My Areas of Speciality

I specialise in issues that I am passionate about and matter to me personally. I believe that by concentrating in these areas I am better able to offer my clients the level of support they need. Please read through my information below and contact me if you would like to start working with me.

Overcoming Anxiety, Stress or Burnout

Being concerned or having anxiety or stress about things is perfectly normal and healthy. In fact, in the short term, it is necessary to heighten our responses, solve problems, make realistic appraisals and decisions. We might have exams to take or test results to receive, be worried about our job or relationship. We resolve the problem and return to normality.

The fast-paced, instant world we live in demands we multi-task, juggle family and work, be available and reachable any time of day and night. The media tell us what we should be, how we should look, what we should have. But if we can’t manage our time or if we loose our ability to prioritise, the impact on our health, emotional and physical wellbeing as well as our relationships, work and quality of life can be high.

The more you feel out of control or unable to stop, the more anxious and stressed you become. It’s a vicious cycle of overload.

What’s the effect of all this stress?

Too much anxiety or stress for too long, means too much adrenalin (and other hormones) pumping around your body. This leaves you exhausted, drained, hyper-sensitive and jumpy. You may be unable to switch off or relax, you might be irritable or angry, you may be searching for answers or clues, fearing the worst and believing you won’t be able to cope when or if, it happens.

Physical effects vary from person to person, from shaking, sweating, sleeplessness or palpitations though to panic attacks, anti-social behaviour and OCD.

In your behaviour, you might withdraw physically or mentally, procrastinate, seek reassurance or tranquilise your feelings with alcohol, drugs or other coping behaviours. Burnout can occur, particularly in the workplace, if stress levels are prolonged and at such levels that you cease to effectively function.

What can you do about it?

The answer lies in understanding what is behind your anxiety, what you believe about it and how this impacts your life. This includes any coping behaviours that you have that perpetuate the problem.

Together we will look at healthier coping strategies, consider how to balance your life, manage your time, manage change effectively, prioritise and keep perspective on what’s important to you. We look at the stressors in your life, separate the genuine from stories you tell yourself and learn new techniques and skills. I will support you to change and enhance your life in positive ways.

Anxiety related conditions come in many forms:

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Stress
  • Agoraphobia
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related conditions
  • Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
  • Anxiety based depression, or Mixed Anxiety and Depressive Disorder (MAD)
  • Specific phobias
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
  • Health Anxiety
  • Social phobia and social anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Separation anxiety
  • Emetophobia (fear of vomit or vomiting)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Burnout
  • Insomnia (anxiety related)
  • Unhelpful ‘coping habits’ e.g. skin pulling, hair pulling, nail biting, etc

As an Anxiety UK Approved Therapist, I am experienced in working with a wide range of anxiety-related conditions.

Simply call me on 07452 829821, email me at, or complete the form below.

Building Self-Esteem & Self-Confidence

Many of us carry around an ‘inner critic’ who bullies, criticises and demoralises us in its drive for perfection, control or certainty. You know that voice that says things like, “you don’t deserve this”, “you’ll be found out”, “you’ll never succeed if you don’t work even harder”, “everyone thinks you’re stupid”, “if you’re not perfect you’re nothing”. If you’re reading this page – you know exactly what I mean!

Negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself, others and the world lead to low self-esteem and self-confidence. But they are not facts and yet can result in a number of unhelpful emotions and behaviours such as anxiety, depression, envy and shame that may lead you to withdraw from others or result in reckless, compensatory or numbing behaviour.

What causes low self-esteem and self-confidence?

These beliefs, often formed as you are growing up, result in a lack of self confidence and self-esteem, when you are either told or interpret that you are not good enough, not clever enough, not thin enough, not attractive enough, and not fast enough etc. Whether your confidence and esteem might have been damaged following a negative or traumatic experience, or you heard these messages at home, school or in the media, you have come to believe them.

What can you do about it?

With the right support, you can understand how and why your negative thoughts and beliefs maintain your low self-esteem and low self-confidence. And it is possible to change these, to develop a sense of self compassion and self-acceptance and to manage any negative feelings you have about yourself. Compassion and acceptance for ourselves and others acts as a counterweight to negative thoughts and beliefs and helps us to face our fears rather than run away from them. They are game changer in fact!

