ABOUT CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
The word "psychology" comes from the Greek word psyche meaning "breath, spirit, soul", and the Greek word logia meaning study. Clinical psychologists use scientific ways of understanding distress in the mind or body and how to reduce the suffering experienced.
To qualify as a Clinical Psychologist, individuals are required to complete an undergraduate degree, or equivalent, that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Relevant and substantial clinical experience whilst undertaking a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is then necessary. This involves working in a range of settings, including in-patient, community and rehabilitation environments. We work with a variety of people typically within the NHS providing therapy for mental health problems.
A Clinical Psychologist is a legally protected title requiring registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This ensures that those using this title have completed the necessary training and meet the required standards. To remain on the HCPC register, professionals are required to keep their skills and knowledge up to date through continued professional development. Registered professionals are listed on the HCPC website.
WORKING WITH A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
Clinical psychologists focus on reducing psychological and physical distress and improving wellbeing. Often ways of coping that were helpful in the past or worked in the short-term often cause more difficulty and distress in the long-term.
Suzanne has extensive experience in the areas of trauma and attachment, working clinically using a range of therapeutic interventions with children, teenagers and adults. She has successfully run parenting and training groups using the Solihull Approach model, helping parents and schools to understand attachment theory in creating closer and more meaningful relationships. She specialises in supporting organisations and systems to become more trauma-informed and trauma-responsive and is passionately committed to creating work cultures that are sustainable, connected and dynamic.
Suzanne is trained in a variety of models including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Compassion Focused Therapy, Systemic and Psychodynamic approaches. Suzanne favours an integrated way of working, drawing upon a Psychodynamic understanding of emotions. In therapy you will move beyond the medical model of diagnosis, and instead looking to make meaningful and coherent sense of your life experiences. She works together to understand the root cause of your difficulty, where and how this began so that you can achieve long-lasting change not just symptom reduction.
Treatment expertise includes:
Relationship difficulties including developmental trauma often termed 'personality difficulties'
Post-traumatic stress including sexual abuse, domestic abuse, refugee experiences and survivorship
Anxiety related to social situations, health, panic attacks, specific phobias, obsessions and compulsive behaviour, dissociation
Depressed mood and low self-esteem
Guilt, shame, and self-criticism
Identity issues and exploration, including sexual and gender diversity using intersectionality frameworks
Physical symptoms with no adequate medical explanation
Elite athletes and sporting context
“I believe that dynamic psychotherapy can be not merely effective but uniquely effective, that therapeutic effects are produced by specific factors rather than nonspecific factors, and that the essential factor is the patient’s actual experience of their true feelings about the present and the past”.
Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) is a revolutionary method of psychotherapy with a well-established and robust evidence base. ISTDP comprises a set of powerful techniques to alleviate symptoms of emotional distress and to promote mental health in a rapid and cost-effective manner. ISTDP emphasizes the importance of experiencing core emotions. ISTDP therapists focus on interventions which address anxiety and defences to bolster emotional processing and to free patients from distressing symptoms and maladaptive patterns of relating to themselves and to others.
This approach compassionately connects to the person behind the defences. ISTDP as an approach enables the therapist to reach out and hold a space for the person to emerge from the repeated patterns that have been crippling their ability to live a fulfilled life, allowing them to strive and thrive.
Therapy requires clients to trust us with their innermost thoughts, desires, and fears, and so, transparency and a shared commitment to seeing our own blind spots, working through our own trauma and being able to celebrate our successes is essential. As an eternal learner, I’m committed to this approach as it speaks to “the person of the therapist” in me (Coughlin, 2017)