How I work
I am a highly experienced individual and couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist practicing for over twenty years. I am registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council and the UK Council for Psychotherapy and abide by their codes of ethical standards and confidentiality. I am also an accredited practitioner of Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC MBT Accredited Practitioners).
In my private practice I see couples and individuals, from young adults to older people in later life. I offer consultations (assessment), and short and long term therapeutic work. This may be once weekly or less frequently, and where indicated, I work with people more intensively than weekly sessions, over some months or sometimes years. The understanding of the difficulties, and choice of therapeutic approach are discussed beforehand with each person or couple, and reviewed periodically together. Where referral onto other services may be indicated, this is something that would be discussed together so that the right kind of help can be accessed.
The way I work as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist is to try to help people to become less troubled and burdened by their difficulties, and feel better equipped to deal with the ups and downs that inevitably occur in life. The therapy involves examining how past experiences might shape and influence our thinking, both in relation to how we think about ourselves and also regarding our present relationships with others –both at home and at work. However, a key part of the therapy involves dealing with matters in the here and now which may be causing distress. It is not only about looking at the past, but simultaneously considering how to shape the present and ultimately, the future in more constructive ways.
Therapy for individuals, couples and for specific problems
Individual therapy can help in many different ways, depending on the problems. For example, it can help identify what may be blocking someone in their life or keeping them stuck so they are unable to move forwards and develop their potential. It can help people identify difficult or destructive patterns in relationships, explore how these might be rooted in the past and the unconscious dynamics behind them. Through the process of therapy, new ways of relating in both one's personal life and at work can be developed.
The duration and intensity of your therapy will depend on what we discuss together and consider best for you. Individual therapy can vary in frequency with the number of sessions per week ranging from once or twice a week, to a more intense analytic therapy several times a week. It may also be that a less frequent arrangement might be beneficial and this is something which can be discussed.
Most couples will experience difficulties in their relationship at some point, often to do with communication or life transitions. It is not only that a couple brings a problem to therapy, but in addition, they often bring the problem of not being able to talk about the difficulties with each other.
Issues which can be helped by couple therapy include the following, though this is not an exhaustive list: separation and divorce, the decision about whether to separate, how to manage the impact of affairs, problems to do with sexuality and gender, illness and death, problems with conception, parenting, extended family problems, issues surrounding adoption and kinship care and so on.
The problems might remain unspoken and may resolve spontaneously. However, problems may continue unaddressed, creating resentment, withdrawal, hostility, contempt and even lead to physical violence. Couples can be caught in cycles of recrimination or misunderstanding often for years, and this is when seeking therapy as a couple can be helpful.
Couple psychotherapy does not attempt to just keep a relationship going at all costs, rather it works to support the couple, as well as each individual partner in the relationship, to reach whatever decision is right for them, including considering whether either or both partners could benefit from additional support individually.
For specific problems
For help with conflict at home or work, problematic relationships which can become stormy, including post separation co-parenting difficulties, or problems of depression, anxiety and work related stress, I offer shorter-term therapy using a Mentalization based approach.
I welcome enquiries, and you can make an appointment to meet with me if you would like to know more about therapy. It may be that you wish to find out more but may not want or be ready to make a further commitment beyond an initial consultation. I ask people to pay for one-off consultations at the end of the session (for fees see the Information section below).
Supervision, training and consultation
I offer supervision to qualified psychotherapists working with adult individuals, couples and parents, as well as to counsellors and psychotherapists in training. Supervision may take several different forms. It might be that the aim of the supervision is to explore clinical work more closely, to think about the impact of the work on the therapist, examine more specifically issues of technique, theoretical formulation and concepts. Supervision may also involve developing one's practice in relation to specific ways of working, for example to be able to work more effectively and in depth with unconscious processes, or to manage couples where their relationships become stormy or violent. Additionally, the supervision may have a particular focus, such as developing ways of working which adhere more closely to certain models of treatment such a Mentalization based approach, or to consider issues of sexuality particularly those relating to sexual and gender diversity within psychoanalytic practice with individuals and couples. The aims for supervision may be different according to your professional and developmental needs and this is something which would be discussed prior to starting.
I offer workplace supervision to clinicians and managers working in a range of settings. The focus of this type of supervision may be to examine the impact of the clinical work on you, your team, how it affects both the dynamics in the workplace and management styles. I also offer supervision which can focus on workplace and career development. Supervision can be offered on an individual basis or to small groups.
