Here are some of the key things you might want to know about my style of therapy before you decide whether to book an appointment. 


Dr Michaela Dunbar

First and foremost, I think that people should not feel blamed for thinking and feeling the way that they do.  Our current patterns are the sum of all our experiences in life, including things that happened in childhood.  Don't get me wrong, I believe we are absolutely responsible for own behaviour and for changing what we want to be different, but it is extremely hard to change if we are stuck feeling ashamed, guilty or embarrassed about the way things are now. 


Emotions happen for a reason.  You might not be able to stop those feelings from arising, but by working on how you respond to them, perhaps you could change the trajectory and impact of them.  


Get unstuck.  Many people who come to therapy find that they have been stuck on "auto pilot", doing things they've always done, even when they know it's not helping.  What would you want to be different if you could switch back to manual control?  


I agree with you: a lot of the time people and life should be better than they really are.  But, there are some things that aren't worth the energy it would take to change.  What would happen if you gave up fighting some of those losing battles?  


Therapy is uncomfortable.  If you could make these changes comfortably, you absolutely would have done it already. If you don't feel like I'm pushing your buttons, we're focusing on the wrong problem.


Don't trust me - test me.  In your sessions we will design experiments to test out new ways of responding to the realities that life throws at you.  I don't expect you to trust blindly that I know what I'm talking about - I want you to experience it for yourself and then decide whether these changes are worth making.  

Experience

I have experience across private practice and the NHS supporting adults, children and adolescents with a range of issues including OCD, panic attacks/anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, self-harm, chronic pain, chronic fatigue. I also work with behavioural difficulties in children and young people, including providing parenting support using Webster-Stratton. Prior to this, I worked in mental health research.

My training includes a range of evidence based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming (EMDR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), and systemic approaches. 

Professional Status

  • HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologist


  • Professional indemnity insurance with Oxygen


  • Doctor of Clinical Psychology


  • Bachelor of Science (Psychology)


  • Chartered member of the BPS (CPsychol) and member of the DCP (Division of Clinical Psychology), Faculty for Children, Young People and Their Families, and Developmental Psychology section.

Registrations

HCPC

The HCPC regulate health and care professionals in the UK and were set up to protect the public from unregulated practitioners. They only register professionals who meet their standards for training, professional skills and behaviour. 

BPS

The BPS is the professional body which provides accreditation for psychology training programmes. The BPS's role is complementary to that of the HCPC. The BPS provide information to the public and ensure the highest standards of education, training and practice. 

Insurers

I am registered with a number of private health care insurers. Your insurance provider may request that you see your GP before coming to me, but this is relatively straightforward. I would recommend that you give your insurer a call first to discuss with them their requirements