DR HANNAH MURRAY
Therapy can be a daunting but highly rewarding venture. With this in mind, my highest priority is to offer a warm, trusting and non-judgmental therapeutic space where my clients can feel safe when opening up and being vulnerable. I view therapy as a collaborate process that seeks to shed light on current difficulties by exploring past experiences and recurring patterns, which people may have never questioned before.
I have worked in NHS services for eight years and acquired a broad range of therapeutic skills and experience across a number of clinical populations and presentations. It was important to me to gain an understanding of the many different ways emotional distress can be expressed and the challenges and dilemmas people face at different ages, stages and transition points in their lives.
In addition to Collaborate Psychology, I am currently working as a Senior Psychologist in the NHS supporting mothers and babies during pregnancy and the first year of the baby’s life. Parenthood is a major life event and recent statistics indicate that up to 50% of women can be suffering from some form of postnatal depression in the first year after giving birth. The two main factors that contribute to mothers experiencing significant emotional difficulty when having a baby are 1) a lack of adequate supportive structures in their present life and 2) unresolved issues around the mothering/parenting that they received as a child, which are almost certain to resurface when she is required to offer intensive mothering herself. The same is equally true for fathers too. In a world that idealises and/or denigrates parenthood, many mothers and fathers are afraid of being seen as incompetent or unwell if they don’t profess to being happy all the time. Through my experience, I understand that parenting can be an incredibly difficult and demanding job; that people’s experience of care-giving is influenced by a whole array of factors (e.g. the conception, birth, bereavements, parents’ own histories, isolation) and that as a result, having a baby can understandably evoke a myriad of emotions. Having a reflective and supportive space in therapy, where you can identify and name the difficulty, can enable you to feel more empowered to confront it and work through it.
In addition to the above, I have worked in adult mental health settings accruing extensive experience working with difficulties such as depression, the spectrum of anxiety conditions (including generalised anxiety disorder, panic, OCD), stress, low self-esteem, perfectionism, long-term health conditions (including chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain and HIV), childhood trauma and adults who have difficulties making or keeping satisfying relationships, or who find themselves repeatedly drawn into unhappy partnerships. I am particularly passionate about working with people who want to think deeply about themselves, in order to understand themselves and their relationships better and make meaningful, fundamental changes. Furthermore, I have worked at the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service supporting children and young people with gender dysphoria and their families and in adult sexual health settings. This granted me the privilege of working with members or the LGBTQ community and with individuals who were struggling with personal and intimate issues relating to identity, sexuality, sexual dysfunction and risky sexual behaviour.
I have degrees from the University of Manchester and Royal Holloway, University of London. I am trained in a variety of therapeutic models and the methods and techniques I use will largely depend on your hopes for meeting with me. Perhaps most frequently, I utilise psychodynamic ideas, Cognitive Analytical Therapy and Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy, with the aim of supporting people to develop insight; self-understanding; more rewarding ways of relating and greater authenticity, as opposed to just symptom relief. This is because in my experience, people and problems don't exist on their own and many of the struggles people bring to therapy have relationships at their core.
Lastly, I have a keen interest in research and experience providing supervision and consultation to other health professionals. I have worked for the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, producing clinical practice mental health (NICE) guidelines for the NHS and listed below are my publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Jackson, H., & MacLeod, A. (2016). Well-being in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Relationship to Symptoms and Psychological Distress. Journal of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. DOI:10.1002/cpp.2051
NICE, (2013). Schizophrenia and Psychosis in Children and Young People: Recognition, management and prevention. London: National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
Stafford, M., Jackson, H., Mayo-Wilson, E., Morrison, T & Kendall, T. (2013). Early Interventions to prevent psychosis: systematic review and meta- analysis. BMJ, 346.
NCCMH (2011). Induced Abortion and Mental Health: A systematic review of the mental health outcomes of induced abortion, including their prevalence and associated factors. London: Academy of Royal Colleges.