At least half of my practice is working with individual adults in short and long-term psychotherapy. The age of patients I have worked with spans the early adult years to patients in their seventies. All come from a range of cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds both similar and different to my own. My practice is generally made up of a fairly even split of men and woman at any one time. I think this reflects my interest and comfort in working with either. A good proportion of my work with individual adults is about relationships in one way or another, either to oneself, to people in the present as well as those from the past.
The emotional, psychological and physical need for relationships from the beginning of life has a profound influence on the way we relate to ourselves, how we view life and how we think, feel and behave in the present. For a list of some of the individual adult issues I work with please refer to the Why Psychotherapy? page.
I have been seeing couples in my practice for eight years now and have found I have good results working in this role. Relationships are difficult and we all face challenges in them. I believe that good relationships require attention and a willingness for open communication. Often, however, we find ourselves locked into circular patterns of relating that seem to dictate the interactions within our relationships. To change this we must first recognise that something we are doing is hindering the growth of our relationship.
It is important that these ways of being with our significant other are acknowledged and understood in order for less defended patterns to give way to more constructive ways of relating. Bringing a therapist ‘into’ your relationship is a very intimate experience and can be challenging. However the benefits of having an impartial person who brings perspective and understanding to a relationship can be hugely beneficial.
Traversing adolescence is a developmental accomplishment. Sometimes young people need our assistance or support with making it through to more settled ground. Invariably, my work with young people involves working with parents to understand the issues and create better communication if there has been a breakdown.
I tailor my approach sensitively to meet each young person where they are at, trying to get alongside them to understand their world and the problems they are facing. I work well with both boys and girls from the age of 12 and up. I have been a psychotherapist to young people since 2004 in both South and Central Auckland.
Similarly to couple therapy, families go through crises, conflicts and transitions and when these processes get stuck members can withdraw and hurts can be carried. A psychotherapist can be a very useful facilitator to begin difficult conversations in a safe environment. Families and groups have their own unique ways of relating and communicating which make up the family culture. I work with families to understand this culture and help to facilitate conversations about the ‘elephants’ that might live in any family – e.g. the hidden pressures, expectations or beliefs that might exist and be negatively impacting members.
I am trained to have an understand of family dynamics and how these hidden currents might work for or against a family; whether members are thriving in this culture/community or whether there are destructive elements at play. I work to promote the voice of all members to promote better communication and a healthier family system.
I provide clinical supervision to mental health/health professionals, whose positions would benefit from the lense of a psychoanalytic/psychodynamic supervisor. This professional support is offered to either widen the clinical understanding of a practitioner (support clinical practice) or to grow an awareness and knowledge of unconscious dynamics that affect relationships within teams/groups. This awareness deepens an understanding of how groups work and can benefit effective management of teams within healthcare related agencies or departments.
Since 2015 I have been providing individual and group supervision to students completing their clinical training to achieve their Masters in Psychotherapy at Auckland University of Technology. In 2018 I completed a Certificate in Psychotherapy Clinical Supervision from AUT.