Dr Jonathan O'Keeffe
Hello, I’m Jonathan! I'm a Clinical Psychologist.
Can you tell me a bit about your background?
My experience is quite varied, but I find this increases my level of insight, and ability to empathise with a broad range of clients. I initially worked in the community, promoting the independence of individuals with learning disability, or mental health difficulties. Then while working for a brain injury charity, I ran support groups and facilitated life skill development. I have also supported the assessment of brain injury/neurodevelopmental disorders and provided psychological interventions in an inpatient setting, when people can be at their most mentally unwell.
After my undergraduate degree in Leeds, I undertook a Master’s in Neuropsychology in the Netherlands, before finally completing my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the East Midlands. My clinical training included supporting individuals and families across the life span, and the range in neurodevelopmental ability. I have experience working in both rural and urban areas well as with people from deprived or affluent backgrounds and communities. I currently also work for the NHS in an Older People’s Service but enjoy working with clients of all ages.
What would it be like to meet you?
I recognise how important the therapeutic relationship is, so initial contact is about creating a safe space for us to work together. We will focus on your goals for therapy and develop a collaborative understanding of your story, and what may be contributing towards any difficulties.
Using a compassionate and empathetic approach, I work with clients to support them in moving towards a more meaningful life. Often the first steps are understanding the function behind any emotional difficulties, processing this through acceptance, and developing skills to respond flexibly to life’s ups and downs. Therapy is a joint process, so I work at your pace and use your feedback to direct sessions, maximise outcomes, and promote recovery.
What types of therapy do you use and what kind of difficulties do you help people with?
I work in a client-led manner, integrating a range of techniques that best fit with the individual. Therapies that I draw from include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), standard Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT), and aspects from Psychodynamic, Systemic, Narrative, and attachment informed therapies.
I frequently help clients with a range of presenting difficulties. Some examples are anxiety, depression, grief/loss/adjustment, attachment and family difficulties, processing and understanding emotionally traumatic events, or the role that shame may be playing on self-esteem/identity, motivation, and confidence.
What do you enjoy outside of psychology?
I enjoy taking my dog for walks in the countryside or travelling to see family. I love food and cooking, as well as being able to sample cuisine from different cultures. I try to stay fit and can empathise with anyone who struggles to have the motivation and energy to keep active. Overcoming such obstacles has helped me develop a more practical approach to helping my clients; something that is especially important in the post-COVID world.