Peter Ryan

Peter Ryan

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The Pepper Pot
Day Care Centre
1A Thorpe Close
W10 5XL

97 Mortimer Street

0208 964 5831 / 07948 733 640

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The Pepper Pot
Day Care Centre
1A Thorpe Close
W10 5XL

97 Mortimer Street

0208 964 5831 / 07948 733 640

About me

Anxiety, depression, stress, trauma specialist, founder of empathy zone helpline and BACP registered therapeutic counsellor working in Kensington and Wandsworth with individuals, adolescents and couples.

Since 2010 I have been providing therapeutic sessions via my private practice – Empathy Zone.   I have a number of published articles evidencing my therapeutic effectiveness which you can read on my website. As a columnist for the bimonthly online magazine Hub of the South, I enjoy promoting the word, work and wonder of empathy.

If you feel that life is getting you down, if you are experiencing stress levels that are difficult for you to cope with, or you would like to share the burden of problems you are facing, my deeply non-judgemental empathic qualities can empower you to find new ways of dealing with your troubles.

At Empathy Zone non-judgemental counselling services you and I will work together supporting you to develop greater self-expression, greater self-understanding and greater acceptance of self.

I have a natural talent to engage positively with challenging and complex issues clients present in counselling. My professional credentials, endorsed by the Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling awarded in 2008, together with my empathic approach, enriched by the experience of parent- and grand-parenthood, give me the confidence to facilitate beneficial sessions on short, medium or long term basis.

The development [of the therapist] is not about learning how to counsel but about becoming a person who can counsel (Mearns & Thorne, 2008). I have become that person.

Evidence of Person-Centred Effectiveness.

Person-centred psychotherapies have fared poorly in evidence-based reviews of therapies and yet there is evidence of efficacy and effectiveness.[i] Moreover, the modality, is not limited to people with mild to moderate symptoms of recent onset, but is also effective with people with moderate to severe mental health problems of longer duration.[ii] In fact, two late 20th Century independent studies, based on randomized, controlled assessment (Friedli et al., 1997; Bower et al., 2000), have concluded that person-centred, non-directive psychotherapy/counselling more than holds its own in comparison with other forms of therapy and helping.[iii] Results have confirmed, strengthened and extended previous results, using much larger sample of more 180 scientific outcome studies.[iv] A 2010 book reviewing research on counselling, psychotherapy and related practice[v] presents 60 years of evidence from 1950’s on wards.



[iii] Feltham C. and Horton I. The sage handbook of counselling and psychotherapy. London: SAGE Publications Ltd;2006


[v] Cooper M. Watson C J. and Holldampf D. Person-centred and experiential therapies work. Herefordshire: PCCS Books Ltd;2010

Training, qualifications & experience


Level 5 Professional Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. Sept' 06 Jul'08  
1. Person-centred approaches to counselling
2. Counselling skills, developed and practice
3. Comparative theories and approaches
4. Continuing personal development in counselling
5. Exploring the human development process
6. Client work in therapeutic counselling
7. Counselling for loss and grief
8. Counselling young people

Level 3 Certificate in Intermediate Counselling Studies.Sept'05 - Jul'06.                                                                                                                                                      
1. Professional framework of the counsellor
2. Counselling relationship
3. Client diversity
4. Service user-centred approach
5. Personal awareness in counselling
6. Counselling concepts
7. Supervision and self-reflection

Level 2 Certificate in Intermediate Counselling Skills. Sept'04 - Jul'05.

1. Use of counselling skills ethically and safely
2. Management of helping interactions
3. Communication of empathic understanding
4. Managing of active listening space
5. Use of self-awareness to facilitate helping work
6. Use of counselling skills coherently
7. Use of study skills to help manage learning

Level 1 Introduction to Counselling.  March - July 2004.

1. An overview of counselling
2. The desired qualities needed in a person to facilitate counselling
3. Empathy, Unconditional Positive Regard, Congruence


  • Assistant Programme Leader, The Challenge, May- Sept’15

Providing vital support and advice to programme leader, senior mentors, personal coaches, support workers and participants.
Behavioral management and Inclusion specialist.
Key role to support mentors in supporting their teams.
Help staff to support participants with additional needs and challenging behaviour.
Support the programme leader in managing the discipline system.

  • Child Workforce Counsellor, The Learning Centre, May-Nov’14

Setting up and managing a cutting-edge school counselling service.
Offering 1:1 therapeutic counselling (pupils, parents, staff) in an empathically rich and deeply non-judgemental environment. Supporting socially, emotionally and behaviorally challenging pupils to reach their full educational potential.

