Anne CussinsCounselling and Psychotherapy in Brighton & Hove

About Me / Qualifications. Portrait_001

About Me

Anne Marie Cussins MA.DipPsych. Registered with The United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy (UKCP).

I trained as a psychotherapist at The Institute of Psychotherapy and Social Studies and received my diploma in 1986. I was awarded a Masters degree in 1986 in The Psychology of Counselling and Psychotherapy at Regent's College, London.

Personal Approach

My approach is psycho-analytic/relational.

As a psychotherapist for individuals or couples, I offer a high level of listening and empathy. I specialise in working with women and have a feminist sensibility in regard to gender. When working with men I understand that gender positioning and the cultural need for strength and control, has meaning and is interrelated with the individual's personal and family experiences.

Eating Disorders
My approach takes into account the many complexities and the individuality of the symptom for each person. A focus of my research has been women and mental health and in 2001 my article on The Role of Body Image in Women's Mental Health was published in Feminist Review.

Understanding the developmental roots of eating disorders is important as is seeing these problems in a historical and social context. The aim is very often to create a healthy, more flexible sense of self-esteem: many young people who go on to have an eating disorder have felt excluded in school or had an early experience where they start to rely on self-control to counteract negative images of self. Society, too, offers only extreme images at this time of a peak in consumerism where the objectification of women is a bi-product of the need to create false desires and sustain them on a massive scale

I have experience in working with all aspects of the couple relationship, including issues with children and mediation for separating couples. One of the main sources of tension in the couple relationship is the need for each partner to be both separate and intimate. Psycho-analytic couple therapy sees both the conscious and unconscious aspects of each partner as a focus as well as the relationship between the couple.

  • Bereavement counselling at The Mulberry Centre, a clinic for cancer sufferers and their families at West Middlesex Hospital.
    Leading self-development groups for trainee psychotherapists, most recently at Brighton University.
  • Trained at The Post-Adoption Centre to work with issues in this area
  • Teaching and Supervision at The Institute of Psychotherapy and Social Studies and The New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling
  • Staff group facilitator for social services
  • Short-term counselling for a number of Employee Assistance Programmes

Areas of Specialism
  • Eating disorders and Body Image*
  • Deprivation in early childhood
  • Psychosomatic problems including acute and chronic anxiety and depression
*Article published in Feminist Review 2001, The Role of Body Image in Women's Mental Health: this article was inspired by The Body Image Summit on 21st June 2000 in London at which a panel headed by Tessa Jowell, Minister for Women, led a discussion among representatives of the media and the fashion industry. The aims of the summit were to consider the effects of advertising images on teenage girls and women and to develop a consensus from within these industries to promote a social and ethical awareness in their promotional activities. In this article I offer both a sociological and psychoanalytically based discussion of the problem of body image for women.

My MA. thesis was entitled 'Self Identity and Eating Disorders'.

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