What to expect
The first couple of sessions provide an opportunity to see if we both feel we can work well together. In these sessions I will be interested in what has brought you and we will look at what you aim to get from therapy and see if we both feel the way I work will suit you.
It is likely that therapy will involve some exploration of your childhood experiences, along with your current circumstances and any issues in the present which may have brought you. As well as being interested in your thoughts and feelings, I will also draw your attention to what is happening in your body. Our nervous system is inextricably linked to our mental state so I am always curious about the information held in the body. Therapy can be a very creative process, and I often use visualisations, imagery and metaphor to help deepen the work.
I have experience working in many areas, including working with anxiety, low self-esteem, cult survivors, service veterans, issues of identity and life transitions, moving beyond childhood trauma, recovering from abuse, and issues around relationships, sex and sexuality.
Most of my work is with individuals but I will occasionally work with couples or family members. Everyone’s experience of therapy is different, but my hope is that each individual I work with will come away from the process with a richer sense of being alive.
‘Working with Claire was my first experience with therapy. I have to say that making the decision to try therapy was not an easy one and I remember being very apprehensive at the thought of first meeting a therapist. I came across Claire’s profile by chance and I am so incredibly grateful that I trusted my gut feeling and contacted her. I worked with Claire for a total of about four years, and I can honestly say that she is one of the warmest and most gentle people I have ever met. She made me feel safe and accepted and heard in a way I had never experienced before. I believe that what I was able to accomplish with her help and support was some of the most important work I will do in my life, and I don’t believe I could have chosen a better person with whom to embark on such a difficult but ultimately incredibly rewarding journey. She has my heartfelt thanks and eternal gratitude.’ Anna
‘Some years ago my late wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and as we talked about what it would mean and how we would cope with it, she suggested, quite insistently, that I should have a therapist to talk to, to help me through what was obviously going to be a very difficult and upsetting time. At first I was reluctant, but I made an initial appointment to see Claire Spooner and discuss it. There was something about the mixture of care, understanding and detachment in her approach that gave me the confidence to continue, and I came to value our weekly sessions very much indeed. It didn’t matter whether I came feeling angry or miserable or cheery or fretful, I found talking led to more talking, and always to a greater understanding of myself and my world. Claire, I realised, was very adept at encouraging our conversation down productive paths, never judgmental, able to press me to think harder sometimes, to follow my thoughts into a degree of self-realisation that I found illuminating and extremely helpful. So much so, in fact, that when I reluctantly decided to end our sessions, after three and a half years, I found that though I missed them and the space of calm reflection and (not always so calm) self-examination they offered, I was left with a new kind of inner resource, a sort of inner Claire-voice. It’s still working for me, and I shall always be grateful for it.’ Ian
'Claire and I worked together for just ten sessions and still (6 years later) I think back to the things we talked about and how valuable that time was. I was looking for a therapist for the first time after going through a messy breakup, and found Claire so easy to talk to it was like going to see friend. We started with the relationship but soon moved on to much more interesting and positive things - talking about my career, family, how I see myself, and how I relate to others more broadly. Claire challenged my thinking in a really gentle way, and the body work we did is something I still talk to friends about today. It was fascinating, and made me aware of how self compassion could lead to a healthier outlook on my life. Some months after our sessions my dad passed away from a long-term illness, but because of the work we’d done I was so much better prepared in supporting my family and in processing things myself. Our conversations charged me up creatively too - my work as a designer really developed afterwards because of the confidence I gained. I’ll always be grateful to have had the chance to work with Claire, and for my first experience of therapy to have been such a positive one.' Nina