About me

My name is Dr Nichola Marchant and I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist ( registered with the British Psychological Society, BPS and the Health and Care Professions Council, HCPC ). I am based in Derbyshire and also work online.

I work with predominantly with individuals but also offer couples therapy, supervision, training and consultation and work as an expert witness.

I specialise in working with trauma, emotional difficulties and with issues relating to sex and sexuality.

I use various therapeutic approaches in my work and strongly believe that the therapeutic relationship is the most crucial factor in supporting people to work towards achieving their goals. I aim to work collaboratively with my clients and can offer both short term and long term therapies.

I can be contacted by phone / text (07771 391614) or email - rubypsychologicalservices@gmail.com.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

appreciating our feelings

Feelings ( or emotions) are complex things. Sometimes they are immensely pleasurable while at other times they are overwhelmingly painful. At times we may wish we could lock them away in a box forever or have them removed , especially if it seems that all they do is cause distress. Feelings can get out of control, telling us there are threats when there are none, causing problems in our relationships and dragging us down.

However our feelings are important. They communicate things to us - telling us we need to run when there is a real threat, tell us to stand up and fight when we need to, let us know that maybe we shouldn't have done something and perhaps need to apologise and give us a buzz when something nice is happening.

Our feelings communicate to others too and can help improve our relationships - letting people know when we need a hug, or a cuppa or that the time is right to jump around squealing in excitement!

Without our feelings we might avoid the crappy stuff but it would be a whole lot harder to survive and we would certainly miss out on all the wonderful stuff. Let's learn to love our feelings because without them what would we be?

For anyone who struggles with identifying their feelings or managing them safely, you are not alone. Approaches such as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Schema Therapy, Mindfulness and Compassionate Mind can be really useful in helping us to learn how to identify our feelings, how to allow ourselves to experience feelings and how to manage them when they get out of control.


Friday, 22 May 2015

thinking outside the box

Psychological therapies have traditionally been conducted in clinics and interview rooms. The emphasis has been on containment and consistency. There is no doubt that for some people the predictability of a familiar environment can encourage the formation of a positive therapeutic alliance with the therapist and enable everything to focus on what's going on in the room.

More and more though I ( and many others) have been considering the benefits of offering an alternative approach which takes therapy outside to connect with nature and often our emotions and our sense of inner peace. For some this process can feel less intimidating and more empowering. Being outside naturally gives many opportunities for mindfulness and can allow us to explore places and indeed parts of ourselves that we didn't know existed.

It's ok to be creative, to break free of apparent traditions and to think about doing things differently!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Mindful Monday

The start of the week may bring doom and gloom and a longing for the weekend / holidays / the future. Focussing on what is to come may prompt feelings of anxiety of frustration. We may also look back at what has gone before triggering feelings of sadness of what we have lost or feelings of pain and regret.

This week lets try to be different. Let's focus on the here and now, living in the moment. Coping with what life throws at us ( because we can), enjoying the small things that we experience each day ( as there is pleasure all around us if we can learn to see it) and mindfully experiencing each day ( each hour, each minute) as it happens.

Mindfully cleaning our teeth, taking a shower, making that cuppa, walking to work....whatever we do throughout the day can be done mindfully with our full attention. Things around us will distract us, thoughts in our head, sensations in our body, but each can we become distracted we can try to notice the distraction and then let it go by turning our attention back to the task in hand.

Don't lets live our lives buried in the past or rushing towards the future, lets try our best to live in the present ( as painful and as uncomfortable as that may feel) and learn that we can cope, we are strong and our emotions are manageable.

For more information on mindfulness try searching for mindfulness resources on the internet for downloads, scripts and more.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Schema Therapy

I'm currently training in schema therapy which I'm really enjoying. My client's really seem to "get" the approach and it is flexible enough to offer different things to different people. It offers a really useful way of understanding ourselves and our development.

Once upon a time we were all "vulnerable children" with various needs. If our needs were met by "good-enough" ( I think it's really important to emphasise that nothing is ever perfect!) then we can develop into healthy adults. At times though we may behave in different ways particularly when responding to situations that we find painful. These different "modes" have been functional in that they have served to protect us from pain but they also prevent us from reaching our full potential and can impact on our relationships.

Examples of schema modes include the angry child mode ( who appears when our needs are not met), the punitive parent mode ( the critical inner voice that berates us) and the avoidant protector ( who avoids painful thoughts / situations).

If our care-giving ( for whatever reason) wasn't "good enough" for our specific needs we may find that we spend alot more time in these less healthy schema modes. Schema therapy using aspects of lots of different therapies to help us to understand our own pattern of modes, what drives this and looks at ways of overcoming this with a view to helping us develop into healthier adults. I'm finding it really useful personally and think it's a great option for anyone wanting to gain more insight into their personality and to put a stop to tricky life patterns.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Being kind to ourselves

Often in life we find it easy enough to be kind to other people but being kind to ourselves is another matter. We might have a strong self critical / punitive parent ( see Schema Therapy) voice in our head that berates us for everything we do. We might be overwhelmed by painful feelings ( particularly shame) which block out our ability to be kind to ourselves.

The ability to be kind or compassionate to ourselves is a real skill but one that can make a real difference in our ability to tolerate painful emotions and to survive what life throws at us. It takes practice. Have a compassionate phrase ( eg I am safe, I am strong) to say to yourself throughout the day. Do pleasant things to self-soothe in times of distress.

