Hello! I’m Christine
UKCP Registered Psychotherapist
If I owned business cards, they’d say something like Mental Health Maven. Or, Intuitive Healer.
If I used the words my old coach coined for me, they’d say Bold Motherfucker.
But I don’t have business cards.
And I rarely work with people I’ve met from the kind of events where you’d hand them out.
So, if you’re reading this page, there’s a good chance you’ve been referred to me. And you’re doing your due diligence before you pick up the phone or after we’ve first met.
In which case, hello, I’m glad you’re here.
Here’s what you should know:
I’m a good holder
In a world that wants to sell you quick-fix solutions to problems it has convinced you of having, it can be hard to trust that the best answers to life’s dilemmas will come from you.
Which requires a different kind of support.
Deciding to listen, let alone trust, your own voice can prompt you to wonder whether you’ve lost your head.
I’m good at grappling with how to respond in the face of predicament, calamity, crisis of faith and inner conflict.
At shining a light on your path to signpost possible directions.
At holding in with you and supporting you to look at things most people would want to distance themselves from. Things like shame, guilt, anger, grief, disbelief, disappointment.
I’m strong and gentle
I have a great capacity to bear witness. To see your struggle and watch you grow through it. To be there as you take steps forward, however awkward or audacious.
I’m happy to become a source of inspiration for you. To be someone who trusts you’re already okay, no matter how crazy, broken, or beyond redemption you feel when we start working.
To trust in the brain’s capacity to rewire. And the soul’s ability to emerge.
And to stand against a medical model that might choose to see you only through the lens of your symptoms, without seeing all of you.
This has power. It requires courage to manifest. And this is our work together in therapy.
As your therapist, I show up for intimate connection with you.
To do so, I pay attention to having good relationships with my partner, his sons, my circle of friends, my own therapist, and my clinical supervisor. I nourish my body with good nutrition, regular exercise, meditation, rest and sleep.
I’m well supported so that you can be well supported.
And I’m very protective of these relationships and practices, and the time they need.
I do not use any one therapeutic model or off-the-shelf template of tools and techniques.
The way I see it, the process is uniquely yours.
Of course, at the outset of our work, we agree a sense of the direction your journey might take, and the terrain it may well cover. But the journey is yours, and it may emerge in creative and magical ways we could not have seen at the beginning.
Which requires me to attune as best I can to you. To share my intuitions and insights which will often help you put into words something you can’t as yet articulate.
And I’m willing to get it wrong for you. Because, a wrong observation allows your internal compass to say, “no, that’s not it, but here’s what I think instead it is”.
To inform my ability to work well, I read and learn from a cross-section of therapeutic theory. Meaning, I join the dots, so I can join the dots for you.
Currently, I’m awake to the full impact all kinds of traumatic experiences in our young years can have on our ability to play full-out. In life in general. But especially in relationships, in work, and in self-care. I’m particularly grateful for:
Bessel Van der Kolk The Body Keeps The Score
Onno van der Hart, Ellert R. S. Nijenhuis & Kathy Steele The Haunted Self, and
Carol Forgash & Margaret Copeley Healing The Heart of Trauma and Dissociation
Taking the stigma out of mental health
The first psychotherapist I stumbled upon in my under-graduate years was R. D. Laing. For a period of time in the late twentieth century, he was a pioneer for seeking to normalise mental health challenges. Consequently I was aware from early on of the very real them versus us thing that has existed in not just the therapy world but in our society in general. And which, although some progress has been made, persists today. In particular, check out:
A big question that many bring to therapy is “who am I?” Or “what am I doing here?” Here, I’m influenced by a diverse range of thinkers:
Ken Wilbur, No Boundary
Alan W. Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
In a world where emotions are often discounted and we’re often taught to bottle stuff up, being able to be vulnerable is not only human, but powerful and healing.
So, I’m grateful to the work of Brené Brown. Most noteworthy are the following:
Body of Work
In addition, I have a variety of accomplishments that have no doubt shaped who I am and how I work.
I have a BA (Hons) Psychology from Strathclyde University. Then, I did a
Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from Caledonian University.
I spent the first fifteen years of my life in HR jobs with big-name corporates. Especially relevant:
- I was HR Director for American Express Europe, and subsequently Director for Learning and Development for the same business, and subsequently
- I was Managing Consulting for one of the big consulting companies. While there, I spent almost two years on an ex-pat assignment in South Africa.
Twenty-one years ago, I started my own gig. I began by providing coaching support to individuals and companies. That kind of work is still part of my portfolio. You can read more about it here.
Sixteen years ago I gained my Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, from the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in London. To graduate, as well as passing all my written work, I had to do a minimum of 600 one-to-one hours. Many of these were done on a voluntary or low paid basis.
After that, I did a one-year Diploma in Psychotherapy Supervision. Meaning that, as well as working with clients, I also support the work of other professionals.
Most recently, I’ve attended several short, specialist workshops on healing complex trauma.
I write here and elsewhere. Most often that takes the form of personal essays, or straight-from-the-hip thought pieces. More story. Less theory. In particular I’d point you to:
I’ve also got the first draft of a memoir down, which tells much of the story of my own battles with mental health and complex trauma.
Perhaps that’s why I swear a lot, and have a good sense of humour.
Whatever, I sometimes find it helps not to mince words. Also to see the funny side of things when it’s appropriate.
Because why should life – and therapy – always be so straight-laced?
When I’m not working, I travel a lot. Mainly long-haul.
Every once in a while, I bake a great cake and invite people round for tea.