The faculty for each course is drawn from the following tutors. The course will be jointly led by Sarah Paton Briggs and Elliot Davis, supported by additional facilitators who will be contributing their specialist areas of expertise.
Sarah Paton Briggs
Sarah Paton Briggs brings her experience of working therapeutically with survivors of sexual abuse and rape, along with a wealth of knowledge regarding trauma therapy for military veterans and first responders.
Sarah has provided therapy for veterans funded by Walking With The Wounded and Help 4 Heroes. She has also given clinical assessment support for The Dare To Live Trust’s equine-facilitated programmes for veterans. Her clients have comprised serving members of the armed forces or emergency first-responders or statutory services. Sarah has undertaken therapy programmes either privately-funded or through Employee Assistance Programmes including private health insurance schemes for employees of the Metropolitan Police Service, Wiltshire Fire Service, Wiltshire Police, Gloucestershire Police, Wiltshire Council.
As part of The Grove’s team, Sarah co-wrote a successful proposal funded by the building’s insurer, for a psychological trauma therapy service to support a group of those who were affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. Sarah was one of the project directors who set up a multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary, multi-site trauma therapy service (which is still in operation).
Sarah is a director of The Grove Practice, where she has held a management role for over 10 years. She is a supervisor accredited by BACP and by COSRT. As an accredited psychotherapist, psychosexual & relationship therapist, drug & alcohol counsellor, Sarah has a wealth of experience working with adult clients, either as individuals or couples – where traumatic experiences often have a bearing on current client presentations. Working in a trauma-informed way, she brings an engaging and relational approach to her client work.
Trauma is a significant area of her practice. Sarah has worked with many survivors of childhood sexual abuse and rape, supporting them in making sense of what has happened and encouraging them to process what has happened so that they can reconstruct more confidence and purpose in life.
Sarah’s professional trauma credentials include:
- Certified Clinical Trauma Professional awarded by the International Association of Trauma Professionals.
- Member of the UK Psychological Trauma Society (UKPTS)
- Member of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS)
- Member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
- EMDR Level 1, 2 & 3 (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
- EFT Level 1 & 2 (training attended)
- Matrix Reimprinting (training attended)
She has undertaken CPD training with internationally-acclaimed teachers in the world of psycho-traumatology:
- Dr Daniel Siegel
- Babette Rothschild
- Bessel van der Kolk MD
- Dr Janina Fisher
- Professor Berthold Gersons
- Kathy Steele
She has trained in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Matrix Reimprinting for trauma memory reprocessing and rescripting. In line with best practice guidelines for psycho-traumatology, Sarah has trained in a range of approaches to treating trauma, including the evidence-based protocol of CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy) which falls under the NICE guidelines for Trauma-Focused CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). Other protocols include EMDR (Levels 1 and 2), as well as BEPP (Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for PTSD). She has received training in assessing and diagnostics for trauma, PTSD, and Complex PTSD. Importantly for symptomatic relief as a first stage in trauma treatment, Sarah is trained in a range of approaches for emotional regulation and stabilisation of symptoms such as flashbacks or panic attacks, including STAIR (Skills Training in Affect and Interpersonal Regulation).
Equine-facilitated therapy is a gentle yet profound way in which Sarah supports trauma clients, many of whom have survived unwanted sexual experiences. The horses usually guide clients in setting healthier boundaries and building trust through safe touch. Sarah is certified in equine therapy by IFEEL and LEAP.
Sarah is a former faculty member for IFEEL, teaching on an Ofqual-regulated Level 6 and emerging Level 7 practitioner training in equine-facilitated psycho-traumatology.
Sarah also teaches on The Grove’s supervision course, given her experience in supervising therapists through each stage of their professional development: as trainees, then qualified therapists, plus supporting supervisees towards BACP accreditation or UKCP registration. Her clinical management role at the practice also involves the practical application of ethical principles including boundaries, contracting, confidentiality, balancing the client’s autonomy with upholding the role of the therapist, all within the commercial context of The Grove.
Feedback on Sarah’s teaching style indicates that she is “structured and informed”.
Elliot Davis is a practising psychotherapist based in London, certified as Clinical Trauma Profession Level I (CCCTP-Level I) and a Complex Trauma Professional (CCTP-II). He has worked extensively with survivors of domestic abuse, sexual abuse and rape, road accident survivors with life-changing injures and military veterans. He is accredited by the UKCP & BACP.
Elliot’s initial training was completed at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy (CCPE) completing a combined academic/experiential five- year postgraduate Diploma.
Elliot has trained in a range of approaches to treating trauma. His focussed studies have been around the treatment of Dissociation, Increasing Awareness of Dysregulated Parts and Dissociative States, Working with Traumatic Memory in Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), Traumatic Attachment and the Treatment of Dissociative Disorders. He has further trained in the evidence-based protocol of CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy) which falls under the NICE guidelines for Trauma-Focused CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).
