Improving quality of life
The main focus of Health Psychology in clinical practice is to improve your quality of life; to support you and provide you with skills to manage your situation more effectively and enable you, with guidance, to generate insight and solutions to your issues that are realistic but more helpful than those you have used so far. You may be given small practice tasks between sessions as appropriate to you and your situation and you may also be guided towards resources that you may find useful.
Along with psychological theories, psychodynamic concepts and empirical evidence, I use various established therapeutic approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Expressive Writing Therapy, Somatic Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Pain Management (for more on my approach to chronic pain, click here) and Grief Counseling (including Narrative Therapy Techniques). Much of the grief counseling I provide tends to be geared towards non-death losses which is very prevalent in the client groups that I serve.
My practice it also Trauma Informed. Some of my clients have experienced trauma in their lives, either as a direct result of their illness or at a previous point in their lives. Some have also experienced narcissistic abuse and I provide therapy as well as education in that area.
I tend to use an Integrative Therapeutic Approach that adapts to the unique needs of each specific client as opposed to using one method alone. The aim is to restore daily functioning and minimize the many consequences of your illness/situation on your quality of life.
Let's not forget about the importance of having your experiences validated and to feel a sense of acknowledgement and support. Indeed, a supportive relationship with a therapist is just as important as the actual methods used to foster change. I always aim to provide an environment where concerns are not minimized, where my clients can find solutions to their problems, find ways of coping better and feel empowered to eventually manage their own health or situation more effectively.
Where do the sessions take place?
I see clients Monday to Friday. Evening appointments are available for UK clients only. The sessions take place online and in the comfort of your own home. I use a secure Telehealth service (SimplePractice.com) that is HIPAA and GDPR compliant and easy to use (you are sent a link before each appointment that takes you straight to the Telehealth window). If you feel a bit intimidated by the technology, don't worry! I'm more than happy to guide you through it. For more information about what Telehealth is and how it works, please click here.
How many sessions do I need?
Typically, sessions are weekly and last one hour. The treatment timeline depends entirely on the issues you want to address and your personal history (e.g. previous trauma, abuse etc.). Indeed, it's really hard to estimate how long therapy may last and although the number of sessions may vary, they usually take place once a week over several months. Some may see me for longer, even for several years but, usually, at less frequent intervals.
Effectiveness of online therapy
We know from scientific research that conducting therapy online has the same therapeutic effect as those carried out in person. An online therapy option is especially helpful for people with a chronic illness as many may simply not be well enough, or in a position, to leave their homes. It's also a safer option for those who are immunocompromised, especially during the current Covid 19 pandemic.
I charge $170 / £115-140 (depending on exchange rate) per session. Payments are to be made by debit or credit card as and when the sessions are delivered online. The full cost of the session will apply for cancellations made with less than 24 hours' notice. (Click here for information regarding the No Surprises Act and a Good Faith Estimate - USA residents only).
I am currently not on any insurance panels. I only accept self-paying clients. As I am licensed in the UK, I cannot generate superbills for my services in the USA.