Published* article – Extending the Empathy Zone Embrace – evidences my success and reflects the complex dynamics at play and the courageous sensitivity required when working with traumatized children.
* United Kingdom Therapy Guide.

  • School Counsellor, Kingswood Pupil Referral Unit (KPRU), Apr’13 – May’14

Many of the Children and Young People (CYP) I worked therapeutically with at KPRU had suffered years of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which were not addressed while they attended main stream school. A high number of KPRU pupils had developed deeply ingrained low self-worth issues and would frequently indulged in anti-social actives and show a total disregard for obedience to authority figures and complying to school rules. Many had endured spells of frustration with caring professionals who were assigned to assist them in making more positive life style choices. KPRU pupils demonstrated high resistance to engage in constructive dialogue.

  • Counsellor/Supervisor, Residential Detox Programme (RDP), Jan – Feb’13

The RDP consists of 3 x 24-hour residential days followed by 4 x 8-hour non-residential days. The overall structure of the RDP is designed to assist, support and free a patient from the withdrawal symptoms of toxic substances in their bodies. The programme starts with a medical assessment of the patient by a doctor and introduction of my therapeutic role.While every effort is made to eliminate distress or discomfort and support the patient as they journey through the dynamics of this demanding transitional period, some degree of uneasiness and pain will be inevitable. My therapeutic role is to offer consistently a deeply emotional and psychological presence, especially when the patient is challenged with internal negative influences.

  • School Counsellor, Thomas Tallis Secondary School (TTSS), Aug’09 – Jan’12

At TTSS I worked as a therapeutic counsellor engaging in professional work with Children and Young People (CYP). I facilitated both 1-to-1 and group counselling sessions in a safe deeply non-judgemental empathic environment, promoting positive change and bringing about therapeutic healing.  While counselling CYP at TTSS I encountered a number of clients who manifested bullying, self-harm tendencies, sexual at risk behaviour, eating disorders, low-self esteem, substance misuse and other destructive behaviors. A snap shot of my empathic effectiveness has been published in the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Children and Young People journal of December 2012. The title of my article; Empathy Reigns.

  • Male Sexual Abuse Helpline Operator, SurvivorsUK (SUK): Jan’10 - Jul'11

As a SUK helpline operator I was successful in empathically engaging with callers who were in need of direction and emotional support in overcoming their traumatic experiences.I also provided emotional support to the carers and families of men who have experienced sexual assault.I was very effective in encouraging callers to engage with the counselling process.

  • Therapeutic Counsellor, Brent Addiction Counselling Service(BACS), Jul'07 - Aug'09

At BACS I counselled Alcohol and Drug Dependency clients-in-crisis to move into recovery and beyond. I carried out assessments and emotionally prepared a number of individuals for rehab. I was instrumental in reducing the waiting time on average from 3 to 2 months between point of exit from the agency and entry to rehab center. Positive relationships with external professionals and support staff were key in having my reports accepted half way through completion of client (6-12 week) counselling contracts. I was proactive in monitoring current at risk assessments, which served to enhance my personal security and safety, and I routinely communicated my concerns to fellow therapists, line-manager and supervisor.

  • Performance Coach/Mentor, Hillingdon Secondary School for Boys, Dec'08 - Jun'09

Empowering underachieving pupils to fulfil their educational potential.
Setting goals and maintaining pupils commitment.

  • Family Support Worker, HMP Holloway, Dec'07 - Mar'08

Taking a pro-active role in interacting with members of the public visiting friends and family in prison.
Taking an active role in the play area with children as young as five and teenagers.

  • Mental Health Helpline Operator, Saneline (SL) Organization, Mar'06 - Mar'08

Emphatically supporting people suffering from mental health problems. SL is a charity dedicated to helping people with mental health issues. I underwent forty-hour training, carried out during four consecutive weekends, on various aspects of mental and social health issues. The training covered not only typical mental health conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, but also legal issues relating to mental health matters.


