Welcome to Lucy!
Lucy trained in Counselling Psychology in London, United Kingdom, and has been registered since1998. She is now registered with the New Zealand Psychologist’s Board and a member of the NZ Psychology Society
Counselling Psychology provides evidence based treatments for ordinary people who are experiencing emotional and psychological distress and disturbance, Lucy has more than 10 year’s experience working with people of all ages experiencing anxiety, depression, addictions and eating disorders. The forms of treatment that she uses are all evidence based.
She is passionate about supporting people from a range of cultures and backgrounds and has a strong interest in social justice, and the effects of oppression on individuals. She has training and experience in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
What I treat.
I specialise in working with anxiety, including panic attacks and anxiety disorders, stress and trauma.
Evidence Based Treatment.
As a Counselling Psychologist, I use evidence based therapy for anxiety, stress and trauma. This means that the treatments that I use have been scientifically research and shown to be effective.
The treatments that I use for anxiety stress and trauma are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy(CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
I use an integrated approach to combine these therapies in an effective way. I use CBT and ACT to teach you techniques that will help you relax and manage stress. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) will support your brain to heal naturally from trauma.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence based treatment which focuses on the way that our thoughts interact with our feelings and behaviours. Here is an example of how our thoughts, feelings and behaviours interact in anxiety.
Our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are like cogs on a wheel; they determine our experience of anxiety. For example, an unhelpful thought – I can’t handle this – Feelings of anxiety rise – Behaviour – staying in bed – unhelpful thought – I’m useless – feelings of anxiety increase
How does cognitive behavioural therapy help with anxiety?
Cognitive behavioural therapy helps with anxiety by enabling people to stop and change their thoughts and behaviours. This can break the cycle, and create momentum for positive change.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
What happens if I can't change my thoughts?
It isn't always possible to change your thoughts. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy that teaches skills in accepting unhelpful thoughts or uncomfortable feelings, it focuses on the interaction between thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy we recognise that it isn't always possible to change our thoughts. Instead we teach skills like acceptance and mindfulness to help us detach and defuse from unhelpful thoughts. It’s like defusing a bomb, the thought might still be there but it doesn’t have the same potential to blow up and impact on our lives.
With the help of these techniques we can learn to stay focused on what really matters in our lives.
Mindfulness is a practice of focussing on and noticing your present moment experience, with kindness and lack of judgement. Mindfulness supports our emotional wellbeing. When we are anxious we are often focussing on thoughts about the future. When we are depressed we are often focussing on thoughts about the past.
Our thoughts are simply ideas. They are not real in the same way that our present moment experience is. Bringing our attention back to the present moment... to what is actually happening in the here and now, reminds us that, even though things may not be exactly the way that we want them to be, we can accept what we are experiencing in this moment.
Research shows that when we judge ourselves, stress is triggered in the brain. For this reason, judging ourselves for being stressed or anxious is a form of unhelpful thought that maintains the vicious cycle of anxiety. Acknowledging and experiencing our emotions is crucial to our mental health. Our emotions have important functions. Fear tells us to be careful. Anger warns us that something is not working for us, the way somebody's treating us for example.
We live in a culture which prefers us to be rational and productive, and we often learn to suppress and repress our emotions. The consequences of this can be depression, when we start to lose our ability to feel anything at all, or anxiety; when we are holding onto more than we can successfully contain, our emotions start to spill over and we feel overwhelmed.
An important focus in the way that I work with people is to support them in developing the skills to be more aware and accepting of their experience. This includes noticing when we are judging ourselves, and finding kinder, more accepting ways of being with ourselves.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is an evidence based treatment that supports our natural ability to process painful events. When an experience is particularly stressful or traumatic, our brain may not adequately process what has occurred from short term into long term memory. As long as our experience remains in short term memory, it holds the feelings, sensations and unhelpful thoughts that occurred at the time. When we are reminded of the memory these uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and sensations are triggered, causing distress.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing uses bilateral stimulation to support the brain in reprocessing these memories from short to long term. We can still remember what happened, but they no longer trigger distress. This generally takes the form of following my finger movements with your eyes.
This may be what is happening in rapid eye movement (REM) or dream sleep. This process supports your brain's natural healing process, so you are the one control.
If you have experienced trauma or stress, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing may be the best treatment for you.