I will discuss with you how often it would be most beneficial to meet during your first consultation. This will depend upon the problem you are encountering, but generally, no longer than six sessions and sometimes, less.

It is important to arrive on time as I work to an appointment system and therefore your late arrival may lead to your consultation being cut short.

If you are unable to keep an appointment, I ask that you give at least 24 hours notice except where circumstances make it unavoidable, such as sudden illness. A 50% cancellation charge may be levied in all other cases.

Here are some of the issues I specialise in, but this is by no means an exhaustive itemisation. Please check with me if your concern isn't listed. I welcome whatever you choose to bring.

Please note that due to the restrictions brought on by the Coronavirus Pandemic, I am currently unable to offer face to face consultations.  I am able to offer online sessions (at a reduced rate) using StarLeaf Video Conferencing facilities.  Please contact me for more information and/or to make an appointment. 

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Working with Adult Survivors of

 Childhood Abuse

If you have been through the pain and trauma of feeling you had no voice as a child, then let me help you to discover your power now, and how to hold onto it! By unpacking the past and expressing your feelings towards the people who let you down so badly and the treatment you received at their hands, you can build a future which replaces self-doubt with self-respect. You can feel justified self- admiration for stepping out of victim mode and into strong survivor one.

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Bereave​ment Issues

Bereavement is commonly spoken about as the period of grief and mourning after a death. When you grieve, it's part of the normal process of reacting to a loss. You may experience grief as a psychological, physical, social or emotional reaction. Psychological reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness and despair. However, bereavement can be experienced through all kinds of losses including retirement from a much-loved career, the loss of a limb, the aftermath of a marriage break-up, a house break-in, a friendship and a whole host more.

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Life-Changing Illnesses

One of the many challenges of dealing with a life-changing diagnosis is that you might not be aware of how it may affect you in the long term. There is simply no way to predict this, and for some people, the uncertainty is almost as bad as the diagnosis itself. However, I can help you to find strategies to cope with the psychological effects and make it through the ensuing challenges.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychological disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviours that drive them to do something over and over again (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviours to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides short-term relief. Let me help you with strategies to alleviate the anxiety and distress this ritualistic behaviour creates if you recognise yourself within this description.

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Aggression Control

Remember, you cannot be responsible for other people’s actions, but you can be responsible for your own. Everyone has the right to feel angry about something from time to time. When expressed correctly, it helps us to be our authentic selves because anger is an emotion with which to let others know how we feel. When it stops being acceptable is when the anger (an emotion) escalates into rage and culminates in adrenalin-fuelled violence (an action). When one begins to ‘see red’ as the expression goes, because the other person isn’t listening or doing what we want, it becomes easy to justify that split-second (or so it seems) transition from anger to violence. As someone who has worked in prisons and court rooms in a previous phase of my life, I have seen how easily a heated argument can turn into a crushingly unexpected prison sentence. Through a technique known as ‘cognitive restructuring’ or ‘reframing,’ one can replace unhelpful negative thoughts with more reasonable ones which are more likely to produce the outcome you desire. Book an appointment and let me show you how!

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Sleep Deprivation/ Disorders

Sleep deprivation is caused by a consistent lack of sleep or reduced quality of sleep. Getting less than 7-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis can eventually lead to negative health consequences that affects your entire body. This may also be caused by an underlying sleep disorder. Your body needs sleep, just as it needs air and food to function at its best. During sleep, your body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. Your brain forges new connections and helps memory retention. Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems won’t function normally. It can also dramatically lower your quality of life. Are you ready to take your health threats seriously?

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Blocks to the Decision-Making Process

Making decisions does not have to be an overwhelming process. The most important thing to remember when faced with an important decision is how your choice will affect your life in the long term. Consider what impact it might have on the other people involved, and the importance of your relationship with them if your decision is not thought through carefully. Obviously, the more people the decision affects, the more difficult it will be to remedy the situation. Talking through your options helps to gain clarity and sometimes find options not yet considered outside of psychotherapy.

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Verbal Abuse/Bullying

While some degree of conflict is normal, one’s arguments shouldn’t turn into personal attacks and neither party should attempt to lower the other’s self-esteem (be it in a personal or business relationship) in order to win a given dispute. If you feel too inhibited to express yourself without fear of negative consequences, you may be experiencing abuse. Learn more about verbal abuse and how to draw the line between it and normal disagreements.

