Why should I choose you? What are the basic principles defining how you practise?

First and foremost, I recognise that every client is a unique individual. Nobody who comes to see me is palmed off with standardised, formulaic procedures. There's no such thing as a cure-all and what works fabulously for one person may be largely or wholly ineffective for another.

Some perfectly reputable therapists in respected disciplines work mostly according to ready-made definitions of problems and corresponding off-the-shelf treatments. If you're lucky enough to fit neatly into one of their predetermined 'boxes' you may come away with a good result. That's not how it is with me. I understand that the causes of most people's problems are complex and often messily interrelated, so I never jump to simplistic conclusions about how to treat them. I have multiple techniques at my disposal and I tailor what I offer specifically and precisely to
you, selecting and fine-tuning my interventions on the basis of how you function as an individual human being and what's most appropriate at each stage of your particular process.

What you bring to the dynamic of your own therapy sessions is a key element of the way I work. I subscribe enthusiastically to the concept of the 'therapeutic alliance'. This is a term used to describe the sense of common purpose shared by you as the client and me as the therapist as we work collaboratively toward alleviation of your issues or problems. It embodies several elements, including the relationship or bond between us, our shared understanding regarding the rationale of techniques used in the therapy, and the consensus between us as to goals. A crucial component is the recognition that you are not a passive recipient of expertise and must undertake an equal share of responsibility for your own change. So don't come if you're not ready to put in a bit of effort…

Tell me more about the hypnotherapy angle… How does it work?

Ninety per cent of human behaviour is driven by the unconscious rather than the conscious mind. Vast amounts of input, both sensory and intellectual, are filtered out by your unconscious without ever reaching the level of conscious perception. Hypnotherapy enables you to deal with the things in your life you want to alter by tapping into what’s going on in your mind at the unconscious level, leading to lasting and beneficial change.

A state we call ‘trance’ is often thought to be particular to hypnosis but everyone goes in and out of natural trances every day, without generally being aware of it. Typical instances would include those times when you are so absorbed in reading a book or watching a film that you lose all sense of the passing of time or of what’s going on around you, situations where you have to sit through a tedious meeting or lecture where every minute seems like an hour, journeys where (particularly if you are a driver) you reach your destination with little recall of how you actually made your way there, and instances when you realise that someone has been talking to you but you were ’miles away’ or ‘in another world’.

The state of hypnosis is, in fact, one of heightened awareness, in which it is possible for your mind to be aware of many more things than it would in an ordinarily conscious state. In hypnosis you will not do or say anything that you do not want. You remain in control and able to make your own choices at all times. A hypnotherapist does not take any power over you but merely guides you in exploration and utilisation of your hidden depths. Nothing is imposed upon you: the therapist’s job is to help you find your own way.

What issues can you help with?

In theory, anything and everything… all the elements of your life that relate to or have a bearing on self-improvement, self-actualisation and self-fulfilment.

You may come hoping to gain something or seeking to lose something, wishing to add something to your skills and abilities or yearning to shake off something that limits you or holds you back – whatever your dreams of a better life, I can help you discover how to harness what you've got to bring more of what you need.

In practice… the list that follows is overlapping and far from all-encompassing (and some of the items are problems while others are desires or aims) but it gives an idea of the range of areas in which the therapies I offer have recorded good results…

• addictions
• agoraphobia
• anger management
• anxiety
• assertiveness
• bereavement
• breaking negative habits (nail-biting, hair-pulling, etc)
• claustrophobia
• compulsions & obsessions (OCD & related conditions)
• concentration & focus
• confidence building
• crisis management
• depression
• eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, etc)
• embarrassment
• enhancing social skills
• exam nerves (& job interviews, driving tests, etc)
• fear of flying
• feeling stuck
• fertility problems
• finding life direction
• headaches/migraines
• insecurities
• insomnia
• interpersonal skills development
• interview preparation
• irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• lack of energy
• lack of self-esteem
• learning self-hypnosis
• life coaching &/or career coaching
• loss of libido
• mid-life crisis – managing effects on self & others
• motivation & goal-setting
• negative thoughts
• overcoming superstition or indoctrination
• pain control & pain management
• panic attacks
• performance anxiety or stage fright
• personnel management & effective leadership
• phobias & fears (needles, spiders, dogs, cats, lifts, etc)
• post-traumatic stress
• prioritisation of issues
• public speaking
• regression
• relaxation (general or in specific circumstances)
• sexual & relationship difficulties
• skin conditions (acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc)
• sleep disturbances
• sports performance improvement
• stopping smoking
• stress
• substance abuse (including alcohol-related issues)
• weight loss & weight control

What will it cost me?

Deciding to come for an initial assessment doesn't commit you to any expenditure at all. You can try before you buy. I treat the preliminary consultation as a chance for us both to evaluate: if, at the end of our first meeting, you (or I) don't feel that further work together will be worthwhile, you owe nothing.

If we agree to proceed, that first session is charged at £80, which is also my standard rate per 50-minute 'therapy hour' from there on for weekday evening (6pm-9pm) and Saturday (10am-5pm) bookings. Weekday daytime (9am-5pm) slots cost less, at £65.

I try to keep a limited number of even cheaper concessionary places open (for unemployed/low-waged, full-time students, pensioners, etc). Please feel free to ask if you think you may qualify.

All treatment must be pre-booked. Please tell me about any necessary changes ASAP so that I can reassign the time. If you cancel an appointment fewer than 24 hours before we're due to meet you may have to pay the full fee. Payment (normally on attendance at each session) must be by cash or guaranteed cheques only, please. I can't tell you in advance precisely how many sessions you will need to achieve what you're hoping for but will discuss with you what seems probable and/or advisable.

NB the above charges relate to all visits to my south London practice. I can also arrange appointments at consulting rooms in central London and elsewhere, and for these bookings a surcharge of £20 applies.