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Bo Bloomfield
EMDR Therapist
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Bo Bloomfield is a senior accredited practitioner with 25 years’ unbroken practice working with children, adolescents and adults. She has worked in the education sector, counselling clients at primary and secondary school, and at college and university. Bo has also worked for 10 years in the NHS and for the last 23 years in private practice. She has experience of working therapeutically with a diverse range of clinical issues, with both short-term and long-term clinical contracts. Bo has undertaken work for several employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and understands issues pertaining to workplace counselling. Currently, Bo works as a freelance therapist providing counselling to clinical staff within the NHS. In the past, she has worked for Relate – undertaking counselling in their young people’s service, working with 11-18 year olds, as well as co-facilitating therapeutic groups for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Bo is also trained in working with couples. Since 2011, she has provided clinical supervision to individuals and groups, and this has included staff engaged in a broad spectrum of work, including social services staff, staff working for Mind, trainee counsellors studying for the diploma level and MA qualifications across the country, as well as therapists offering online therapy to school-age children across the UK. Bo has provided group supervision to counsellors working with bereaved children for Cruse and for a project working with young people at risk of sexual exploitation. Having completed a certificate in the provision of online and telephone counselling, she is able to offer both video and telephone appointments.

Bo is an eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapist, having completed the EMDR Europe standard accredited training. Bo’s original training was relational, and she works from the fundamental belief that therapeutic change comes

about through the systematic use of the therapeutic relationships. Her intention is to provide an interpersonally focused relationship which both contains and holds the client work as the client’s goals are actively worked towards. The key task is to create an empowering alliance with the client by communicating the attitudes and skills of the person-centred approach. By creating a climate of warmth, trust, genuineness and respect, Bo’s attention and energy are firmly focused on the collaborative nature of the therapeutic relationship, since its quality determines overall effectiveness of the work.

Bo uses the early counselling sessions to identify the client’s expectations, to agree a collaborative approach to the work, and to highlight the confidentiality boundaries. This provides an opportunity to agree a contract that stresses the client's autonomy and a shared understanding of the desired outcome goals. Bo’s respect for the autonomy of the client is paramount, and the narrative that a client brings – their own personal story – is held at the centre of the work. Through the process of active listening, she invites the client to tell their story, whatever that story might be.

As a relational therapist, Bo’s approach is also informed by psychodynamic theory. She pays particular attention to attachment theory - how attachments are formed and sustained, and how fractures and breaches in relationships are repaired or maintained. By paying attention to what is being communicated in the relationship, she is attempting to be sensitive to, and recognise the enduring relational themes in the client's presenting material. The relational model predicts that ways of relating learning in our earliest relationships will be played out in new relationships. Consequently, Bo is aware that old patterns experienced by the client may be re-played with her in the therapeutic space. Bo endeavours to use this experience as a therapeutic opportunity to encourage the client to recognise, challenge, and transform dysfunctional ways of relating.

Bo is particularly interested in and has experience in working therapeutically with trauma. EMDR is an approach that can be helpful in working with a wide range of mental health issues and with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in particular. EMDR can help people to recover from distressing life events and the problems they have caused, for example, flashbacks, upsetting thoughts or images, depression or anxiety. EMDR is recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a treatment for PTSD, and the World Health Organisation (WHO), which also recognises it as an effective treatment for adults and children. When using EMDR, there is a preparation stage where Bo and the client will prepare for the work together and a processing stage where bilateral stimulation is used to help process disturbing memories, thoughts and feelings. Bilateral stimulation refers to sensory stimuli, such as sounds, tapping, and eye movement that activate both sides of the brain. This can soothe and calm the client’s nervous system, enhancing the client’s access to positive images, thoughts, emotions and body sensations. During a therapy session, Bo may instruct the client to use their eyes to follow her fingers, and a client may be instructed to pat their own shoulders or knees with their hands, alternating between their left and right sides while following Bo’s pace. Bilateral stimulation can provide a new tool for people to process and recover from traumatic events. Here, the client practises how to regulate their own body, and in this way can be enabled to gain distance from and changes their perspective on the original trauma. Bilateral stimulation in EMDR therapy can help clients alleviate distressing emotional and physiological symptoms. The number of sessions needed will depend on the type and severity of the trauma that has been experienced.

Position at Priory

  • EMDR therapist
  • Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP) counsellor and clinical supervisor
  • EMDR UK association member
  • BACP senior registered accredited practitioner
  • BACP accredited practitioner
  • UKRC registered independent counsellor

Training

  • EMDR Europe Standard Accredited Training, EMDR Therapist, EMDR Academy
  • Certificate in Online and Telephone Counselling, Counselling Tutor
  • Certificate in the Working with Couples, Leeds Psychotherapy Training Institute
  • Diploma in the Practice of Supervision, Leeds Psychotherapy Training Institute
  • Counselling Children, Young People and Adolescents, Relate
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Therapies, Leeds Metropolitan University
  • BSC (Hons) Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (BACP Accredited Course) Park Lane College and Leeds Metropolitan University Leeds
  • Transactional Analysis 101 Certificate, Institute of Transactional Analysis
  • AEB Certificate in Counselling Skills, Joseph Priestly College, Leeds
  • PGCE, Dewsbury College
  • Diploma of Higher Education in Social Policy & Administration, Leeds Metropolitan University
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Qualifications
  • AEB Certificate in Counselling Skills, Joseph Priestly College, Leeds
  • BSC (Hons) Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (BACP Accredited Course) Park Lane College and Leeds Metropolitan University Leeds
  • Certificate in Online and Telephone Counselling, Counselling Tutor
  • Certificate in the Working with Couples, Leeds Psychotherapy Training Institute
  • Counselling Children, Young People and Adolescents, Relate
  • Diploma in the Practice of Supervision, Leeds Psychotherapy Training Institute
  • Diploma of Higher Education in Social Policy & Administration, Leeds Metropolitan University
  • EMDR Europe Standard Accredited Training, EMDR Therapist, EMDR Academy
  • PGCE, Dewsbury College
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Therapies, Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Transactional Analysis 101 Certificate, Institute of Transactional Analysis
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