There are a whole host of reasons we might consider seeking therapy. Whatever they may be, please feel more than welcome to get in touch; hospitality and warmth of welcome are of prime importance.
The first priority of psychoanalysis has always been that it provides a place in which one can talk through whatever it is that is on one's mind, despite however troubling or unpleasant, trivial or strange, it might seem. It is often these feelings that we have towards what might be troubling us that are acting as a resistance, a repression or censorship, against allowing us to understand why it is that so much weight is being accorded to them, often by unconscious forces that are trying to keep them out of our day-to-day experience, even though they have the tendency to return, in worries and anxieties, aggressions, fixated ideas, unwanted behaviours, addictions, depressions, tics, symptoms, dreams, slips; that is, in all sorts of innovative ways.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy affords a space for coming to terms with these phenomena, of bringing them out into a place where they, and their associations, can be discussed, and where change, amelioration, and assimilation can be worked towards, as well as working towards finding paths to what we desire.
The first meeting:
An initial consultation is a good way of establishing what it is that is wanted from therapy, what it is that someone wants to address, and what one-to-one work of this kind is like. Often, there might be something that has happened very recently that brings us to seek therapy, and this can be discussed, and can ground and contextualise our work. The first meeting is a way to allow someone to speak what is on their mind, and to work out how we might continue to speak, if it is felt that the method of working is suitable.
How we work and what informs the practice:
The psychoanalytic theorist and philosopher Alenka Zupančič offers a remarkable summary of psychoanalytic therapy in a book called The Odd One In, in which she offers a beautiful description of how we find ourselves approaching therapeutic work, and what the work can do with us:
'At the moment of entry into analysis the subject is usually experiencing [...] a tragic, painful split between the way she perceives herself, her desires, and so on, and the unpleasant things that keep "happening" to her, and constitute the way things are "in reality." And the analyst is not—as is sometimes thought—the authority that simply refers the subject back to herself, pointing out how she is in fact responsible for what is systematically "happening" to her; the analyst is, rather and above all, the authority that has to give all this "happening" the time (and the space) to come to the subject. This could be one of the main reasons for the long duration of analysis, for the precipitation of knowledge does not really solve anything: we can come to know what there is to know quite soon in this process, yet this insight of knowledge is not enough; the work of analysis is also needed, the work that is not simply the work of analyzing (things), but much more the work of repetition[.] In analysis, the subject very often rushes in different directions, each time expecting to find some salutary knowledge, some secret formula that will deliver her from her pain. And as a rule, she comes again and again, through all these different paths, to the same things, and knowledge that keeps repeating itself[.] Yet this work [...] is precisely not empty, it is not wasted time, it is what is needed for knowledge (that can be present from a very early stage) to come to the place of truth' (p.18).
Fees and location:
Due to the covid-19 outbreak, I predominantly practice online, via Skype and Zoom, and by phone. I am located in Cambridge, and also practice in person at the Philadelphia Association building, 4 Marty's Yard, off of Hampstead High Street, in North London, a short distance from Hampstead Tube station, conditions permitting. My standard fee is £70, and costs can be discussed and negotiated in line with personal circumstances.
The Philadelphia Association also operates a low-cost clinic, through which I take referrals. Do feel free to get in touch to find out more.