I offer a range of continuing professional development trainings as well as training in a number of different intervention models. Please contact for more information.
Conferences, lectures and publications
Alongside my work in private practice, I concurrently work at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Prior to this, I have worked in a variety of settings as a senior clinician, supervisor, senior manager, trainer, and as an advisor to Central Government. I have a particular interest in relationship difficulties both with couples and individuals and have specialist expertise and knoweldge in two distinct areas - issues of sexuality and gender, and relationship conflict. I have published in both these areas of work (see Publications) and I regularly consult, train and supervise other professionals.
I have set up and developed several different services for hard to reach populations including a specialist service for parents in entrenched conflict over their children – ‘The Parenting Together Service.' This service was awarded the Innovative Excellence Award 2015 by the British Psychoanalytic Council. Related to this, I have also developed with Viveka Nyberg, a specialist model of time-limited treatment for couples who experience stormy relationships. I have worked on a number of published research studies investigating the effectiveness of different therapeutic modalities, including the development of Video Feedback Interactional Treatment for difficulties in the perinatal period.
I am a member of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) special advisory group on sexual diversity. This group of senior professionals has been working to tackle homophobia and prejudice in relation to sexual and gender diversity with the aim of making the psychotherapy profession, its services and accredited psychoanalytic trainings, more open and inclusive. In addition, I have taken forward specific projects and training to ensure psychotherapy services were relevant and sensitive to the needs of the LGBT community. These achievements were recognized by a silver level eQuality award from a leading charity PACE, promoting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender mental health and wellbeing. This eQuality Award is a quality mark for mainstream relationship services that show they have high standards of service for LGBT clients, and for demonstrating commitment to inclusive practice in work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) couples.
I have published widely in the area of psychotherapy and lesbian and gay relationships in both peer reviewed journals and books. I have co-edited a book with Juliet Newbigin, which is due to be published in summer 2019, entitled: Sexuality and Gender Now: Moving Beyond Heteronormativity, published by Routledge in the Tavistock Clinic Series (https://www.routledge.com/Sexuality-and-Gender-Now-Moving-Beyond-Heteronormativity-1st-Edition/Hertzmann-Newbigin/p/book/9781782205296)
Amongst my other professional activities, I am currently a trustee of the St Vincent’s Family Project, and I previously supervised the Bereavement Support Service at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) for a number of years. I was honoured to be part of this group at NPLS which was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2013.
Sexuality and Gender
Relationship Interventions and Research Publications
My consulting room is located 5 mins walk from Swiss Cottage Tube station, 10 mins walk from Finchley Road Tube station, and 15 mins walk from Belsize Park Tube station. There are many buses serving the area and whilst there is some parking nearby, it is very limited.
Fees and paying for therapy
My fees for therapy can be on a sliding scale but are usually £80 - 120 for individuals and £110 - 150 for couples. Other charges for supervision are available on request. Methods of payment: Payment is usually monthly in arrears and can be made by bank transfer, cheque, or cash. For initial consultations or stand-alone sessions I normally ask you to pay at the end of the session.
Initially, it is a good idea to meet two or three times to get a sense of the issues which have brought you to consider therapy. It also gives you a chance to find out about therapy and see whether it seems like this might be the right way forward at this point. Once we have met a couple of times, and have begun to understand the nature of your difficulties, then together we can discuss both the choice of therapeutic approach and also the frequency of the therapy. If it looks like I may not be the right person to help you, then we can see whether a referral on to someone else or another service might be indicated, so that you can access the best kind of help for your situation.
Starting therapy and missed sessions
If you decide to start therapy, in order to get the most out the work, then sessions are best undertaken regularly, normally weekly and - if at all possible - at the same time each week. As part of the therapy, I undertake a commitment to keeping the appointment available and open for you each week. This means that I do charge for missed sessions as they are reserved for you even in their absence. If you are unable to attend and know you have to miss a session, I will make every effort to offer a replacement session during the week though this might not always be possible.
I will endeavour to give ample notice of times when I am away from work and I normally take my holidays around Christmas, Easter and later in the Summer. You are not charged for sessions when I am away, and occasionally there may be other times when I need to be away but I will always try to let you know of these in advance.