Areas of expertise
As an Addiction Therapist, I recognise the word ‘addict’ can hold a lot of negativity and stigma. Often, people only think of addiction in extreme contexts, like drug or alcohol addiction. But addiction can also mean having an unhealthy relationship with a substance or a behavioural coping strategy. For example, people can also have addictive relationships with gambling, sex, shopping, or food. Addiction is not about the quantity of the substance used (such as drugs, alcohol, or food), but rather it’s the reason behind the use. This unhealthy relationship can negatively impact your life, and in many cases, the lives of those around you. If you’re feeling out of control in your life, what do you reach for? How do you cope?
Many people assume being addicted to something means you lean on that substance every day and that you can't stop using it. But that’s not always the case. Often, people can go a few weeks or months without it before finding themselves using it once more. Needing to rely on something so heavily can be scary and risky, depending on the substance type and the quantity used. Sometimes people also experience ‘cross-addiction’ when attempting to overcome their addiction to a specific substance by becoming reliant on a different substance instead. For example, some people might give up smoking but then develop a new addiction to sugary foods. Ultimately, all types of addiction stem from using a substance to cope with our negative thoughts and feelings.
My approach to this condition is to take you back through your life to identify the root cause and triggers of your addiction. I find it helpful to view addiction as an iceberg, where the substance is just the visible tip of the iceberg. When we investigate below the surface, it reveals the root of the challenges you’re currently facing. Taking the first step in your recovery journey can feel incredibly difficult, but treatment provides an opportunity to take back control of your life. If you’re currently in recovery, therapy can also be helpful to prevent relapses and continue building healthier coping mechanisms. I’ve supported many of my patients to reach long-lasting recovery by integrating psychotherapy with a focus on self-therapy, supporting you to create your own solutions.
Trauma can present in many ways, such as traumatic relationships, a traumatic break-up, or even a traumatic childhood. These events all have one thing in common: losing a sense of ‘control’. Perhaps you’ve experienced a set of challenging circumstances where you didn’t feel in control, and you find it difficult to understand and make sense of them. Perhaps you’ve noticed that you react negatively to certain social situations, and it’s getting in the way of living your life the way you want to. Maybe there was an event that caused you long-term stress or ongoing anxiety and negatively impacted your relationships.
With my approach to trauma, it’s important that you feel safe and secure whilst doing this type of work with me. There are three steps which we’ll work through together. Firstly, I’ll create a safe space for you, a sense of security and structure in our time together. This will give you control of the sessions as we build up trust. Then we’ll focus on ‘remembering and grieving’. Sharing details of the time or event in this stage will give you back your power and give you a sense of control over the event. Giving you the opportunity to grieve the loss of the person you once were in order to make way for the person you’ve become. Finally, we’ll ‘reconnect and heal’. In this stage, you’ll start to feel empowered and better able to protect yourself, freeing yourself from what once trapped you. We’ll build on your self-worth and self-esteem and figure out your place in the situation. This stage creates safety within your life, helping you to move forward without shame or guilt. Forgiveness is the key to this final stage. We’ll work through each of these stages at a pace that is comfortable for you.
Communication and Boundaries
Sometimes, we don’t know how to communicate effectively with each other. Perhaps there has been a breakdown in communication in your relationships, at work or home, and you need some help with conflict resolution. Maybe you find it difficult to identify and create boundaries in your life, or you’re struggling with low self-esteem, chronic stress and anxiety. Or maybe you’re experiencing inner conflict because you’re living a life that does not reflect who you truly are. Starting therapy is a positive approach to finding the best way to manage these situations and create a life you love.
I understand that resolving conflict and encouraging healthy communication and boundaries takes time, but I’ll support you through the process and help you succeed. Depending on your circumstances, I’ll create a treatment plan blending psychoeducation (psychological education) with creative expression through art, meditation, or breathwork. If you need a more intensive therapeutic programme, I also have other tools that can help us work through these challenges together. These tools will help you express your emotions whilst still grounding you in the here and now. I believe having a third party that is new to the relationship dynamic can be helpful in providing a new and different perspective on the challenges that you face.
