“Just because we think something doesn’t make it true.” The meaning we give to our experiences determines everything – especially how we feel, think and behave. Exploring these meanings in therapy can help you move forward from painful experiences and empower you with strength, purpose and hope.
Areas of Expertise
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Trauma
I understand that many patients with a history of trauma may feel anxious or fearful about the idea of reliving experiences that have caused so much suffering and distress. However, once treatment has started, the positive benefits of therapy will quickly outweigh the distress these memories cause on a day-to-day basis when left untreated. I also want to reassure you that I will do my utmost to help you feel safe and supported in sessions and ensure that therapy progresses at a pace you feel comfortable with.
Much of my clinical work is dedicated to helping people overcome trauma, and I’ve witnessed how therapy can support patients in making incredible recoveries. I use evidence-based approaches for treating trauma, such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. These trauma-focused treatments help people process traumatic memories and move on from the distress they’ve caused. I’m passionate about helping people address the often traumatic roots of their present distress and find that a trauma-centred approach is particularly effective in helping people with chronic mental health difficulties.
Anxiety Disorders and OCD
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it”. – Kahlil Gibran.
I have considerable experience treating a wide range of anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, different types of phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I completed my Master’s dissertation at the Oxford Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma. I also worked as an assistant psychologist at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma in London. My experiences provided valuable insights into the complex factors contributing to anxiety disorders and highlighted how important it is for my patients to understand how the factors that maintain their anxiety can be addressed in tangible ways. My approach to treating anxiety typically begins with psychoeducation and integrates cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with compassion-focused techniques, which results in consistent and long-lasting benefits. For patients with OCD, the evidence-based CBT approach is particularly beneficial because it involves gradual exposure to the things they fear most within a safe and supportive therapy environment.
We all experience low moods or dips in our productivity and motivation sometimes. Usually, we can shake ourselves out of these low periods, but sometimes, it can be challenging to find the motivation to do so. At these times, we can often get stuck in our heads, and we might find ourselves feeling hopeless or thinking that we’re not good enough. We can lose a sense of time and purpose, and each day fades into the next without a routine to structure it. Over time, depression can alter how we see ourselves and become more severe, as negative thinking patterns and unhealthy behaviour become more entrenched. While it’s common to retreat from the world and isolate ourselves when we feel like this, I want you to know that help is available, and you can access many effective strategies for treating depression.
My approach to tackling depression takes account of all the above factors by combining behavioural and cognitive techniques. For example, treatment may involve establishing a healthy routine and training the brain away from negative thinking patterns that bias our perception and rob us of joy. Additionally, mindfulness strategies can help create space away from negative thoughts, teaching us to observe rather than judge. I can also help you think about the values you would like to guide your life by, which can help you feel closer to your ‘authentic self’ and live in a more fulfilling and purposeful way.
My approach to therapy and treatment
If you’re reading this, you’ve already taken the first step by thinking about seeking help, which is huge! There’s a nurturing part of yourself that recognises you need help and encourages you to access it. So take a deep breath and listen closely to what that part is telling you.
As a therapist, I always accept people for who they are and what they bring, with a compassionate, kind and non-judgemental approach. I’m inspired by each of my patient’s individual strengths, I respect their journeys, and I greatly appreciate the courage it takes to share their vulnerabilities.
During the first consultation, I ask people what their psychological goals are, whether that be to reduce the severity of your symptoms, feel better about yourself, re-engage with aspects of your life that matter to you, or improve your relationships. Through assessment sessions, we begin to collaboratively create a formulation of what is getting in the way of you living the life you want to be living, which includes a better understanding of earlier difficult or traumatic events that influence our present thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This formulation creates a roadmap that guides us on what factors to address during therapy.
When creating a personalised treatment plan, my training in multiple psychotherapeutic approaches allows me to tailor therapy depending on your needs and the best available evidence for treating your unique difficulties or symptoms. Additionally, I’m a firm believer that incorporating my patients’ lifestyle choices and ‘ways of being’ is a crucial aspect of successful treatment. Whether it’s encouraging physical exercise and meditation, reducing screen-time, increasing social connection, or more engagement with pleasurable activities – I work with patients to find activities that suit their routine and preferences. I support my patients in making positive lifestyle changes and developing habits that promote holistic wellbeing. Once my patients feel how uplifting and beneficial these changes are, it spurs on their motivation to continue with these habits independently. Integrating these positive lifestyle changes helps make treatment a holistic process, resulting in mental and physical health benefits that last long after therapy has finished.
As a Clinical Psychologist, I don’t prescribe medication. However, I believe medication can help ‘take the edge off’ distressing symptoms whilst we work on addressing the underlying issues in therapy. People can feel a lot of stigma about taking medication, and I often address this in my work. For patients currently taking medication or those exploring their treatment options, I can work closely with your prescribing psychiatrist or GP to support a collaborative treatment plan that includes medication.
Education & Training
I’m an experienced Clinical Psychologist accredited by the British Psychological Society and registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council. I’ve been working as a psychologist since 2012, during which time I’ve gained considerable expertise helping people across primary and secondary care NHS services and in private practice.
Previously, I worked in a specialist service for survivors of rape and sexual assault at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. I specialised in working with survivors of traumatic experiences using a range of therapeutic models, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), EMDR, Schema Therapy, Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), and Mindfulness. I was actively involved in training various professional groups on the psychological impact of rape and sexual assault, including the Crown Prosecution Service, multidisciplinary teams in the National Health Service and voluntary sector, and medical students. I also facilitated workshops and groups for survivors of traumatic experiences.
Regarding my education, I undertook my Bachelor’s degree (with Honours) in Psychology at St Xavier’s College, University of Mumbai, in 2010. I completed my Masters in Psychological Research at Oxford University in 2012 and my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at King’s College London in 2016. My doctoral programme provided in-depth training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-based approaches. CBT is an evidence-based approach for treating a wide range of mental health difficulties, including mood and anxiety disorders, and provides the theoretical framework for formulating my patients’ problems and helping treat them. My doctoral thesis focused on the impact of auditory hallucinations on carers of those with psychosis. The hours spent interviewing family members helped me better appreciate the toll of severe mental health difficulties, not just on the patient but on the people who care about them.
After qualifying as a Clinical Psychologist, I continued training in other approaches, including Schema Therapy, Compassion-focused therapy, Mentalisation- based Therapy for Families (MBT-F), trauma-sensitive yoga and EMDR. I’m an accredited member of the EMDR Association of the UK and Ireland. I have found it incredibly useful to draw on these varied therapeutic models to tailor treatment programmes to best suit the needs of my patients. Using an integrative approach has helped me provide effective relief from surface-level symptoms in the short term and address deeper issues in the long term.
I hold the following psychotherapy qualifications and certifications:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Compassion Focused Therapy
- Mindfulness-based Therapy
- Integrative Psychotherapy
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing
- Schema Therapy
- Mentalisation-based Therapy for Families
You can find out more about my professional publications here.
My personal interests
I love spending time looking at art in local galleries, art fairs and museums. The Impressionists and Post-Impressionists particularly inspire me; I find the light and movement they convey uplifting and playful, reminding me not to take life too seriously. I enjoy painting cards for loved ones’ birthdays and anniversaries, which has become a hobby over time.
I am also a big believer in the restorative power of nature and regularly go for walks in my local forest and longer hikes when travelling. I have lived and volunteered across many different parts of the globe, including the Middle East, India, South Africa and the UK. I enjoy meeting and working with people from diverse backgrounds to more fully appreciate the unique factors that distinguish us, alongside the common humanity that brings us together.