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James Álvarez PhD

Chartered Psychologist

Philosophy

There are many ways to regard the therapeutic experience. At its most basic level, therapy is just people talking with each other, exchanging ideas and getting a fresh perspective on their issues.

At a higher level, I believe that therapy can be thought of as a journey that is undertaken together, where you and your aims and concerns are accepted and nurtured in a non-judgmental environment of safety, security, caring and trust.

It is my belief that you don’t have to have a mental health difficulty to benefit from seeing a psychologist. Many people use sessions with a psychologist to work on self-development, achievement of goals, changing undesirable habits and facilitating positive personal growth.

Irises (detail), 1889. Vincent van Gogh
Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Approach

You are the expert on you and during the course of our time together I will tailor your therapy to your own uniqueness and preferences via open and understanding discussion.

Though my training has been strongly grounded in psychodynamic and CBT approaches, I have often found it effective to work in what is called an eclectic approach.  This pragmatic style of therapy meshes many other psychological approaches together to meet the needs of the person or persons whom I am assisting.

Working in this way means that I can be flexible, working as a teacher for one patient, a guide for another, or as a combination of all the above for someone else, as suits the individual or situation.

Another element of my approach is called Feedback-Informed Treatment (FIT). I gather real-time input from clients using structured yet flexible measures that identify what is and is not working in therapy and how to better meet my clients’ needs.

Use of continuous feedback and discussion between clients and therapists has been found to have a significant positive impact on the effectiveness of therapy and as such I remain flexible in my approach to those I am assisting to be sure I offer the most valuable assistance possible.

Motivation

My own experience, as well as much research in the field, shows that what really works in therapy, regardless of the approach used, is the quality of the therapist and client relationship and it is my goal to build a strong understanding of each of my clients, allowing them to bring out the best of themselves.

Having benefited from 14 years of psychoanalysis myself, I have a deep personal as well as professional knowledge of the healing, learning power and potential of the therapeutic relationship. It is my goal to offer this same understanding and peace of mind to my clients, something that brings me a great deal of personal satisfaction.

QUALIFICATIONS

Associate Fellow of the BPS
Chartered Scientist, Science Council
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Masters in Clinical Psychology
BA Psychology

THERAPIES I PRACTICE

CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
ACT & Mindfulness
Counselling & Counselling Psychology
Integrated Psychotherapy

WHAT CAN I HELP WITH

Depression & Unhappiness
Anxiety & Panic
Anger Problems
Insomnia & Sleep Problems
OCD & Obsessions
Relationship Issues
Sex Issues
Stress & Burnout
Eating Disorders