My Background

I am a British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Counselling Psychologist; a Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered Practitioner Psychologist, and a United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) registered Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist; College of Psychoanalysts and Jungian Analysts (CPJA).

My 30 years clinical experience includes working in therapeutic childcare in residential settings; and providing brief and longer term Counselling Psychology and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy  in a range of NHS services over 16 years including primary care, (seeing people in their GP’s surgery for brief therapy), specialist outpatient psychotherapy services for mid to long term psychotherapy, and in a medium secure hospital working in the Forensic Psychiatry service as a Team Psychologist and Psychoanalyst with patients suffering from major mental illness; and personality disorders. I am trained in Systemic Family Therapy and Non Directive Play Therapy.

Penny Blake
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside awakes.”
Carl Jung

The Working Relationship

(also called The Therapeutic Alliance)

Over many years of clinical work and updating continuing professional development in the light of current research and best practice, core models become integrated into a more comprehensive understanding of the mind/brain/experience interaction which provides the foundation of our personalities. This means simply that important aspects of other models have been blended into my core psychoanalytic model to form a more comprehensive and flexible way of understanding and working with a wide range of people and their difficulties.  This includes elements of CBT and Mindfulness.

Qualified Psychotherapists, Psychologists and Counsellors are required to undergo continuing professional development (CPD) to keep abreast of research, update knowledge and skills, and develop ways of working which incorporate the growing professional understanding of how people become unhappy or stuck in life, and how best to help different people with their particular difficulties and unhappiness. There is no one treatment recipe which fits all, and for the last thirty years research has consistently shown that the most important element in successful therapy is the quality of the working relationship between the therapist and the person seeking help, and the therapist’s ability to come to understand the problems and feelings of the other and use their skills to work to help him or her to understand themselves better and to live life more effectively and more happily.


For those who like to know a little more about approaches

I am trained and qualified in the following core models which provide a foundation to my continuing professional development (CPD):

Psychoanalysis

Understanding and helping the patient develop insight into how early relationships shape our personalities and our way of relating to one another and how the emotional impact of past events may colour and shape our understanding of ourselves and expectations of others for better or worse in the world today. Therapy starts with where you are today and over-time explores relevant significant past events and their impact on present day relationships as they arise during therapy and are brought to life and examined in the transference relationships. Transference means unconsciously bringing into the therapeutic relationship unresolved beliefs feelings and expectations which belong to past relationships and come alive during therapy.

Attachment Based therapy

Recognises the lasting impact of our very first relationships with our principal carers in infancy and early years, and how we continue to unconsciously relate to others and understand ourselves in the world under the influence of very early experience. Where early relationships lacked emotional safety or when traumatic things happened that cannot be recalled or processed in words, it becomes difficult to develop the abilities to calm and soothe (regulate) ourselves and life and relationships can seem an endless struggle. Therapy is aimed at providing a safe and reparative attachment experience.

The Neuroscience of Attachment

Provides an explanation of how the brain develops in healthy or impaired ways depending on our first attachment experiences and relationships beginning in the third trimester of pregnancy; and how the brain’s organisation affects the development and organisation of personality. This interactive process between experience, brain organisation and personality is a life-long process.

Humanistic Models, Person Centred and Existential

These models explore an individual’s experience of being themselves in their life, and with respect and empathy aim to understand and identify the sources of pain and to foster healthy parts of the individual in order to understand and overcome their difficulties.

Systemic Theory

Recognises that individuals live in families, communities and larger social groups which influence, helpfully or unhelpfully, our beliefs and behaviours, and have an impact on each member’s ability to develop and stay healthy. Similarly, to be healthy and function well the system needs all of its members to be healthy. Therapy is aimed at identifying and examining repetitive patterns of unhealthy/damaging interactions and encouraging mutually supportive change.

Contact Me

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Penny Blake | Counselling Psychologist | Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist
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07791 380266