He is accredited as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and a schema-focused therapist but has also trained in EMDR, sensorimotor psychotherapy and dialectical behaviour therapy.
With this range of techniques, he can tailor interventions to individual needs.
He provides support to work on discrete, clearly defined conditions as well as exploratory work for more complex personal challenges.
Des has spent the latter half of his career working as a nurse psychotherapist specialising in supporting individuals to improve their psychological well-being, developing strategies to alleviate their distress and cultivating an attitude of compassionate enquiry to enable personal growth and lasting change.
His route into working as a psychotherapist was quite unorthodox.
Living in the central belt of Scotland where the economy was dependent on the coal and steel industry meant Des was exposed to a culture epitomising toxic masculinity; men didn’t talk about their emotions, violence was utilised to resolve conflict as well as bond, and sectarianism and misogyny thrived.
Mental health nursing offered an alternative counterculture.
Des noticed that people were much more likely to flourish when they had the opportunity to articulate their distress and pain.
He has spent the last 20 years trying to find ways to enable people to overcome their shame and talk about the areas of their lives that are most distressing to them by providing a compassionate, non-judgmental space to explore their issues.
He is particularly interested in the relationship between psychological and physical health and is passionate about galvanising the relationship between the brain and the gut to effect increased well-being.
Des has several publications and co-edited a book describing the ingredients for a cutting-edge mental health service.
He is in great demand as a speaker at both National and International conferences and is an honorary lecturer at York University.
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