By working with me, you will understand your triggers, as well as learn skills and techniques to manage low self-confidence, build self-compassion and self-acceptance and notice negative patterns or warning signs. I use a mixture of CBT, Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to work with this and can bolster this work with hypnotherapy if you wish.

I offer a safe place for you to talk about, understand, work through and ultimately deal with your feelings. We will work together to define strategies that sustain and maintain your positive change.

How to begin working with me

Simply call me on 07452 829821, email me at, or complete the form below to begin building self-esteem and self-confidence.

Fighting Depression and Low Mood

Depression and low mood are heavy, dark emotions. It is likely you feel stuck, like you are wading through treacle to do even the smallest thing and you might feel hopeless and helpless to bring positive change or improvement. You might feel like a failure, that there is literally no light at the end of the tunnel and that life and happiness is happening to others, but passing you by.

You have probably tried forcing yourself to think positively, tried pulling up your proverbial socks and looking on the bright side, but it hasn’t worked and the negative thinking and low mood continues.

You may be attempting to boost your self esteem, deal with, cover up or terminate your feelings in self-destructive ways such as using alcohol, drugs or other coping behaviours such as shopping, gambling or overworking.

Or you may have withdrawn into yourself and hidden under the duvet, or wish that you could, because you feel so lethargic and drained.

You may also be experiencing anxiety, stress, low self-confidence, sleeplessness and you may feel ashamed or guilty that you feel this way. You may have suicidal thoughts or have harmed yourself.

What causes depression?

While there are different causes of depression, it is not uncommon for major life changes or experiences such as death, trauma, relationship breakup, redundancy or illness to trigger it. The bottom line is that depression feeds on itself and spirals downwards from there.

How can you combat depression?

The good news is that you can fight depression. It is treatable and it usually passes. There are no quick fixes, but if you want to beat it, you can.

In working with me, you will understand your triggers and learn skills and techniques to manage it. Wen you are feeling better, you will be able to notice patterns or warning signs that a depressive episode is beckoning and take positive action to prevent or minimise it.

I offer a safe place for you to talk about, understand, work through and ultimately deal with your feelings. We will work together to define strategies that sustain and maintain your overcoming of depression.

How to begin working with me

Simply call me on 07452 829821, email me at, or complete the form below to begin fighting depression.

Anger Management

What’s the cost of your anger?

Your answer might be, ‘my relationship/family’, ‘my career’ or ‘missed opportunities’ or it may be ‘my happiness’, ‘my health’ or ‘my peace of mind’. There may be more besides and so you probably have much more to lose with outbursts of anger than just your temper!

It is OK to appropriately express healthy anger or annoyance. But, if your rage and frustration get out of control, it’s a very different story. In the heat of the moment, you might throw or destroy things, you will say and do things you regret or are harmful to others or you.

Ultimately, if your response is disproportionate to what triggered it, then it’s probably time to change. Anger often has its root causes elsewhere and is likely a symptom of stress and strain occurring in your life or in a relationship with another person at home or work.

By working with me, I will help you to:

  • Stop Your Anger
  • Understand Your Anger and its Destructive Patterns
  • Control your Anger and Learn to Express it Better
  • Change your Life and your Future

I offer the programme as a one day small group workshop or as one to one anger management sessions. The programme can be delivered in person via web, in small anger management groups or as one to one anger management.

I understand that it can be hard to take the first step and admit you have a problem with. So, please contact me and we can have a chat on the phone before committing to attending a course or one to one sessions.

Seek my support now before it’s too late.

How to begin working with me

Simply call me on 07452 829821, email me at, or complete the form below before it’s too late.

Recovery from Addictive, Compulsive and Habitual Behaviours

Addictive and Unhelpful Behaviours

Recovery from any type of addictive and compulsive behaviour is possible. This could be from substances such as alcohol, drugs or nicotine or behaviours such as gambling, relationships, sex, eating, shopping, self-harming and overworking.

