Welcome To Leeds Psychotherapy

Michael Hartley

Registered Mental Nurse, BSc (Psychology), Certified Transactional Analyst,
UKCP Registered Psychotherapist

My Qualities

I am compassionate and accepting of people. I enjoy helping people reach their potential. I gain deep satisfaction from supporting people in their growth and development and love to witness people make the changes in their life that they never thought possible. I have a relaxed, warm manner and, if appropriate, bring a sense of fun to our time together.

I have a good understanding of the “human condition” and have a wealth of psychological knowledge which informs my work. I draw on my experience from psychiatry, psychology and psychotherapy which I find invaluable in the therapeutic process.This variety of experience enables me to help people address and work through their deep psychological issues.

I have helped numerous people with a diagnosed psychiatric disorder. Ranging from paranoia, obsessiveness, depression, bipolar disorder and psychosis. Sometimes people have been able to live with their symptoms in a different way so that their "illness" is less interfering in their life. Most people have been able to reduce or completely stop their medication, because they have developed the necessary psychological skills to regulate their own mood. If you have ever taken psychiatric medication I imagine you will understand how liberating this would be.


I have many years of experience working with people experiencing psychological and/or emotional difficulties. From 1985-89 I worked in a progressive child psychiatric unit in Leeds. In 1989, after gaining an invaluable grounding in working with children and families with emotional difficulties, I left and commenced my training as a psychiatric nurse.

I qualified as a Registered Mental Nurse in 1993 and then, while working part-time, I started a psychology degree at Lancaster University. I also started my training as a psychotherapist at this time. I graduated in 1996 with a BSc honours degree in psychology and also, in 1996, I started building my psychotherapy practice. Within one year I was working full-time. I now have a thriving practice and I work with a variety of people from different social and economic backgrounds, with differing psychological and emotional needs.

My training in psychiatry, psychology and psychotherapy gives me a wide range of experiences and approaches to draw upon. My experience working with children and the knowledge I gained has shaped my direction as a clinician and my understanding as a human being.

I believe our early relationships influence our current relationships and the decisions we made, arly in our childhood, about ourselves, others and the world influence our decision making process today. It's like our early experiences become equivalent to an unconscious blueprint for our life today.

My work with children really helped me understand this principle and see how our personalities develop through our relationships and interaction with the world. My training as a psychotherapist helped further my development as a clinician. The more I experienced as a trainee psychotherapist, the more I liked its philosophy.

What I felt really inspired with, was the concept of equality between therapist and client. Psychotherapy is not about a taking one up position - clinician as expert. It is about realising that we our all similar with similar fears, difficulties and challenges in life.

Through this principle it was expected that a trainee psychotherapist would undergo their own psychotherapy to deepen their understanding of their own psychology. Without a deep self knowledge it limits a psychotherapist's ability to understand another person and be aware of the difficulties encountered in the process of change.

I believe this to be a truth and I felt inspired by the attitude which psychotherapy instilled. I believed in the depth of theoretical knowledge that psychotherapy has to offer and the methodology of working. It was through this experience that I decided to complete my training as a psychotherapist instead of becoming a clinical psychologist.

The journey to becoming a psychotherapist helped me integrate many of my different experiences from psychiatry and psychology. I also developed my clinical skills so that not only could I understand and empathise with the individual I am now able to engage with the person in a manner that is healing.

I have a compassionate and accepting manner which often enables people to move through their "stuckness" in a way they never previously thought possible. I believe that compassion is the key to healing and finding compassion within oneself, for oneself and others is one of the most powerful experiences a person can have. Compassion truly can be a liberating experience.

It is through experiencing compassion that people can achieve most change.

Psychotherapy can help us:

  • Take control of our life
  • REDUCE CONFLICT: internal and interpersonal
  • Overcome our struggles
  • Deal with DEPRESSION
  • Find meaning and purpose in life
  • Overcome difficult feelings: anxiety, ANGER, grief, fear
  • Deal with stress
  • Cope with psychiatric illness
  • Increase the quality of our relationships
  • Deal with panic attacks
  • Overcome repetitive life patterns
  • Get out of our stuckness
  • Grow and develop
  • Learn new parenting skills
  • Overcome sexual difficulties: past or present
  • Deal with domestic abuse: past or present
  • Deal with self-limiting beliefs
  • Discover who we are
  • Stop smoking
  • Increase our self awareness
  • Learn how to succeed
  • Increase our self-esteem
  • Deal with obsessive behaviour
  • Change our negative thinking
  • What you can find on this website

    This website has more information about what psychotherapy is and how it may help you. You can also find information about the types of issues you can address in psychotherapy. Also there is information about psychotherapy for couples which you may find helpful if you are considering couples therapy.

    If you want to discuss anything further or want to arrange initial consultation then email me at michael@leedspsychotherapy.co.uk

    I hope you find what you are looking for!

    Current News: I am unavailable to accept new clients at the moment.
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