Pernille Finegan: Psychotherapy, Couple Counselling, Supervision, Focusing

Pernille Finegan: Psychotherapy, Couple Counselling, Supervision, Focusing

104 Weir Road
SW12 0ND

07986 086 989

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104 Weir Road
SW12 0ND

07986 086 989

About me

Whether you are an individual or a couple, it is likely that, looking at this, you are struggling in one or more areas of your life and need assistance. A specific event may have brought you here or you may feel that things have been niggling you for a while. You may be clear about what the issues are or you may feel uncertain about what exactly is going on. Either way, speaking to a highly trained therapist in a caring, empathic and non-judgmental environment can help to make sense of what is happening and to find a way forward.

In my work I am informed by humanistic and psychodynamic principles, insight into the origins and patterns of an experience can be incredibly helpful in starting a process of change. However, this is only one factor in the process. The relationship we form and the relationship you are able to develop with your own experience (with my help) will be the basis for a new way of being. One of the skills I use to this end is Focusing, a mindfulness based relational body practice. (For more details see below)

Therapy works slightly differently for individuals and couples, so I have created headings below relevant to each - please have a look under the heading that applies to you.

Individuals - Generalised

Psychotherapy and counselling can help with many types of emotional distress. Below is a list of the broad areas with which I have experience. Please note that the list is not exhaustive and I may well be able to help even if you do not find yourself under one of these headings:

  • Anxiety, panic, depression, stress and sadness
  • Feeling not able to cope
  • Lack of self esteem, low confidence, shyness, worthlessness
  • Lack of direction, meaning and purpose, existential issues
  • Isolation and loneliness

Individuals - more specific issues:

  • Relationships: conflict, difficulties with communication, anger, isolation
  • Break-ups and divorce
  • Work: stress, lack of meaning/satisfaction, difficult relationships, lack of direction, what to do next?
  • Family: parents, siblings, children and unsatisfactory relationships
  • Major life events/changes such as marriage, birth, divorce and deaths
  • Sexual issues
  • Fertility issues
  • Menopause, change in life stage
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Disordered eating

Couple counselling

Couples often come to counselling when they are experiencing a break down in communication leaving both parties feeling hurt, misunderstood and even unloved. This can set up a dynamic leading to further pain and isolation, affairs, vengeful behaviours or withdrawal, feeling stuck in a rut and not knowing how to get out.

Of course, one or both of the parties may well be experiencing other difficulties in their life (see headings for Individuals above) which may have caused or contributed to the current difficulties in relating. These issues would also, where appropriate, be brought into the counselling, but sometimes it can be helpful for that person also to have individual therapy with another therapist.

Couple counselling can be an extremely helpful space in which to identify events, feelings, beliefs, misunderstandings and patterns of behaviour which contribute to the present difficulties. Many couples report that being in the calm contained presence of an impartial third party, and the offer of insight into what is going on, has helped them to move out of their impasse.

Clinical Supervision

Supervision has been defined as:

“ a joint endeavour in which a practitioner with the help of a supervisor, attends to their clients, themselves as part of their client practitioner relationships and the wider systemic context, and by so doing improves the quality of their work, transforms their client relationships, continuously develops themselves, their practice and the wider profession” (Hawkins & Shohet: Supervision in the Helping Professions, p60)

I received my supervision certification from Centre for Supervision and Team Development where I was trained by Robin Shohet and Joan Wilmot, and I have attended many of their CPD training days as well as being in a closed supervision group with Robin for a number of years.

I believe passionately in the benefits of supervision and it has always been an integral part of my own practice as a therapist and supervisor.   I receive professional supervision as well as being part of peer supervisory relationships and a peer 'supervision of supervision' group.

I have experience of offering individual and group supervision to both trainees and qualified therapists. I use the 7-Eyed Model of supervision and am happy to give particular attention to psychodynamic or humanistic modalities.  I also have some knowledge of systemic theory and CBT.  I increasingly use a Focusing stance in supervision, tuning into the felt sense of what’s presenting.  In this way an issue can be looked at from many different angles often creating more space and the possibility of understanding and a way forward.