He has developed a specialist focus for symptomatic relief as a first stage in trauma treatment, using a range of approaches for emotional regulation and stabilisation of symptoms such as flashbacks or panic attacks, including STAIR (Skills Training in Affect and Interpersonal Regulation).
He has received CPD psycho-traumatology training with the following acclaimed teachers in the Trauma field:
- Babette Rothschild
- Bessel van der Kolk MD
- Dr Janina Fisher
He holds multiple accreditations including a Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Birkbeck University and Dip (Psych) from CCPE. He also holds further Certification in Couples Counselling and has studied various trauma treatment protocols. Elliot has worked within the NHS supporting a multi-disciplinary team in Acute Admissions. He has also worked in the charity sector and with all sizes of commercial organisations.
Dr James Kustow
Dr James Kustow James is Medical Director of The Grove and practises as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Harley Street. Trauma is a significant area of his work and he is experienced in diagnosing PTSD alongside trauma treatment planning. He runs a truly integrative private clinic located at 127 Harley Street, and also works in the NHS one day a week in the field of Adult ADHD. James is a general adult psychiatrist with considerable experience working with the full range of mental health problems encountered in adulthood. In recent years, he has worked as a psychiatrist to a London-based university, seeing students with mental health difficulties.
He is also a trained integrative psychotherapist and has an interest, and many years of experience using, body-focussed interventions when working with psychological trauma and its various and broad ranging manifestations. Amongst other approaches he is trained in hypnotherapy (Diploma), EMDR (Adv) and EFT (Adv). James has also trained in nutrition, believing this to be critical for optimal mental wellbeing.
James studied medicine in Nottingham and trained in psychiatry with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (Guys and St Thomas’ hospitals) and at St Mary’s Hospital.
James is a respected clinician both within and outside the NHS. One of his main areas of specialist expertise is Adult ADHD. He works in one of the very few London-based specialist Adult ADHD services in the NHS. He is on the Executive Board of UKAAN (the main professional organisation for Adult ADHD in the UK) and is UKAAN’s Training Programme Director. The comprehensive training programme UKAAN offers is highly regarded in the UK and further afield.
Dr Walter Busuttil
Dr Walter Busuttil has a long and distinguished career in diagnosing and treating PTSD across the breath of military and civilian populations. As a Consultant Psychiatrist, his current role is Director of Research and Training at Combat Stress. Previously he held the position of Medical Director of Combat Stress for 13 years, following his original psychiatry training and career with the RAF. He was formerly part of the management team for the Traumatic Stress Service at the Priory Ticehurst Hospital. He has been a member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies since 1992. He was a member of the UK Trauma Group from 1998 and was then Chair of the UK Trauma Group for five years until 2013. He was also a Founder Board Member of the UK Psychological Trauma Society between 2010 and 2013.
Dr Busuttil graduated in Medicine from the University of Manchester in 1983. He served in the Medical Branch of the Royal Air Force for 16 years. He was appointed a consultant psychiatrist in 1994. Prior to this in 1988 he qualified as a Principal in General Practice. In the RAF he was part of the team that helped rehabilitate the Beirut Hostages and combatants from the first Gulf War. Between 1997 and 2004 he set up and led a tertiary referral service for sufferers of complex presentations of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder including adult survivors of sexual abuse at the Priory Ticehurst House Hospital in East Sussex. He was then appointed Medical Director to the all-women’s medium secure hospital, ‘The Dene’ in Burgess Hill, West Sussex; where he established a combined dialectic behaviour therapy and psychological trauma service for women suffering from Complex PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder.
Dr Busuttil joined Combat Stress in June 2007 where he set up cutting edge evidence-based clinical services which replaced respite care services. Clinical services comprised multidisciplinary residential and community evidence-based intervention therapy programmes. In 2011 his service design bid was awarded £20 million from NHS England National Specialist Commissioning to set up residential rehabilitation programmes for veterans suffering from severe chronic PTSD. These programmes were also funded in Scotland commissioned by NHS Scottish. He is a member of the NHSE Armed Forces Clinical Reference Psychiatry Task and Finish Group. He regularly liaises at the highest levels with politicians, the NHS, MoD and other agencies. He regularly comments about psychological trauma issues in the national and international media.
Dr Busuttil set up the Combat Stress Veterans’ Research Department in 2014 embedding it within the Kings Centre for Military Health Research. In the past 5 years, this department has produced over 50 peer-reviewed papers and several book chapters and one book on veterans’ mental health. He has supervised and facilitated the development of collaborations with UK and internationally-based universities and organisations in Australia, Canada and the USA. He gave evidence to the Defence Select Committee related to mental health needs and treatment service provision for veterans in the UK in 2018. Since 2018 he has been part of the 5 Eyes Mental Health Research and Innovation Collaborative (5 Eyes MRIC) representing UK Veterans’ Mental Health which advises the 5 Veterans’ Ministers of the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. He has been appointed as a Visiting Professor to the Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology and Neurosciences, which is part of King's College University of London – as part of the Kings Centre for Military Health Research Department. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on PTSD and related disorders; as an invited speaker he has delivered over 240 presentations including keynote lectures, workshops and original research papers in the UK and abroad. He has offered training in military and veteran psychiatry, management of adult survivors and complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders; disaster management and psychological first aid to first responders; and the biological theories of PTSD and interventions using medications.
