Nicola Dooley Psychotherapist Crystal Palace, South East London

My Approach #01

How I work

Creating a safe and supportive therapeutic relationship is central to my work. I offer this by providing a:

  • A confidential safe space to explore things
  • A respectful and non-judgemental relationship that values difference and diversity
  • Clarity about what I can offer and how we might work together
  • Being open and honest with you
  • A commitment to listen and understand things from your perspective
  • Exploring how past experiences may impact on the present
  • Working at your pace and depth that feels comfortable for you
  • Building on and developing your strengths and resources
  • Reviewing the work to ensure it is meeting your needs




  • I work in an exploratory and collaborative way. I like to work creatively to suit your style and personality and what you are grappling with. Sometimes things don't have words and it can be useful to use other ways to help express and make sense of them like imagery, drawing, body-focused therapy, as well as dialogue.

    The theoretical approaches I integrate into my practice are from the psychodynamic and humanistic traditions, particularly intersubjective relational and body orientated approaches.

    I work with individuals, face to face and offer both short and longer term, in-depth work.


    My Approach #02




    If you are interested in having counselling / psychotherapy with me then please e-mail or phone me. I will then contact you to book an initial session.

    This first session is an opportunity to look at what is concerning you , learn more about how we might work together and for each of us to see if I feel like the right person for you. If you decide you would like to continue then we can book some further sessions. We can review this at 6 weeks, or at any other time, to look at whether what I am offering is meeting your needs.


    How I work with Trauma ?

    I have extensive experience of working with trauma and have had specialist training. I work with different types of trauma including that following a single event or more complex childhood trauma.

    I was employed as a staff counsellor for the London Fire Brigade and my role involved supporting staff around traumatic incidents. This included building up their resilience to manage future incidents, dealing with the immediate aftermath of an incident as well as helping them to process Post-Traumatic Stress later, if things got stuck.

    Central to how I work is ensuring your safety. I only work at a pace and depth that is within your capacity to manage and process the traumatic material.

    Preventative
    This work involves education about how we respond to trauma, learning about our resources and coping mechanisms and building on these. Also recognising when we are vulnerable to traumatic stress and knowing what to do about it.

    Immediately after the event
    Here I am focusing on enabling your own coping mechanisms and support managing any acute stress responses. Again education about what the stress responses can be helpful so that you know what is going on.

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    If your usual coping has become overwhelmed then the trauma can be left unprocessed. It is at these times that more specialist input can be helpful. I use and integrate Sensorimotor and EMDR approaches to working with trauma. Both approaches aim to draw on the natural healing capacity of our body. Sensorimotor therapy is a body orientated approach that works with how the trauma is held in the body. It focuses on patterns and postures in the body that helps access the trauma and then uses physical experiments as well as talking to help process the memory and file it away. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing and essentially uses bi-lateral stimulation to help process the traumatic memories. This maybe in the form of eye movement, hand tapping or auditory stimulus given alternately to the left and right side to enable processing.

    You can find out more information about these approaches following the links below:

  • Sensorimotor therapy for trauma
  • EMDR

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