People often ask me if I specialise. It’s a simple question with a slightly less-than-simple answer, as my reply lies somewhere between yes and no. Technically, I specialise in that branch of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) known as rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) and clinical hypnotherapy. With them I can successfully help people manage and control a wide variety of problems. However, I do tend to specialise in the treatment of certain conditions over others.
Those conditions are anxiety disorders, work-related stress management, pain control, weight control, confidence, fitness psychology and stopping smoking and, to a lesser extent, certain types of depression, as well as other emotional problems such as anger, jealousy and guilt.
I’ve worked as a therapist for the mental health charity, Anxiety UK for nearly 10 years now and, as a result, see a lot of anxiety related problems in my private practice too.
Anxiety disorders covers a wide spectrum of problems, including general anxiety, social anxiety, agoraphobia, panic attacks and panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), psychosexual dysfunction, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias and more and more.
Anxiety disorders are typically characterised by excessive rumination, worrying, uneasiness, apprehension and fear.
I’ve also worked for several years in the occupational health division of a major health care company, where I see people from a wide variety of companies and help them with all aspects of work-related stress management.
Also know as occupational stress, it tends to occur when you believe you cannot cope with the demands of your workload or workplace and it can cover a wide variety of problems including anxiety, depression, confidence issues, drug and alcohol problems, anger management issues, interpersonal problems, fatigue, tension, memory problems, PTSD and more.
Another specialism of mine is pain control. Since 2008, I’ve been working at the Royal Brompton Hospital, helping people manage the psychological and physiological aspects of a condition known as Cardiac Syndrome X (CSX), which is a chest pain very similar to angina, but in the absence of any coronary abnormalities.
As a result of my work there, I also see a lot of people in my private practice for back pain, neck pain, some musculoskeletal disorders, tension headaches and migraine. I also see people referred to me via a physiotherapy clinic.
Because I am a hypnotherapist, two areas I have had a lot of experience in are weight control (from losing a few pounds to losing a few stone, as well as increasing exercise) and stopping smoking.
I am a member of the National Smoking Cessation Institute.
I’m also developing a program with two experienced personal trainers to help people not only with their weight and fitness goals, but to also overcome any mental blocks and barriers they have to exercise and training.
I do see people for depression, but prefer it to be reactive depression (i.e., depression as a reaction to a life event, such as losing your job or a loved one). Clinical depression is a little harder to treat in that it is a brain chemistry problem, so we tackle how you feel when it hits as opposed to the depression itself.
Finally, I also have a lot of experience in helping people with insomnia, IBS and other ailments.