On this website, you will find information about psychotherapy and the particular therapeutic model called psychoanalytic psychotherapy. It also provides information about the kinds of problems that bring people into therapy, how an initial consultation and further appointments can be arranged and the professional standards adhered to.


Psychotherapy aims at providing a consistent and safe place in which a person feels able to talk about whatever is on their mind. It is a specialist approach that pays particular attention to confidentiality, privacy and personal dignity.


Within analytic psychotherapy, psychotherapist and client explore together the underlying and often unconscious causes of distress, that may have their roots in past experiences. In this way, psychotherapy can gradually bring about a degree of self-understanding and so enable a person to find different ways of being and coping with difficulties in their life.




Viv Walkerdine is an experienced and qualified Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) through the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists working to their Code of Professional Ethics. Viv was previously registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) from 2004 to 2015. 


Viv worked in Social Care for over 20 years before training as a Psychotherapist. She worked in adult and child and family services where she gained substantial experience of working with mental distress, family conflict, relationship difficulties, trauma and abuse. 


Viv subsequently trained with the North West Institute of Dynamic Psychotherapy and also trained in Intensive Analytic Practice with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. This is an intensive training that takes place over several years. It includes personal therapy and work with clients under close supervision.


Viv has extensive experience of working within the NHS Mental Health Service, where she has specialised in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Within her private practice, Viv works with individuals, both adults and adolescents, in brief and longer term, more intensive therapies.


Viv also offers clinical supervision. 

Viv was Chair and Chair Elect of the North West Institute of Dynamic Psychotherapy, for several years, until its closure in 2013. The aim of the Institute was to promote access to high quality psychoanalytic psychotherapy and the analytic understanding of individuals, groups and organisations. It provided training and continuous professional development opportunities.


Viv is currently a member of a small group of psychotherapists working in partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, in order to develop a Foundation course in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and maintain access to high quality training opportunities within the Northwest region.


The D58M foundation course runs in Manchester and is organised by the Tavistock and Portman NHS trust in partnersip with the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.


Viv works on this training course as a supervisor, tutor and training therapist.


Viv worked in Manchester from 2004-2018, based at Hampden House Psychotherapy Centre and later at Norwood House. 

Her practice is now based at the Highfield Practice, Kendal, Cumbria and in Bentham, near Lancaster.



Psychotherapy provides a safe place to talk through emotional distress and to think about what might have caused it. It can help make sense of thoughts, feelings and ways of relating to yourself and others. Talking about emotions and thoughts that may not have been expressed before can bring a sense of relief, while meeting with a therapist on a regular basis can help relieve the sense of being on your own.


The aim of psychotherapy is lasting psychological change brought about by increased insight. It is a process of gradually coming to understand your feelings and how you think about yourself. It can help a wide range of emotional and psychological problems, encountered in both personal and professional life.


Sometimes people seek help for specific problems such as:


  • Depression or low self-esteem

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Difficulties in coming to terms with loss (e.g. Bereavement, Divorce, Loss of employment)

  • Past traumatic events

  • Childhood sexual abuse 

  • Anxiety

  • Self-harm

  • Eating or alcohol related problems

  • Physical symptoms & Psychosomatic illness

  • Parenting difficulties


At other times however, help is sought because of more general underlying feelings of dissatisfaction or loss of meaning in one's life.​


This kind of therapy sets out to understand the underlying causes of a wide variety of difficulties. It recognises that many problems have their roots in past experiences and that sometimes difficult experiences in the past can affect the way we behave and interact in the present.


It is an indepth process of exploration that follows the client's communications as they emerge in the therapy. The relationship that develops between the client and their therapist is central in understanding these past experiences and how they may have influenced a person's inner world and patterns of relating. 


Feelings, thoughts, wishes, memories and dreams can be explored within the relationship between therapist and client and a person helped to understand unconscious processes that may affect their everyday thoughts and behaviours.



Psychotherapy can be offered on a short term basis, possibly focusing on a specific problem. Often however, psychotherapy takes place over a longer period of time, so that difficulties can be explored more fully. The psychotherapy session lasts 50 minutes. It can be offered at various intensities i.e. weekly or more frequently.


Usually two or three initial meetings are offered to gather more details about the areas of concern. This will be an opportunity to talk about the things that are on your mind and some of the background to this. It also helps you explore whether psychotherapy is what you are looking for and what you might hope to gain from the work.


At the end of these initial meetings, if you feel further sessions would be helpful, there would be a discussion about the length of therapy, the focus of the work, the fees and arrangements for payment.


Viv is commited to Psychotherapy being accessible to as wide a range of people as possible. Fees will be discussed with you at the initial consultation.​


Health insurance companies will often pay for treatment if recommended by an approved medical consultant. Viv is an approved practitioner with BUPA and AVIVA.​




Viv has many years experience of offering clinical supervision from a psychoanalytic perspective to practitioners from a range of settings, including Children's Services, Schools and Colleges, NHS Mental Health Services and within private practice.


Please Contact Viv if you would like to discuss this further.



The preparation and training for becoming a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist is both lengthy and rigorous. 


Therefore all therapists registered with The British Psychoanalytic Council will have received a comprehensive training and work to a set of ethical guidelines, receive regular clinical supervision and undertake continuing professional development.

The British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) is a professional association and voluntary regulator of the psychoanalytic psychotherapy profession, publishing a register of practitioners who are required to follow their ethical code and meet their fitness to practice standards.





The North Yorkshire/Cumbria practice is based at two centres: Bentham, North Yorkshire and the Highfield practice in Kendal Cumbria.

Kendal Practice

The Highfield practice, Kendal, Cumbria, is located near to the town centre and only a short walk from Kendal train station and bus station.


It is approximately 20 miles from Lancaster and a 15 minute drive from junction 36 of the M6. It is accessible for those in the South Lakes, the Lancaster area, Kirby Lonsdale and north to Penrith and Carlisle.


There is a waiting area and street parking nearby.


The Highfield Practice
33 Appleby Road

Tel: 07753 660 341

Bentham (Lancaster) Practice

Bentham is a small market town on the western edge of North Yorkshire, close to Lancaster, Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales. It can be accessed by road from the M6 junction 34. After leaving the motorway, take the A683 signed for Kirby Lonsdale. After passing through Caton and Claughton, turn into the B6480 . Carry on through Wray and Wennington to Bentham. Alternatively from the A65 Skipton to Kendal road, take the B6480 to Bentham.


There is a regular Stagecoach bus route 80, Lancaster to Ingleton. By train the station at High Bentham is linked to the Leeds to Lancaster and Morecambe line.


Chesters Lane
North Yorkshire

Tel: 07753 660 341

Contact Viv