C. COMFORT SHIELDS
CPsychol, MBACP, MPhil & MSt (Oxon), MA, FRAI
Co-Founder of the Box Tree Clinic
Welcome, my name is Comfort. Primarily a psychodynamic and humanistic psychotherapist, I also integrate other approaches, depending on a client’s needs. I am a specialist in prolonged exposure therapy and narrative exposure therapy for C-PTSD and PTSD. I am a chartered psychologist, registered member of the BACP and the co-founder of the Box Tree Clinic in the Harley Street District of Marylebone, Central London. I see adults for individual therapy from any culture, sexuality, gender, and religion. I know that going through the process of therapy is often daunting and emotionally challenging. I aim to make my clients feel at home in a comfortable, welcoming, and relaxing environment.
BACKGROUND AND QUALIFICATIONS.
I am a graduate of Oxford University, Fielding Graduate University (APA Accredited, California), where I had over 5 years of full-time psychology training, and trained clinically at Yale University Medical Centre. Clinical psychology training in the United States is comprehensive and prepares psychologists to be psychotherapists, diagnosticians, as well as researchers and academics. While I practice as a psychodynamic and humanistic psychotherapist, I also have extensive training in many other modalities. I have published peer reviewed articles in leading psychology journals, and presented research at the American Psychological Association’s national convention. I have completed extensive original research on complex bereavement, attachment, and temporality and was awarded the Creative Longevity and Wisdom Fellowship from the Institute for Social Innovation. Psychoanalyst, philosopher, and author of Trauma and Human Existence, Robert Stolorow described reading my research as “an exhilarating experience”. I have spoken on dozens of radio programmes about suicide loss survival.
Educated in both the USA and UK and born in America, I have lived in the UK for over a decade. Before training to become a psychologist and psychotherapist I was a high school English, literature and creative writing teacher, worked in an editorial department of Penguin Books publishing, and completed postgraduate work in social and cultural anthropology with a specialisation in sociolinguistics and political anthropology. I am a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. My prior training in anthropology carries through to my psychotherapy work today in the way that I approach each client as a unique individual with his or her own set of values and ways of perceiving the world. I feel strongly that there is not one objective universal “truth” that a therapist needs to convey to each client, and that rather each human being experiences the world differently and needs to develop or find his or her own meaning.
I have a special interest in helping clients to identify both verbal and non-verbal–and particularly symbolic–patterns of communication and power dynamics in their relationships and in forming their sense of self both in the past and the present. This fascination with language and power began while I was a student and advisee of William Melvin Kelley’s at Sarah Lawrence College. The Oxford English Dictionary credits William Melvin Kelley with coining the word “woke“.
READING THIS WAS TRULY EXHILARATING FOR ME.
My philosophy is that although most human beings experience difficult periods in their lives, it is not the difficult periods themselves that make people who they are; but rather it is what people make of the difficult periods that defines individuals. Clients are best able to work through painful experiences when they receive emotional validation and empathy from their therapists through the process of therapeutic alliance.
AREAS OF TREATMENT.