Experience Change with
Welcome to Aurora Psychology, situated in the heart of Lancaster, UK.
At Aurora I aim to provide a safe space full of warmth and compassion, where you will not be judged but understood, no matter what it is you’re going through. I understand that life can feel very tricky at times, if not unbearable, however change is possible; life does not have to feel like this.
I appreciate the courage it has taken you to make this first step of searching for someone who may be able to help you. At Aurora I specialise in psychological therapy for individuals and couples over the age of 16, who are experiencing anything from stress, relationship difficulties, depression, all forms of anxiety, to trauma and difficulties adjusting and living with chronic physical health problems.
Therapy involves getting to know you and your story. We then start to make sense of things at your pace, using therapy methods which are tailored to you. This will enable you to understand your pain, develop a new awareness of yourself, build new strategies to help you manage what life throws at you; and helping you recognise you are more resilient than you realise.
Ultimately, at Aurora I hope to help you evolve and live with more contentment, and less pain.
Dear Sarah, Thank you for everything you have done for me. I cannot express enough how much you have helped me through one of the darkest times in my life. Thank you for helping me see my future in a positive light - you are brilliant at what you do and as sad as I am not to see you, I am externally grateful that you have helped me regain my independence
Is it for me?
I believe anyone and everyone can benefit from psychological therapy. For some, they may not be experiencing any specific difficulty but wish to gain greater insight into themselves, their thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and develop as an individual. For others, distress may currently feel so overwhelming that they have lost all hope and sense of the world.
Regardless of your personal reasons for seeking help, therapy is likely to be a valuable experience.When else do you get a regular hour which is dedicated solely to you, whereby you can share and express anything you want without having to worry about anyone else?
Assessing whether now is the right time to embark on therapy is an important thing to consider, and something which I can help you with during your assessment session if you are unsure. It is always worth saying that you need to be willing to be open; open to yourself, open to new perspectives and ideas, and open to thoughts and feelings you may not expect.
You also need an awareness that you may feel worse before you feel better. This is because we may explore things which you have been bottling up or avoiding for years, and once brought to the surface these thoughts and feelings might feel overwhelming. However, you will not be alone, I will be walking alongside you, helping you make sense of things, tolerating them, and using them to help bring about change.
Difficulties Aurora Psychology Can Support You With:
Anxiety of all descriptions, including phobias, OCD
Low self-esteem/low self confidence/significant self-criticism
Trauma reactions from early life experiences or more recent events, PTSD
Difficulties relating to physical health problems: adjustment to diagnoses, life changes, loss, pain, frustration, anger, body image, weight difficulties, end of life etc.
Difficulties not seen:
Individuals under the age of 16
Neuropsychology assessments: e.g. brain injury, dementia etc.
Assessment of educational and developmental needs/learning difficulties
Alcohol and drug problems
Medico-legal assessments and reports
People being supported by NHS mental health services
Therapy Questions Answered
Why Clinical Psychology?
Why clinical psychology versus counselling or seeing a psychotherapist? Clinical psychologists are trained in a number of scientific evidence-based psychotherapies, which enable us to provide an approach which is tailored to the individual, integrated, and flexible. Ultimately this makes therapy more likely to be effective.
Clinical psychologists are also trained in consultancy, leadership, research, and in the NHS are used to working with a wide range of complex difficulties.
Please click above for information regarding the cost of sessions.
How Long Does Therapy Last?
Therapy can continue for as long or short as you wish. During our initial session we will discuss the difficulties you are experiencing and the type of approach we may take, we can then think about how many sessions you may require.
I usually work in blocks of six sessions to ensure that we regularly review progress and anything we may wish to alter, e.g. the approach, frequency of sessions.
Types of Therapy
As a clinical psychologist I am trained in various approaches which means I can tailor therapy to you, depending on your difficulties and hopes from therapy.
I have preferred approaches such as Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), however I am an integrative therapist and so use methods from various therapies. These include, CBT, person-centred therapy, and motivational interviewing.
What to Expect
In order to get the most out of therapy it involves effort, honesty, openness, and dedication.
