Blackheath Counselling Service
91A Coleraine Road
020 8858 1991
Linda Henderson and Brenda McAuliffe are available 5 days a week. Located in Blackheath we provide a confidential, comfortable setting for our clients.
A low cost affordable service is provided for those unable to pay our normal fees. We offer 60 minute sessions - the full therapeutic hour.
The first session is for you to assess how you feel about the counselling process. You are not obliged to commit yourself to any session other than the one you have booked.
As experienced counsellors/psychotherapists we work with: one-to-one, with all sectors of the community - we also offer one-to-one supervision.
Some of the areas of therapy we work with:
- relationship problems
- low self-esteem
- psychophysical disorders.
CBT, Psychodynamic, Psychoanalysis, Person-Centred, Gestalt
We can use different models for different clients. CBT is one of the most popular models used by the NHS that clients want to work with. We have found it can be very helpful in changing negative behavioural patterns into positive behaviours. Once the therapeutic relationship is established with confidentiality and trust in the counsellor we can proceed to give the client the help they need.
We begin with a simple procedure of asking our clients to identify what they would like to change in their life and then help them make those changes. CBT uncovers the presenting problem as it is experienced in the daily life of the client. In knowing the clients' strengths and weaknesses the counsellor within the boundaries of what is achievable can help the client realise their goals. E.g. Finding a rewarding career path, a close relationship, or helping the client make difficult decisions which have created a stuckness in their life. What, why and where questions are often keys which can unlock doors that the client would like to open but needs the help and the support of the counsellor to identify the obstacles which prevents them opening those doors. The committment of the counsellor to support the client's process throughout the therapy brings a sense of self-compassion, self-confidence and self-love enabling the client to achieve their aims. Gestalt techniques can be helpful in dealing with bereavement and unsatisfactory endings. Writing a letter to the other and even replying to the letter, even if the other is not alive, can help complete and close a cycle which is painful allowing a new life cycle to begin.
A Holistic Appoach to Counselling
As Alexander Technique Teachers and Yoga teachers we have experience in healing the whole person, body, mind and spirit. The counsellor/client relationship is of paramount importance, so we are here to deeply listen to all aspects of our client's life including not only the psychological and the pathological but the spiritual element too.
Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytic Therapy
Conditions and Procedure for Healing
In building a foundation for the counselling relationship, we use the bedrock of trust, empathy and respect for our clients. We feel it is important to stress the importance of being Real. Being real creates the trust that is necessary for our clients to want to share their problems with us. Feeling regard for the the client can gradually lower their defences and together we can slowly explore their feelings and beliefs around the core of their problem. Together we revisit the past where often the root of the problem lies - returning to childhood is an important step in the resolving and healing process. Sometimes the client can emerge from this exploration with fresh insights and an understanding not just of their childhood but of where they are in the present. Negative and self-destructive thinking patterns can be dismantled and a rekindling of compassion and kindness towards oneself can develop.
We feel it is foundational in our work to help our client return to what is real within their being, to reconnect them to what is most meaningful in their lives and to encourage them to live their lives fully participating with the whole of their being.
Jungian Depth Psychology
How Psychoanalysis works
Those clients that bring long-standing deep issues require exploration in psychological depth. Psychoanalysis can help unravel the complex web of childhood where more often the problems first took root. The counsellor can create a deep listening for the client to share deeper and more sensitive issues in the journey towards healing the psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of themselves. Recovering and prizing those neglected aspects of ourselves buried in the unconscious, can be a rich and moving experience in our journey towards wholeness.
Our childhood conditioning can often result in negative behavioural patterns
If we are unaware of our past negative patterns, perhaps of dependency or mistrust these patterns often surprise us when we develop relationships. These patterns come along with us through life as luggage. Eventually through life the bag gradually opens and its contents spills into our relationship with ourselves and with others. What seemed to be a positive relationship at the outset has now become negative.
What we unwittingly bring to our relationships - what Jung called the shadow
Looking at what is in our personal luggage, the feelings and thoughts behind negative actions is one of the exciting and rewarding aspects of therapy. Not all in our luggage is negative there are also many positive traits which we have yet to discover, value and own. Through the counselling process we can eventually have a more balanced view of ourselves and our relationships as we delve within our luggage to see our gifts and our challenges. To discover who we are, warts and all, and to help our client transform the negative patterns and value their positive qualities is one of the core tasks in counselling. Reminding the client that compassion, kindness and forgiveness towards ourselves softens the ego and draws those estranged friends and loved ones closer.
Helping our client not to close the hand luggage but to open it together, and discovering a treasure chest of unlived potentialities waiting to be recognised. We hope we can help our clients discover this unknown side of their nature buried in the darkness of the psyche - to find those jewels, valuing and living the magic of them in relationship to themselves and others.
The challenge of transforming what seems darker and more complex patterns in that treasure chest, is a big piece of work, but it is possible. Responding to love and trust within the counselling relationship, these often rejected, split off parts of our psyche when valued have a positive role to play in our lives.
Dreams, Images, Metaphors and Symbols
Hidden Depths and Riches to be Uncovered
Dreams. images and metaphors are often helpful in finding a language to dip deeper into the creative imagination. Not all clients dream, but invariably when a client is asked do you dream and the response is no, the following week - lo and behold a dream appears. The dream gives access to a deeper strata of the unconscious psyche and is a precious key to unlock a lot of what is buried in the treasure chest.
