Chartered Clinical Psychologist
I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist offering psychological therapy to adults and adolescents (aged 14 and above). I have 16 years’ experience as a therapist.
I believe that the therapeutic relationship with you as my client is what heals and I seek to understand you as a person in thinking how to use my psychological knowledge and training to meet your needs. We all struggle at times and as a therapist I aim to be humane, compassionate and down-to-earth in the hope that my clients experience me as someone they can relate to and confide in. Collaboration with you is central to my therapy and we will seek to build a joint understanding of your difficulties and how we might address them. I am experienced in seeing clients for short and long-term therapy and can be more problem focused or more exploratory in my approach according to your needs, which we will identify together.
Because I am a clinical psychologist I am trained and experienced in using a number of therapeutic approaches and I consider myself to be integrative in style; this means I am flexible in drawing on therapeutic models that I think will be of benefit to you as an individual. Clinical psychology emphasises the importance of clinical practice being informed by research, and I enjoy reading books and articles and attending training events to enrich my therapy and keep up to date with the latest theory and evidence.
I offer sessions on a Tuesday, both in the day and evening (09:30 – 21:00), Wednesday evening (19:00 – 21:00) and Thursday during the day and evening (10:00 – 21:00).
Please contact me if you have any questions. I offer a free, confidential phone consultation in the first instance. If you are then interested in making a time to meet we can book in a first assessment session.
My doctoral training at University College London and clinical work in private practice and in NHS mental health services has given me a depth of experience in working with people who are struggling with a variety of psychological difficulties including depression, anxiety, anger, trauma, low self-worth, shame, relationship problems, self-harm, substance misuse, eating disorders, personality difficulties, psychosis and bipolar affective disorder.
Alongside my private practice I currently work in the NHS as the lead psychologist for Surrey and North East Hants for the Early Intervention in Psychosis Services. I work therapeutically with people aged 14 and over who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis to help them make sense of the experiences they are going through and to work with them on their recovery. I supervise psychologists and other therapists to help them reflect on and develop their clinical practice. Prior to this role, I worked in NHS community mental health teams, firstly in West London before then moving to a team in Westminster, seeing people with a wide range of mental health difficulties. For three years I also had a part-time role in an NHS specialist eating disorders service.
The majority of my practice has been in one to one, individual therapy, but I have also worked frequently with couples with the aim of helping people resolve relationship problems and think about healthy ways of relating. I have run several group therapy programmes, most recently a mindfulness group, which is one of my particular interests.
I consider that most people would like someone human, warm and competent to come and speak to in therapy and I hope my clients experience me in this way as a therapist. I place emphasis on treating you as a person, by which I mean thinking holistically about who you are as well as what brings you to therapy. I believe it is my role as a psychologist to help clients strengthen processes in their lives that improve their wellbeing and to identify and change the processes that cause distress. I am integrative in my approach, drawing on my knowledge and experience of using a number of psychological therapy models to tailor my intervention to you as an individual. Below I set out in detail the models that most influence my practice.
Person-centred, Humanistic Therapy
The foundation of my therapy is person-centred, emphasising the importance of the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist to bring about change. Carl Rogers, an eminent American psychologist in the 1950s, talked about empathy, genuineness, and unconditional positive regard on the part of the therapist towards her or his client as both necessary and sufficient for effective therapy. I strive to embody these principles in my work. Research shows that there is a general effectiveness to a number of different models of therapy and I believe it is the therapeutic relationship that underpins this finding.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
I am an experienced CBT therapist and I find it to be a highly useful model for understanding the links between our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and behaviour. By making change in one area we can have a positive impact on the others. The core insight of CBT is that it is the meaning we give to situations that influences how we feel, rather than the situations themselves. So, whilst you might assume someone who obtains a promotion is happy, if they think they are going to struggle in the new role they may feel anxious and may not take the post. CBT helps us identify your style of thinking, to consider how this might have developed from your life experiences, and how to try taking different perspectives and behaving differently to lead to change. I particularly value its focus on working collaboratively with clients in therapy, with the aim of working towards hopes and goals set out by the client themselves. CBT has a strong evidence base for helping with anxiety problems (including OCD, post-traumatic stress, and panic), depression, and psychosis and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for treatment of these conditions. I completed a CBT for psychosis top-up training with University College London in 2016/2017.
Compassion Focussed Therapy
CFT aims to help clients nurture and develop their capacity to be more compassionate and understanding of themselves and others to help soothe feelings of threat and distress. It is often used when self-criticism, and feelings of shame and guilt are particularly problematic for the person. Mindfulness is a key component of CFT in being willing to approach one’s experiences, whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, in a spirit of kindness. Having attended training with Professor Paul Gilbert, who developed CFT, I became fascinated by the model and attempting to embody a compassionate mind set is an organising principle for my therapeutic approach.
Schemas are deeply held beliefs about the self and others that develop early in life and influence repeated patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. If someone, for example, is mistreated and develops a schema they are worthless, then they may fall into a pattern of repeating the mistreatment in future relationships. After qualifying I worked for three years under the supervision of a consultant psychologist and schema therapist using the model. It is an active model to therapy that privileges experiential techniques, such as imagery work, to help people break unhealthy patterns and address longstanding, problematic beliefs.
Having completed my specialist placement of my clinical psychology doctorate at Mile End Psychotherapy Department under the supervision of a consultant psychologist and psychoanalyst, psychodynamic therapy is a particular interest of mine. Psychodynamic thinking highlights the role of the unconscious in mental life, that certain feelings and ideas can be repressed that are painful, leading to anxiety, symptoms and acting out. By helping clients gain insight into their feelings it then gives them greater freedom to choose how to manage them. One’s earliest relationships are thought to influence how one relates to people now and that this will play out in the relationship with the therapist; I seek to explore a person’s patterns of relating within my therapeutic relationship with my client. I find a psychodynamic perspective to be particularly valuable in understanding relational difficulties. A psychodynamic approach pays close attention to process in therapy, that is the moment to moment flow of how a session begins, unfolds and ends, and how this relates to the internal world of the client.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT promotes psychological flexibility as the most helpful mind-set to manage one’s experience, whatever context one finds oneself in. It aims to help a client be open to her or his experience, aware and paying attention to the experiences she or he is having, and active in the way they engage with their life and the world around them. Again, it is a mindfulness based therapy, and I find it a helpful model for finding methods to encourage clients, and myself, to approach rather than avoid difficulties that arise in life.
Contact Dr Michael Munday