Roslyn Byfield Counselling in Islington and Waterloo, Central London

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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. Representing the Maudsley Charity, we will be on various stations (eg Bromley South tomorrow morning, 14 May, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

Call me for a free 15 minute phone consultation: 07896 268349

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).

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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:

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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.

A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.(Oliver Wendell Holmes).

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Special interests

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.

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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).

See my blog for mental health and therapy news. Recent posts on my counselling blog include: older people's mental health; rising costs of mental healthcare and adult antidepressant risks (see below); EU referendum fallout (see below); how are your relationships?; when Christmas isn't merry; stress at work; perinatal mental health services

Any questions?

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': the UK's opioids crisis

30 March 2018 - Having gone under the radar for some time, recent media coverage has brought the UK’s growing opioids addiction crisis centre stage. Some alarming statistics: use of painkillers up 80% in 10 years (23.8m prescriptions for aggressively marketed opioids like Tramadol. OxyContin and Fentanyl in 2017); cost to the taxpayer £263m; about 200,000 UK problem users; hospital admissions for overdoses doubled over 10 years; over 16,000 people died from overdoses in the US in 2016 and UK numbers are growing; opioids culpable in celebrities’ difficulties (eg Ant McPartlin, Tiger Woods) and overdose deaths (Prince, Tom Petty and Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan).

In response to the massive crisis in the US, President Trump has announced tough penalties for drug dealers, though the problem didn’t start with them and it could be argued this is too little too late. Having trusted their doctors’ advice, patients have found themselves gradually caught in a downward spiral, upping their doses and often suffering severe side-effects, due to taking prescribed painkillers for severe pain, for example after an accident or surgery. It’s a very different journey from the more usual addiction pattern, so people don’t see themselves as addicts and may not seek help. People can appear to be functioning normally for some time before friends, colleagues and families become concerned about their behaviour.

Some very worrying facts: GPs under pressure are overprescribing these extremely strong painkillers (and prescribing is not monitored) for chronic pain and for longer, when it’s known they are for acute pain over short timescales; they actually know opioids are unlikely to be effective for chronic pain but continue prescribing, faced with distressed patients; these substances are extremely addictive but this is NOT mentioned on the packets and patient information leaflets (which governing body, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is fully aware of); while the NHS has allowed this crisis to grow under its nose, there is no widely recognised treatment (so far very few forays into such disciplines as mindfulness for pain, for example); many patients are losing huge amounts of money, jobs and relationships to this addiction; there are next to no NHS resources for rehab and recovery, prompting some into expensive private sector facilities (if they can afford it).
So what’s to be done? Public Health England has announced a Prescription Drug Addiction Review but this won’t report until 2019. We surely can’t afford to wait that long for anything to change. It only takes 3 days to become addicted to morphine and Fentanyl is 100 times more potent. We need a major rethink of how different kinds of pain are managed, clear medication labelling, marketing by large pharma companies investigated, monitoring of prescription practices, effective NHS treatment services and counselling offered to those affected.
(If you decide to seek private sector rehab and/or counselling for yourself or someone else, do check out their suitability, for example ensuring the therapist is properly qualified (you can do this using accredited registers such as BACP’s).

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