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' - Rising demand for mental healthcare and risks of antidepressant medication
7 December 2016 - Could the longstanding 'one in four' (said to be experiencing a mental health problem) now be more like one in three? Yes, according to a report from NHS Digital, which found 37% of adults in England were getting treatment for anxiety and depression. Andthat's only counting those who seek help. Only 12% were having psychological therapy, with 31% 'treating the symptoms' with medication. The medication route is initially easier for GPs but as only symptoms, not the root cause, are being addressed it's arguably a false economy.
Worryingly, as antidepressant prescriptions have risen so rapidly in recent years, a new review of published studies finds that taking antidepressants doubles the risk of suicide and violence, even among healthy adults with no symptoms of mental ill health. Until recently it was accepted that these medications pose this risk in children and teenagers, but we now have to accept the very real possibility that medication adults, too, expect to help them feel better, at least temporarily, could be unsafe.
So what's the solution? These are not easy to come by in today's cash-strapped NHS but we need much more NHS provision of talking therapies, treatment of choice rather than just the CBT still offered as a sole option by many areas. And many more skilled practitioners including from the existing workforce of counsellors and therapists need to be recruited to facilitate patients' choice and reduce long waiting lists. At least the NHS England's GP Forward View report has promised 'every GP practice access to a dedicated therapist', and in my view it would work much better to return to the system of having counsellors actually based in surgeries rather than hived off to IAPT teams. Let's see what happens. In the meantime many are accessing therapy privately to ensure their choice of treatment and therapist and avoid waiting lists. If you decide to do this it's a good idea to check out their qualifications, level of experience and whether they're registered and/or accredited by one of the main professional bodies.