Sarah Paton Briggs
Sarah is a Director of The Grove Practice, where she works with individuals and couples, in a relational and engaging way. She supports her clients in gaining a new perspective and finding support to deal with their situation. Sarah Briggs is the clinical director at The Grove, managing the therapy team and holding clinical responsibility.
Many of her clients are facing relationship difficulties, or stress at work, along with anxiety or depression. Others are struggling with illness or other changes in their life circumstances. But they all want to come and speak to someone who can help make sense of what’s happening and help them live more comfortably and happily.
Therapy with Sarah creates an environment of high support and empathy (also with some challenge at times), to work out what’s at the root of the difficulty, along with framing a way forward that best suits that individual our couple. She is skilled in working out what makes each client tick and what is important to them to improve their sense of wellbeing.
Sarah’s style is involved and attentive, aiming for high impact that will make a big favourable difference to the client. This blends looking inwards at one’s own process, as well as looking outwards at how one relates to others.
She has over 15 years’ post-qualification experience, with multiple accreditations: the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP), the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) and also the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP). Sarah is also a trauma therapist, holding membership of UK Psychological Trauma Society (UKPTS) and the European Society for Trauma Stress Studies (ESTSS).
Sexual and relationship therapy
Sarah has received specialist counselling training in working with couples and sexual problems (she is a psychosexual therapist accredited by COSRT), disordered eating, addiction and compulsive behaviour (OCD), and survivors of trauma or sexual abuse. She is also trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Her clinical experience includes addiction, relationship and sexual issues, depression and anxiety, bereavement, plus dealing with anger and violence. She has also received several medical referrals to work with the impact of medical diagnosis or coping with illness such as chronic fatigue, HIV or cancer.
In 2014, Sarah attended the introductory prerequisite training module in Imago relationship therapy, facilitated by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, along with Sophie Slade.
Sarah is a qualified equine-facilitated therapist – where the horse brings high-impact messages to the human client with slow release of relational tension or historical trauma. The horse is often the mirror of the client’s process or the medicine to heal old emotional wounds. There’s no riding involved, the sessions take place on the ground in an arena. Sarah’s equine practice is located in Wiltshire (between junctions 16 and 17 on the M4). Please contact her on 07973 368512 or [email protected] for further information. This equine-facilitated work can take place instead of or alongside sessions of talking therapy in the counselling room.
In line with best practice guidelines for psychotraumatology, Sarah has trained in a range of approaches to treating trauma, including the evidence-based protocol of CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy) which falls within NICE guidelines for Trauma-Focused CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) as well as BEPP (Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for PTSD). She has received training in assessing and diagnostics for trauma, PTSD, and complex PTSD. Importantly for symptomatic relief as a first stage in trauma treatment, Sarah is trained in emotional regulation and stabilisation of symptoms such as flashbacks or panic attacks, called STAIR (Skills Training in Affect and Interpersonal Regulation).
During 2019, Sarah will complete clinical training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), another trauma treatment protocol.
She has a wide range of working therapeutically with trauma survivors, including:
- childhood sexual abuse,
- rape and sexual assault,
- developmental trauma (childhood emotional neglect or abuse),
- military veterans and serving members of the armed forces (Sarah has provided therapy programmes funded by Walking With The Wounded, Help 4 Heroes, The Dare To Live Trust),
- serving members of the armed forces or emergency first-responders or statutory services (Sarah has undertaken therapy programmes either privately-funded or through Employee Assistance Programmes including private health insurance schemes for employees of the Metropolitan Police Service, Wiltshire Fire Service, Wiltshire Police, Gloucestershire Police, Wiltshire Council).
Trauma therapy usually involves imagery rescripting to process intrusive memories such as flashbacks or nightmares, along with cognitive approaches to restructure memories and beliefs: all so that the survivor is better informed and resourced to live with the effect of the trauma, moving towards a future that is more manageable and calmer.
She was also invited by one of her former clients to contribute a chapter to his book describing his recovery journey from ritual childhood sexual abuse during his childhood. In this book, Matt Carey narrates his long and courageous journey through recovery towards helping others. To download this chapter, please click here which will take you to Matt Carey’s website www.mattcareybooks.com where you can support him by purchasing the full book through this route.
The book A Small Boy Smiling by Matt Carey is available here on Amazon.
This book chapter was kindly endorsed in an unsolicited testimonial by another client:
Private health insurance
For therapy funded by private health insurance, Sarah is registered with many providers including Allianz, Aviva 600067240, AXA PPP SB07268, BUPA 30003277, Cigna 133418, Vitality/PruHealth/Standard Life SP073548, and WPA 920334556. Sarah is listed on HealthCode’s Private Practice Register.
As a supervisor accredited by BACP and by COSRT, Sarah offers supervision to therapists and coaches who are looking for a supportive space in which to explore the highlights, puzzles and tangles which occur in their practice working with clients.
Here is a video of Sarah talking about her work as a therapist, filmed in an interview with former colleagues:
Book an appointment with Sarah
Click here to see available appointment times, to book an Initial Consultation to discuss your situation and how therapy can help. You will see Sarah’s name as one of the therapist options.
Coaching and organisational experience
In addition to her clinical practice, Sarah also works as an executive coach and management development trainer. She is an executive coach and a member of the Association for Coaching and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She is also a certified Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming, as well as holding a Diploma in Organisational Development and Executive Coaching and a Diploma in Business and Life Coaching – both coaching diplomas gained from courses recognised by the Association for Coaching UK. Particularly for teams, Sarah is accredited by Margerison-McCann in the Team Management System. This addresses individual preferences overlayed with work tasks, which can be addressed within group dynamics for a team.
Following her MA in Social & Political Science at the University of Cambridge, Sarah developed a successful 15-year career in advertising. Working within a leading global agency network, BBDO, her role comprised directing major UK or international client business in retail, financial and industrial sectors, with clients including Sainsbury’s, Gallo wines, GE. This experience means she understands the issues facing individuals or organisational clients in demanding roles, often working with rapid and wide-ranging change.
Qualifications and memberships
Sarah is committed to continuing professional development and has been in continual training each year since completing her original therapy qualification – exceeding the minimum levels set by her professional memberships. She has trained in various trauma therapy approaches, including CPT.
- Psychotherapist accredited by British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP), the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) and Federation of Drug & Alcohol Professionals (FDAP).
- Executive coach, member of the Association for Coaching UK (ACUK).
- Supervisor accredited by BACP and COSRT.
- Member of the UK Psychological Trauma Society and European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
- EMDR Level 1 and Level 2.
- Equine-facilitated psychotherapist certified by LEAP.
- EFT Level 1 and Level 2.
- Equine-facilitated human development practitioner certified by IFEEL (Ofqual regulated qualification).
- BACP-accredited training: Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling.
- Diploma in Psychosexual & Relationship Counselling.
- Diploma in Organisational Development & Executive Coaching.
- Diploma in Hypnotherapy recognised by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council.
- Certificate in CBT with Heart.
- Certificate in Working With Survivors of Sexual Abuse.
- Certified Practitioner in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming).
- Diploma in Supervision.
Sarah has trained in two forms of powerful approaches to trauma resolution. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is listed on the NICE guidelines for trauma treatment. This approach involves eye movements left and right which are believed to enable the mind and emotions to resolve traumatic memories. Sarah’s training in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) also known as “tapping”, enables stuck patterns of behaviour or long-standing emotional responses to be addressed, along with Matrix Reimprinting. These techniques can be powerful in shifting recurring problems, to improve relationships and self-confidence.