Dr Sandra Cass-Courtney - Doctor of Counselling Psychology (HCPC)
Dr Sandra Cass-Courtney
CPsychol, BA (Hons) Psychology
Doctor of Counselling Psychology
Available for appointments Online via Skype Counselling.
My philosophy lies in the belief that we are not fixed beings and change is always possible. Human suffering and relational struggles are inevitable parts of our lives. Therapy often deals directly with life’s inevitable crisis and focuses the therapeutic endeavour around a client’s struggles, helping them to find a new direction in their lives. The therapeutic process may address the type of questions that all human beings ask themselves. For example, who am I? What is the purpose of my existence? What do I want from my life? Therapy is about understanding and clarifying what is problematic for the client and enabling the client to tackle their difficulties in a creative and courageous manner.
My role, as a psychologist, is to support you in overcoming the difficulties and barriers that may be holding you back in your life. At the heart of the work is the focus on relationships as this is the foundation from which we understand ourselves and relate to others. The primary importance of therapy is to build a mutually genuine, warm and caring relationship, putting particular emphasis on the client’s relationship to self and their interactions in the relational world. Furthermore, the relational encounters between the client and therapist can also provide insights to the client’s relationships outside of the therapy.
As a Counselling Psychologist, I have worked in NHS settings, voluntary sectors, forensic hospitals, addiction clinics and private practice. My training and accrued experience means that I am highly skilled in helping people with a spectrum of issues that arise in our personal lives, ranging from anxiety, OCD, depression, shame and self-esteem issues to stresses caused by separation, loss, life transitions and relationship difficulties. In my practice, I adopt an integrative approach, using a range of therapeutic approaches, such as CBT (particularly third wave CBT approaches), Psychodynamic Therapy and Existential-Phenomenological Therapy. Due to the all-encompassing nature of therapy, it is near impossible to identify one single cause for psychological upset. The therapy instead treats each person as an individual, exploring their experience and tailoring the approach to what works best for the client. The unique piece of work, that together we create, focuses on different levels. You will be encouraged to become more attuned to your inner world, using this insight to provide clarity in your everyday experiences. We may explore existential issues and problems in living that may be influencing your relationships and the choices you make, leaving you feeling more equipped to embrace the freedom of choice and to live fully in the present. Our work may unearth patterns of thought and behaviour that may no longer be useful, allowing you to find alternative thoughts and behavioural patterns. We may also use events from the past as insight, becoming a tool to promote freedom and assertiveness. Coming to the realisation that you are not defined by your history and that you are not destined to have a certain future is often a breakthrough that offers liberation.
I have always had a keen interest in the human condition and a natural empathy to the feelings and circumstances of others. I consider it a privilege and an honour to sit with my clients and I appreciate the courage it takes to come to therapy and share one’s story.
When I am not working or taking care of my family I strive to find time to relax. I find reading, running, yoga and meditation enjoyable and useful in providing a sense of calm and contentment.
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