James Prendergast , PGDip, MBACP
I am an experienced BACP registered therapeutic counsellor working with people from all backgrounds and ages.
There can be times in our lives when we feel a bit lost, stuck and blocked from living a fuller and happier life. Often we are too close to the problem to unravel the puzzle and find a solution on our own.Therapy gives you a safe, confidential space each week to express what’s really going on for you. Together we will explore and try to make sense of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and thereby help you to make changes. Life is difficult and yet many still believe and act on the assumption it should be easy - it can take courage to enter therapy.
I have an integrative approach to therapy, which means I use the most helpful theory and technique from a variety of theoretical backgrounds including; psychodynamic, CBT, person centered and solution focused therapies. I believe every client is different, with a unique path to overcoming their problems. I’ll tailor my approach depending on what works best for you.
Through insight & psychotherapy tools, I can help you:
- Improve relationships
- Relieve anxiety
- Alleviate depression
- Overcome addictions and build recovery
- Heal past trauma
- Discover your strengths, contribution, worth and direction
- Understand and constructively manage anger and conflict
- Explore feelings of low self worth and build inner confidence
- Explore and find your meaning in life
Often we live with 'blind spots' in the ways we think and relate. What is often helpful is another person's perspective to allow you to become more self aware and use the inner resources and skills you already possess to move forwards.
What can you expect from our sessions?
In counselling sessions, with my support and encouragement, we will talk privately and confidentially about your life and problems. These discussions will focus on your perceptions of your problems and experiences, and on your patterns of thinking related to these. This takes place in a warm, respectful, empathic, non-judgemental understanding, over a series of scheduled weekly sessions. Through this process of discussion and therapeutic feedback from me we will deeply explore your personal life problems and emotions at a level much deeper than you have ever previously experienced, thus developing for you a much greater insight into them. The goal of this is that, through various learning strategies which increase your self-awareness and self-knowledge as you progress - and without any kind of advice-giving by the counsellor - you will increasingly learn how to better manage the deep problems affecting your happiness, personal well-being, and ability to cope with life.
This is an active and self-empowering life skills building approach, during which you will receive my therapeutic support as you begin to take full responsbility for incorporating the changes which we identify together into your daily life as counselling proceeds. This self-responsibility is a pre-requisite for successful outcome. As an essential part of this process the importance of you focussing on, modifying, patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving associated with your specific problems will be emphasized between us. As may be appropriate, you will be encouraged to learn with me how to forumulate new self-expectations/goals for your personal development, and to use our counselling sessions to help you define ways in which these may be attained. This will involve you being encouraged to learn new life skills. In addition to its therapeutic aspects, counselling will frequently include information-giving, often based on the most recently available peer-reviewed research.
My preferred style of working is open-ended with periodic reviews to track your progress. But I also offer fixed-term contracts where we focus on a particular issue with an aim to explore it at depth.
Most people can find considering therapy and choosing a therapist rather daunting. If you feel anxious or unsure how to proceed, please, get in touch. You can discuss your situation with me in confidence during a brief telephone consultation. You will be able to ask me questions and make a decision whether I am the right person to work with you.
Therapy can be an immensely rewarding process leading to profound discovery and change with many people (including myself) describing it as a transformative life experience.
Working within the BACP ethical framework, my principal concern is for your safety, wellbeing and personal autonomy, and to ensure you receive the most appropriate help and support.
Please don't hesitate to email or call me with any questions.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am an integrative therapist, registered with the BACP (British Association of Counselling Psychotherapists) working both in private practise and for related organisations since 2008. My professional training and approach is based on the University of East London School of Counselling, three-stage model which focuses on (1) problem exploration (2) developing deeper understanding (3) problem management and making life changes. This approach is based on very clear evidence from counselling and humanistic psychotherapy research indicating that the quality of the professional relationship between client and counsellor is the greatest factor in achieving successful counselling outcomes with clients.
I have worked with clients with issues including:
- Low self-esteem
- Relationship issues
- Self-harm & suicidal ideation
- Social anxiety
- Loss and bereavement
Alongside my private practice, I have been a therapist for a variety of organisations delivering 1 to 1 therapy and group therapy. I currenlty work in the criminal justice sector working with clients with drug and alcohol problems.
I have a BACP accredited Post-graduate Diploma in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of East London.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
Other areas of counselling I deal with
ex-offending & re-integration
Photos & videos
Individual - £40 for 55 minutes
Couples - £60 for 55 minutes
Concessions for students and those on low income are available and can be negotiated in the initial session.
If you are interested in the possibility of coming to counselling, but maybe not sure, please feel free to call me with no obligation and I will answer any questions you may have. Hither Green and Lee mainline stations are 5 mins walk and free car parking is available.
Client information and contract terms:
Duration and Success of Counselling: As with all counselling and other psychological problem-resolution approaches, no gurantee can be given in advance of attaning any specified outcome, nor can results within any specified number of sessions be promised. We will review your progress frequently, at least every fifth session.
Medical Factors: It is important to understand that life-problems counselling is not offered as a psychotherapy treatment for clinical mental illness nor for any kind of medical condition. At no time will I, as a counsellor, offer a medical, psychiatric or clinical psychology opinion or diagnosis on any condition. However, if I suspect psychological illness or medical problems I will inform you that it is advisable for you to seek formal medical, clinical psychology, or psychiatric diagnosis and advice. Any such recommendation will be noted in the counselling session notes.
Attendance and active commitment: A course of counselling requires an actively committed and determined approach by the client. Appointments are always expected to begin on time and are charged for on this basis. Once we contract to a specific appointment schedule I will guarantee always to reserve those spaces exclusively for you. Because of this, I cannot use such spaces for anyone else if, for whatever reason, you do not attend.
Confidentiality and Personal Data: Counselling services are provided as a highly confidential process. The boundaries of this confidentiality are designed to facilitate a therapeutic relationship within which the client may feel secure and confident that disclosures made in counselling sessions, by the client to the counsellor, will not be disclosed to a third party, except in case of legal or other perceived necessity, or to prevent harm to yourself or someone else. As is standard practice in all forms of counselling, client notes are kept for each session, detailing things such as content, impressions, problems, physical health, behaviours, psychological issues, occurence of problems, medications, family background/ personalities/ relationships, client's history and present situation, client's expectation of counselling, initial and ongoing assessment, strategies and interventions used, and therapeutic plan and outcome goals. These are a vital record to help me plan and implement a thorough and professional course of counselling for you. These are confidential documents and protected in line with BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions
As a member of the BACP I abide by the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions - http://www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework/new_ef.php
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Evenings from 6.30pm and Weekends
Types of client