John Prentice - Clinical Psychologist
DClinPsych, BA (Hons)
Available for appointments at our Fulham clinic.
I believe that our happiness and psychological well-being are a function of how well we balance our realities with our expectations. Most of the time there is a good balance and we cope well, working things out as we go along. At other times, though, when the balance is not right we feel overwhelmed and struggle to make sense of our lives.
I am interested in the realities and expectations that we construct in our daily interactions with others and the narratives that we use to describe these and to define ourselves. When we experience psychological discomfort, and distress it is often because of how we respond to situations and the problem-saturated narratives that we use to describe these. Over time these unhelpful narratives tend to get a life of their own, maintaining and perpetuating our discomfort and distress.
It follows then that to alleviate our psychological discomfort and distress, we need to examine our beliefs and change how we respond to situations. This entails identifying the domains of the problem and answering the right questions so that we can author a different, less problem-saturated narrative about our lives and how we define ourselves.
I like to begin by viewing therapy as an art and a science. The science draws on research and evidence for treatment effectiveness. The art enables us to creatively work together to co-author a new, happier narrative about your life and how you define yourself. This may be about resolving intense difficulties, solving everyday problems, or working towards maximising your potential.
Psychological therapy is an opportunity to reflect on your life – your unique history as well as your present circumstances and your aspirations for your future. The therapeutic process explores the meanings and narratives that you hold about your life and how you define yourself. It then facilitates a re-thinking about these and an exploration of happier alternatives.
My approach is integrative and systemic. I like to get a good, shared understanding of you so that together we can draw up an insightful systemic formulation that describes and explains your difficulties. This will enable me to integrate different psychological models and approaches to best suit your needs so that we can creatively work together using the most appropriate approach to bring about the desired change
I am motivated by the idea that life is a journey of opportunities and discovery. I am by nature optimistic, enthusiastic, and excited about life – mine and others. I have a deep sense of curiosity about what we do and why. When things aren’t going right, I believe there must be a better way of doing things.
When we experience psychological discomfort and distress, there must be a solution – a better way of being. I am motivated to work with clients so that together we can creatively explore their problems to find the right questions to answer to bring about healthier alternatives.
Before I became a clinical psychologist, I was an accountant and business adviser. I was intrigued by the number of clients who arranged appointments with me, not to discuss their businesses, but rather to discuss their problems. A friend of mine, who is also a clinical psychologist, suggested at that time that I consider a career change. After more than 20 years of experience as a clinical psychologist I still feel indebted to this friend.
I have vast experience in the NHS, private practice, medico-legal neuropsychological assessments for the Courts, and training clinical and counselling psychology postgraduates. I have worked with a range of age groups, families, couples and children. From people with complex, enduring mental health problems, to those experiencing intense transient crises, to those who simply want more out of life.
I have trained in a wide range of therapeutic approaches including behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapies, CBT, humanistic therapies, narrative therapy, personal coaching, and systemic family therapy. I am also a trained neuropsychologist with specialist expertise in neurocognitive assessments to identify cognitive impairment and the dementias.
In my spare time, I read about philosophies of life (and crime novels) and build jigsaw puzzles on my iPad. When I get the chance, I enjoy skiing.
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