personal qualities required to be a competent practicing therapist.
I have an MSc in Therapeutic Counselling for which I gained a merit. I was awarded the MSc after four years of academically rigorous and experiential study, as well as hands on experience working face to face with clients while having my work examined and critiqued by peers and tutors.
I have a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Couple and Individual Counselling and Psychotherapy (for which I also gained a merit) from Tavistock Relationships, known internationally for offering the highest of standards in couple psychotherapy training.
I have a British Psychological Society approved Advanced Diploma in Eating Disorders and Obesity from the National Centre for Eating Disorders, and I am part of a national network which shares expert opinion and research in this area.
I also have a Certificate in Counselling for Addicted Gamblers from the University of Salford and I have worked with this client group and their families for over five years.
I have a Certificate in Using Video Conferencing to Conduct Online Therapy from the Online Therapy Institute which ensures that I practice ethically and competently while working via Skype. This is in addition to a Certificate in Online Counselling Skills which also equips me to work therapeutically via email and live web chat.
I'm qualified to supervise the work of other counsellors and psychotherapists too, since I have a Diploma in Integrative Supervision from the Minster Centre.
I am committed to continuing professional development to keep my skills and knowledge sharp and up to date.
The role of a professional body is to set standards of practice and provide accountability. So membership indicates that I have had to prove a certain level of experience and competence, and it gives you as the client somewhere to go if you were to feel that I was working in a way that was not ethical.
I am a registered, Senior Accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and abide by their Ethical Framework.
The register to which I belong is vetted and approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care and has been accredited under a scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body, accountable to Parliament.
In order to become a Senior Accredited member I had to give extensive evidence that I have reached a certain level of competence and experience through having completed hundreds of hours of practice and continuing professional development, have this verified by other professionals, and prove that I have a clear understanding in theory and practice of the ethical and professional standards held by the BACP.