UPDATE: In-person appointments now available from 6 July 2020
I am a psychoanalyst in training based in central Bristol, offering psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy to adults, children and adolescents
Psychoanalysis is a talking therapy that is available to anyone who wants to make use of it, whatever their background or current situation. It offers a confidential, non-judgmental space where someone can speak openly to another person about what they are suffering from, and where they can be heard in a new way. By putting things into words which may not have been put into words before, it can be possible for something about this suffering to change, and for different ways of doing things to become available.
It is based on the premise that there are thoughts and ideas that are unconscious — things we don't want to know about — which affect our lives in ways we don't always understand. Without knowing why, we can then find ourselves confronted with disturbing symptoms, distressing feelings like depression or anxiety, or repeated patterns of thought or behaviour that cause us pain. Sometimes it is not so clear what the problem is, but there may be a more general sense that something, somewhere, is wrong.
As a treatment, psychoanalysis is different from many other forms of therapy in that it does not focus on trying to get rid of these difficulties as quickly as possible; rather, it provides the time and space for a person to speak as freely as they can about what matters most to them, in order to find out more about what is not working in their life. By talking like this to someone who listens in a very particular way, they may be able to hear new and surprising things in what they say.
My training is in Lacanian psychoanalysis: this is a way of working with people which pays careful attention to the specific words and ways of speaking that someone uses, and which explores the significance of this language in their personal history. It is a practice that rejects any ideas of what is "normal" or how a person should be, but respects what is unique about each individual, and aims towards the creation of their own particular ways of dealing with whatever is troubling or painful to them.
When does it happen?
Usually sessions will be at least once a week at a regular time; it may be useful to meet more frequently, but this can be discussed in each individual case. The sessions themselves do not have a fixed length, but can last up to 50 minutes.
How long the treatment goes on for is up to you: for some people, short-term work is enough, but as the psychoanalytic process takes time, others may benefit from a longer-term treatment and the more careful exploration that this allows. In any case, there is no contract or fixed timescale and it is your choice whether or not to continue at any point.
How much does it cost?
Fees for the sessions will be discussed at the first meeting, and are negotiated based on your individual circumstances and what it is possible for you to pay. As psychoanalysis can be a long-term process, it is important that the cost can be sustained over time; fees can be negotiated, for example, in relation to the frequency of sessions per week.
I have some low-cost places available for people who would not otherwise be able to afford therapy.
There is no charge for the initial consultation.
How does it start?
To arrange an initial consultation, or if you have any queries, please get in touch using the contact details below.
The initial meeting is an opportunity to discuss your situation and what has led you to want to talk to someone at this time. It also enables you to find out more about what I offer; we can then decide whether we think we could work together, and if psychoanalysis seems like it might be a good approach for you.
Clinically, I work with both adults and children in private practice. I have also worked as a child therapist in schools as part of my training, and aside from this I have over ten years' experience working with children and young people as a qualified teacher in a range of settings.