For more information look on the internet for Schema Therapy (Young), Compassionate Mind ( Gilbert) and DBT (Linehan). These approaches will be discussed in later posts.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Count your blessings

We can all become bogged down by our distress and the pain that life inevitably throws at us from time to time. If we allow ourselves to focus on this we can become overwhelmed and less able to cope. One way to try and move away from this is to sit down and reflect on the good bits, however small. It might be as simple as having enough food in the cupboard or having somewhere to sleep at night. Make a list , you might be surprised.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Self-help resources

There are some great self-help resources available for those unable to access therapy themselves.

I particularly likes these booklets as they are simple and effective


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Book suggestion

New schema therapy self-help book, has to be worth a look!


Schema therapy is really accessible as a model and seems to make sense to people who have previously struggled with therapy ( and for those who have not!). Self-help books can offer those who are not in a position to access therapy a way of supporting themselves and can assist those who are in therapy to get the most out of the process.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

One of the therapies offered by RPS is DBT:

The balance between saying well done you have strategies in place that have allowed you to survive so far while also saying lets try and learn something new and healthier. DBT focuses on the present.

Skills focus on Mindfulness, Regulating Emotions, Tolerating Distress and Healthy Relationships. 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Feeling good

Therapy is certainly one of the things that can help people to make sense of their experiences, reduce blame and to learn new ways of coping and being that maybe cause less distress. However there are other things that we can all do that can help us to feel better about ourselves and to increase our resilience.

These things include:

  • Getting enough sleep ( depending on what you need as an individual)
  • Eating a healthy , balanced diet ( too much sugar for example can play havoc on our emotions)
  • Having some gentle exercise every day
  • Not over-indulging in alcohol ( alcohol is a depressant and can significantly impact on our mood and sleep patterns)
  • Looking after any physical aches and pains 
  • Doing something we find pleasurable every day
  • Doing something that gives us a sense of achievement each day

If we find it difficult to look after and care for ourselves maybe its time to consider why that is and look at changing this. It is ok to be kind to ourselves.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Being mindful

Mindfulness is one of the techniques that is now seen as useful for lots of different issues. It can help people to manage their distress, live in the moment ( and so prevent depression from focusing on the past and anxiety about thinking about the future) and assist with concentrating and being aware of what's going on around us.

It's one of the things that can really help us but can also be really tricky to grasp. I know that mindfulness will benefit me but I find it hard! In DBT we talk about the mindfulness what skills of OBSERVING, DESCRIBING and PARTICIPATING and the how skills of being NON-JUDGMENTALLY, ONE-MINDFULLY and EFFECTIVELY.

In starting to practice mindfulness I like to take an object or an activity that I enjoy ( eating chocolate or having a hot shower) and describe everything I notice using all of my senses ( eg the chocolate is brown, it tastes sweet, it smells of cocoa, it crunches in my mouth, it feels smooth). By focusing on describing I attempt to focus all of my attention on the chocolate rather than on thoughts in my head, physical sensations in my body and whats going on in the environment around me. When I get distracted ( which I do, often!) I simply notice the distraction and let it go, bringing my attention gently back to the chocolate ( or shower, or my breathing etc).

Practice makes mindfulness easier, it's ok to find it hard, the simple of act of spending a few minutes just on YOU can in itself be hugely beneficial. Give it a go - you might like it!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


Acceptance is a key skill in tolerating distress and painful emotions. It sounds easy but is often one of the hardest things to do as our brains are wired to fight or flee from things that threaten us. 

Therapy can help us to identify what things in life can be changed and give us the courage to address them. It can also provide us with the space to explore our reluctance to accept and give us the skills to change the way we cope. For those wanting to explore the underlying reasons for our individual coping and personality styles therapy can also bring insight and understanding and freedom from shame.

The Serenity Prayer....

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference. (Reinhold Niebuhr)

Monday, 16 February 2015

Personality Disorder...

Ruby Psychological Services work with individuals of all ages with presenting problems from anxiety to substance misuse. We particularly specialize in working with people who have a diagnosis (or who think they may have) of personality disorder. We understand that diagnosis is a controversial area and focus on gaining a collaborative understanding of your experience and alleviating distress.

For some having a formal diagnosis can seem like the end of the world while others see it as a relief and a sign of hope and accessing treatment. Whatever your perspective there is help on hand. There are many different approaches available to help support people with difficulties relating to coping, emotional recognition and regulation and relationship patterns. 

As an intergrative psychologist I am able to use aspects of different therapeutic approaches to suit what YOU need. The main models I draw from are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Schema Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy. Therapy is a flexible process. For some the need is to focus on symptom management, reducing problematic behaviours and increasing coping while others wish to focus specifically on making sense of early experiences. In providing a collaborative and intergrative approach we week to meet these individually needs.

Taking the first steps

Taking the first step into therapy can be an anxiety provoking experience, particularly when we don't know what to expect.

I understand these anxieties and appreciate the courage required to make the first steps towards making changes in our every day lives. At Ruby Psychological services we offer a free 20 minute telephone consultation to anyone interested in exploring whether we can offer you what you need.

There are many therapeutic approaches on offer but time and time again research suggests that the most important factor in successful therapy is in fact the therapeutic relationship. It is crucial that you find a therapist / counsellor / psychologist who you believe you can work with.

To arrange a free consultation or to find out more about what we can offer then please email rubypsychologicalservices@gmail.com or call / text 07771391614

Sunday, 1 February 2015


Welcome to the new blog for Ruby Psychological Services in Derbyshire.

RPS offer psychological therapies in various formats including email support, one to one counselling, couple and family work and group work. Offering both short term and long term therapy we aim to offer a supportive and collaborative framework for over-coming psychological distress.

Please feel free to comment or email rubypsychologicalservices@gmail.com for further information. This blog is a work in process and will be updated regularly.