About You…

What might you need help with?

  • Do you feel overwhelmed, helpless or sad?
  • Are you unhappy with the way unwanted patterns seem to repeat in your life?
  • Do you feel you have exhausted all of your current options for resolving your problems?
  • Do you struggle with coming to terms with issues from your past?
  • Do you struggle with making or maintaining close relationships?
  • Do you feel your life has stalled and is not moving forward? Or is not on the right path?
  • Do you suffer from physical illness you cannot make sense of and cannot seem to recover from (e.g. chronic pain, IBS)?
  • Do you struggle to express your emotions?
  • Are you curious to understand yourself in greater depth?
  • Do you suffer from a psychiatric illness such as depression, anxiety or PTSD?
  • Are you struggling with a major life change, crisis or life event?
  • Has something been weighing you down?
  • Do you have struggles with gender identity or sexual orientation?

 

About Therapy

Jungian Analysis

Jungian analysis is both a form of personal exploration and a form of therapy for people who are in distress or have emotional problems, as well as for those who feel a lack of fulfillment or want to explore the direction or meaning of their lives.

Jungian theory understands that the psyche contains a drive towards balance and wholeness. Jung called this the process of individuation. Jungian analysis recognises the potential in each person and within a trusting and secure analytic relationship works towards allowing a person to develop into a more authentic sense of self.

Jungian analysis is about removing the obstacles to you ‘being who you most truly are’. The analyst works together with you to pay attention to the relationship between what is happening in your unconscious and what is taking place in your day-to-day life. In analysis, the ‘unbalancing’ content of the unconscious gradually manifests symbolically in dreams, in fantasies, in thoughts and feelings and in the transference relationship between the analyst and analysand. The goal of analysis is to set in motion a process of deep personal transformation.

From ANZSJA Website

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is based on psychoanalytic ways of understanding personal and emotional development. The way we see and relate to the world develops through relationships made in infancy, childhood, and later life. Disturbances in these relationships can produce continuing vulnerabilities, and symptoms and relationship problems in later life. Symptoms have a meaning in the context of our lives, and difficulties in relationships often follow patterns laid down in earlier life.

The therapist offers a reliable and professional relationship, where old patterns may be repeated, but can be thought about and understood in a way that frees people to change.

From RCPsych Website

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

The treatment is based on the Adaptive Information Processing system which states that some events in an individuals’ life are not fully integrated into the usual memory network which would normally render the memory neutral.  Instead, the memory of an event, including the beliefs, body sensations and feelings that were initially experienced during the event get maladaptively stored and can then be retriggered by present day situations.  Depending on the severity/nature of the traumatic memory and emotion, this can cause an individual unnecessary distress in thier current life due to the past events.

EMDR uses bilateral stimulation of the brain to access the memories, memory networks and associated sensations, negative thought process and emotions. The intervention enables the memory to be reprocessed in a safe, therapeutic environment that results in the neutralizing of the memory so that an individual may still be able to think about the past event, however not experience the distress previously associated with the event. While the therapeutic results are often quick, the client and therapist only work at a pace that is comfortable for the client, this is because some individuals often experience some anxiety and worry about addressing past events. The feedback from clients after a memory is fully processed in an EMDR session is usually one of positive relief. One specific benefit of this approach is that the client’s brain ‘does all the work’ and the therapist’s role is only to facilitate the process.  In addition, you do not have to talk in great detail about the painful event in order to get relief from it.

From EMDRNZ Website

Balint Groups

What Happens in a Balint Group?

About 6-10 group participants sit in a circle, with a trained leader or two co-leaders. Clinicians present cases from their own practices. Group members listen to the presenter’s story, then discuss the case, with a focus on the clinician-patient relationship. Each presentation and discussion usually takes about 45 minutes, and groups often meet for 90 minutes.

The presenter tells the group about the case in an informal way, quite briefly, and without notes – because sometimes the way the story is told, including what is left out, can provide valuable clues to the nature of the presenter’s interaction with the patient. The presenter tries to convey the essence of how they experience the interaction with the patient and the atmosphere in the consulting room, to describe anything they are finding difficult and to include their own feelings and reactions.

The presenter is free to choose any patient to present. Often the patient presented will have have elicited strong feelings in the presenter, such as distress, frustration,  surprise, difficulty, puzzlement or uncertainty.

In the group discussion, the group aims to explore the interaction between clinician and patient and to empathize with both of them. The group is encouraged to speculate, without any pressure to be “right”. The aim is to understand the situation in a deeper way, not to judge, advise, or offer solutions.  It is important for the presenter to be protected from interrogation or criticism and to have time to listen and reflect on the group’s contributions. The atmosphere is mutually respectful and non-threatening. There is time to “sit” with uncertainty and complexity without the pressure to know the answer.

