Steve Wasserman MA (Cantab), MA Integ. Psych., MBACP, ISST (Accred)
111 Ruskin Gardens
I'm an experienced counsellor and psychotherapist able to offer both brief, issue-focused guidance, as well as long-term support and assistance.
For the last decade, I have worked both in the NHS, Relate and privately with individuals and couples facing a wide variety of personal issues.
After having had a look at my profile, please feel free to get in touch either by email or telephone (07804197605) for any further clarification as to how I work, or specifically how I might be able to help with what's troubling you at the moment.
I OFFER THREE TYPES OF INDIVIDUAL THERAPY
1. Counselling: Counselling can be very useful when we have a particular difficulty we want to deal with or when we are reacting to a distressing or stressful event. Even just a few sessions can often be extremely helpful.
2. Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy works in a similar way to counselling, but often involves a more in-depth exploration. For this reason, it’s best suited deeper-seated issues that you might have been struggling with for quite a while.
My psychotherapeutic practice integrates my early training in psychoanalytic and cognitive behavioural modalities, my experience of using these with individual clients and couples both privately and for Relate and the NHS, along with Schema Therapy (ST) and Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS).
Schemas are themes or patterns that begin early in our development and repeat throughout our lives. They are made up of memories, bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Once activated, intense emotions are often felt and they can usually underlie long-term issues we feel we’re struggling with in how we relate to ourselves and others.
Generally, schemas develop from not having our core emotional needs met in childhood, adolescence, or sometimes later on in our lives. These core emotional needs include: secure attachments to others, autonomy, competence, a sense of identity, the freedom to express valid needs and emotions, spontaneity and play, as well as realistic limits and self-control.
When our schemas get activated, either in relationships or due to life circumstances, it can often feel like a “part” of us has taken over in some way that feels disruptive.
This part can be self-destructive or hurtful to others, as well as ourselves. Or it might be distancing, or dismissive. Or perhaps it just feels overwhelmed by anxiety or despair. This can often send our internal family system (the different, interconnected parts that make up our psyche) into disarray, resulting in a sense of our inner world as being conflicted, empty, or just deeply mired in suffering. We can sense this through our emotions (thoughts and feelings), but sometimes also as physical pain or illness.
Pixar's animated Inside Out film is a nice, simplified (but no less profound) version of this model:
IFS and Schema Therapy helps us to understand these parts better, find out which of our needs they’re trying to meet or compensate for, as well as giving us the tools to meet these needs in more healthy and fulfilling ways.
3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: CBT looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we feel and act. It can work extremely well if you're looking for a practical set of "brain apps" to help you with a troubling situation. It is particularly effective for depression, addictions, chronic pain, as well as anger and anxiety issues (worrying, insomnia panic attacks, phobias, PTSD, and OCDs). I offer standard CBT as it is delivered by the NHS, but I am also trained to integrate into this "3rd wave" CBT models such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT; also MBSR and MBRP for Addictive Behaviours), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
Do get in touch either by email or telephone (07804197605) if you would like to find out anything else about me or the kind of therapy I can offer you.
As a Couples Therapist I utilise three therapeutic models: Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Schema Therapy for Couples (ST-C), and Internal Family Systems Therapy for Couples (IFS-C).
EFT is a highly researched, effective and evidence-based treatment focusing on the emotional bond between partners, presuming that most relational problems arise from a disruption in this bond. It helps partners to learn not only to be more open and trusting with each other but also to reach out for one another more effectively.
"Couples in distress enter therapy holding two goals that they now experience as mutually exclusive," writes Toni Herbine-Blank, "to feel loved and to feel understood."
The Couples Therapy approaches I use help us to better meet these core needs which underly our fundamental questions in a relationship: Do I matter deeply to my partner? Will he/she be there for me when I need them most? Do I feel safe and secure enough in the relationship to be my full and authentic self?
It is these questions that are really at the root of what couples fight about, the emotional bond and security in their relationship. This is the case even when we think we're arguing about money, sex, kids, or the thermostat setting for the house. When we fear that the answer to one of the above attachment-bond questions may be "no", it can cause us to feel isolated and alone. It may even feel as though we are fighting for survival itself. And fight we will, or withdraw.
Most couples therapy only brings about a 36% improvement for couples after therapy had ended with this falling to 18% after a year (Gottman, 2007). However, over a decade's worth of studies on Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy show that 70-73% of couples with EFT move from distress to recovery within 12-20 sessions, and approximately 86-90% show significant improvements in their relationship (Johnson, 2004).
