Case Studies

Just a small sample of some of the cases I have worked with, please click on a name to read the story. The people in these case studies have given their permission and their names and identifying details have been changed to protect their confidentiality. Please bear in mind that as a unique individual your circumstances and responses to therapy may be different from those outlined.

David

The following examples are real cases but the details and names have been changed to protect client's identity. The clients in these case studies have given their permission for this information to be used.

David was a 36 year old man who worked in the City for a finance company. He was married with a young baby. He came to me with symptoms of depression, sleep problems and stress. These symptoms meant he had to take time off work. We explored how his long-standing negative view of himself was contributing to his low mood and looked at the evidence against this self-critical part of him. We also looked at strategies to improve his sleep, stress levels and increase relaxation. He started to exercise on a more regularly basis.

It became clear that because he wanted others to like him he would rarely challenge others if they behaved badly, were unreasonable or if a situation did not work for him. We looked at ways of building his confidence and communication at home and at work. As a result his depression went, his sleep improved and he gained a promotion which made his job more secure in the company. He was delighted with the outcome.

Sarah

The following examples are real cases but the details and names have been changed to protect client's identity. The clients in these case studies have given their permission for this information to be used.

Sarah was a 19 year old lady who had seen several therapists before coming to see me. She had been raped by a school friend and as a result had low self-esteem, self-hatred, depression, social withdrawal, compulsive eating and flashbacks to the event. Things had got so bad that she had started self-harming by cutting her arms and her family were at their wits end to know how to help her.

In sessions I helped her look at the facts around rape and how she was not responsible for what had happened to her. We looked at strategies to help her manage her self-harm urges and ways to raise her self-esteem. We challenged her negative self-view and started to look at her strengths and resources.

We also did specific work to address her flashbacks. Slowly the self-harm reduced and she started to socialise with her friends again. She eventually decided to return to university and is doing well on her course. She no longer has flashbacks.

Ravinder

The following examples are real cases but the details and names have been changed to protect client's identity. The clients in these case studies have given their permission for this information to be used.

Ravinder was a 43 year old woman with two grown children and a part time job. She had a car accident which affected her confidence and resulted in depression, agoraphobia (a fear of going outside), panic attacks and a phobia about cars and driving.

Due to these symptoms she was unable to get to work so lost her job, she also experienced problems in her relationships and she began questioning whether it was worth living. Together we slowly worked on getting her out of the house in small gradual steps which made her feel more hopeful about the future. I taught her strategies to prevent panic attacks and she gradually re-learnt that she could cope with the outside world again and over time she considered driving again. She retook driving lessons and is now able to go out and drive as before the accident. She believed that after the accident things would never be the same again and that her life was over, thankfully this was not the case.

Alex and Sam

The following examples are real cases but the details and names have been changed to protect client's identity. The clients in these case studies have given their permission for this information to be used.

Alex and Sam have been together 12 years and came with relationship problems which affected their communication, intimacy and sex life. Their symptoms meant that they were always angry with each other and they found time together at the weekends always ended in rows.

They agreed they loved each other but found it hard to get along and wondered if it would be better if they separated and found someone else.

Through my work we established common ground that they both wanted to work towards and the sessions allowed them time to talk about painful experiences in their relationship which had led to deep seated resentments which were not communicated as they both feared it would cause more arguments.

I allowed each of them to speak about their experiences and helped them look at the strengths in their relationship such as examples of when they communicated well. Over time they grew closer and as a result the intimacy came back into their relationship. They felt they would never be able to get to this point. They had developed new found love and respect for each other and had a satisfying relationship again.

Amy

The following examples are real cases but the details and names have been changed to protect client's identity. The clients in these case studies have given their permission for this information to be used.

Amy came to see me with Post Natal Depression (PND) after having her first child who was now 3 months old. She was tearful and exhausted. She brought her infant to sessions and explain to me that she felt she had failed as a mother and was inadequate compared to other mothers. In summary, she hated herself. She felt confused by all the baby literature and as a result felt there was something wrong with her baby as she did not seem to fit the description in the books. She was not enjoying her maternity leave and feared she would be unable to cope with her work when she returned. She was angry with her partner for the easy way he could leave the home in morning. She was convinced she was a useless mother and that her baby would be better off with another mother and worried she would never have a close bond with her baby.

She had always had extremely high standards for herself and was struggling to apply them to motherhood. The birth of her baby also reawakened some difficult feelings about her own relationship with her mother and how she was parented.

We worked in sessions to normalise her feelings, to look at how her life was balanced and to challenge the high expectations she had of herself and of others, such thoughts had left her feeling inadequate, exhausted and alienated from her support networks. We explored the difficult birth she had had and how she had found that her feelings had been numbed from the trauma of the birth experience. We used mindfulness strategies to help her manage anxious thought and worked to improve communication with her partner to help build intimacy and mobilise the help she needed.

Over time she was able to realise how exhaustion, trauma and isolation had affected her and that bonding with her baby was indeed possible and started to happen through her time in therapy. She understood that it was not possible to be a perfect mother and that good enough parenting would not harm her baby and would allow her to start enjoying motherhood.