Gemma Louise BSc (Hons), PgDip, O.A. Dip.
I am the senior clinician for Psychotherapy Solutions delivering psychological support from the wellness centre - I offer almost a decade of combined training and therapeutic experience in the fields of neuropsychology, mental health and wellness.
I am a local girl by birth but spent a couple of years exploring different cities across the UK when I turned 18 years old. I finally relocated back 'home' following the arrival of my daughter, and after overcoming some of my own personal difficulties I returned to studying.
My own experience of therapy was incredible, and it truly allowed me to let go of the past and focus on a much brighter and more hopeful future - at this point I knew my calling in life was to help others through their own psychological difficulties.
I live with my partner, beautiful teenage daughter, three American Bulldogs and a gigantic Dogue de Bordeaux.
When I am not working, I love to explore the Lake district countryside and have recently taken an interest in wild camping and wild swimming (I am still getting used to the cold water and noises in the night however), but, I also love to binge a good TV series or curl up with a book on those soggy Cumbrian days!
My qualifications and experience
I graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with an honours degree in Neuropsychology after studying human physiology and sociology at Furness College in Barrow.
Following this, I progressed to study at the University of Cumbria where I spent two years achieving a postgraduate diploma in advanced practice of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
I initially supported clients who had suffered brain injuries alongside my undergraduate degree, then I offered a free CBT clinic alongside my post-graduate degree course for additional practical experience with clients.
Following graduation I have continuously developed my skills and have now built a successful private practice working with many people of different ages, experiencing a variation of emotional and psychological ailments - Founding Reaching Wellness closely followed as my ambition to provide alternative and holistic mental health and wellness support flourished.
My client base includes self-funded clients, employees referred through local business contracts; including solicitors, insurance companies and care companies, local authorities, schools and other education settings, and I often collaborate and consult with other charities and non-profit organisations.
Since finalising all of my university studies I have continued to self-fund for diplomas in Mindfulness-based CBT, life coaching/health and wellbeing coaching, and certificates in safeguarding for children, adults and families.
I have also obtained qualifications allowing me to deliver child and young people's mental health support, self-harm and suicide prevention, and mental health first aid in the workplace.
Presently, I am studying towards a diploma in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and training to become an internationally accredited creative mindfulness practitioner.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
"Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT, is a family of talking therapies, all based on the idea that thoughts, emotional feelings, behaviour, and how our bodies feel, are all connected. If we change one of these we can alter all the others.
When we’re low or upset, we often fall into patterns of thinking and responding which can worsen how we feel. CBT works to help us notice and change problematic thinking styles or behaviour patterns so we can feel better.
CBT is mainly concerned with how we think and act now, although sometimes our current difficulties are related to things which have happened in our past, and so these might also be part of what we talk about.
Goals for therapy are set together with the therapist after talking things through to properly understand the problem. CBT is a collaborative therapy - it’s not something that is done to someone, it’s a way of working together with a CBT therapist.
CBT works best when it involves working on things in between sessions as well as during them. Tasks will be planned together.
As the therapy comes to an end the client and therapist will think together about how the client can continue using CBT techniques in daily life after treatment to continue to improve quality of life."
You can read more about CBT, including pros and cons, on the NHS England website here.
I have a very warm and welcoming therapy suite at the Wellness Centre with a separate waiting room for clients who feel more comfortable with privacy when attending/waiting for appointments.
Clinically, I specialise in cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of depression, all anxiety disorders, PTSD, OCD, specific phobias, and a range of other mental health conditions - I also have experience providing psychological support for looked after children (foster care placements and care homes).
My therapy is available to individuals for one-to-one sessions, as a couple, for children/adolescents, and family sessions too - and other than face to face delivery from the wellness centre for local clients, I can offer virtual or telephone therapy for individuals across the UK.
I strive to ensure my private practice is a mental health clinic that includes everyone, so no matter your gender, age, religion, or financial background please contact me, and we can arrange a consultation to discuss if I can meet your needs.
I hold an enhanced DBS, and you can rest assured that from your initial contact with me 100% confidentiality will always be upheld.
I am fully insured, I regularly undertake professional CPD courses, and supervision with a more experienced practitioner, so I can ensure my skill set is consistently up to date and can be delivered to the best of my ability.
The services I offer for private clients from the wellness centre are listed below, however if you are a company or organisation interested in mental health first aid courses or any other mental health consultancy packages, please visit the psychotherapy solutions website here.
I can work with you on any internal issues you may have. We can look at how you think and feel about things and explore together if they can be modified along with your behaviour to create a positive change in your life. I also offer one to one life coaching.
The biggest problem between partners is often a lack of communication. I can provide a calm and non-hostile environment to talk through your problems, rediscover each other and move forward in your relationship in a much healthier way.
Often when one member of the family has a problem it can cause the whole family to feel the effects. I can work with you as a family unit on communication skills, setting boundaries and achieving a better understanding of one another which can really benefit the overall familial environment.
Please contact me if you feel your child needs support. I assess child cases on an individual basis and depending on their age and ability to engage I can help them with anxiety, self-esteem, coping strategies and a range of other issues.