If your actions are having a significantly detrimental impact on your life, your relationships, your health, your career or your self esteem and you feel that you can’t stop doing it for long, no matter how hard you try, it is probably time to seek support.

If you identify as having addictive or compulsive behaviours, it also likely that you feel ashamed of yourself, feel anxious and/or depressed and have low self esteem. You might also feel guilty, angry or hurt. You might be frustrated that your attempts to stop are not working. You may feel that your life lacks purpose.

How I can help you

I offer a safe and confidential place for you to talk about, understand, work through and ultimately deal with your feelings.

I will help you build motivation and take positive action to change your addictive and/or compulsive behaviours. We will help you understand how they took over your life, how you can change them and support you to learn to accept yourself.

We will explore your triggers and patterns and work to change the negative belief system that maintains your addictive and compulsive behaviours.

We will use techniques that work for you to gain and sustain your recovery. And should you wish, I can support you to explore spiritual aspects of reconnecting with yourself.

I offer professional support if you are on a 12 Step or SMART Recovery journey or I can work with you independently of any such programme.

How to begin working with me

Simply call me on 07452 829821, email me at, or complete the form below begin your recovery from addictive and compulsive behaviours.

Breaking the cycle of unhealthy relationships

Having one unhealthy relationship in your lifetime might be considered unfortunate. A chance to learn and grow; part of growing up perhaps, so long as you leave it, move on and don’t repeat it again. But what if you have a pattern of unhealthy, codependent or emotionally abusive relationships with love or sexual partners, friends, family, work colleagues. Or you realise that your relationship with yourself is poor? If so, you might identify with some of the list below:

  • You feel trapped in a relationship or friendship and feel you can’t leave it because being on your own is scary.
  • You enter into and stay in unhealthy relationships no matter how bad the other person’s behaviour gets.
  • Your partner, friends or circumstances might change, but the end results are no different: another unhealthy relationship.
  • You feel you can’t change things for yourself and need someone else to rescue you or make it better for you.
  • You don’t believe you deserve anything better.
  • You give ‘your power away’ to other people so that they have the power to make you feel good or bad about yourself.
  • Wherever you go or whatever changes you make, it still ends up the same.
  • Despite your efforts to control and manipulate others, be a perfectionist or create a screen of perfection around yourself, the patterns repeat.
  • You have difficulty setting and maintaining appropriate boundaries.
  • You feel that if you could make those around you happy, you would have a purpose and stop feeling ‘less than’.
  • You need people to need you and admire you so that you feel good about yourself.
  • You may be medicating with alcohol, drugs or other unhelpful or habitual behaviours in an attempt to cope or pretend there is nothing wrong.
  • You might feel depressed, anxious, angry, hurt, ashamed or guilty about your pattern and the circumstances that you find yourself in, possibly yet again.

If you identify with some of the above, it is likely that you have a cycle of unhealthy, codependent or emotionally abusive relationships. You may already identify yourself as codependent and you might also be working a programme of recovery such as CODA (Codependents Anonymous) or SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) or Al-Anon.

What can you do about unhealthy relationships?

Your cycle is likely to persist until you make positive and fundamental changes. Ignoring the problem, hoping it will go away or change with your next relationship, friendship or house move will not make things better. In fact, it’s likely to make it worse as time lapses and the pattern repeats.

The good news is that it is possible to stop this and change for good by changing your relationship with yourself and by changing how you relate to others. There is no quick solution. It takes time to unpick and understand how and why you interact the way you do. It takes time to build a positive relationship with yourself and learn how to interact healthily with others. But it is absolutely possible and I will help you and support you to do this.

In working with me, you will understand what lies at the heart of your patterns. You will also discover how your belief system about yourself, about others and about life keeps the cycle alive. We will work on fundamental changes, coping strategies, stressors and triggers. You will also learn new techniques and skills to help you sustain your change, manage and enhance your life in positive ways.

How to begin working with me

Simply call me on 07452 829821, email me at, or complete the form below to begin breaking your cycle of unhealthy relating or codependency.

Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a chronic (long-term) disorder that affects the digestive system. Amongst other symptoms it causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea and/or constipation which can be both distressing and life limiting.

IBS symptoms can be both a permanent feature or fluctuate with times when it flares and times when there are virtually no symptoms at all. The exact cause is unknown, but consensus is that it is sensitivity in the gut that reacts to certain foods, stress, anxiety, depression or fatigue triggering flare-ups with symptoms that can include back, joint and muscle pain, constant tiredness, nausea, headaches, burping, bad breath or frequent/urgent need to urinate. IBS therefore often runs in a ‘vicious cycle’ and it is not unusual for sufferers to lead a more limiting life as they try to avoid stressors or situations where they could embarrass themselves, for example, soiling themselves in social or travel situations, leaving a smell in the toilet or feeling unattractive or self-conscious due to bloating or wind.

It is estimated that between 10-20% of the UK’s population is affected by IBS as any one time although this could be much higher as many people do not report their symptoms to their GP. IBS is twice as common in women as in men and often develops in people between the age of 20-30 but can affect any age. Due to the pain, discomfort and embarrassment sometimes associated with IBS, some people experience feeling of anxiety, depression and shame as a result.

Treatment of IBS

IBS can be treated in several ways and a holistic approach is particularly useful here. UK NHS/NICE guidelines recommends CBT, hypnotherapy and psychological therapies as well as lifestyle amendments such as exercise, probiotics, diet moderation or exclusion and stress reduction. Medication to ease abdominal pain/cramping can be prescribed by GP and available at the pharmacy and laxatives and diarrhoea tablets are also used. Anti-depressant medication is prescribed in some cases and has clinical evidence of being helpful in certain cases.

The British Society of Gastroenterology reports that hypnotherapy and relaxation have been shown to be effective in the treatment of IBS.

Hypnosis has been shown to be effective in helping some people reduce symptoms of pain and discomfort as well as supporting relaxation and often helps people who have not improved with other treatment methods. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends CBT as a viable treatment of IBS.

Unfortunately, there is no one cure and what works for one person does not for the next, often resulting in dashed hopes, frustration and searching, further exacerbating stress and symptoms.

How I can help you

With UK NHS/NICE guidelines recommending both CBT and hypnotherapy, I generally use a joint approach for treating IBS incorporating both CBT and hypnotherapy plus relaxation training, or CBT and relaxation training alone, depending upon client preference. It takes around 7-12 sessions of evidence-based hypnotherapy and/or CBT.

How to begin working with me

Simply call me on 07452 829821, email me at, or complete the form below to begin changing your relationship with IBS.

Overcoming Insomnia

We spend one-third of our lives asleep. The value of a good night’s sleep is universally accepted as a good thing and yet we widely neglect our need for this. Sleep is a need to have, not a nice to have although the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person and here quality over quantity is what really counts. Sleep supports health and wellbeing, both physically and emotionally. An estimated 30-50% of the population are affected by insomnia, with around 10% having chronic insomnia.

We’ve all had a few restless nights or one late night/early morning too many, but what we are talking about here is a prolonged sense of sleeping badly and suffering as a result, rather than not getting the specific number of hours sleep we think we should. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and involves one or more of the list below, occurring at least three times a week for at least one month:

  • Problems getting to sleep quickly enough
  • Waking up periodically in the middle of the night and having trouble getting back to sleep
  • Waking too early in the morning and not getting back to sleep
  • Poor sleep quality – not feeling restored or refreshed

Short-term sleeplessness does little harm to your health but can still result in fatigue, reduced energy, affect concentration/functioning and reduction in immune system function. The resulting distress and discomfort can lead to more stress, irritability, anxiety and even depression.

Whilst some insomnia can be transient or short-term in nature (e.g. in response to life stressor such as death of a loved one or a shock) and might reduce within a month, this can also progress to a more serious problem. Prolonged sleeplessness, say for longer than 4 weeks (chronic insomnia) can create a desperate cycle of irritability, anxiety (particularly about sleep but also about other things), depression, gastrointestinal problems and so on. For others, insomnia is due to heightened levels of mental or body arousal, such as nerves, anxiety or ruminating thoughts, that interfere with routine sleep.