2 day Sue-Parker Hall workshop on Anger, Rage & Relationship. Nov'15

  • Therapeutic implications for working with anger and rage
  • Positive aspects of anger
  • Definition of hot and cold rage
  • Rage defends against the impact of a failing environment

1 day Sue-Parker Hall workshop on The Link between Shame & Rage 

  • Defining rage
  • Defining shame
  • The relationship between rage and shame
  • Methodology of working with shame

Jun - Jul'13: Contemporary Developments in the Person-Centred Approach

  • Relational Depth
  • Configurations of Self
  • Person-Centred psychopathology
  • Fragile/Disassociated Process
  • Plural self

Ealing BAPCA: Series of discussion groups
Exploring Trust, Jun'12; Exploring Shame and the Actualising tendency, May '12; Exploring Relationships and Vulnerability, Apr'12; Exploring Sexual abuse, Mar'12; Exploring Anger, Feb'12; Exploring Intimacy, Jan’12; Exploring Trauma, Dec'11; Exploring Conflict in Groups, Nov'11; Exploring Grief, Sep'11; Exploring Narcissism, Aug’11; Exploring Congruence’ Jul’11; Exploring Laughter, May’11; Exploring Empathy, Mar’11; Exploring Conflict in relationships, Feb’11; Exploring Loneliness, Jan’11; Exploring Self-harm, Nov’10; Exploring Anxiety, Oct’10; Exploring Gender, Aug’10; Exploring Depression, Jul’10; Exploring Low Self-esteem, May’10; Exploring Depression, Apr’10.

An Introduction to Focusing-Oriented Therapy, Facilitator John Threadgold. Nov - Dec'11

  • Facilitating focusing Moments in focusing-oriented therapy.
  • Helping client to deepen their therapeutic experience.
  • Experiential focusing skills and reflective listening skills.
  • Facilitating process & working with difficulties.
  • Assessing client’s experiencing levels.

Voice and Movement Workshop, UKAHPP Annual Gathering of Members. Apr'11

Workshop on Trans-Cultural Counselling and Psychotherapy, Facilitator Colin Lago, M.ed.-FBACP- UKRC- BAPC accr. Counsellor and Trainer. Jun'10

  • Definitions – Power & Whiteness.
  • Exploring Cultural Values.
  • Experience of Discrimination.
  • Cultural Awareness and Knowledge.
  • Discussion Statements 3&4.
  • Perceptions of Identity.
  • British Cultural Traits In Majority Identity.

Introduction to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Facilitator Dr Sarah Heke, Institute of Psychotrauma. Feb'10:

SurvivorsUK, Telephone Helpline Training. Jan'10

DAAT & Sexual Health Training, Hepatitis C-Update. Apr'09

Youth at Risk Performance Coach Training for Education. Oct'09

  • Understanding giving and keeping your word.
  • Practicing coaching techniques.
  • Listening effectively as a coaching tool.
  • Training in responding rather than reacting.
  • Creating a new relationship towards mistakes.
  • Setting steps towards achieving goals.
  • Drawing up action plans with coaches.

HMP Holloway, Understanding the Effects of Imprisonment. Jan'10

  • Understanding the psychological effects imprisonment can have on an individual.
  • Understanding the impact on family members.
  • Understanding the stigma of imprisonment.

SANELINE Training Programme, accredited by the Open Network & endorsed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Jun'06

  • Categories of mental health (MH) problems.
  • Understanding MH problems.
  • Stigma and discrimination that people with MH problems experience.
  • How individual from different groups in the community experience MH problems.
  • Understanding medication and treatment for MH problems.
  • Understanding the UK MH system.
  • Understanding dual diagnosis
  • Understanding the key provision of the MH act 1983.
  • Ability to retrieve information from Saneline information data base.
  • Understanding Sane the organization and role of volunteers.
  • Call managing skills.

Introduction to Greek philosophy, The Mary Ward Centre. Nov - Dec'03

Member organisations


Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Contributions to qualitative research:

  • Is Therapy Therapeutic for the Therapist
  • Metaphor in Therapy
  • Counsellors’ perception of age and capacity for facilitative congruence
  • Experiences of Counsellors working with Young Homeless People in London


I charge £50 for a 60-minute counselling session.

Depending on availability, I offer discounted rates to students and people who are on low income.


Before we start counselling we will first need to undergo an assessment/introductory session. This will provide you with an opportunity to explore whether the counselling I offer is what you would like to commit yourself to. It will also allow me to gather general information about your health.

A fee for assessment/introduction is £50.

Cancellation Policy

A minimum of 48 hours notice is required when making a cancellation. If less than 48 hours notice of cancellation is not given by you, then the full fee will be payable at the next session.
In the event of me not being able to provide you with a session through illness and/or an emergency, I will give you as much notice as possible and offer you an alternative date.

Published articles

Further information

I am a British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy registered Therapeutic Counsellor and abide by their Ethical Framework for good practice and abide by there complaint procedures. Membership No: 658738

I am a member of The World Association for Person Centered & Experiential Psychotherapy & Counselling.

I am a member of The International Center for Clinical Excellence.

Maps & Directions

London, W10 5XL
London, W1W 7SU

Type of session

Online counselling: Yes
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: None



Types of client

Young people
Older adults
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