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In the fast-evolving COVID-19 crisis I want to extend the availability of psychological support to those who are experiencing a huge impact on their resources (physical, emotional, economical).

It may be that you are a frontline professional or key worker, or someone with underlying health conditions that put you in an 'at-risk' category. Or maybe you are self-employed or a sole earner whose capacity to make ends meet has been severely diminished. Adapting to times of uncertainty and instability can take an emotional toll. You need to fortify yourself, you need to tap into all the resources available to get you through the next few months.

I would like to encourage you to contact me, even if you think that you may not be able to afford therapy at this time. I will do my best to work flexibly - video-conference style (Zoom, Skype), on the telephone, or via live chat. I am interested in working with people who value introspection, thoughtfulness, and the healing power of relationships.

I am a fully qualified psychotherapist with a commitment to providing compassionate, relational-focused therapy, informed by research. My professional interests are wide-ranging:

  • anxiety and fear of death
  • gender-sensitive psychotherapy- focus on the needs of male clients
  • social anxiety
  • performance anxiety
  • obsessive thoughts
  • compulsive behaviours
  • body image
  • shyness and loneliness
  • suicidal thoughts
  • low self-esteem
  • depression
  • trauma
  • medically unexplained symptoms
  • 'false' self
  • infidelity
  • relationships
  • emotional difficulties
  • loss

I normally offer consultation by appointment at the Fred Bulmer Centre in Hereford, Wall Street, HR4 9HP, but over the next few months I will be using remote and virtual technology (Skype, Zoom, Telephone, Face-time, Live chat)

Why is therapy effective?

Establishing a collaborative, positive working relationship is an essential aspect of successful psychotherapy treatment. According to research (Norcross, 2010, Wampold 2001), the most important ingredients that contribute to a successful therapy outcome are: the client's motivation and psychological-mindedness and the relationship between the therapist and the client. 

I also subscribe to an explanation coming from the field of interpersonal neuroscience: the brain is plastic and genetically programmed to develop through interaction with other brains. This happens most dramatically in the first years of life, but this process continues across a lifetime. When we engage with another human being in dialogue, certain very physical processes are set in motion which help us regulate our emotions and shut down our stress response. Therapy stimulates the formation of new neural networks, the integration of split-off aspects of self, and the unlearning of unhelpful coping strategies.

The therapeutic dialogue provides an opportunity to test old assumptions and experiment with new ways of being – all in a context that is safe, confidential, and containing. We learn through reflection, conversation, a real relationship, experimentation, mindfulness, journalling, and bibliotherapy.

Stories are a central focus of my work: how we story our lives, how we think about our values, how we share ourselves with others, and how we shape our futures.

Silvia Baba Neal - Therapy in Herefordshire