Regarding metaphors, images and symbols they are not as strange a language as our client usually thinks. Unawares we use metaphors in our everyday speech along with our attention being caught by an image or a symbol or motif. We have found it is good to be versatile in exploring around the problems our client brings and create an expansive green field for the client to wander in to find what grows there that they have never seen before - a metaphor for allowing and encouraging free range of the imagination. Symbols, images and motifs can arise in the same field of the imagination.
Physical Symptoms of Stress - Working with the Alexander Technique
If negative patterns or complexes are not explored they will remain locked in the unconscious and can express themselves in neurosis or physical symptoms. Many of these physical symptoms can be released in the body through using Alexander Technique relaxation techniques. As qualified Alexander Technique teachers (MSTAT) this is our own unique contribution to stress management in counselling/psychotherapy.
Our therapeutic aim above all is to help you live out who you truly are.
Training, qualifications & experience
Linda Henderson and Brenda McAuliffe are experienced, qualified and accredited members of the BACP and Members of the Association for Pastoral and Spiritual Care and Counselling.
Diploma in Counselling (Humanistic CSCT). Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (Humanistic AQA). Members of the Society of Teachers for the Alexander Technique (MSTAT).
Trained as Integrative psychotherapists/counsellors we work sensitively with a variety of models to suit our clients. We provide a comfortable safe and confidential space for our clients. We work with different models to suit our client.
Our training spans over a period of 20 years.
Brenda and Linda have had counselling experience in the NHS as well as many years in private practise.
Qualified in Humanistic therapy - Person-Centred - CBT - Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy - Gestalt - Transpersonal.
Spiritual Care at RIGPA (Buddhist Foundation) - Bereavement Counselling (Eleanor Foundation) - Drug & Alcohol Abuse - Sex Abuse (Family Matters) - Couple Counselling - Stress Management (Alexander Technique) - Jungian Dreamwork (Jungian Dream Group) Yoga and Meditation (Yoga and Meditation Teachers)
Member organisations *
Areas of counselling we deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Dependent personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship issues
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work related stress
Other areas of counselling we deal with
Working with the feminine and social change
At Blackheath Counselling Service we are currently aware of the collective interest in the media on the feminine and social change. Our contribution to this collective and newly emerging trend is to increase and expand our awareness on the subject. Our private research through reading and discussion groups is to help our female clients as well as our male clients understand how the change of the feminine role in society impacts on personal relationships,family life, as well as professional relationships. If women can respect their feeling nature, it can balance our masculine culture and bring a quality of love and joy into relationships.
Women Walking in Woodland (WWW) - a new initiative
In response to what we see as a need for women to value who they are in a very patriarchal culture, we have organised small silent walking groups for women. We are limited in the number of participants in the WWW but we would like to inspire other women to take up similar initiatives. For example the issues around motherhood, conforming to a certain size or type of fashionable dress, wanting to introduce the feminine into the workplace, connecting to the wild nature of women and how it would change your relationships.
These groups sprung from a desire to explore and rediscover for ourselves our relationship to our feminine nature. The walks are held in silence followed by a meditation and sharing of our experience, along with a shared meal. Listening and feeling - play a special role in the hidden and outer world are at the hub of the living mandala, that we are creating on our walk. Her radiances - her energy systems - qualities appear different for each of us at different times. So the mandala is an organic and changing process, with ourselves at the centre. Listening and feeling responses engendered by the woodland - our fellow walkers - the history of the wood and its creatures. Stopping, moving, looking, rocking, touching, smelling, listening and of course feeling with all our senses we perhaps can come alive to the beauty and ubiquitous presence of She.
Instinctual, Intuitive and Insightful - a spiritual response to ecocide
The feminine body is full of these wisdoms. If we but follow our breath we sense below the earth that is breathing us. We can feel and sense that looking up at the sky the vast emptiness where birds come and go, raises our heart to the world of eternity. We are connected to above and below, we may then feel centred and aligned to our true nature.
Looking after our Earth Body
Our feminine consciousness is needed at this time - when we are facing ecological devastation and the 6th mass extinction of species. We are needed to hold sacred all the creatures in creation. All creatures, because they are all part of the living soul of The Great Mother, as we are. So when we hurt a creature, kill it, we kill part of ourselves. When we no longer see this Earth as our shared home we cannot devote ourselves to being maintainers of our Earth.
The Earth's Soul as our body and our soul
The Earth has a soul - the ancients called it the Anima Mundi - the soul of the world. We too have a soul - an Anima - it needs our instinctual nature - animal - to experience being alive. Buddhism stresses our need for loving kindness and gratitude towards our Mother Earth and to all living creatures. In our walks we connect to the duality of our animal nature and our soul's yearning for experience of this Earth at this time. The oneness and vastness of the heart contains all that is profound and simple. If we walk as women - walk as lovers of nature - walk with the wonderment of a visitor to this Earth taking the first step the Earth will come alive again and all her creatures will sing with us the song of creation.
- Behavioural therapy
- Cognitive and behavioural therapies
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Cognitive therapy
- Couples counselling
- Gestalt therapy
Individual Counselling £50 per 1 hr session
Supervision £50 per 1 hr session
We offer a reduced fee for those clients who are eligible for the concessionary rate.
Never feel that your problem is too small or too unimportant to bring to counselling.
For further information please do not hesitate to contact us. We are 5 mins. walk from Westcombe Park Station and local transport. Parking is free in the area.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Types of client