Alex Monk UKCP Psychotherapist HCPC Art therapist
'Perhaps the most curative aspect and the very foundation of psychotherapy is when you actually experience a felt sense that you have been heard and seen as you wish to be, not as someone else wants you to.'
I am a UKCP registered psychotherapist and an HCPC registered art therapist based in London with a private practice in Islington and Hackney. I also work as a Clinical Supervisor at Asthma UK.
My approach is integrative and I am informed by both psychodynamic and humanistic principles. This means that I work with the unconscious/ conscious, past and present moment and perceive these to be interdependent. Making connections between these elements of experience is an important part of therapeutic work. However I also believe that each person is unique and that theories should be held lightly.
I have been very fortunate to witness on many occasions the innate creativity and imaginative capacity of people when I work with them. Sometimes in a session the imagination will unexpectedly make itself known, forming a bridge between unconscious and conscious, past and present. While not providing an instant ‘solution’ it can add colour and some space to think about problems in new ways which can be a relief in itself.
It helps with your relationship to yourself and other people
Therapy can help you to gently get a new perspective on some of the patterns you have established and play an important part in how you relate to the world. Although these patterns may have served you well in the past, perhaps you feel they are not helpful to you any longer and are making you feel anxious, depressed or simply overwhelmed.
The more rigid and inflexible of these relational patterns are often learned early in life, and can result in life experiences where you may feel that things are just 'going wrong' without ever really knowing why. For example, you may tend to choose particular friends or partners that you know cognitively that are somehow not healthy but can't resist anyway. Or perhaps you find yourself in a job you don't like and can't stand the people that work there and it's not the first time.
Psychotherapy can help you see without judgement why you may find yourself in such situations, and also enables you to think about how other experiences can be possible. As a result of this process, instead of anxiety, depression or unexpressed anger, you find a heightened sense of curiosity and flexibility, which makes you feel more at ease in your relationship to yourself and other people.
Psychotherapy gives you time to reflect with another who is trained to listen
Much of our lives do not allow us the time and space to look inwardly and reflect. Of course you may look inwards as part of a meditation practice, or a walk in the park for example, but psychotherapy enables you to relate to your unique experience and reflect on it with a person who is trained to listen without an agenda, who does not 'know better' or that is trying to 'fix you.'
Perhaps the most therapeutic part of this work is when you not only think, but also feel that you have been heard in the way in which you had intended. As the way you feel when you come into therapy is often the result of relational experiences, it is the relational aspect of psychotherapy that is most curative. It is this that changes the way that you feel about yourself. You may find that as a result of working through what you bring to therapy will also give you a new perspective on all of your relationships in your life.
No session will be the same. You may feel that talking is enough. However you might wish to combine this with expressive arts such as drawing, painting, or working with clay. No skills in the arts are required!
Working with art materials is sometimes very useful first of all in that they can help to calm anxiety. Some people for example find it helps them to doodle while they talk about something. This can also become a pathway to the creative, imaginative parts of yourself that you may feel that you have lost touch with as well as offering new resources for any difficulties you are facing.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a UKCP registered Psychotherapist and an HCPC registered Arts Psychotherapist with five years of rigorous training and have extensive experience of working as a Psychotherapist in NHS mental health services for both inpatient and community settings, working with groups and individuals with a wide range of mental health concerns and learning disabilities.I also work as an Associate Psychotherapist for Private Psychiatry LLP based in Kent, Surrey and London and as a clinical supervisor at Asthma UK.
My own ongoing professional development is an essential part of my work as a psychotherapist and this combines both experiential and theoretical trainings including arts psychotherapies, talking therapies encompassing psychodynamic & humanistic theory.
Training & Qualifications
MA Integrative Arts Psychotherapy (Distinction) - Institute for Arts and Therapy in Education/ University of East London
Advanced Diploma Integrative Arts Psychotherapy - Institute for Arts and Therapy in Education/ University of East London
Diploma in the Therapeutic Application of the Arts (Distinction) - Institute for Arts and Therapy in Education/ University of East London / London Metropolitan University.
Certificate in Counselling (IATE)
Certificate in Mentalisation and the Arts Psychotherapies (CNWL/NHS)
BA (Hons) English Literature (University of Leeds)
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Asperger's syndrome
- Binge-eating disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Childhood bullying
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Separation anxiety
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Sleep difficulties/ Insomnia
Creative block/ writers block
Photos & videos
£60 per session
I have written several articles on a range of subjects published on Counselling Directory, Private Psychiatry and Psychereg.com as well as on my own website. Please feel free to read these as this will perhaps give you a further sense of how I work.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
|Other languages:||Polish (intermediate level) Italian (upper intermediate level)|
I currently have some availability in the daytimes and some evening slots. Please contact me for specific times available.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|