About Hayley Irving-Law


Driven to succeed, I have worked vigorously in the NHS and nursing profession for over 37 years. During this time, I developed an interest in talking therapies. I became particularly interested in trauma and the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I noticed that in the realms of care, be it for physical or emotional health; trauma appears to be a significant factor that is often ignored and rarely factored into general health, psychological assessments and questionnaires.

I felt strongly that this question should be posed as standard, as many people do not know if they should mention traumatic experiences, believing it to be utterly unrelated to mental and physical illness.

After exploring various treatment methods, I eventually pursued training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing). My growing interest in PTSD led me to pursue further education in trauma at the NAOS Institute in London. I am now an accredited EMDR therapist and working towards being a consultant. I am passionate about understanding the principles of neuroscience and reflect on this in my practice.

I’ve also gone through training and successfully earned qualifications as a psychosexual therapist. While I can work with each therapy separately, I’ve noticed that they often come together. I commonly blend both theoretical and treatment approaches to effectively address challenges related to both relationships and sexual issues arising from traumatic experiences.

During my career, I also worked for over ten years as a senior nurse in various forensic settings. Whilst I no longer work specifically with this client group, I believe this experience and my varied roles have given me an extra and essential layer in understanding the complexities of the human psyche.

Before leaving the NHS and starting my full-time private practice, I worked in emergency and crisis settings and psychiatric liaison within primary care. This has given me a wealth of experience in direct care and effective liaison with other care agencies. With my diverse professional background, I can offer a wealth of experience, combining all my expertise to provide comprehensive support for every aspect of your well-being.

What to Expect

When we meet for an initial session, we will discuss what brought you to me and the presenting issues.

I’ll begin by taking a thorough background history, essentially your life story and experiences. This process will help us gain insights into how you’ve become the person you are today, and where you currently stand in life.

We will then discuss how the sessions will be constructed and decide on a treatment plan. We will regularly review our work together and discuss your progress. Your treatment plan will be adapted based on what comes up for you. I will explain everything as we go at a pace that feels okay for you.

My primary approach is EMDR. If you have had other psychological therapies in the past, EMDR may feel like a very different experience. On this basis, it may feel a little daunting, but I will send you some information to read and talk you through all the eight phases of EMDR. So that you understand each stage and to allay any fears or concerns you may have. I have also attached lots of information about EMDR on my resources page. This will be updated regularly with news and helpful tips.

Areas I work

If you are visiting this site, you are most likely in a difficult life situation, feeling in pain or distressed; maybe there are areas in your life that you would wish to change and develop. 

Reaching out for help can be daunting, and you may feel that your problems are insurmountable or that your worry is not big enough or worthy enough to bring to therapy – don’t worry because many people initially feel like this. We’ll just start somewhere if you don’t know where to start.

I have over 37 years of supporting clients through a range of physical and psychological difficulties. I have experience and expertise in working with clients who have experienced trauma and who also have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). I have previously, and continue, to work extensively with adults who have experienced any kind of sexual abuse. This includes childhood sexual abuse, incest, intimate partner sexual violence, rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, and sexual assault of men and boys.

I work holistically, considering the whole person, not just their mental health needs. This means factors contributing to how you feel, including physical illness, social issues, and spirituality. I offer a wide range of styles and techniques because I firmly believe that therapy should mould around you, the client, and not vice versa.

I will provide a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental environment where you can explore the next steps in your life and how we can undertake them together. Whatever your difficulty, I will offer you a safe and open space to work through it together.