What days do you work?
Tuesdays online, last appointment 530pm
Wednesdays face to face or online, last appointment 430pm
Thursdays face to face or online, last appointment 5pm
Fridays face to face or online, last appointment 330pm face to face or 4pm online
Do I have to attend sessions every week?
As this therapy is not prescriptive, we can discuss the best attendance for you. Sometimes this will be weekly or every other week, sometimes monthly, depending on what we discover suits your needs. I would suggest attending weekly or every other week initially.
What if I feel no different after 20 sessions?
This therapy is not something to pursue if you are not feeling any benefit so we will have a discussion around this. It probably won't work in one or two sessions (although, on occasion, it has) so please be prepared to give it a go. There will be a review roughly every 6 sessions and we may decide to continue or we may decide to call it a day at that point. You can obviously discharge yourself at any point in the therapy.
Can I have more than 20 sessions?
The longer your unhelpful responses to situations have been present, the longer they may take to change, although this is not always the case. If you feel the therapy is benefiting you and you would like to continue at the end of your 20 sessions, I would suggest trying out newly learned responses for a few months and then return for another group of sessions.
Where are you based?
I work online or at my practice in Stockton on Tees. The room is on the second floor so there are a few stairs to contend with as there is no lift. There is ample free parking next to the building and a comfortable waiting room on the ground floor if someone accompanies you.
How do I pay?
You can either pay cash when you come to the session or use online banking before the session; I have no facilities to accept credit cards.
What will the first session be like?
Before we meet, I can send out an assessment questionnaire if that works for you, that you can fill in. If you send it back to me before the first session, we'll have covered a lot of the questions normally asked in the first session. I can go through it before our appointment and see if there are any issues we need to discuss in more depth when we meet. Please let me know if you would like to me to send the questionnaire to you and let me know your email address. Apart from that, the first session will be dedicated to you and what you require from therapy, allowing time for me to take some personal details.
What are ‘ego states’?
The basics of any therapy is to update outmoded responses to situations, whether emotional, cognitive, sensory or behavioural, or create new responses. Ego states are a way of talking about neural networks, which is how your internal system stores information and internally and externally communicates. You may call these a ‘part’ of yourself (sulky, overly angry, competitive, lacking in ambition, scared of authority, etc.) Transactional Analysis therapy names ego states Parent/Adult/Child, Internal Family Systems therapy may name these parts the ‘Manager’ or the ‘Fire Fighter’. If you know of these therapies, we can call your ‘parts’ whatever you wish. The main crux is that you are open to the idea that there are many, many parts to you, some operating for the ‘greater good’, some causing distress for you as you respond to situations in the exact opposite way you want to.
An example could be a child who desperately wants to do well in an exam. Failing, he is full of shame and sadness and no one reassures him that’s he’s OK and that the feelings he is experiencing are normal. This unprocessed event gets lodged in the child’s system as a neural network/ego state with specific emotions, body sensations and a belief that he is a failure. As an adult, he has been encouraged to go for a job promotion which he desperately wants but he does not set his alarm and misses the interview. The old neural network/ego state has been triggered and, wanting to avoid the shame and sadness of risking being a failure, kicks in and directs operations. It has not updated and has no awareness that the man is more than capable of being successful; it is still stored in its raw, original state. Until the original event has been processed, the ego state causes havoc at times when the man has a strong desire to achieve something with even a slim chance of failure.
What can I expect from the therapy?
I’m very much a believer in not making things more complicated than they need to be. Counselling and Coaching are on offer to see if talking about your issues or experimenting with new responses to situations can alleviate your issues. Knowing that someone is trying to attune to your needs has universally been held to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Consciously persistently making decisions to change behaviours or thought patterns can update networks or form new ones. Why delve around in the unconscious or in the past if we don’t need to?
If these don’t resolve your issues and we seem to reach an impasse then we target either specific ego states about which you may have an inkling or which we discover together. One technique, amongst many, is called the Frazer Table which is a visualisation exercise whereby we ‘meet’ parts of yourself.
We can also include Attachment-Focused EMDR, first introduced by Laurel Parnell, in which we update old networks using what is called bilateral stimulation. In this, we use specific techniques to establish the time when an ego state was formed and subsequently enable it to be processed.
Inter-generational therapy is based on the understanding that sometimes we may actually be carrying the distress of a parent or even further back in our ancestry. Again, we use techniques to establish the link to the past and then provide relief in the here and now. I frequently hear adults telling me that they're anxious or depressed in the same way their mother or father was/is. It makes sense as, if we spend sufficient time with someone, our neural network mirrors theirs (and vice versa). Imagine how a child attunes and adapts to a parent, it's inevitable that they will incorporate some of their parent's networks into their own.
(I can hear you saying "she talks about 'techniques' a lot - what does that mean?" I could explain but this will be an exceptionally long page if I do. If you feel the approaches above could work for you, please explore the links on the homepage or get in touch and find out).