How I can help you

Studies show that the best way to treat insomnia is by taking a multi-disciplinary approach. I use interventions that target your physiology (body), psychology (your thoughts and emotions), behaviour change and environmental factors that may be affecting sleep quality. After thorough assessment so that I understand how insomnia affects you and your life, your patterns and triggers, I use a mixture of CBT, hypnotherapy and relaxation techniques.

How to begin working with me

Simply call me on 07452 829821, email me at, or complete the form below to begin understanding and dealing with insomnia.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that can run in families either because of a genetic link or learned behaviours. It is also thought that a traumatic event can trigger it in someone who has a predisposition for it. Perfectionists are thought to be more likely to develop OCD and key life events can also act as a trigger. The condition typically first starts to significantly interfere with a person’s life during teenage to early adulthood, although problems can develop at any age and early signs can be spotted in some young children.

OCD is characterised by persistent, intrusive, unwanted thoughts that the sufferer is unable to control. Such thoughts are often very distressing and result in anxiety. Many OCD sufferers also engage in rituals or compulsions that are persistent needs or urges to perform certain behaviours to reduce their anxiety or discomfort.

Often the rituals are associated with an obsessional thought. For example, washing to avoid contamination follows thoughts about possible contamination. For some, there is no apparent connection between the intrusive thought and the behaviour e.g., not stepping on cracks in the sidewalk to avoid harm befalling one’s family.

Others have no compulsive behaviours and suffer from obsessional thoughts alone, while others do not experience obsessions but have compulsive rituals alone.

In summary, OCD affects people differently, but usually triggers a particular pattern of thought and behaviour. This pattern has four main steps:

Obsession – where an unwanted, intrusive, and often distressing thought, image, urge or feeling persists repeatedly..
Anxiety – the obsession provokes a feeling of intense anxiety or dread. 
Compulsion – repetitive behaviours or mental acts that the client feels driven to perform because of the anxiety and distress triggered by the obsession.
Temporary Relief – the compulsive behaviour brings temporary relief from anxiety, but the obsession and anxiety soon return.
Cycle – begins again.

The one common element to the various symptoms in OCD is anxiety. For those suffering both obsessional thoughts and compulsive rituals, it is the anxiety with the thought that drives the ritual. In other words, the ritual is performed to reduce the anxiety provoked by the thought. For those suffering from obsessional thoughts alone, anxiety is often associated with the thought, and mental rituals, distraction, or avoidance may be used to lessen the discomfort. It is much the same for those with compulsive rituals alone in that the behaviour is performed in order to lessen the urge to ritualise.

OCD symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some people with OCD may spend an hour or so a day engaged in obsessive-compulsive thinking and behaviour, but for others the condition can completely take over their life. Most OCD sufferers can see the uselessness and absurdity of their actions but still feel compelled to perform their various rituals.

There are many different forms of OCD. Some sufferers experience OCD in one area only and others in multiple. The form can change over time or remain constant, and severity can ebb and flow. Some suffers must learn to manage it as it never completely disappears for them or for others it may disappear completely only to return later. Significant life events such as becoming a parent or marriage proposals can trigger a recurrence.

Forms of OCD include:

Harm OCD
Responsibility/Checking OCD
Contamination OCD
Just So/Just Right OCD
Scrupulosity/Moral/Religious OCD
Relationship Themed OCD (ROCD)
Sexual Orientation OCD (SO-OCD or HOCD)
Paedophilia OCD (POCD)
Existential OCD
Hyperawareness/Sensorimotor OCD

Treatment for OCD

CBT, Mindfulness and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) are the main forms of treatment indicated for OCD. EMDR and hypnosis can also be used to support these.

I am highly experienced in working with all forms of OCD and in using a mix of the modalities listed above depending upon individual needs.

How to begin working with me

Simply call me on 07452 829821, email me at, or complete the form below to begin understanding and addressing any relationship problems you are currently experiencing.

Begin working with me

Please call me on 07452 829821, email me at, or complete the form below.

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