Counselling and Psychotherapy in Cambridge

Psychotherapy - how can it help?. sea

What is Attachment Based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy?' How it can help:

Disruption of, and difficulty in early relationship is considered to be at the core of many problems. An understanding of the importance of relationships to human growth and development throughout life is at the core of attachment-based psychotherapy.

From the beginning of life, we construct our ‘senses of self', including our sexual and gendered selves, from our experiences of being in interaction with others. Our sense of self develops initially within the context of our early relationships with others and continues to emerge and change through our interactions with significant others throughout life.

Research into early attachments has shown the enduring and vital necessity of a secure and reliable connection to other people who are attuned to what we are feeling and who can respond appropriately.

When relationships are safe, secure and supportive we feel confident, at ease with ourselves, others and life. When relationships have been insecure, abandoning or dangerous we can feel alone, unsure and frightened.

Secure and supportive relationships enable us to develop a sense of who we are. When we feel alone, or relationships go wrong in childhood or adulthood - our ability to manage our lives may be disrupted or even thrown into crisis.

Traumatic failures of attunement, mutual recognition and response can impact negatively on the development of a stable yet flexible sense of self, and diminish our ability to create mutually satisfying close relationships throughout life.
The growing attachment relationship with your psychotherapist will give you the opportunity to mourn past losses and to explore the impact of important relationships on your life - both current and past.

Who is Psychotherapy for? - is it for me?:

Those who seek this type of Psychotherapy are seeking relief from a range of difficulties including: - Obsessiveness, Eating difficulties, Weight problems, Stress and nervousness, Depression, Low self esteem, Bereavement...
They may be experiencing: - Sexual difficulties, disruption to relationship, anxiety, chronic ill health, panic attacks, over activity, inability to concentrate, worry that people are thinking about them negatively, and loss of motivation...

See if you would describe any of the following as the state you find yourself in most often:

•anxious •stressed •depressed •lethargic •in mourning •sense of loss •overwhelming feelings •personal crisis •confusion •disappointed in work or career •uncertain about life direction •upset about making a family •in a relationship for security only •afraid to give voice to desire or •to action your ambition.

Talking with a qualified psychotherapist can support you through difficult times and help you create change in your life. Psychotherapy can help a wide range of emotional difficulties that affect adults including: depression, bereavement, eating problems, phobias and obsessions, self-harm, addictions, anxiety, abuse or trauma, identity confusion, relationship breakdown and feeling lonely and abandoned.

Difficult and painful experiences in the past can affect the way we think and behave in the present. This can happen even if the link between past and present is not obvious. A traumatic experience that has happened at some point in your life might have left you feeling overwhelmed.

Psychotherapy provides a safe space to talk about how these experiences may be affecting you now, a space to work through your emotional distress and think about what might have caused it. Psychotherapy is not about the psychotherapist giving advice but, through getting to know you, helping you work out how you might want things to be different and to create that change.

Sometimes we may find ourselves repeating patterns from the past or getting stuck in a lifestyle, relationships or behaviours which may not be helpful to us. Psychotherapy is a method of communication which aims to bring into awareness those ways of being which are unconscious, deeply set and inclined to frustrating repetitions. It can help us to make sense of how we got to where we are now and to face some of the feelings and fears we may have hidden from ourselves.

Our task is to develop skills of self-regulation, to learn to manage our boundaries, to become sensitive to our own adaptability and aware of how our adaptations no longer serve us well, and to accept ourselves for who we have been and are today and allow ourselves to dream of what we can yet be.

People come to psychotherapy with a wide variety of issues and emotional difficulties they would like to address. You may not know what the problem is, or understand what the root of it is. You may be feeling held back or stuck in your life. Psychotherapy can help to identify the obstacles which are preventing you from changing and moving on. For many this can entail working through blame, shame and various self-sabotaging voices from the past. Learning to identify what is your responsibility and what is not is often a first step.

By exploring issues deeply in an open ended time frame the psyche can open up to what may be holding back the body, mind and soul from becoming wholly itself.

We all want to function better, but stress, over stimulation and overwhelm have a direct effect on our immune, nervous and hormonal systems. Over time, they lead to depression, anxiety, a feeling of helplessness, retreat into isolation. This is the organism regulating itself.

As a Psychotherapist, I've learned that sometimes we have to feel dissatisfied before we can re-imagine the path we're on. Pain and disappointment are as much a part of life as joy and enthusiasm. It's when we're out of balance and experience too much of either that we may come to ask "What is the meaning and purpose of my life?"
Therapy for me is a space in which to have a new experience of myself, to become empowered and emancipated, to have more of what I desire and a greater sense of control in my life, to trust myself, to function better in relationships and in society, and to take responsibility for my own formative process.

The aim of psychotherapy is to enable a person to share important experiences of their life. Talking about feelings and thoughts that may not have been able to be expressed before can bring a sense of relief. Knowing that you will be having this space with me for yourself regularly will relieve the sense of being on your own and help to develop the capacity to create change in your life.

This work can help you to bring depth and meaning into your life, gain clarity about your goals and direction,integrate different aspects of yourself, and develop a deeper acceptance of yourself and others.

In summary it is learning to care for your soul.

Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be?" - Nelson Mandela's inauguration speech.


I see psychotherapy as a cooperative venture between psychotherapist and client. The relationship between therapist and patient is understood to be fundamental to change. This relationship is professionally boundaried, secure, warm, containing and ongoing.

Secure boundaries and confidentiality provide a safe setting that can enable clients to share experiences and feelings that they may not have been able to talk about before.

Long term healing of distress, anxiety or depression means getting in touch with the emotions and experiences that underlie it to promote creative change in your life.

A therapy session is not an everyday conversation. It is a private space where you can talk openly about yourself. I realise that this may not always be easy; it can take time to trust the relationship enough to feel safe. I aim to use my experience to understand as much about you as I can. I am concerned to know how it feels to be you and how you relate to yourself, within relationships, with me and in life. This is what we talk about.

Psychotherapy is a collaborative process. Mutual trust between patient and therapist fosters a relationship of self-acceptance and discovery of what you most long for and the fear that's in the way.

The therapeutic relationship offer a secure base and facilitate the development of sufficient trust and safety to enable a different experience of ‘self with other' that can allow the emergence of new, more creative ‘senses of self'.

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