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Dr Emily Kenefick

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

My Philosophy

My background is in clinical health psychology, which means that my interest is in exploring the psychological impact of physical health problems. I have worked with patients who have been diagnosed with a broad range of health conditions; including cancer, diabetes, dermatological conditions, and chronic pain. I also work with patients who have had traumatic injuries or major surgery, which has impacted on both the function and appearance of their body. My work is about helping people to accept and adjust to changes to their health and appearance and reclaim their confidence and quality of life.

Iris mauves, 1910s. Claude Monet
Christie's

Even with good physical health, we live in a fast-paced and stressful world. With our smart phones, we are always ‘on’. Many of us struggle with sleeping or managing the pressures of day-to-day life. Social media bombards us with images that can make us feel inadequate and we are often our own worst critics. Many of us may feel that we should be living life in a certain way, and feel frustrated or ashamed that we are not. It can feel sometimes as though we don’t have enough, or that we are not enough, and these feelings can contribute to dissatisfaction in life. In particular, this applies to our body image and how we perceive and appraise our physical appearance. It is becoming increasingly difficult to measure up to unrealistic standards of beauty and attractiveness, and many people feel pressured to go to great lengths in this endeavour.

It is not surprising therefore that we can feel stuck, anxious, low in mood or lacking in motivation at times. More than ever, we can all benefit from being kinder and more compassionate to ourselves.

My Approach

I use an integrative approach, using a range of helpful techniques from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and mindfulness. When we meet, we can consider what might be most helpful for you. I specialise in supporting individuals with low self-esteem or low confidence, body image concerns or Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), managing the psychological impact of physical health conditions, as well as decision-making around medical treatment or elective surgery. 

Therapy involves exploring your current difficulties and the habits you have adopted to try to cope with these difficulties. For many people, this involves avoiding situations or things that trigger anxiety or discomfort. Ironically, this makes us even more miserable as we are missing out on activities we love and other sources of joy. Therapy is about abandoning maladaptive ways of coping and trying to adopt new and more adaptive ones.  This can involve exposing yourself to the anxiety-provoking situations you have been avoiding. Whilst this is scary initially, with the right support it is possible and can be extremely liberating. Therapy is also about exploring your beliefs and assumptions about yourself and the world. It is about questioning the validity of these beliefs and adopting more realistic or kinder ones where possible.

I understand that coming to speak to a psychologist can be very daunting. I aim to create a relaxed atmosphere where you can feel free to discuss your concerns without judgement. You may just want to talk and I will listen. You may be facing difficult decisions. You may be seeking support in making specific changes. Whatever your goals, we will work together towards these.

Motivation

It is such a pleasure to meet with people every day and listen to their unique stories. Each of us sees the world so differently, and it is endlessly fascinating to speak to other people and consider the factors- both positive and negative- that have led a person to where they are today. I find great joy in supporting people to make meaningful changes, let go of unhelpful habits, and move past negative experiences and towards being more confident and happier.

QUALIFICATIONS

BPS Chartered Psychologist
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
MSc History and Theory of Psychology
BA (Hons) Applied Psychology

THERAPIES I PRACTICE

CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
ACT & Mindfulness
Integrated Psychotherapy

WHAT CAN I HELP WITH

Anxiety & Panic
Stress & Burnout
Depression & Unhappiness