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Emma Mathews
, Sex Therapist
 in Holywell

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Emma Mathews
Emma Mathews

I am an experienced psychosexual and relationship therapist, offering therapy to individuals and couples, I also offer cognitive behavioural therapy to individuals, for many common anxiety and mood disorders. I have a special interest in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder following childbirth.

I am a qualified midwife with experience working in both a hospital and community setting. I have also worked as a specialist midwife in perinatal mental health. I have completed a BSc in reproductive and sexual health, a postgraduate diploma in psychosexual therapy, and a Relate certificate in relationship (couple) counselling. I worked for Relate as a psychosexual therapist and relationship counsellor for a number of years.

I have completed an MSc in psychological trauma, my interest in this area being influenced by my work both as a psychosexual therapist and midwife. With regards to psychosexual therapy, I was mindful that many of the clients I treated had a history of trauma in their lives which influenced their current difficulties; with regards to midwifery, I was aware of women describing their childbirth experiences in terms that I associated with those who had experienced traumatic life events, such as being involved in a natural disaster, a war, a life threatening accident or being sexually assaulted; the feeling being that their life or wellbeing was threatened. My MSc dissertation was in the area of childbirth trauma. My training as a CBT therapist enables me to provide an evidence based treatment for PTSD.

I'm currently employed as a psychosexual therapist for the NHS, offering treatments for couples and individuals with sexual difficulties. I am also employed as a specialist midwife for the NHS, in this role I have offered assessment and treatment for women who have developed PTSD as a result of their childbirth experience. My private practice offers psychosexual, relationship and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Background & Qualifications

Professional Qualifications:
Diploma in Higher Education (Midwifery Studies)
BSc with Honours Reproductive and Sexual Health (First Class)
Postgraduate Diploma in Relationship Therapy (Psychosexual Therapy)
Relate Institute Certificate - Working with Couples
MSc Psychological Trauma (Distinction)
Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT)

Professional Registration & Membership:
​​​​Registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)
Accredited member of The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) (provisional accreditation)
Registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
Member of the College of Sexual & Relationship Therapists (COSRT)

My Specialisms

Psychosexual therapy: Psychosexual therapy can be helpful in treating
a number of sexual problems, including:
​Loss of sexual desire
Painful intercourse
Difficulties with orgasm
Erectile problems
Premature or delayed ejaculation
Problems with intimacy
Fear of sex

Relationship therapy: Relationship therapy can help to address a number of problems within an intimate relationship, including:
​Problems with trust
Communication difficulties
Financial issues
Family conflicts
Life changes
Different parenting styles
Different values and goals

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): CBT is a recommended therapy for a number of problems, including:
​Anxiety, including social & health anxiety
Obsessive compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
low Self-esteem

I have a special interest in the treatment of PTSD, especially PTSD following traumatic birth. Research estimates that about 2% of women may go on to develop PTSD after having a baby. Certain factors can make some women more at risk, these include:
​Having anxiety before the birth
A previous traumatic experience or experiences
Being fearful of childbirth even before it happened
Having labour started off (induced)
A very long or very short labour
Not receiving adequate pain relief
Not feeling in control
Not feeling listened to or respected
Not feeling informed
Emergency delivery
Problems happening after the birth

Approach to Therapy & How I Work

CBT aims to find solutions that work for you by applying new skills and techniques to patterns of thinking and behaving that have caused you difficulties. The first sessions involve assessing the problems that you want to address and developing some goals which you would like to achieve, these are flexible and constantly under review. The therapist will then work with you to develop a treatment plan. You are encouraged to take an active part in therapy, and will usually be asked to complete some "therapy tasks" between sessions. Therapy can be weekly but will always be tailored to your needs in collaboration with your therapist; sessions are typically 50 minutes.​

Psychosexual therapy involves gradually changing behaviours that are maintaining your sexual difficulties. The main focus of the therapy sessions involves setting and discussing new ideas to try out at home, this may include how your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations have influenced the difficulties that you're experiencing. If you are in an intimate relationship, it is usually preferable that you attend with your partner, as its often helpful to understand how both of you may be contributing to the difficulties. However this is not always necessary, depending on the problem and your individual circumstances. This will be discussed during the initial assessment session. Therapy tasks are always completed at home, never during therapy.

Relationship therapy involves discussing the issues in your relationship which are causing difficulties, to help you understand and explore how problems may have started, and provide skills in addressing these problems together. This does not involve the therapist "taking sides" or telling you what to do. Whilst sessions are usually carried out with both partners present, the therapist will often suggest that you have at least one session each on your own, to allow you to discuss issues which may initially be difficult to discuss in front of your partner.

For women, and men who have experienced the birth of their child as traumatic, I would initially offer the opportunity to talk through the experience and identify the areas and themes have have been particularly difficult or upsetting for you, known as "hotspots". If indicated I would assess you for PTSD, postnatal depression and other anxiety problems. Following assessment, I may offer treatment using CBT or trauma focused CBT (TFCBT). Part of the treatment for TFCBT involves helping the client to relook at the "hotspots", and incorporate these new understandings during therapy. Having worked as a midwife for many years I have a great deal of experience in understanding the needs of women during labour and delivery, both in hospital and at home. This experience has been invaluable whilst working in the area of PTSD following childbirth, as I have knowledge and understanding of problems that happen during this process, insight into why some women's labours require medical interventions, and many of the other factors that contribute to the subsequent development of PTSD following childbirth.

The number of sessions required to treat your problem can vary and depends on the type of difficulty you are having and its severity. Usually following assessment I can give you a better indication of how long therapy may take, typically it can be between 5 and 20 sessions, this can be reviewed as therapy progresses. Before booking an appointment I'm happy to have a telephone conversation with you to briefly discuss your requirements. However I do prefer initial enquiries by email, to, and I would then be happy to arrange a mutually convenient time for a telephone conversation with you.

My private practice is based in Flintshire, the practice is easily accessible for clients living on the Wirral and Cheshire.

Therapies & Rates

Please note the rates detailed below are there to give you an idea of the therapists standard rates, we strongly advise you contact the therapist for more detailed rates and any offers they may have.

Therapy Appointment Type Rate
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy In Person £60 per 50 minutes
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Skype/Telephone £60 per 50 minutes
Sex Therapy In Person £60 per 50 minutes
Sex Therapy Skype/Telephone £60 per 50 minutes
Relationship Therapy In Person £60 per 50 minutes
Relationship Therapy Skype/Telephone £60 per 50 minutes

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