About

   COMFORT SHIELDS

CPsychol, MBACP, MPhil & MSt (Oxon), MA, FRAI

Private Psychotherapist
Chartered Psychologist
Social and Cultural Anthropologist

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 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 where I served as the Clinical Director for several years. I see adults for individual therapy from any culture, sexuality, gender, and religion. Among the other issues that I regularly treat such as anxiety, depression, and relationship issues, I specialise in treating trauma, including trans-generational trauma, working with human trafficking victims, survivors of physical and sexual abuse, suicide loss survivors, and those suffering from complex bereavement. Additionally, I have a special interest and devote a significant part of my practice to working with adults on the Autistic Spectrum/Asperger's and also working with adults with personality disorders, including borderline, narcissistic, avoidant, and dependent.

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 post-graduate psychology training, and trained at Yale University Medical Centre, where I did my clinical externship. 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 and worked in the editorial department of Penguin Books publishing house.

I am also an anthropologist, and completed an advanced postgraduate research degree in social and cultural anthropology with a specialisation in sociolinguistics. I am a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. My prior training in anthropology carries through to my psychotherapy work today, not only in working with multi-cultural issues but also 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."

Feedback on Comfort's existential-psychodynamic study of complex bereavement, temporality, and attachment

[ROBERT STOLOROW, PHD, AUTHOR OF TRAUMA AND HUMAN EXISTENCE]

MY PHILOSOPHY

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

  • Abuse/Survivors of Abuse
  • Adjusting to Change/Life Transitions
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Aspergers
  • Communication Problems/Relationships
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Dream Analysis
  • Family Problems
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • Identity Issues
  • Infidelity
  • LGBTQ Issues/ Gender Identity and Coming Out
  • Life Purpose
  • Multicultural Concerns
  • OCD/ Obsessions and Compulsions
  • Panic and Panic Attacks
  • Perfectionism
  • Personality Disorders
  • Phobias
  • PTSD/Post-traumatic Stress
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Self-Actualization
  • Self-Esteem
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sex Trafficking Victim
  • Shame
  • Social Anxiety
  • War Refugees

 

MEMBER ORGANISATIONS.

  • British Psychological Society (BPS), Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol)
  • BACP, Registered Member
  • BPS Division of Counselling, Psychology, Member
  • BPS Division of Clinical, Psychology, Member
  • BPS Division of Psychotherapy, Member
  • BPS Division of Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology, Member
  • BPS Special Group For Independent Practitioners, Member
  • International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy, Member
  • American Psychological Association (APA), International Affiliate
  • The International Honours Society in Psychology, Psi Chi Member
  • The Royal Anthropological Institute, Fellow

Testimonials