Tamara Idelson BABCP (CBT) & MBACP
239 Balham High Road
South West London
What I offer
Down-to-earth, practical therapy for people experiencing common difficulties such as stress, low mood, depression, low confidence, anxiety, worry, panic attacks and phobias. Additional specialism in health anxiety and managing conditions including Crohn's and Colitis.
I work with you to try and understand what is happening for you and what might help - be that the practical, goal-focused approach of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) or a less directed space to talk and reflect, or an integration of the two.
During 8 years with the NHS I have found that many, many people I have worked with feel better using CBT and experience relief from experiences such as depression, excessive worry, panic attacks, phobias, including phobias of travel on the tube or buses or medical tests.
For people experiencing difficulties with relationships and/or adjustment to changing life circumstances I can offer integrative therapy (CBT, person-centred and mindfulness combined).
The foundation for my approach was working for seven years as a volunteer for the UK's largest emotional support charity where I learnt that a space to talk, reflect and name emotions could be tremendously beneficial. Thus I integrate this into classic, goal-focused CBT if you need more time and space to tell your story and process your emotions.
Areas of specialism
I have built an expertise in working with people with health anxiety and chronic, long-term health conditions, including functional bowel disorders (IBS) or bowel disease such as Crohn's and Colitis. These conditions can be difficult to manage and embarrassing to talk about in detail; I do my best to create an atmosphere that allows you to feel relaxed and able to talk about what is happening for you. Therapy does not cure these conditions but it can help to manage them.
Choosing therapy and a therapist
If you have been in counselling or therapy already you may know what you are looking for but if you are new to this it can be confusing to know where to start. During my time with the NHS I was the first point of contact for hundreds of patients looking to access therapy, so I am very used to helping people try to pinpoint where to start and what would help. My first session is a consultation session to see if what I can offer may help you. If it seems that I am not the right person for you, I will do my best to give you information about what might be considered the most evidence-based approach according to NICE guidelines and how to access it.
Training, qualifications & experience
2013-17: Cognitive behavioural psychotherapy - PG Dip - King's (IOP) London University
2011-13: Integrative counselling and psychotherapy - PG Dip - University of East London
2009/10: CBT interventions (NHS IAPT PWP specific) - PG Cert - Surrey University
2003: Couples Therapy - introductory certificate - London Marriage Guidance
2003: Counselling Skills - introductory certificate - WPF London
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Emotional abuse
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Fear of medical tests e.g. MRI, colonoscopy, smear
Managing steroid (prednisolone) induced mental health side effects
Adjusting to ostomies, stoma
I am happy to speak on the phone briefly before booking. If you are looking for help with a problem outside my skill-set I will try to signpost you.
General Fee Schedule
Balham/Tooting in person -initial consultation session 75 mins: £70
Telephone initial consultation session 75 mins: £50
Ongoing sessions face-to-face 50 mins: £60
Ongoing sessions telephone 45 minutes: £40
Ongoing sessions telephone 30 minutes: £30
Sometimes we may run shorter sessions (for instance when very depressed it can be recommended to start with 30-minute sessions as concentration and energy are depleted) or we may need a longer session occasionally if working on a specific task. Sometimes face-to-face appointments with CBT take place outside of the room such as going together to the tube to tackle a phobia or together to a public place to tackle social anxiety.
How many sessions?
"How many sessions will I need?" is, of course, a question often asked when planning to pay for therapy. I offer short to medium term work. Many problems respond to 10 - 12 sessions, more severe depression is recommended by NICE for 16 - 20 sessions. If you are functioning pretty well but would like some support working through self-help materials 6 - 8 telephone sessions may suffice. We will discuss this after consultation and I strive to give an honest appraisal of what might be achieved and we review progress at each session.
I currently see people on a Friday in the Balham/Tooting area face to face (the room is at the top of several flights of stairs with no lift so I am sorry that I cannot currently accommodate people who would need a lift).
I also offer telephone appointments on days other than Fridays. Having worked extensively over the telephone in my charity volunteer role and my NHS role I find what research has also found, that therapy via the phone can work well.
Getting in touch
The easiest way to make contact is to drop me an email and we can have a brief telephone chat before you book in if you prefer. Please remember that emails are never 100% secure so please do not send sensitive personal information via email.
I will send you some questions and possibly questionnaires in advance of our first session to help you be able to pinpoint what is most important for you and for me to see if your problems fall into one of the common conditions. You are not obliged to do these but I find that it makes for a better use of your time and as you are paying for this time I want to try to ensure that you get the most out of it.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
|Other languages:||I understand French and Russian although I will conduct therapy in English|
Fridays in Balham/Tooting including evening Flexible other days for telephone appointments including evenings
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|