My approach to treatment
It’s completely normal to feel nervous about coming to therapy. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. I want to reassure you there’s no expectation to tell me the deepest, darkest parts of your life straight away. Building our trust and relationship will take time, and there’s no rush. I want you to feel calm, safe and supported within this space. I’m here for you, to listen to you and help you through whatever struggles you may be facing. I'm here to stand next to you and walk through this journey with you, we’ll face issues head-on together.
The first consultation is for me to listen to you, and the agenda is determined by you and what you feel comfortable discussing. You have full control, which means you can share as much or as little as you like. Often my patients feel more relaxed and calm once they have shared their thoughts and expectations of therapy with me. Once I understand your goals, I’ll explain my approach to you and answer any questions you have about the process. As you guide the sessions, we’ll work at your pace, so if you would like to work on things outside of the session you can. Alternatively, you can keep all work inside the session, it’s all up to you.
Personalised treatment plans
I take a person-centred approach to therapy. A person-centred approach means that I create a safe space for you to share your feelings and emotions. Sometimes sharing specific areas of your life can feel uncomfortable, I know how that feels. It’s my goal to help you do this openly, without fear of judgement. From time to time, difficult topics may arise, but we’ll work together to understand them. Once you feel comfortable enough to do this, we can focus on your healing and growth. We’ll take a step-by-step approach and tailor the treatment plan to you and your goals, keeping in mind the fact that there are many routes to recovery.
The first step in your plan will be psychoeducation about your condition or symptoms, personalised to your unique situation and circumstances. Depending on your needs and how you like to express yourself, I’ll create a bespoke treatment plan for you integrating psychotherapy, timelines, meditation, visualisation, and creative expression. How often you attend sessions is also personalised. Generally, people see me once a week or once a fortnight. However, if you have a bigger issue that needs a lot of work, we can see each other more often and work on tasks between sessions.
I often use art to help my patients express themselves, though I believe you can express yourself through any medium. Creating something that is personal to you and sharing it with me can help you reconnect with your true self. Together we’ll get a better understanding of who you are. I also like to use meditation and visualisation as it helps to switch your mindset from a negative, confused state to a clear, positive, future-thinking mindset.
I’m not a psychiatrist, so I can’t recommend or prescribe medication. However, I believe medication can be beneficial for some people for a short amount of time. Some people prefer trying therapy to talk things through before deciding whether medication is necessary. Sometimes, therapy alone can help, and medication isn’t needed. In other cases, pairing therapy with medication in a treatment plan can be highly beneficial for some people. If you feel medication would benefit you, I can refer you to a psychiatrist.
For patients undergoing addiction treatment, a medical detox may be necessary before starting your treatment plan. If so, your psychiatrist may prescribe some short-term medications. Once you’ve completed the medically supervised detox with your doctors, we can begin our work together. We’ll take a slow and steady approach to treatment, and we’ll consider social, emotional and environmental triggers to reduce the risk of relapse.
Education & Training
I’m an experienced Addiction and Trauma Therapist registered with the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy. I have completed extensive training in counselling, and I’m trained in the person-centred theory of practice developed by Carl Rogers which focuses on support, guidance and structure to help you create your own personalised solutions.
Currently, I’m seeing patients in private practice in Harley Street, London. Previously, I worked as a live-in counsellor at a specialist addiction treatment centre in Switzerland and as an addiction therapist at the Delamere Health Rehabilitation Centre in Northwich. In these roles, I worked intensely with patients, helping them to overcome addictions to alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs, and behaviours like gambling. I usually met with people once or twice a week, depending on the intensity of their treatment plan. I also have experience as a Peer Support Worker in the NHS and as a counsellor with MacMillan Cancer Support.
With regard to my education, I hold a Master of Science degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling from Keele University. I completed an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Dance from DeMontfort University in Leicester, where I focused my final dissertation on ‘dance as a therapy for autism spectrum disorder’. I enjoy learning and keeping up to date with continuous professional development in the areas of trauma and addiction.
Outside of working with clients, I enjoy watching documentaries and films, travelling, camping and walking. I’m a home bird and love spending time and socialising with my friends and family. I also enjoy trying new foods from across the globe and learning how to cook exciting dishes. All of this allows me to maintain a healthy balance between work and my personal life.