Effective Therapy from Psychologists

online, and central & east London

What do I cover in “How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know. A workshop for psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors”?

Posted: 28/04/2019

Dates of next workshops:

Friday 21st June:                   Manchester

Monday 1st July:                   London.

Saturday 27th July:               online.



I first ran this workshop in 2015 and I will run my twenty seventh on 21st June.  All previous participants have rated the workshop as good or excellent.  I’ve used the feedback over the years to help refine the workshop content.  Last year I ran the workshop as a fully interactive webinar on zoom for the first time, and I continue to run these regularly on Saturdays.

I have had my fair share of setbacks and mistakes during my ten years in private practice and what I have learnt from these I bring to the workshop content so that hopefully you will not at least make the same ones I did!  I would encourage you to book as I am sure like previous participants you will find the day highly rewarding and useful for your private practice ambitions.

So, what does it take to run a successful private practice and what do I cover during the workshop?  Well, it goes without saying that you need a successful marketing plan and the afternoon session is devoted entirely to this.  But it needs more than that: you need to be good at self-management and crucially build reliable supportive working relationships with other colleagues to avoid what I think is one of the biggest challenges in private practice: avoiding isolation.

Moreover, I bring my perspective as a Cognitive Analytic Therapist to the workshop to help you reflect upon helpful ways of relating to yourself and your clients, and get you thinking about how commercial pressures can add another layer to the pressures you may experience as a therapist.  I have learnt for example through past mistakes that whilst its natural to want to try to please your clients and do a good job, this can get in the way of setting boundaries about cancellations or therapy interfering behaviours if you are unduly worried about losing a client for financial reasons.   Furthermore, I facilitate reflection on your confidence levels as therapists and any “therapist blocks” you may have, because in private practice they may relate to the extent to which you feel able to address enactments with clients or market yourself.  Participants have found the confidence building strategies useful during the day to help them identify their own blocks and focus on their professional strengths when it comes to the marketing exercises.

Of course, the workshop covers all the other essentials needed to get going including General Data Protection Regulation, formulating and managing risk in private practice, online therapy essentials, and how to maintain ethical standards and practice.

Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist, Accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapist & Supervisor, & Vice-Chair of the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy.


< Back to the Psychology Blog

What do I cover in “Out of Control Sexual Behaviour: A Cognitive Analytic Therapy informed relational approach to assessment, formulation, and intervention.”

Posted: 01/04/2019

This workshop takes place in London on Monday 29th April.  Book at:


And there is another in London on Monday 10th June.  Book at:


Cognitive Analytic Therapy as a relational model of therapy can be applied to aid the understanding of human sexuality and patterns of sexual behaviour that are restricting or harmful. A relational approach to formulating these difficulties invites us to understand how the behaviour fits with our clients emotional and relational world.  We all have characteristic patterns of relating to ourselves and others:  these can be rich clues for formulating the relational drivers of patterns that repeat in your client’s lives. Is your client’s relationship with themselves an affirming or a belittling one?  Are they for the most part critically demanding of themselves in a way that leaves them feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to be perfect whilst feeling that nothing they do is good enough?  It is not hard to see how such a deeply ingrained relationship with self could give rise to difficult states of mind that push someone towards sex and drugs in order to provide a powerful albeit temporary escape or respite from self-attacking or self-pressuring patterns of thinking.

CAT offers us many useful ways of understating how so much of our suffering arises from our view of the self, and the ways others treated us for better or for worse, become internalised as ways we see ourselves.  Paradoxically, the better people’s lives get, the more pressure they can feel to present a good self, so the more they suffer when their self-image is damaged. We can alleviate much of our suffering by temporarily forgetting about ourselves or getting lost.  We can forget about our self in many ways, and sex and drugs are just one.

I would like to suggest that in order to help clients we need to hold in mind the nature of escape.  It is not about a desire to self-destruct.  Apart from the potential to pathologise, this idea misses the central purpose of escape – to limit or stop the patterns of thinking about self that give rise to difficult feelings about self- such as I am a failure, I am unlovable etc.  We need to help clients identify and change relational patterns that give rise to these feelings and assist them develop more helpful relationships with themselves and others, and thereby reduce the need to escape.  In other words, out of control sexual behaviour can represent an attempt to find a solution to some form of vulnerability and to ease the “burden of self “, and the perceived risks of vulnerability, such as the vulnerability of living up to expectations, to be approved of by others, or to be loved and accepted.  As someone once put it:

It’s easy to take off your clothes and have sex.  People do it all the time.  But opening up your soul to someone, letting them into your spirit, thoughts, fears, future, hopes, dreams…that is being naked”.  

To learn more about using CAT’s relational understandings to help support people struggling with “Chemsex” and other sexual activities which have come to feel out of control, join Robert Watson at the second run of this workshop on Monday 29th April in London. Read more and book at:


< Back to the Psychology Blog