To understand what happens when these core attachment bonds get strained, Schema Therapy and Internal Family Systems Therapy allow us to look into the parts of us that get activated when we are struggling to connect with our partner: these can be Angry or Blaming parts; also Detached, People-Pleasing/Subjugated parts, or Escapist parts who might have affairs, gamble, self-medicate with alcohol, tv, porn, or work 24/7.
Recognising and starting to dialogue with these different parts of us, our internal family system, we can learn how to better take care of these parts for ourselves. The result is then being able to better express our needs in our relationships, as well as meeting the needs of our partner. To feel loved and to feel understood, on a constant basis.
If you are struggling as a couple and would like to find out more about this highly effective and powerful form of couples counselling, please feel free to get in touch with me to discuss the matter further.
Whatever type of therapy you choose, I believe the following factors are absolutely essential
- a safe, confidential environment where you can unburden yourself: sharing and talking through the feelings and difficulties you may be having
- time and space to consider, together, possible courses of action that might alleviate your discomfort or distress
- the experience of supportive and engaged interaction: talking to someone who is completely focussed on you and your needs in a way that is open-minded, validating, and non-judgmental
- the encouragement to develop ways of thinking, coping and engaging with problems that at times may feel insoluble or intolerable
- a relationship of genuine care and concern: allowing (if required) for a greater level of support outside of sessions than might otherwise be offered in classic psychotherapy or counselling
Training, qualifications & experience
I was born and received my primary education in South Africa, emigrating to the UK in 1986 at the age of 15.
After my University studies and some time spent working as a teacher, I retrained as a counsellor and then got an MA in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy.
My initial training was equally split between three main 'schools': psychodynamic therapy as practised by Freud, Klein and Winnicott (if you've had a therapist who said very little to you and was uncomfortable about answering questions about himself, this is probably what you were receiving); cognitive behavioural therapy (if you had a therapist who was very strategic and tools-based in her work, getting you to fill out tables between sessions, most likely CBT); as well as existential and person-centred work as defined by Irvin Yalom and Carl Rogers (you might have experienced this as a more philosophical approach if your therapist worked in this way).
I have also experienced therapy as a client in all three models. Unlike clinical psychologists who are not required to undertake any personal therapy as part of their training, psychotherapists are encouraged to frequently sample their own wares. I really do believe that as therapists we should only really be offering treatment/healing that works consistently both for our clients but also for ourselves.
For this reason, the training I then undertook after my MA was predominantly in therapeutic models that both for myself and the people I work with, seem (with apologies to Heineken) to refresh and heal the parts standard therapies often fail to reach. Internal Family Systems Therapy, Compassion Focused/Mindfulness-Based Therapies, and Schema Therapy, all do this in ways that I find highly effective and often life-changing. I now utilise mainly these in the work I do, but with recourse to my foundational practices when needed.
For the last decade I have worked both in the NHS, Relate, and privately with individuals and couples facing some of the following issues: relationship and family difficulties, depression (including SAD, bipolar and manic disorders), anxiety disorders (OCD, PTSD, panic attacks, phobias, excessive worrying), personality disorders, trauma and abuse, as well as addictions, chronic pain, anger management and sexual issues.
I am a member of The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and abide by their ethical framework.
Outside of my consulting rooms, I enjoy writing & reading, R4/audio books/podcasts, hiking and gardening.
Schema Therapy Training and (ISST) Accreditation - 2013/2014
IFS for individuals and couples (CE format) - 2013/ongoing
Externship in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy - 2012
Professional Certificate in MBCT/MBSR for groups & individuals - 2011
Clinical Skills in Compassion Focused Therapy (certificate) - 2011
Relate training - 2010
MA in Integrative Psychotherapy - 2008
Bereavement Training (CCIWB) - 2007
Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (CPCAB) - 2005
Samaritans Volunteer training & service - 1995
BA/MA in English Literature - 1991
Please feel free to get in touch either by email or telephone (07804197605) if you would like to find out anything else about me or the kind of therapy I can offer you.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Dependent personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- 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
- Relationship issues
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Tourette's syndrome
- Work related stress
Consultation/appointment fees (all standard 50 minute sessions):
Daytime: £45 ( (£55 - couples)
Evenings, after 6pm: £50 (£60 - couples).
Weekends: £60 (£70 - couples).
If you are a low-wage earner or a student and cannot afford the above fees, I'd be happy to consider making some dispensation in order for us to still work together.
Please get in touch to discuss this further.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Monday - Friday: 2 - 8 pm. Saturdays: 2- 6 pm.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|