I see supervision as a collaborative and creative endeavour.  Just like the therapeutic relationship it is based on trust, reflection and exploration.

I offer some concessions to trainees and newly qualified therapists.

I offer group supervision by arrangement.


Focusing was developed by Eugene Gendlin and his then colleague, Carl Rogers, when they were investigating how and why therapy works. What they discovered was that the main factor in the patient’s success in therapy was not the therapist or the type of therapy, but the client's own relationship with their inner experience. If, in the session, the client paused in their speech, searched within for the right words, fumbled around for an image, for a sense of rightness to what they said or heard… then the therapy was a success.

From that research Focusing, as it is known now, was developed and taught.

The mission statement of The International Focusing Institute begins with the question "Why Focusing?" and gives this answer:

Everyone has the potential to access and live from their unique bodily-felt knowing. Focusing, a process grounded in experiential listening, is a powerful way of interacting with this body-felt knowing that leads to mutual respect, authenticity and compassion. In this way, Focusing fosters peace and harmony in the world.

Focusing shows how to pause the on-going situation and create a space for new possibilities for carrying forward. This practice, developed from the Philosophy of the Implicit, shows how to apply open attention to something which is directly experienced but is not in words.

Your body knows more about situations than you are explicitly aware of. For example, your body picks up more about another person than you consciously know. With some training, you can get a bodily feel for the 'more' that is happening in any situation. From that bodily feel come small steps that lead toward resolution.

“What is split off, not felt, remains the same. When it is felt, it changes. Most people don't know this. They think that by not permitting the feeling of their negative ways they make themselves good. On the contrary, that keeps these negatives static, the same from year to year. A few moments of feeling it in your body allows it to change. If there is in you something bad or sick or unsound, let it inwardly be, and breathe. That's the only way it can evolve and change into the form it needs.” Eugene Gendlin

Training, qualifications & experience

Training and experience:

I have been working in busy private practice as a therapist, counsellor, couple counsellor and clinical supervisor for a number of years. I have a broad spectrum of experience with a variety of "problems in living", too many to list. Please contact me if you would like to know if I am the right person to deal with whatever issue is troubling you.

In addition to working in private practice seeing clients for short and long term work, I have experience of seeing patients in a GP setting and have been involved with charities which support parents and families; women who have suffered different types of abuse as well as working at a hospice supporting patients and their families.

Relevant qualifications:

  • PG Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy from CCPE
  • Diploma in Couple Counselling from the Relate Institute
  • Certificate in Psychosexual Relations and further training in psychodynamic couple work from the Tavistock Centre for Couples Relationships (TCCR)
  • Certificate in clinical supervision from CSTD
  • Further training in multi modal CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)
  • Certificate in Transpersonal Dreamwork (CCPE)
  • Part 1 EMDR (trauma)
  • Undertaking a 2 year training course in Focusing Oriented Therapy (2016-2017), accredited by the Focusing Institute - please ask for further details

Hoffman Process graduate

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited


Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with


Focusing can be described as a body based mindful enquiry into the felt sense of something.


All sessions last 50 minutes unless otherwise agreed.

Charges are:

£60 for an individual session

£70 for a couple session

£60 for an individual supervision session, some concessions available. Groups by arrangement.

Further information


I practice from a dedicated therapy room in my house which is situated about equidistant between Clapham South and Balham stations, approx. a 10-15 minute walk away. Buses stop on Balham High Road about 5 minutes walk away.
If you come by car there is ample parking on the street, some of it metered, and parking for other modes of transport directly in front of the house.


I am a member of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy which has strict training and ethical requirements for its members.

Code of Ethics:

I adhere to the UKCP Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Conduct.


I maintain an up to date professional indemnity insurance with a reputable insurer at all times.

Previous experience:

I had a previous career as a solicitor in the banking sector in the City of London.

Maps & Directions

Balham, SW12 0ND

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: Danish


My availability is Monday to Friday with the first session starting at 8am and the last session starting at 8.30pm

Types of client

Older adults

Supervision & training

I offer individual and group supervision to trainees and qualified counsellors and psychotherapists.

View supervision profile
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