Anna Nelson-Smith MBACP (reg)
I am currently welcoming new clients for therapy sessions online or by phone during this lockdown period. You might be struggling with new issues directly related to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on your life, or you might be finding that pre-existing difficulties are becoming harder to manage on your own, or a combination of both. Either way, this is a strange time of uncertainty and lack of control, bringing with it a profound sense of existential threat. I can provide you with a safe space in which to explore your experiences.
Reaching out to talk to a counsellor can be scary, and it’s okay to feel that.
Reaching out is also a sign that a part of you knows you need some support with something. This spark in you, no matter how small, is what I might call your potential for growth.
I can offer you a space to just be yourself, to explore how you’re feeling, or look at a specific situation in your life that brings you discomfort, pain or unhappiness. Sometimes it’s hard to even know how we feel, as our emotions are complex and often present us with feelings we don’t want to have.
Through counselling you can learn to accept yourself as you are, and in doing this you create the possibility for things to change. Through a process of developing self awareness it can become possible to feel more balanced and feel like you have more choices available for how you want to live.
Counselling can be a challenging process, as you navigate aspects of yourself that you might normally keep hidden. It can also bring relief, to know that these parts of you can be heard and accepted in a non-judgemental and safe space.
My background is in Humanistic counselling, and I work mainly from the Gestalt perspective, which means I am interested in all that you bring of yourself, mind, body, soul, spirit, and will endeavour to find with you new ways of making sense of your experiences. In sessions I might invite you to use a range of creative ways to express or communicate your thoughts and feelings, as it’s not always possible to do this with words.
The main thing to remember is that I aim to be led by you - my only agenda is to support your personal journey, whatever that brings.
If you have any questions about how counselling might work for you, or would like to book an initial session to find out, please get in touch. You can use the email link on this website, or if you prefer you can call me on 07715 069356.
What is Humanistic and Gestalt Counselling?
Humanistic counselling is a holistic approach to healing through relationship. At its core is the fundamental belief that deep down underneath your many layers, you are Okay. It believes, therefore, that you have the potential within yourself to grow and change and that you can facilitate your desire for growth through developing your self-awareness.
It rejects traditional models of diagnosis, preferring to place your experience at the centre of the work and allow your understanding of yourself to lead the therapy. This doesn’t mean it’s not challenging, as counselling can be at times, but rather it seeks to facilitate natural change processes in ways that are meaningful and sustainable for you.
Gestalt is a German word that has no direct translation to English but represents wholeness, with the idea of many parts coming together to make one shape or form. Gestalt therapy is more concerned with asking how rather than why something is as it is, and employs a range of creative ways of exploring and understanding your ‘self’, with the goal of becoming more aware of what you are feeling, thinking and doing in the present moment.
From a Gestalt perspective, your ‘self’ is understood as a process of contacting: what happens at the boundary between you and your environment? How do you make contact with your world and those around you? The way that you move about your world is a combination of many things – the different parts that contribute to the way you experience yourself as ‘whole’.
That means that all of you matters. You have many ways of knowing who and how you are, from your experiential in-the-moment perceiving to your cognitive thought processes and reflections: these are all relevant.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a fully qualified Humanistic counsellor and a Registered Member of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). I abide by the BACP ethical framework, and all our sessions will be confidential.
I regularly make use of CPD opportunities that support me to keep developing my skills and make sure that I am up to date with new research.
- Current further training: Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy (Center for Somatic Studies)
- BSc (1st) in Reflective Therapeutic Practice (Middlesex University)
- Diploma in Humanistic Counselling (Metanoia Institute)
- Contemporary Trauma Practice (With Relational Change/Miriam Taylor)
Animal Assisted Psychotherapy (Workshop)
Psychotherapy and the Natural World (Conference)
Suicide Awareness (Maytree workshop)
Understanding the Psychology of Abusers (Workshop)
Embodying Social Justice (Conference)
Therapy’s Embodied Styles (Gestalt Centre workshop)
British Gestalt Journal Seminar Day
The Loss of Innocence (Workshop)
Energetic Self-Care (London School of Biodynamic Psychotherapy workshop)
Attachment and Separation (Workshop)
Embodied Intersubjectivity (Chiron Association for Body Psychotherapists workshop)
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Existential thoughts
- Lack of direction
- Psychosomatic complaints
- Relationship issues
My fees are £55 for a 50 minute session. Sessions take place at the same time each week (although occasionally sessions can be moved).
I hold limited spaces at concessionary rates. Please get in touch to discuss this with me.
I practise in Sydenham, South East London, in Regent House Business Centre on Kirkdale, SE26 4QD.
This is less than two minutes walk from Sydenham train station and within easy reach of Forest Hill, Crystal Palace, Gipsy Hill, Sydenham Hill, Penge, Honor Oak Park, West Norwood, Brockley, West Dulwich, Norwood Junction, Streatham, Crofton Park and Catford.
The area is also served by the following bus routes: 202, 176, 450, 122, 197, 75, 356, 194.
The entrance is off-road and discreet. Unfortunately there is no waiting room, so please do not ring the bell before your session time.
I regret that this room is not wheelchair accessible.
Please note that I do not work with couples or under 16s.