Ruth Hargreaves

A little about me…..

As an accredited psychotherapist with over 17 years of therapy experience my work is additionally underpinned with over 30 years NHS and private sector, clinical experience.

Having initially trained and worked at Charing Cross Hospital in 1987, on wards such as acute medical admissions, HIV/AIDS, complex vascular surgery, oncology and many more, I later moved to St Mary`s in Paddington in 1996, dedicating myself to staff health and well-being. Here I focused on work and personal stress, physical disability, mental health, devising and performing relaxation sessions across the Trust together with stress management courses. I have worked in both the public and private sectors including an international human rights organisation and a large mental health trust. I was with Brent Bereavement for 4 years as a volunteer counsellor and for 12 years as a counsellor in an Occupational Health Department at a large London teaching hospital.

I love my work and want to work with you so as to find ways of meeting your needs through Gestalt techniques of experimentation, discussion and exploration. I utilise Gestalt- (an approach which is existential/humanistic yet founded originally from psycho-analytic perspectives), body work, person centered therapy, REBT, Object Relations, and psychodynamic theory. Clients say I am highly perceptive, creative, insightful and work to understand you well, attuning myself to your needs and internal dialogue. Furthermore, I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have clinical supervisors who have extensive clinical experience and whom one, Dr J Kuykendall  has worked alongside Elisabeth Kubler Ross, specialising in death, terminal illnesses, and bereavement and group supervision with Professor Ernesto Spinelli who works from an existential perspective. I find the diversity of perspective to be enriching and enhancing for both my client work and reflection of emerging issues and dilemma`s and my own personal growth.  Clinical supervision is mandatory for all therapists.

My psychotherapy experience has ranged widely: – working with body image issues, sexual identity, issues relating to BDSM, depression, anxiety, work related stress, anger, relationship issues, religious influences, parental influences, coping with failure and dealing with the fear and trauma of it and the impact and effects of disability. I have worked with clients who are from the creative industry, charities, corporate and NHS sectors. Additionally I have worked with clients who are with the circus.

I have a lot of experience working with clients who have experienced loss and bereavement. Grief has the habit of triggering other losses and compounding the current loss with often painful memories of other painful life events. Whatever these are – loss of friends, relatives, ambitions, health, therapy can help with this. I have also spent many years working with clients who are experiencing work place stressors and who often have simultaneous pressures at home, thus creating the sense of feeling trapped and wondering how to find a way through the constraints, anxieties, tensions these situations create. Additionally, I have worked with people who feel they have failed in some way, struggling to define their identity or sexuality, who are looking for a sense of direction, a sense of purpose and place in the world. These are just some examples of what I / therapy can assist with.