The clinician’s response to the patient often provides valuable clues about the patient’s psychological difficulties. Because of the diversity of group members’ varied personalities, life experiences and blind spots, there may be several ways of understanding the case. The group provides a place to express feelings – both pleasurable and painful. It provides camaraderie, intimacy and support. The presenter may find that in subsequent interactions with the patient, they are less defensive. They may find themselves increasing their repertoire of interventions and finding new approaches to recurring problems.

Participants develop better listening skills, observation skills and empathy. They develop increased self-awareness and capacity to reflect about themselves and they learn how useful it can be to examine their own reactions to patients. They experience the generativity of working as a group which is more than the sum of its parts. They become more creative, divergent and integrative in their thinking. They become more sensitive and skilled in addressing psychological aspects of their patients’ problems. They often develop increased professional satisfaction.

From BSANZ Website

What are Balint Groups?

The American Balint Society

Psychiatry

Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, study, and treatment of mental disorders.

Initial psychiatric assessment of a person typically begins with a case history and mental status examination. Physical examinations and psychological tests may be conducted. Psychiatric physical examinations are noninvasive and might involve nothing more than taking your pulse, blood pressure and looking into your eyes with an opthalmoscope. Depending on the initial examination, further neurological diagnostic tests may be ordered such as neuroimaging or other neurophysiological techniques.

Mental disorders are often diagnosed in accordance with criteria listed in diagnostic manuals such as the widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), edited and used by the World Health Organization (WHO). The fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-5) was published in 2013, while the current version of ICD used globally is ICD-10.

Psychiatry is practiced by medical doctors who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. A psychiatrist will have spent at least 11 years in training, including their initial medical degree to become doctor then at least 5 years developing their knowledge and skills in diagnosing and treating patients.

Psychiatrists are licensed to prescribe medication and may also provide psychological treatments or brain stimulation therapies as part of the treatments provided to patients.

Psychiatrists may provide psychological treatments to patients with the most complex presentations.

Excerpts from RANZCP Website

My Services

What Do I Offer?

  • Jungian Analysis
  • EMDR
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Balint Style Reflective Groups
  • Supervision to a range of Health Professionals
  • Health Service Consulting
  • Skype Consultations
  • ACC Registered Psychiatric Assessor
  • ACC Registered Psychological Treatment Provider
  • Supervisor for ACC  Mental Injury Assessors (including reports)
  • Supervision for ACC Psychological Treatment Providers

 

 

About Me

Dr Vicky Smith

Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy
MB BCh, MSc, MRCPsych, Affiliate RANZCP

Vicky is a UK trained doctor and Consultant Psychiatrist. She  trained and worked in the National Health Service, (NHS), in the UK. She completed her psychiatric studies training in psychodynamic psychotherapy. This training provided broad exposure to, and / or training in, a number of  modalities such as: Art Therapy; Group Therapy; Psychoanalysis; psychodynamic psychotherapy; Cognitive Analytic Therapy, (CAT); CBT; Transpersonal Therapy; and Transactional Analysis.

Her training was based in a Therapeutic Community Day Service for the treatment of personality disorder and in outpatient psychotherapy services.

For clinicians, she has training in supervision, and many years experience in participating and facilitating Balint Style Groups for reflection on professional practice.

Since moving to New Zealand she worked in the DHB in a variety of psychiatric specialties before moving into private practice. This move has allowed her to focus on providing talking / psychological therapies as a preferred modality of treatment for mental health. As well a previous training in psychodynamic psychotherapy,  she is now an Accredited Practitioner in EMDR, and a Candidate in Jungian Analysis.

Her private practice focuses on psychological treatments and she has an interest at working at some depth in analysis of more than once weekly sessions. The therapeutic exploration can include working with dreams, metaphor, sandplay and images.

Registration and Professional Memberships

  • MRCPsych – Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK
  • Jungian Analysis Candidate –  Australian and New Zealand Society of Jungian Analysts (ANZSJA) CGJI Analytic Training
  • EMDR Accredited Practitioner – EMDR Association of NZ (EMDRNZ)
  • EMDR Clinician – EMDR Institute
  • RANZCP- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Affiliate Member
  • New Zealand Medical Council (NZMC) – Registered Doctor, Vocational Scope Psychiatry
  • General Medical Council (GMC), UK – Registered Doctor, Specialist Register Psychotherapy

My Thoughts