During sessions we will talk about the difficulties you are experiencing and I will ask questions about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. We may use metaphors to aid our thinking and learning, we may use a whiteboard to draw ideas or timelines, and we may practice relaxation strategies together.
Commitment is required outside of sessions too; it is important to spend time reflecting and practicing new techniques.
Dr Sarah Baxter
BSc (Hons), DClinPsych
Enhanced DBS Checked
Outside of Aurora Psychology I work as a Principal Clinical Psychologist for the NHS, supporting people with both physical and mental health difficulties; I have over 14 years’ experience. For the past three years I have been specialising in supporting individuals with respiratory conditions and the psychological difficulties which can occur as a result. Previous to this I worked with people who were struggling with their body weight; chronic pain; diabetes; skin conditions etc.; and I have worked with individuals and families at the end of life.
It possibly sounds strange but from the age of 12 I wanted to be a clinical psychologist; I knew I wanted to help people, to try to understand others and their difficulties as best as possible, and I felt I had deep-rooted empathy, compassion, and an ability to accept others as they are without judgement. I am also what we call congruent – genuine, honest, there is a correspondence between what I feel and what I express.
It is an absolute privilege to do this job, to hear peoples stories and be trusted with them, to walk alongside them on their journey, and to do what I can help people help themselves.
I am passionate about compassionate focussed therapy which involves reducing self-criticism and learning to be kinder to ourselves, but not before we have learnt and understood where our ability to beat ourselves up to a point where it is very unhelpful has come from.
I am a mum, a partner, a family member, a friend, a walker, a runner, a countryside lover, a pub goer, a human with human struggles.
Frequently Asked Questions
All the Answers You Seek, In One Place.
If The Answer Isn't Here, Please Get In Touch.
How Do I Make An Appointment?
If you would like to make an appointment please either use the 'Contact Me' page, send an email or phone/text me, and I will be in contact to arrange an initial appointment, or click on the 'Initial Appointment' icon under 'Services' where you can click to book.
Our first 30 minute consultation is free and over the phone (unless you'd prefer face-to-face or online) to discuss what you would like support with and whether I can help.
Is The Service Confidential?
Client confidentiality is at the heart of everything I do. In most circumstances, everything discussed between you and I is kept private, unless consent is gained from you first. However, there may be occasions when it is necessary for me to share information with others, i.e. your GP. For instance, if I believe you or others are at risk of harm. This is so I can do everything possible to keep you/others safe.
Where Are Sessions Held?
Sessions are held at the wonderful Re:Set Wellness Centre, where we have a dedicated confidential therapy room where social distancing is possible.
Re:Set also offers float therapy which has been shown to have many great benefits for your mental and physical health. Please find out more on their website.
Where Can I Park?
Parking can be found either opposite the Re:Set Wellness Centre at a Pay & Display, or there is two hours free parking at The Retail Park (Currys PC World, B&M etc.) off Bulk Road. We are then a minutes walk away.
What Happens When I Arrive?
When you arrive at the Re:Set Wellness Centre you will be shown to the waiting area; I will meet you there and then show you to the therapy room.
You will be asked to complete a couple of forms and questionnaires about yourself and how you have been feeling recently.
What Do I Do In A Crisis?
If you or anyone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide please seek support from your GP.
If there is an immediate danger to life please call 999 or go to A&E where you will be supported.
Samaritans are always available to listen and support, they can be contacted for free on 116 123.
Aurora Psychology is not a crisis service.
Do You Offer Concessions?
Concessions may be available depending on your circumstances. Please get in contact if you wish to discuss this. Payment via insurance companies can also be considered on request.
What If I Need To Cancel My Appointment?
If you need to cancel your appointment please let me know as soon as possible.
Cancellations of less than 24 hours notice and non-attended appointments will be charged at the full rate, unless under exceptional circumstances.
Every effort has been made to ensure that Re:Set and our therapy room meets all necessary covid-19 safety requirements:
We are able to sit more than 2-metres apart, there are hand sanitising stations throughout the building, we complete Track and Trace, and PPE is available to wear for those who would like it.
For anyone who has difficulties leaving the house, or who is shielding, or does not feel comfortable with face to face therapy, virtual appointments via Zoom or telephone appointments are available.