Caroline-Drijver-2018Caroline Drijver is a specialist CBT therapist, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) and Mindfulness practitioner working with individuals experiencing a wide range of psychological issues in Brighton and Hove, as well as all over Sussex.

"I have over twenty years of experience as a psychotherapist helping people with a wide range of psychological problems."

Some psychological challenges have a name and others may not. Those with a name are: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Specific Phobias
  • Complex Phobias such as Vomit Phobia
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD
  • Health Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Medically Unexplained Symptoms
  • Stress 
  • Anger without violence
  • Prolonged Grief

This is a list of names given to problem areas which share common characteristics, so some have been categorised into diagnoses. As such there are therapy protocols which I make use of as they are helpful in the treatment of these problems. However, there are many times when I find it helpful to take a broader view and I am happy to address past and present issues which have a negative effect on your well-being. 

My training prior to doing CBT was initially as a registered general nurse and then as a registered mental nurse. My core profession in mental health nursing and subsequent work as a psychotherapist have given me a solid knowledge of mental health issues.

In addition to these core trainings, I have also done a year’s introductory training at the Institute for Group Analysis South East and a degree in Professional Practice in Health Care. In 2003 I completed my training in Eye Movement Desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), a treatment used for the treatment of trauma-related problems. I have recently undertaken additional training in EMDR with Sandi Richman and am trained to Level 3. In 2012 I completed my training as a  Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy teacher. The Mindful approach to disturbing thoughts and feelings fits in well with  CBT and many people find this helpful. 

I have worked for many years in the NHS, most recently as a Senior Psychological Therapist and supervisor for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme. I am currently working for Canterbury and Christchurch University as a supervisor and examiner for their IAPT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy training course. I am also an associate therapist for the Practitioner Health Programme, an NHS treatment service for doctors and dentists. 

I offer appointments on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the Fiveways area of Brighton, with good bus connections and free parking. I offer short or longer term psychotherapy to individuals who broker their own therapy or are medically insured. I also offer supervision and consultation to colleagues and organisations.

Professional Registration 

 Other Registrations

ICO Data Protection Register - No Z1827713
Disclosure and Barring Service - No 001412628942

Health Insurance Companies I am registered with

Bupa, Cigna, AXA PPP, Aviva

If you have another healthcare insurer and would be interested in therapy with me then please feel free to contact me as becoming recognised is usually straightforward and quick. 


 It can be a minefield trying to find a good therapist in the private sector, the voluntary sector or the NHS. That’s not to say that there are not very good ones in all these areas, but how do we know? Organisations such as the NHS will be setting their internal standards and will have ways of managing underperforming therapists, so the standards in the NHS are usually pretty reliable. But what about the private sector? I recently found my name on a rating site and had it removed. Does that sound dodgy?

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I have written in a previous blog about relapse prevention plans. Once a person is feeling better, no longer unduly anxious or clinically depressed, it is important to look at ways of keeping well. This can include how to respond if the anxiety re-emerges or the mood dips again, but hopefully we can go further than this and consider what for us constitutes living well. 

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When we seek help for our psychological distress we may hope the outcome will be a return to our “old” self. This may happen, but some of us may become changed, in a good way.

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The idea of facing our fears has always been with us and has been much written about in ancient and modern scripts. Jim Morrison, of The Doors, said “Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” I like this quote as it acknowledges the existential fear of freedom and is in keeping with a CBT approach to facing fears. 


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A strong principle for the practice of CBT is the facing of our fears. There is good reason for this, and avoidances can certainly cause us more trouble in the long run, but is there a place for avoidance too?

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If you are alert to the presence of spiders you will know that there are still plenty of them around in the home and garden. And if you are alert to their presence this may be because you love them or because you are afraid of them. If you are afraid of them you are not alone, many of us find spiders’ long legs and their hairs brings up a feeling of disgust and anxiety which then renders us unable to cope, and with the best thing seeming to be to avoid the leggy arachnid. 
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