Dr Busuttil is also active in private practice managing clinical cases as well as undertaking medico-legal work. He routinely assesses and treats patients suffering the effects of psychological trauma generated by road traffic accidents, interpersonal violence, accidents at work, clinical negligence, disaster and conflict.
For this course, he teaches on diagnostics for trauma presentations, the role for medication, management of co-morbidities, and the role of trauma as the underpinning for many common psychiatric disorders. He brings a wealth of experience in clinical settings and in running traumatic stress treatment services.
Phil Mollon is a psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, and clinical psychologist, and has taught widely throughout the UK and internationally. His passion is Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy, a field that Dr Mollon pioneered, combining the principles of energy psychology with the deeper understanding of psychoanalysis. He is the author of 12 professional books, several of which concern trauma, traumatic memory, and trauma-based dissociation. His 1996 book Multiple Selves, Multiple Voices (Wiley) was the first UK book on working psychotherapeutically with people with DID and trauma-based personality disorders. Dr Mollon, worked in the NHS full time for 37 years, and was head of psychology and psychotherapy services for north Hertfordshire. He is the immediate past president of the international organisation, the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP).
For this course, Phil teaches approaches to trauma therapy using energy psychology.
London-based Ashley Meyer has been involved with EFT and Energy Psychology since 2004 when he first became a practitioner. Discovering how “tapping” revolutionised his client work, he went on to become an advanced practitioner and then master practitioner as well as a trainer accredited and certified by the worldwide professional body, EFT International.
In addition to EFT, Ashley has trained in other energy psychology techniques, NLP and hypnotherapy. He is a Psychosynthesis counsellor and is currently working towards his MA in Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy.
Ashley has had extensive experience working with “mind-body” conditions, specifically conditions for which western medicine offer little advice or hope. Chronic Fatigue and ME have been central to this interest as has the impact of trauma on the body and energy system. For this training, Ashley teaches EFT in relation to trauma clients, drawing on his extensive experience in the field. He continues to deepen his work by attending CPD events when available, including seminars run by Bessel van der Kolk, Gabor Mate and Peter Levine. Ashley also provides support to a new charity, Support Veterans UK, in both a clinical and training capacity.
Authenticity is central to Ashley’s approach and he relishes any opportunity to share his passion through his inspirational trainings.
For this course, Ashley teaches EFT “tapping” according to the EFTI (Emotional Freedom Technique International) syllabus. Therapists who attend this part of The Grove’s trauma therapy course will be eligible to work towards accreditation with EFTI – which will be an additional cost and time commitment outside The Grove’s training provision, potentially supported by Ashley Meyer for supervision towards accreditation.
Matt was eight years old when he was targeted by a group of predatory paedophiles who subjected him to 18-months of horrific sexual abuse in the public toilets of local parks and on the sea front of his hometown. He was too ashamed and scared to tell anyone what had happened…not his parents, friends or family.
In his acclaimed book, A Small Boy Smiling, Matt tells a remarkable story of survival and overcoming the trauma, guilt and shame of childhood sexual abuse, teenage alcoholism, sexual anorexia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. His lifelong search for peace, love and healing culminates in personal spiritual awakening and a desire to help other survivors of sexual abuse to discover their own healing.
The book includes a chapter written by Matt’s trauma therapist Sarah Paton Briggs, called Soulful Space: Reflections On My Therapy Work With Matt. Matt invited Sarah to pull back the curtain of client/therapist confidentiality and write a chapter about his therapy sessions with her from the therapist’s perspective.
Since the book was published in 2018, Matt has been busy promoting the book with public talks, and both he and Sarah were invited to discuss the book on BBC 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan show. An article (which presents an overview of Matt’s journey of healing) entitled Trying To Make Sense Of It All, had subsequently been published on the Survivors UK and the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA) websites.
A link to the radio interview and the articles can be found at www.mattcareybooks.com
For this trauma therapy course, Matt is generously willing to share his insights for counsellors on how they can provide effective therapy for survivors of CSA. The survivor’s voice can be heard, along with validation that recovery takes time but is possible for this client group.
Matt has enjoyed working in the world of entertainment for over twenty years, as a theatre manager, organiser of several prestigious international festivals, and of large-scale community-based cultural projects supporting children and young people.
Please note that the tutor team may vary according to feasibility in relation to the number of enrolled students. The Grove fully intends for the course to be taught as planned. However, sometimes tutor availability may change according to unforeseen circumstances such as but not limited to illness or bereavement. In any such circumstances, The Grove may be required to adjust the tutor schedule at short notice.