Vicky Cuming

Vicky Cuming

Training

Previously a humanitarian aid worker with a core training in Philosophy, Vicky’s interest in human resilience in extreme situations led her to retrain as a psychological therapist at Brighton University, qualifying in 2009 as a person-centred therapist.

She has recently completed a training in Eye Movement Desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) with Sandi Richman. EMDR is an integrative therapy which targets those parts of experience that are less accessible to the rational brain.

She has an NHS training in running groups based on a CBT model.

Approach

Since 2009 Vicky has worked in the NHS with people experiencing anxiety and depression; offering one-to-one therapy and running groups based on a cognitive-behavioural model.  She also works as a therapist and trainer in private practice. The difficulties that people bring include:

  • Depression, anger, anxiety, apathy or panic. Problems which go back to childhood. 
  • Experience of being abused, including physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.
  • Trauma or a feeling of panic following a disturbing event as the result of an accident, sexual/violent attack, traumatic loss, traumatic medical event, or any other shock.
  • Difficulties due to being a parent or becoming one.
  • Relationship problems.
  • Sexual difficulties.
  • A change or loss including bereavement, sudden or long-term illness or loss of a role in life.
  • Work stress or other employment issues (such as bullying or overworking).
  • The effect of working overseas in Humanitarian Aid and Emergency situations and of living in a war-zone.

Person-centred Relational Approach

The core counselling model that she employs is a person-centred relational model which means that she focusses on offering an accepting and warm relationship within which the client can see more of themselves and understand how they relate to self, to Vicky and to others in their life. Vicky then works with the client to use that broader understanding to think about what changes they would like to make in their lives.

EMDR

EMDR is an integrative therapy for people who have been affected by a disturbing event in the past. Symptoms can include panic, anxiety, flashbacks and avoidance of 'reminder situations'. EMDR is particularly effective at changing emotional responses that are unhelpful and difficult to shift. This is because they are stored in the emotional part of the brain and experienced in the body and are therefore often inaccessible to a traditional talking approach which works on the rational part of the brain.

EMDR is the number one recommended treatment for post-traumatic stress by the NHS and by the World Health Organisation for treatment of children.

Training and workshops

Vicky runs wild swimming workshops which focus on understanding the relationship with the sea as a live example of how we react to a potentially dangerous and changing situation. Once participants have a clearer understanding of their bodily reaction to the sea Vicky takes them swimming with the opportunity to react differently. Participants often feel a greater sense of mastery which builds resilience and which they can then use in their broader life.

Vicky has also designed and led specific training on coping with stress, research methodology, on fun and on creativity in the NHS, corporate and voluntary settings in the UK and overseas.

Other information

Vicky's articles in expertise and resources

Available for appointments

Wednesday afternoon at Palmeira Square