Confidential counselling and therapy in Islington and Waterloo
Does life feel like it's getting on top of you?
Are you feeling stressed or anxious?
Having problems with relationships?
Could you benefit from taking some time out?
... to explore your thoughts and feelings?
... to understand yourself better?
... to get back on track?
I take part in an ongoing mental health awareness project, mostly sited on Waterloo station in London, to to raise awareness and tackle mental health stigma by sharing information and conversations about mental wellbeing. Stall visitors, who let us know how much more supported they feel when they leave, often tell us 'We didn't know where to turn for information and advice' (we often cannot rely on GPs, sadly) and 'Keep up the great work'. Staff and volunteers from NHS Maudsley, working with British Transport Police, Network Rail, Samaritans and others, regularly mark dates in the mental health 'calendar', such as World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Week. Watch this space for events coming up....
Feeling anxious, depressed, angry or 'stuck'
Many of us during our lives will experience periods of stress, anger, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, confusion or sadness that we find hard to cope with. These can become severe and disabling, interfering with living, and it's not always possible or advisable to talk to family and friends about them. Seeing a counsellor can be helpful, talking and being listened to in complete confidence. I offer a free 15-20 minute phone consultation to help you get a sense of the work and to help you decide whether counselling could be helpful for you - call me to arrange (07896 268349).
Why see a counsellor?
Experience and research show that counselling and therapy can help people understand themselves and deal better with challenging situations. They can help relieve stress, anxiety and depression and strengthen your sense of self and purpose, leading to more genuine relationships with others, wiser choices and new ways of living. There's more information about what to expect from counselling on the FAQ page.
A helpful source of information about counselling and therapy is produced by BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), my professional body, called It's good to talk. Here you can find out about different approaches to therapy, how it works and myths and misunderstandings about counselling: http://www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/
How I can help
I understand that you could feel anxious about coming to see a counsellor, especially for the first time. I offer a free 15-20 minute phone conversation to help you decide if counselling could be for you. To find out more about what counselling could do for you, visit my "About me and how I work" page.
I'm an experienced counsellor, registered and accredited on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Register, working in Islington and Waterloo, both easily accessible from central London. I offer a regular time and a safe, empathic and non-judgmental setting where we work together to explore and understand your difficulties, giving you the time and space to come to choices and solutions which are right for you.
Although psychodynamic theory is central to my therapy practice, I also draw on additional trainings including Person Centred counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). I've practiced as a counsellor since 2005, substantially in the NHS, private and voluntary sectors.
Besides working with a wide range of difficulties (see next page), particular interests are the often linked issues of bereavement, loss and depression, attachment patterns, understanding and managing anger, eating disorders, managing change and unexplained physical symptoms including chronic pain or bouts of illness which don't respond to medical intervention.
Who do I work with and where?
I work with adults experiencing a wide range of difficulties,including anger, anxiety, stress, depression, eating disorders,family problems, relationship problems and workplace issues,for open-ended or short-term counselling. I'm a counsellor in Islington also offering counselling and therapy in Waterloo. These Islington and Waterloo venues are close to mainline, underground and bus services and easily reached by people living, working or passing through central London or north London and the City.
Listed on BACP's It's good to talk website (Seeking a Therapist).
I answer commonly raised issues on the FAQ page but please do get in touch if you have any questions about my counselling service or anything I've written here. I offer a free 15-20 minute telephone consultation (07896 268349) to help you decide about counselling.
Blog 'taster' - What progress in mental health?
6 March 2017 - NHS England has published a report reviewing progress over the past year towards achieving the commitments made in Implementing the Five year forward view for mental health.
It covers 7 areas: children and young people's mental health; perinatal mental health; adult mental health; health and justice; suicide prevention; testing new approaches; harnessing digital delivery and infrastructure and hard-wiring the system.
While some encouraging progress has been made it's clear that mental health service provision 'on the ground', as experienced by patients, leaves much to be desired. A huge elephant in the room is surely the postcode lotteries produced by having 200 Clinical Commissioning Groups covering England alone, with different policies and levels of adherence to planning guidance. One aspect of this postcode lottery situation is that even when funding has been agreed, for example for children and young people's services, not all these CCGs ringfence it so it gets diverted into the general expenditure.
It's a tough one, as demand for services is clearly rising but at the same time, short-termism in many policy areas in the UK mean that longer term, effective solutions, which may be costlier in the short term, are not used. Psychological therapy is a good example of this - it's often not helpful (counselling often not offered) and it's costlier overall that many are offered very little choice of treatment in primary care, of short duration, only to have to return to the GP further down the line to ask for more help. As one commissioner said at a conference earlier today, we need to fundamentally rethink how we run health services, to incorporate both mental and physical healthcare, without the all too common ineffective and expensive separation. Read about it here.
Why might this affect you? You or a family member, partner or friend may need such services at some point, for example for anxiety or depression, and getting NHS treatment in your area will depend on how your local CCG manages its funds and whether (for example in the case of the 4 new mother and baby units) your area is thought to have 'greater need'. Otherwise it could be a choice of going without appropriate help or going privately, which of course not everyone can do. You might find it interesting and helpful to keep up with what your local commissioners, patient groups and Healthwatch are doing - GP surgeries and libraries should have details of these.