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"In my practice as a Psychologist, I am privileged to see first-hand how therapy can create the right conditions for psychological growth and development, in ways that can be exciting and transformative."

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I believe that everybody has the capacity to develop and to reach their potential, and to cope with distressing and stressful life experiences. Equally, I believe that sometimes under stress we all can become overwhelmed by difficult emotion, and lose touch with our ability to grow and develop. This can be because of unfavourable conditions early in life or later on because of stressors and difficult life events. I have seen through my practice as a Psychologist over the past eleven years that therapy can create the right conditions for clients to develop, heal and overcome stress. I therefore aim to provide these right conditions for change, while working within proven evidence-based practice. 

James has worked for over eleven years in NHS services as a Practitioner Psychologist.  He has practised throughout this time in a secondary care psychotherapy service, offering brief and longer term treatment for a wide range of psychological and emotional difficulties. James has extensive experience of treating Depression, Anxiety Disorders (including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Agoraphobia),   psychosis and psychotic disorders (including brief reactive psychosis), and Personality Disorders including difficulties with self-harm, impulsivity and emotional regulation. He also helps people experiencing difficulties related to day to day life and stress such as sleeplessness, excessive worry, interpersonal conflict, bereavement, depression and generalised anxiety.

James also holds a part time post in a mental health Recovery Team, where he works in a Multi-Disciplinary Team offering assessment and brief therapies to individuals and families experiencing complex mental health difficulties. He offers consultation to medical colleagues in this role, as well as supervision to other Psychologists and training to a wide range of staff and outside agencies.  

Prior to his work in NHS Services, James worked for five years in addiction and substance misuse services, and has extensive experience of helping people reduce the harm associated with their alcohol or substance use, as well as other addictive or problematic behaviours.

James’ core Counselling Psychology training was in the Humanistic, Cognitive Behavioural and Psychodynamic therapies, and in his day-to-day practice he is an Integrative psychological therapist. This means James is able to draw on multiple models of therapy to develop a collaborative understanding with his client of the issue they want to work on.  Integrating Cognitive Behavioural and Psychodynamic therapies means he can work with his clients to understand day-to-day links between thoughts, emotions and behaviours, whilst exploring interpersonal dynamics and the links they have to the past when this would be helpful. 

James has developed specialist interest in trauma therapy and mindfulness based approaches to therapy. He understands trauma to mean both overwhelming events that can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and troubling events or relationships in the past that hold us back from functioning as well as what we would like to in our daily lives. He is qualified as an Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist, which is an evidence-based and NICE guidelines approved treatment for trauma and PTSD.  

He finds that mindfulness based approaches to therapy (MBCT and ACT in particular) are extremely helpful in enabling his clients to (re) connect to their core values of who they want to be as a person, and in ‘stepping to one side’ of the day to day anxieties and stresses that can overwhelm us. He is very skilled at helping his clients set meaningful goals for their therapy based on their own values and aspirations. James helps his clients evaluate their progress based on these goals so that the duration of treatment is a collaborative and transparent process.

Smyth, Lakey & Higginbotham (2018) A qualitative study exploring clients’ reasons for missing appointments within a secondary care service. Clinical Psychology Forum, 308 (11).

Tacconelli, Higginbotham, Fijak-Koch, Kalra, Lakey & Rosebert (2014) The value of Integrative psychotherapy in secondary care. Clinical Psychology Forum, 257 (45). 

 
 
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