Counselling, Psychotherapy & Expressive Arts Therapy in Finsbury Park, North London N4 and Hastings TN34, East Sussex
I am a humanistic psychotherapist accredited and registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I work with individuals, couples and groups, with adults and teens. I offer counselling and psychotherapy both in Finsbury Park, north London and in Hastings on the south coast.
I have worked in private practice since 2008 and have been a practitioner at Spectrum Therapy, overlooking Finsbury Park since 2013. Spectrum was founded in 1976 and is a centre dedicated to humanistic psychotherapy.
While I usually work in person, I also work online via Skype and other platforms. At present, due to the ongoing pandemic I am seeing clients online as the safest and most consistent current option I can offer for sessions. It is a situation I continue to monitor week-to-week and I am happy to talk through what the possibilities are with you if you are looking to begin therapy either in north London or in Hastings.
Some of the areas I work with include relationships, life transitions, anger, loss, grief, feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, work issues and existential crises.
I have a special interest and additional training in the area of creativity and how creative work and play support mental health and personal development. I also have an interest in the psychology of money and how attitudes to money impact our sense of ourselves, the choices we make with what we do with our time, and our relationships. I have run workshops and groups on creativity and money as well as working with individuals on these themes.
Other special interests include transpersonal psychology and ecopsychology. Transpersonal psychology is the point where psychology and spirituality meet. I have studied with teachers in the field of nondual consciousness and meditation is part of my own daily practice. Ecopsychology explores the role of contact with nature in mental health and well-being. In February 2020 I started running the Homecoming course in shamanic journeying at Spectrum. Journeying is a practice that combines elements of both transpersonal and ecopsychology. This course will run every one to two years. Please contact me for further details and if you would like to express interest in the next round of the training.
How I work
We all face challenges, but we also all have the ability to develop our inner resources to deal with challenges and create positive change. Developing greater awareness about ourselves increases the possibility of positive change and gives us greater power to make informed choices. The difficulties we may be having in life are often down to patterns in thinking or behaving that we have learned unconsciously at a time when circumstances elicited a particular response. The response originally had a purpose but it has outlived its usefulness and is now keeping us stuck in a loop. It can be hard to see what could be different until you become more aware of what it is you are doing, get a fresh perspective and start trying out different responses.
My theoretical frames of reference include gestalt and formative psychology, which means that my focus is on the here and now and paying attention to what is happening in the present. I also pay attention to how emotions are embodied. Your mind does not exist in isolation from your body, they are interconnected. How you think and feel affects how you are physically and vice versa. Recent exciting developments in neuroscience underline how interconnected our minds and physical bodies are and that our brains are 'plastic' - they change. We can influence our experience and change our brains in ways that can actually be mapped on brain scans.
In addition to offering talk counselling and psychotherapy, I have a specialist training in expressive arts therapy and can draw on visual arts, drama, poetry, creative writing and sandplay therapy techniques where appropriate. Using the arts can be helpful in opening up new avenues for expressing feelings, new mental and neurological pathways, and in developing alternative approaches to difficulties. There is no pressure, however, to engage with the arts if you prefer simply to talk.
Why choose Counselling & Psychotherapy?
The words counselling and psychotherapy tend to be used interchangeably, but 'counselling' is often used to describe work that is more short term and focused on one or two issues. The word 'psychotherapy' (or therapy) tends to be used to describe longer term work that looks at the bigger picture of how you experience yourself and relate to the world. In longer term work you can take a deeper look at your patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.
Whether you want to focus on one particular issue or work on several, counselling and psychotherapy provide an opportunity to look at what is going on for you in a confidential, non-judgmental setting. Talking to friends and loved ones and sharing where we are in ourselves is an important part of building and maintaining relationships, but therapy provides the opportunity to talk with someone who is not personally involved, who has no vested interest in what you feel or do and who is practised in the art of listening.
People often begin therapy at a time of difficulty and therapy can provide real support at such a time. But it can also be worthwhile when life is flowing without too much difficulty and yet there is a sense of wanting to find more meaning or of 'what now?'. Sometimes a client will come in to therapy when facing a rite of passage such as marriage or reaching a particular age. Taking time to reflect on what it is you want from a new phase of life, and exploring how to create that, can lead to much greater fulfillment.
Counselling and psychotherapy can help you find fresh insight. Sometimes we cannot see the wood for the trees. By asking questions and giving feedback a therapist can help you clear confusion and find the solutions that are right for you. Therapy is not, however, simply an intellectual process - the positive impact of therapy is dependent on the quality of the empathetic relationship between therapist and client. It is important to find a therapist you feel you can talk to, whom you can trust and develop a rapport with.
Relationships often run into trouble because of difficulties with communication. As a couples therapist one of the main areas I look at is how people communicate. Good communication is a skill that can be practised and developed. Poor communication keeps a relationship stuck in a negative loop. Having a couples therapist present when you are talking to each other can be helpful in identifying where it is you are not communicating effectively and improving communication.
We all have histories around relationships and these histories can mean we have a lot of assumptions and attitudes about relationships that may or may not fit easily with our partner's history. Couples therapy is an opportunity to take a closer look at what you each bring to the relationship and what you create together.
Sex and intimacy are complex areas surrounded in unhelpful myths. Maintaining desire and passion in a long-term committed relationship can be challenging. Affairs and betrayals can create crisis in a relationship.
One of the central questions in life is how to be in relationship and also be connected to ourselves, to balance the need for intimacy with the need for autonomy. It is that balancing act that couples therapy fundamentally addresses.
If you are interested in booking a first session, please call me on (07877) 453477. You can also e-mail me using the link at the top of the page.
For more information on fees, click on practice details.
The nearest tubes for Spectrum are Finsbury Park and Manor House. Harringay Green Lanes and Harringay overgrounds are also close by. The practice is convenient for Harringay, postcodes N4, N8 and N15, and the wider borough of Haringey as well as the Finsbury Park area. In addition to tube and overground, there are buses connecting to Stroud Green, Crouch End, Wood Green, Tottenham, Stoke Newington, Highbury & Islington, Holloway and Camden.
Details of my in person Hastings, East Sussex practice address will follow nearer the time that I resume face to face work. My Hastings practice is also easily accessible from St Leonards, Bexhill, Rye, Battle and the surrounding area.