How We Work
Everyone who walks through our doors is a unique human being, full of stories, emotions, and dreams.
With foundations in early attachment, neurodevelopment, disability, and trauma spaces; our practice takes the view that evidence-based modalities are necessary tools, but they do not in themselves cater to the entire human experience.
So we look beyond the surface and consider the wider context of who you are, where you have been, and what kind of things are really going to help you. Afterall, you are not a list of symptoms and labels; you are a whole person, who should be treated as such.
You might be coming to us for support with anxiety, or low mood. It might be relationship troubles, confidence, self-esteem, or a rough patch somewhere in your life. Or it might be something more complex, like exploring your neurotype, healing trauma, or recovering from an eating disorder.
No matter what brings you to us, we are able to support you using the highest-quality
interventions available. We deliver these through 5 key approaches. Here's why:
If you have had significant experiences that have impacted your sense of safety in the world, in your relationships, or in your body, then you need a therapeutic space that is going to work with you to establish a sense of safety first, before doing anything else.
We know how important it is for you to experience real trust, empowerment, and safety in our therapeutic rooms and in your relationship with us. Which is why this is our first priority when we meet you.
A strong therapeutic relationship will provide a safe base for you to recover in, and over time, you will develop the resources to establish that sense of safety in other relationships outside of the therapeutic space, which will help you to heal further.
We understand the impact trauma can have on your physical, emotional, psychological, and relational patterns, and we are mindful of these in our sessions with you.
Our priority is to create an environment you can start to heal in, by building trust, remaining strengths-based, finding opportunities for empowerment, listening to you, and adapting to your needs, every step of the way.
If you have ever found yourself saying things like: “I know it’s not true on a logical level, but I still ‘feel’ like it’s true and I can’t stop doing XYZ,” that’s what our mindfulness-based approaches are all about. A rationalised thought does not necessarily translate to
a confident feeling. Genuine change requires all levels of your awareness to be integrated.
Our mindfulness-based approaches guide you towards noticing and understanding your emotions, sensations, thoughts, and instincts together, in real-time, as and when they come up within your therapeutic relationship and in the safety of our therapeutic rooms.
This is very different from keeping a thought diary and analysing your thoughts after the moment has passed.
Mindfulness-based approaches help you to tune in and connect with your moment-to-moment experiences while they are still relevant, observable on all levels, and therefore, changeable.
We help you to create cognitive, emotional and behavioural changes that are insightful, synergistic and integrated in real-time. We do this while also guiding you to develop more compassion towards your brain and your body, which you will come to realise, are only doing the best they can to protect you.
Not only do mindfulness-based approaches support changes that last, but they continue building on themselves, generating momentum for as long as you use them.
Psychological wellbeing does not develop out of skills and tactics alone; it requires self-acceptance, felt safety, and relational well being.
Most of us have felt pressure to "fit in" and to align with socially prescribed ideals of weight, body size, shape, gender expression, orientation and even neurotype.
It is this pressure, alongside other experiences outside of our control, that interrupt our sense of self-acceptance, felt safety and relational well being in the world, causing patterns of shame, self-judgement and self-criticism to emerge and persist, no matter
how many skills are applied. These are the patterns that contribute to all mental health conditions and further complicate the healing process after trauma and in eating disorder recovery.
We all have a right to be who we are and to be respectful of our own and others differences. So, we use compassion-focused approaches to uplift, support, and embrace the real person behind the label. We aim to address patterns of shame and self-criticism alongside our evidence-based treatments, so we can guide you towards more curiosity and self-compassion, more kindness towards yourself and others, and ultimately, improved therapeutic outcomes and overall well being.
Research and clinical observation have shown that a focus on weight and body control is not necessary for optimal health outcomes, and more than that, it is damaging to psychological well being, because it dismisses our core needs of self-acceptance and relational well being.
We understand that body image and eating related concerns are influenced by weight stigma and diet culture, while also being underpinned by more complex psychological processes, many of which are improved - not by diet-focused approaches - but by
compassion-focused, mindfulness-based, trauma-informed, neurodiversity-informed and weight-neutral approaches to psychological intervention.
We follow the Health At Every Size framework and take a non-diet approach to our work, because our goal is to support you in finding true self-acceptance - which requires an intuitive relationship with food and exercise, not a forced one.
If psychological skills and evidence-based treatments are the body of therapy, then our 5 key approaches are the soul. Great, effective therapy simply must deliver both, and delivering both is what we are all about.
So, welcome to Treat Yourself Well! We embrace difference, while providing powerful therapeutic interventions - as real humans, for real humans.
For us being Neurodiversity Affirming means...
we respect and listen to the needs of neurodivergent people
we are strengths based not deficit focused
we use the neurotype/identity/culture model and are explicit when we need to use the medical/pathological model (mostly for diagnostic purposes....)
we appreciate, listen and support neurodivergent people at the sensory / somatic level
we adapt our environment as much as we can, and encourage support networks to do the same to meet ND needs
our therapies/support strategies are for support, not to change / modify the ND person or "make them fit"
that if we are not neurodivergent ourselves, that our work is informed by neurodivergent individuals including researchers, writers, speakers and presenters
that any neurotypical input is as an ally :)