I trained at Metanoia Institute and have a Clinical Diploma and an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy, validated by Middlesex University.
Aside from my private practice, I work as an honorary counsellor at the Putneymead Group Medical Practice in Putney which offers short-term counselling to NHS patients.
I have regular supervision to support my clinical practice and to ensure professional and ethical practice.
I chose integrative psychotherapy as I believe that there is no single truth and that it is important to question assumptions and re-examine the formulae and approaches we habitually use. Integration, for me, is attempting to hold different and sometimes opposing theories and finding a common language. In this age of political and social polarisation, this inclusive approach feels important to me as it requires an attitude of openness, curiosity and non-defensiveness and a readiness to step outside our frame of reference.
In my practice, I draw from psychodynamic theory (Object Relations Theory, Attachment Theory and Self Psychology), Person-Centred Therapy, as well as from existential, intersubjective, phenomenological and neurobiological approaches.
I am also a traditional acupuncturist working in a busy pain clinic at Kingston Hospital. I studied acupuncture at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading and graduated in 2006.
I spent my first seven years in private practice while also working for the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) as Safe Practice Officer, advising clinicians in all matters of safe acupuncture practice.
Since 2014, I have been working solely for the NHS in chronic pain management.
Journey to psychotherapy
My interest in talking therapies began not long after I set up in practice as an acupuncturist. I found that once patients started to relax, they began to open up about their lives and the things that caused them pain and anxiety.
As I developed my practice over the years, I became more and more interested in what happens on an interpersonal level in the treatment room and how the way practitioner and patient interact and get along can have an impact on treatment outcomes. I found that the patients who actively engaged in treatment and felt more at ease with the process tended to benefit much more from their treatment. In a way, that is no surprise as much research has gone into the patient-therapist relationship, consistently reporting similar outcomes. My interest in this area grew over the years, and it felt like a natural progression to delve deeper and eventually train as a psychotherapist.
©2021 Ulrike Wirth
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