About

Alan Pope photoHow I Work

It can be a big step to enter psychotherapy and it is often accompanied by anxiety. My initial response is to create a safe space in which to talk and what is spoken about is within your control not mine.

Many people come to therapy today with a self diagnosis or one already given by another professional.

These diagnoses can be useful as a starting point but they are reductive and reveal nothing of the uniqueness of the individual. They are a collection of symptoms and tell us nothing of a personʼs experience and the perception of the world that develops from that experience. Therefore, the aim of the work we do together is to understand the very specific nature of an individuals difficulties and what underpins these difficulties.

To reach this understanding we explore past experiences in conjunction with what is happening in the ʻhere and nowʼ. As this process progresses, the aim is to change old perceptions and patterns of relating that are causing difficulties.

To take the example of depression; the symptoms of depression today are fairly well known but it isnʼt always clear what one is depressed about. Indeed, it is not uncommon for people to be unaware that they are in fact depressed. At the heart of depression is loss, in some form or another, but what is lost may not be known or realised. By making this conscious it allows grieving for the loss to take place.

Making ʻknownʼ what is ʻunknownʼ is at the heart of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and I have wide experience of many difficulties that people experience. Some examples of difficulties people bring to me include: anxiety, relationship and interpersonal difficulties, sexual problems (including sexual identity), sexual and physical abuse, specific life crises, bereavement, long term illness. When I work with couples it is the relationship that is the client and not the individuals.

My Background

I am a UKCP registered psychotherapist at the College of Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis (CPJA) via the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis.  I practice in the W12 area of London.

I trained in individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Philadelphia Association. Since qualifying in 1996 I have worked continuously in private practice. Until March 2013 I also worked part time within the NHS for Central London Community Healthcare. Previously, I was the HIV Co-ordinator for Hammersmith and Fulham Bereavement and Disability Service (now West London Community Counselling).

I was Chair of the Board of Trustees at Riverhouse HIV centre for nine years. I have served at the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis on the Council of Management and Training Committee. I have also been a member of the teaching faculty.