GWYN WHITFIELD
UKCP registered Systemic Psychotherapist





My Style of Psychotherapy and Counselling



I am a great believer in counselling and psychotherapy being based on ordinary conversation but with the potential for extraordinary outcomes. When I first started working in the field of therapy, people were often made to feel uncomfortable by the style of therapy at a time in their lives when there was enough discomfort for them to deal with without adding to it. I like to think of the people with whom I am working as co-workers where we are both involved in a joint venture to explore why there is unhappiness or frustration and how to move things on so there is an improvement in quality of life.



Of course, it is not easy to speak about these things. We have a choice about whether a direct approach is the most useful or whether to come at issues from another direction, with a different pacing, creative thinking or another means of communicating. I have a lot of experience in working with people to think through and plan major life changes – whether about re-locating, life and death matters, health, relationship decisions, career changes and so on. For some people talk on its own is not enough so we can use more creative ways of working to complement talking.



'Systemic' therapy really means 'relational' as it emphasises the fact that people live in a world of others, not just in their heads. Systemic and narrative therapy looks at which ideas are at work and in what ways those ideas are useful or restrictive in some ways. It can be useful to explore which people you would assoicate with which ideas.




What sorts of things do I specialise in?



The most common things people want to talk about are feelings of depression, feeling stuck, not feeling good about themselves, relationship worries, anxiety and worry, trying to get over really difficult things that have happened to them either recently or in the past. People come about many things and while most people feel okay about seeing a therapist, some feel more self conscious and worry that people will think they are making a fuss about nothing. My experience is that this kind of worry is part of a bigger problem and needs dealing with.



I'm pleased to say that I was one of the founding members of the Pink Practice. It was great to get together with other lesbian and gay therapists to establish a quality service for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer communities. We have expressly worked towards finding a style of therapy which does not reproduce the bias about being gay which was and, to some degree, still is prevalent elsewhere. I enjoy both short or longer term therapy and appreciate the range of flexibility we can offer in The Pink Practice.






Training and Supervision



I have undertaken a few trainings over time. The one which still feels the most influential is the Post-Graduate Diploma in Systemic Therapy with Individuals. I did that over four years at the Kensington Consultation Centre and qualified in 1992. I particpate in meetings and training events in which there is much animated conversation about how therapy can best help people, about ethics, power and what people find helpful in therapy. Several times a year I go to conferences and workshops for therapists to hear how other people are working and allow some fresh air in to my practice. Like all counsellors and psychotherapists I have monthly supervision where I discuss my work and how I am working. This is a very useful part of my work which I look forward to. When talking about anyone, I change some details to preserve confidentiality.




Professional Membership


I am a registered Systemic Psychotherapist with Registered Systemic Psychotherapist with The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).




What Do I Enjoy About Counselling and Psychotherapy?



From time to time people often ask me what I enjoy about my work. I tell them that I find people very moving, insiprational and that people never fail to amaze me with their resiliance, resourcefulness and creativity. While I have learned a great deal from my trainings, I also learn a great deal from the people I meet through the work and this, in turn, equips me with a range of other ideas to use with other people.







Email The Pink Practice

020 7060 4000