I am an experienced UKCP registered psychotherapist and group analyst. I offer psychodynamic counselling and analytic psychotherapy, and work long-term and short-term with individuals. I also offer group psychotherapy at the practice.
In my experience people come to psychotherapy or counselling for a range of reasons and with different needs and expectations. Some have very specific problems, while others may only have a vague sense of what is troubling them.
Usually people come when difficulties feel too painful, overwhelming or complex and they decide something needs to change.
My individual counselling and psychotherapy approach is analytic, drawing particularly from psychoanalysis and group analysis.
In my practice, I emphasise the significance of relationships, including that of the therapist and client, and I am curious about making links between all areas and levels of personal experience, including the unconscious.
I believe that problematic relationships with others and with our selves are often rooted in childhood and adolescent experiences. In my view, these difficulties usually start off as a way of protecting the self from painful feelings or trauma.
I see therapeutic change coming about by having a different kind of emotional experience, along with insight into why and how these processes operate inside us.
As a group analyst, I am also interested in the social context of my clients whether working with a group or individually. This partly means thinking about the network of relationships that connects us all as well as the ways our social background shapes who we are and how we relate.
As well as working individually I run psychotherapy groups. In my experience, groups are particularly effective in improving relationships with others and developing self-esteem, as well as addressing feelings of outsider-ness and questions of identity.
Most people who join a therapy group immediately gain a sense of relief as they realise how much they can identify with others. As the group develops and works together, members can use each other as mirrors, gaining invaluable feedback on how others experience them. The therapy group can be a place where habitual patterns and dynamics in relationships are recognised and potentially changed. The psychotherapy group is facilitated by me and works within firm boundaries, such as confidentiality, to create a safe, supportive environment.
I believe in working collaboratively with my clients from the start. So, when we first meet, we are both engaged in deciding what is going to be most helpful. This may be just a short number of sessions or it could be something longer-term or open-ended. You might need or prefer to work individually. If you are interested in joining the psychotherapy group, we would always have some individual sessions first.
Experience and Qualifications
My clinical experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist spans over more than 20 years. I have worked during this time in NHS psychotherapy departments, universities, LGBT services, HIV and sexual health clinics and private practice. My experience has meant I have been able to enjoy working with a range of clients in terms of culture, ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender and life-stage. I have a particular interest in questions around identities and belonging.
Since 1994, I have undertaken the professional trainings listed below.
- Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling, Birkbeck University of London
- MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling and Therapy, Birkbeck University of London
- Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Supervision, Society of Analytic Psychology
- Postgraduate training in Group Analysis, Institute of Group Analysis
I am registered member of the UKCP, and a full member of the Institute of Group Analysis.
Claire is available at our Brighton and Hove Practice.
Please visit our fees page for more information.
Blogs by Claire Barnes
Understanding feelings of guilt
The process of joining a therapy group
What is ‘othering’ and why is it important?
How psychotherapy groups can help change our internalised family systems
Is a Therapy Group Right for Me? Am I Right for a Therapy Group?
What happens in Therapy Groups? The role of the Therapist
What happens in Group Therapy: Mirroring
Contact Claire directly
Claire works from the Hove Practice on Monday and Thursday day times. She runs group sessions on Thursday evenings.
Please only contact one Practitioner at a time