I am trained in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy, an approach that emphasises personal growth, self-acceptance, autonomy, positive relationships with others and our capacity to change.
Therapy is a shared journey and if you decide to work with me it will be a co-creative relationship based on mutual respect, compassion and support. Our therapeutic relationship is underpinned by the three philosophical assumptions that sit at the heart of Transactional Analysis:
- You are OK.
- You have the capacity to think and to problem solve.
- People decide their own destiny and these decisions can be changed.
What I like most about Transactional Analysis (TA) is that it provides a highly practical and structured way of working. Some of the over-arching themes that emerge in therapy relate to identity, our sense of who we are in the world, our values, cultural beliefs, boundaries and purpose in life. TA helps us to think and talk about the big things in life, to identify what we might like to change and to take action. There are many tools in TA that can help you better understand yourself, others and the wider environment. If you’re interested in learning more, once you start therapy, I will offer you handouts and worksheets to help you explore and apply TA in your daily life.
TA is rooted in psychoanalysis and I draw on a number of psychoanalytic theories. Life Script is an important TA concept and helps us to reflect on how childhood experiences might be shaping our response to situations in the present. Child development is another area of interest, in particular looking at how our early experiences influence our adult relationships. These are areas you might wish to explore with me in therapy.
As you are preparing to start psychotherapy, I will invite you to reflect on your goals. What is it that you would like to achieve?
There may be a problem that is troubling you that you would like to solve. If so, then it may help to imagine what would change for you if that problem were no longer there. How would your life be better?
If you have in mind already what change you would like to achieve, that’s great. If you are still uncertain about how therapy might help, then we will spend some time working this out.
In TA, this process of negotiating and agreeing what you would like to achieve from therapy is called ‘contracting.’ It’s important because it gives us:
- A shared sense of purpose.
- A focus on what matters to you.
- A positive outcome to work towards.
Contracting is about helping you structure and steer the direction of therapy. It is an ongoing process and we can revisit, renegotiate and revise the ‘contract’ as many times as you need.
Creativity plays an important part in my work. Often, we bring feelings and experiences to therapy that are difficult to put into words. Mark making, art music and creative writing can provide a bridge, helping us find ways to tell and re-tell our story. I believe that psychotherapy is itself a creative process, as together we seek meaning, build connections and explore possibilities. During therapy we experiment with new ways of being and we find new ways of relating to ourselves, others and the world around us. So that finally, from what starts in pain, struggle and confusion, we find that something new and exciting emerges.
Human beings are social beings, we are biologically programmed to seek connection with others and we live our lives in groups. I have a long-standing interest in group dynamics and how our family and sibling experiences influence our sense of self and our behaviour in professional, study and friendship groups. I am studying group analytic psychotherapy and this approach informs my work with individuals and with groups.
Therapy is often about change and change in therapy is often about personal growth. This can be a complicated process. We can start out seeking change in ourselves and realise in the course of therapy that it is certain things in our environment that we need to change. Or we may come to a realisation that there are many things that we cannot change. Sometimes the focus of therapy is about changing our relationship to past events, recent losses or current struggles, so that we feel more at peace and ready to engage with life as it is now.
Whatever your reasons for starting therapy, it is important to find the right therapist and the best approach for you. To help you reach a decision, I offer a free, telephone consultation, where we talk about what you would like to achieve and how we might work together. Contact me to arrange a consultation or continue exploring to find out more about getting started with therapy.