I specialise in helping individuals 16 years and older suffering from depression, anxiety, and the long lasting effects of traumatic incidents such as childhood abuse and neglect.
My clinical work is influenced by a psychodynamic approach, which is a framework for understanding the powerful, complex mechanisms by which we try and manage the difficulties that are presented before us.
I have found, over and over, that by exploring down into a person’s experiences, a unique resolution is found. This then means that the symptoms that caused so much distress, no longer have any reasons to persist.
A while ago, I saw a pleasant man in his thirties with a chronic and life restricting depression, which had also been diagnosed as Bipolar Affective Disorder. “David” (not his real name) had required several admissions to Psychiatric facilities over the years, which provided some respite. He had consulted many specialists who had made various diagnoses, often leading to frequent changes in medications, a lot of confusion, and little else. Naturally, when he initially came to me, he asked me to diagnose him. We discussed this, and, with some hesitation on his part, he agreed to start therapy without the certainty of a diagnosis. Gradually, as David felt more at ease in the room, we explored the kinds of experiences that had made a significant impact upon him.
In a short space of time, we were able to revisit these old experiences with a new lens, and David found himself able to put a lot of these events (and the complicated feelings that belonged with them) behind him, rather than lug them around as he had been for at least the past two decades. Therapy had provided a forum for David to become aware of how much his distant past had dictated his recent past, his present, and in fact his future. This is true for most of us to some extent. We are partly the product of our experiences.
Therapy provided something that all the medications had not provided, and would not be able to provide. However, I think the medication provided additional stability to allow David to process what he needed to, and towards the end of therapy, he was weaning himself off just about all of his medications. This was something he had been hoping for but never imagined would occur. Needless to say, he was very proud of his achievement.
For the very first time in his life, he was able to see things very differently, he returned to his profession, and found himself a partner, to whom he became engaged. His experiences of depression and anxiety had subsided for the most part, with one lapse (that I am aware of) that he was able to work through independently.
All you need to bring with you is what I bring – commitment and openness to the process.