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Relationship Breakdown

Relationship breakdown, separation and divorce. After a relationship breakdown you may feel a range of powerful emotions, such as fear or uncertainty for the future, anger at your partner or yourself, sadness at the end of a phase of life, loneliness and isolation and often a sense of failure. I can help you process all of these emotions in a healthy, constructive and non-judgemental way. However, it may be that things are not yet that final, and voicing your views, concerns and points upon which you still agree and mutually hold shared values may well save your relationship or even find new depths to it that had never hitherto existed! Come and talk to me together if this is the case.

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Gender Dysphoria

The goal of psychotherapy in this respect is to address the distress and other negative emotions associated with having a gender that doesn't conform with one’s assigned sex at birth. The problem isn't one’s gender identity, but rather the discomfort associated with it. Some people who experience gender dysphoria don't wish to pursue medical or surgical transition. Some want to live and be recognised as their affirmed gender without using hormones or having gender affirmation surgery whilst others want more information about the medical/surgical route before making any firm decisions or consulting a clinic. The variables and choices are many, and can all be explored in the safety of the therapeutic setting where respect and confidentiality are of paramount importance. As an experienced psychotherapist I can help support you during all parts of your journey towards finding the real you in the way you wish to present yourself. I will always ask how you wish me to address you, including your name and the pronoun you are comfortable with.

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Stress Management

Stress is our body’s response to changes in our respective lives. Because life involves constant change ranging from finding a new home to difficult workplace experiences, marriage, divorce, the death of a loved one (human or animal) and a range of other things besides, there is no avoiding stress. This is why the goal of psychotherapy isn’t to (unrealistically) attempt to get rid of all stress but rather to eliminate unnecessary stress and effectively managing the rest. There are some common causes of stress that many people experience, but each person is different. What overwhelming stressful elements occupy your life right now?

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An addiction occurs when a person loses control over doing, taking or using something. It's possible to become addicted to anything, but some addictions are more damaging than others. A person who is addicted to something can't control how they use it, or need it to get through everyday life. Addictions can be to substances, like alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, or to behaviours, like gambling, gaming, constant hand-washing or extreme exercise. Addictions are a problem when they start to affect health in a bad way or interfere with an individual’s ability to lead a normal life, as well as that of the people around them. Try giving up your addiction for a week without any ill-effect upon your physical or emotional wellbeing. If this feels too overwhelming to maintain, let me help.

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Anxiety & Panic Attacks

An anxiety attack may bring on feelings of fear or apprehension. One may experience their heart racing or feel shortness of breath, but it's usually very short lived. When the stressor goes away, so does the anxiety attack. A panic attack on the other hand doesn't happen in reaction to a stressor. It's unprovoked and unpredictable. Confront your fear. If you don't run away from it, you're giving yourself a chance to discover that nothing's going to happen. As the anxiety begins to pass, start to focus on your surroundings and continue to do what you were doing before. If this doesn’t work for you, please book an appointment to talk it through and try out other tried and tested techniques.

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At Oak Practice we have gone to great lengths to create a relaxed, tranquil atmosphere for our clients to experience, in a very private setting. We believe these factors are conducive to the emotional healing process. The journey through therapy can be a painful one, but it is also an empowering, enriching and freeing one.

Client Testimonials

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"Marilyn has been so helpful in the toughest time of my life. She is a true professional who listens, whilst her genuine kind and caring nature shines through.

I owe a lot of my recovery to her. She supports, encourages and inspires confidence. I would absolutely recommend Marilyn to anyone as she really goes that extra mile. "


"I felt I lacked direction and was empty. When I met with Marilyn I found her easy to speak to and open up to.  Marilyn was honest with me and was able to highlight issues which I hadn’t even considered. I was finally able to be completely honest with someone and discuss my own stumbling blocks.  

Marilyn saved me at a time when I felt so low and black, she is a very special lady."


"Marilyn has helped me enormously through some difficult times by her skill and professionalism; and by her perceptive insight, empathy and kindness.

Marilyn's open, warm and thoughtful personality makes it easy for me to talk and to discuss with her how best to overcome challenges I face."


"I have known Marilyn for many years and throughout she has demonstrated compassion, support and expertise in helping members of my team my team resolve a wide range of emotionally challenging issues. She can always be relied on to be entirely professional and totally confidential."