James Lakey, MSc, PGDip
BPS Chartered Counselling Psychologist
HCPC Registered Practitioner Psychologist
EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner
I am a Registered Practitioner Psychologist whose specialism is Counselling Psychology. This means I am trained in multiple models of counselling and psychotherapy, which enables me to draw on different therapies to help my clients overcome their problems and achieve their goals. In my current practice, one of my primary models of therapy is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT has an excellent evidence base and is widely recognised as an effective treatment for both common and more complex concerns, including depression, anxiety, stress, sleep disorders and trauma. CBT helps us understand how different situations in our lives influence our behaviours, by looking at the link between thoughts, emotions and behaviours. If we can better understand how we think and feel, we can change our behaviours to enable us to solve our problems. This often involves understanding how negative thinking patterns hold us back, and then working to develop strategies to be less influenced by our negative thoughts.
Developing the skills from CBT to be less caught up in negative thoughts about ourselves and the world can help relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress and burnout. As part of this treatment I usually integrate Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) into my work with clients. This model of therapy complements CBT very well and involves engaging with exercises and discussions to help my client understand their values. Values are how we define what is important and meaningful to us in our lives. This means I enable my clients to make commitments to behave in ways that align with their identified values, and therefore to achieve the goals that are personally meaningful to them. This can be an extremely fulfilling process, leading to being able to maximise potential in intimate relationships, professional careers and personal achievements.
Depending on client goals, I also routinely integrate Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) into therapy. I am an approved EMDR therapist and also an Accredited EMDR Europe Practitioner. Being an Accredited Practitioner means I have met further rigorous standards in practice and demonstrated successful outcomes further to the standard training. EMDR is highly effective at helping people overcome troubling events or relationships from the past that may be underlying symptoms of mental health distress. It is also a very effective standalone treatment for symptoms of trauma. As with all the models of therapy I am trained to draw on, I make a suggestion to work this way based on a thorough assessment of my client's presenting concerns and underlying factors that may be maintaining these concerns.
I have practised in an NHS Secondary Care Psychological Therapy service since 2008, offering brief and longer-term treatment for difficulties including: depression; anxiety; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD); psychosis; personality disorders; insomnia; interpersonal conflict, and bereavement.
My private practice has been running since 2019 and helps a wide range of clients overcome stress, anxiety, depression, trauma and relationship difficulties.
I also held a post for over ten years in an NHS Mental Health Recovery Team, where I offered assessment and brief therapies to individuals and families experiencing complex mental health difficulties.
Prior to these NHS posts, I worked for five years in addiction and substance misuse services, where I helped people to reduce the harm associated with substance misuse and other addictive behaviours.