Psychotherapy Services in South West London

About Psychotherapy

What is Mentalisation Base Treatment (MBT)?

The aim of MBT is to help an individual with a Personality Disorder to establish a more robust sense of self so that they can develop a more secure relationship.

Mentalisation is a process by which an individual implicitly and explicitly interprets their own actions and those of others as meaningful on the basis of intentional mental states (desires, needs, feelings, beliefs and reasons) and helps them to form a deeper understanding of others, to recognise their own and others' misunderstandings, and to consider their own motivations and/or reactions and those of others, while keeping a healthy emotional distance.

Our aim is to help the individual suffering from a personality disorder to foster the ability to be curious of motivation of their self and others, to enable them to develop a language that expresses the complexity of relationship, motivation and internal states.

Without mentalising there can be no robust sense of self, no constructive social interaction, no mutuality in relationships and no sense of personal security.

Our therapy interventions will be focused on teaching these techniques, and to bring emotional expression within a normal range by developing an individual's capacity to mentalise.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Our thoughts strongly influence the way we feel and, consequently, the way we behave. Sometimes whilst going about our day-to-day lives we engage in automatic thoughts, which may mean that there are times when we aren't always aware of what we are thinking but when our thoughts still influence our feelings.

For example, we might come home to find an envelope from the bank. We might push it to one side and go into the kitchen to have a cup of tea and, a few minutes later, have a panic attack. What happened?

Our train of thought might keep going from the letter to the cup of tea and we may engage in negative thinking about our financial situation, resulting in a catastrophic view of the future. These thoughts may produce changes in our body - a faster heart beat, rising adrenaline levels - which might culminate in a panic attack, but we might have no awareness how our negative thoughts and the panic attack are linked.

Sessions are structured: you and your therapist will set an agenda, you will focus on specific topics, and you will discuss targeted solutions. In your sessions your therapist will help you to discover how thoughts, emotions, and behaviour are often locked in a circular unhealthy pattern, and will help you to identify, challenge and reframe your unhelpful negative thoughts and assumptions.

Sometimes there will be homework, specific techniques or behaviours for you to implement. At times the homework may be challenging but you will always prepare for it in advance with your therapist.

The idea is to enter a zone that is mildly uncomfortable, but never overwhelming, where you can practically challenge some of your unhelpful patterns.

What is Psychodynamic Psychotherapy?

It can feel strange to arrive and sit in a room with someone whose job it is to listen. What's going on?

What psychodynamic psychotherapists do is to listen carefully to what you are saying about your preoccupations and at the same time pay close attention to the emotions that are evoked by the experience of the meeting.

We use our training to understand the links and connections between your past experiences and what happens now within yourself and in your relationships. We then make observations and interpretations that clarify these and focus on your core dilemma.

This emotional linking is an important part of the process of integrating negative experiences in a way that ensures that you are not caught in repeating, unhelpful and dissatisfying cycles in your life choices, and personal or professional relationships.

A Jungian approach

In psychotherapy, we draw on the work of a number of different pioneers in the field of depth psychology, particularly Carl Jung.

Most talking therapies are based on the theory and technique of Psychoanalysis developed by Freud at the beginning of the last century. Among the major post-Freudian developments, Jungian analysis, or analytical psychology, is based on the work of Carl Jung (1875-1961).

Jung focused his energies on dream symbolism through elucidating mythology, religion, alchemy and philosophy in relation to the collective unconscious.

Jung was fascinated by the idea that we carry mental predispositions which “cannot be explained by anything in the individual's own life and which seem to be aboriginal, innate and inherited shapes of the human mind” [1- C. G. Jung, Man and His Symbols (London 1978) p. 57].

These are evident in dream symbolism in particular, and he focussed his energies on this and elucidating mythology, religion, alchemy and philosophy in relation to the collective unconscious, which had far-reaching implications for the analytical psychology of the individual.

Jung saw the central task of his therapy as enabling the individuation of the person, which he understood as a transformative and healing process achieved through the integration of the opposing forces within the individual, both negative and positive, and generated by the collective and personal unconscious.

In our work, coming to an understanding together of how the unconscious affects and has meaning for you is a fundamental part of the process of change. Dreams have an important place in this work, because when we dream we are open to our unconscious in a way that is impossible when we are conscious and awake.

You may find that you dream more when you are in therapy, and this gives us the opportunity to explore the messages from the unconscious that are implicit in dream imagery, which we believe are the signposts on the healing journey of linking your past, present and future.


Your sessions are strictly confidential, and we are bound by the code of ethics of the British Psychoanalytic Council and The Health and Care Professions Council.

In matters of risk, where it is clear that harm may come to you or to others, we will need to talk to you about taking steps to ensure safety, which may involve communicating with other professionals who can help with this. You will always know beforehand if any action of this kind is taken.

Occasionally, we may present our cases for supervision to other qualified psychotherapists in order that we can continue to learn and develop our practice. The same rules of confidentiality apply to them, and in addition anything that relates to your identity is removed from any presentation or discussion of our work in these circumstances.

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