B. Ac. (Chinese Medicine) London
B. Phil. (Complementary Health Studies) Exeter
M.A. (Psychoanalytic Studies) Sheffield
Transpersonal Psychology was my first influence during a 4 year Bachelor of Chinese Medicine degree. In 1991 I studied for a B.Phil where my research focused on the ‘lay health beliefs of a deprived community receiving free weekly acupuncture’. I was very interested in how people made new meaning and health for themselves out of a body/mind intervention such as acupuncture.
I felt there was an enormous need for therapy center in Edinburgh with some ‘soul’ as well as a high professionalism, so I founded The Whole Works in that same year (1991). I was then involved with ‘Process Oriented Psychotherapy UK’ followed by training with The Gestalt Trust in 1995.
A Psycho-Hypnotherapy diploma was completed in 1997 and since 1999 I’ve studied at The Scottish Institute of Human Relations in Edinburgh and was accepted there for Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy training.
I completed a Masters in Psychoanalytical Studies in 2005 at Sheffield University.
Inevitably, my style of work can be called ‘eclectic’, though always Psychodynamically reflective, focussed always on the maladaptive defences that stands in the way of needed change and always client led.
I also make use of some Gestalt and Reichian principles in this aim. My approach comes closest to the psychotherapeutic style named ‘Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy’.
Granted some quality time and imaginative attention, clients can begin to ‘see’ solutions to their current problems, although these ‘solutions’ may be too difficult to think about alone: Our well set maladaptive patterns are usually resistant to our good intentions to change them. My purpose then, as I see it, is one of focaliser and catalyst for the client, but also a container for new ‘combustions’, new truths emerging.
At its core, therapy involves an effort, on the part of the therapist and the client, to articulate what is true to an emotional experience in a form utilisable, by both, for purposes of psychological change.
I have made a particular study of the experience described as feeling ‘too much’ for ourselves, or conversely, its opposite- those empty, depressed, shamed or fragile states of self we also encounter; states where the boundaries of our self seem to have dissolved altogether, culminating in panic, heightened anxiety, depression or even despair.
In the therapeutic relationship, it seems to me, this journey through what is difficult to bear about being ourselves is still enabled by two people’s willingness to sit down together, pay close attention to what is being said and a willingness to allow their imaginations be open to what emerges from the unconscious.
Because words are occasionally insufficient- simply failing to capture what we know within- I try to incorporate other ways of expressing what feels true, by way of dreams, through creative writing or through image representations of whatever kind, as a means to engage these ‘lost’ or the not yet realisable emotional truths.
Rob retired from full-time practice and resigned his twenty-two year membership of UKCP in January 2022. His main focus is now on clinical assessments and his role as Managing Director.