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.

Friday, 15 May 2020

My experience of EMDR

I thought I would write a little bit about my experience of EMDR therapy and hopefully when they are ready some others will add their experiences to this post.

I think I first came across EMDR properly around 10 years ago, maybe a bit more. The comments I heard about it were negative, cynical and I made my own judgements accordingly. My views were compounded a few years later when I worked with a small group of women who had found EMDR traumatising. I was horrified to hear how they had felt abused by the process and how the services they were involved with compounded the problem by acting punitively with medication to squash their distress. I vowed to stay away.

Fast forward a few years (now my sense of time is rubbish and my ability to remember dates is atrocious) and I was again discussing with a wonderful client of mine about how best to help them to move forward with their complex trauma. After doing yet more research it seemed that EMDR might be a good shout so I booked myself onto the appropriate courses and managed to squash my usual attending training related anxiety and get through it.

What a revelation! Sure, it's a bizarre therapy and truth be told I really have no idea how it works but it is remarkably effective. Initially I was terrified of using it (the memories of the women from the past still haunt me) but gradually it has become an integral part of the therapy I do.

I've seen people have amazing results using EMDR to overcome early childhood experiences, single and complex trauma, change core beliefs, manage OCD and beat anxiety. It's amazing for changing sexual difficulties and for reducing self blame and shame. It's not an easy therapy (I have never been scowled and growled at as much as I have when using EMDR) however their are so many creative ways of using it to build resources and to process memories I can't imagine not having it in my toolkit. I love how it fits nicely with my other go to therapies of Schema Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy too.

It's not just for single event trauma and I would really recommend considering it if you are looking to embark on a new therapy journey. It's not for everyone of course, no therapy works for all. And the most important factor is finding a therapist who suits you. But don't do what I did and discount it without giving it a chance.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Venturing into online therapy

My last attempt at online therapy, didn't last long. A very wobbly internet connection and a lack of confidence when I started working for myself meant that I managed to grand total of 1 1/2 sessions before giving up the idea as a bad lot.
Fast forward 5 years or so and coronavirus challenged my ideas of how to continue to provide therapy while maintaining the health and safety of the people I work with. A hasty purchase of a tablet with plenty of data and a slight rearranging of furniture in my spare bedroom and I was ready to go. And terrified. I had no idea how this might work, whether it would be helpful, would everyone realise that I am actually awful at therapy? And the thought of staring at my own face in the corner of my tablet for hours a day was horrifying!

I'm not sure how many weeks in to the "lockdown" we now are, but I am loving online therapy! I have been able to work with new clients who would struggle to get to my office in Crich and have found that EMDR when we are in different rooms can be just as effective! The feeling of "closeness" and the awareness of another persons raw emotions when we are connected by two small screens has been amazing and I have noticed how "feeling safe" in your home environment is really helping some people to push forward with their trauma therapy. It's obviously not for everyone as we know that not all home environments are safe or confidential spaces. And at times when I can hear my dogs barking downstairs I long to be back in my little office. However, the possibilities of online therapy are really exciting. It means those who are housebound can access therapy and it also means that you can potentially access a therapist who is georgraphically distant from you. More choice has got to be a good thing. And I am actually used to seeing my face in the corner of the screen, exposure work at its finest!

I asked one of my clients to give their thoughts:

After the news that the country was going into lockdown we had to have a serious think about therapy sessions. Of course my initial (if slightly selfish) thought was ‘oh no, I can’t possible do therapy online! I am different make an exception!’ Despite the fact that my degree is almost entirely online, so I am used to webinars, zoom and live chat, I still rigidly thought that my emotions had no place in cyber-space. My logical mind (which is where I feel most comfortable), kept on telling me that therapy did not belong in my house, and certainly did not belong in my bedroom where my computer is set up. I’d like to say I embraced it and went in with an open mind but the autistic side of my brain dug my heels in for the first week and didn’t make the most of therapy. Now however, I am a convert! I love having therapy online, in my home and in my bedroom. I have all my grounding tools around me such as my essential oils, my weighted blanket and my sensory toys. There is space to get up and do some squats when I’m dissociating and it has cut down on 2.5 hours travel time each week. Having my therapist there in my surroundings which I have created myself seems so much safer to me. My room is blue – another thing to make me feel safe, and if I’m upset I don’t have to look at the camera. I don’t think Nichola is too fond of this last point, but I really don’t like crying, so having the option to just turn and stroke my dog instead is super-beneficial to me. I guess I do miss the human connection sometimes, so post-covid I would like to have some sessions in person, but overall online is definitely very easily accessible and I recommend it to anybody who has work commitments and can’t make appointments, or lives too far away too travel regularly.