Anthony Leyland PhD, BPC-Registered Psychodynamic Counsellor

Anthony Leyland PhD, BPC-Registered Psychodynamic Counsellor

The Psychotherapy Practice
2 University Road
SO17 1TJ

07884 632647

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About me

I am a fully-qualified, experienced and professional psychodynamic counsellor (Registrant of the British Psychoanalytic Council).

I have worked in a variety of settings (NHS primary and secondary care, universities, schools, charities) with adults and young people. This breadth of experience, knowledge and understanding enables me to help clients to talk about and find a way through a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, bereavement and relationship problems, as well as complex areas such as difficulties in adult functioning secondary to childhood trauma and abuse.

My style of working is supportive, respectful and collaborative.

The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to help you to see yourself more clearly and know yourself better. This means helping you to face and make sense of what is troubling you, addressing not only the immediate symptoms that may bring you into counselling, but also helping you to discern and gain more control over underlying patterns in how you relate to yourself and other people. This opens up the possibility of beginning to do things differently, to have a future that is not so rooted in the past.

I work with people of 18 and over in private practice.

My practice is located in private, comfortable therapy rooms in Southampton (adjacent to Southampton University, Highfield campus).

Please contact me by e-mail or phone to arrange an initial consultation.

Training, qualifications & experience

Training and Model of Practice

My training and way of working is psychodynamic.

Psychodynamic counselling/psychotherapy is a well-established and evidence-based “talking therapy” – which is to say that it involves talking in confidence with a professional person, who is outside of your immediate situation.

Psychodynamic therapy derives from psychoanalysis and analytical psychology, and is informed by the findings of modern attachment research and contemporary neuroscience. However, whereas psychoanalysis involves attending therapy sessions 3-5 days per week, psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy are oriented to once- or twice-weekly sessions; as such this option may be more accessible for some people.

The therapy itself unfolds through a regular and ongoing dialogue between therapist and client, in which together they can explore the client’s thoughts, feelings, memories and dreams in order to better understand the client’s psychology. The basis of the work is free association - in which the patient is encouraged to tell the therapist about what they are feeling or thinking; then therapist and patient together try to articulate and understand the patient's psychology. I do not offer guidance or advice, and I do not set tasks or targets.

Sessions will usually take place at the same time and place each week, and in a setting which is quiet, private and without interruptions.

Particular emphasis is placed on two fundamental ideas: 1) that much of our mental life is actually outside of our conscious awareness but still exerts a formidable influence over our daily lives; 2) that psychological and interpersonal problems in adult life have their roots in childhood experiences – insofar as our emotional lives develop throughout our lives in relation to our environment and relationships.

Through the therapeutic process, careful reflection on what is known about our lives (including what we do and do not remember of childhood) can allow us to make inferences, find words, and assign meaning where previously this was missing – things start to make a bit more sense.

But one of the distinctive features of psychodynamic therapy is that psychodynamic counsellors and psychotherapists pay great attention to the unconscious aspects of the mind, as manifested in: symptoms (such as things we do or keep doing without knowing why, or things we avoid and keep avoiding even though it makes no sense to do so); in dreams (which draw our attention to many things we know, and need to know, but didn’t know we knew), and through the medium of the therapeutic relationship itself (which is to say that the client’s way of relating to themselves and the therapist helps to reveal the client’s “templates” for what relationships are going to be like – often based on aspects of relationships that go back to childhood).

Why do this? To see more clearly that which was entirely outside of our awareness, and to reach an understanding of it, allows us to be more in charge of ourselves, and to make new and perhaps better choices in the here-and-now (rather than living on a kind of auto-pilot in which we are swayed too much by unconscious factors).

As well as reaching new insights about themselves, for many people, therapy may also represent a different way of being with oneself and “doing” relationships. To talk about and reflect on the things that matter most, with another person who is supportive and respectful, and who seeks to understand rather than judge us, can in itself be an enriching and beneficial experience.

Psychodynamic therapy differs from other popular forms of therapy in that it aims not only to attend to the suffering caused by symptoms, but also to promote psychological growth and development. While a session or two may well be helpful, it is not usually a quick fix. It is important to be realistic about the fact that deeper change is likely to take place over a longer period of time, and this being so it is not unusual for the therapy to be a matter of years rather than months or weeks.


My initial training was working with individual adults of working age in open-ended psychodynamic counselling, and this continues to serve as the foundation of my model of practice.

I have been employed as a counsellor and/or clinical supervisor in a variety of organisations - most recently as a Senior Counsellor in an NHS primary care psychological therapies service.

Prior to that, I worked for a charity providing counselling for young people, and as a counsellor and supervisor in a university counselling service where I gained extensive experience of working with students and university staff, on the full gamut of issues from low mood, panic, identity issues, trauma and abuse through to homesickness, loneliness, study-related problems and workplace stress.

I also spent two years as an honorary psychotherapist in an NHS community mental health team (CMHT) within Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, where I worked in time-limited psychodynamic psychotherapy with people experiencing emotional and interpersonal difficulties secondary to mental illness.

I have a particular interest in counselling and psychotherapy education and have worked for several years as a training supervisor and academic tutor on a BACP and BPC-accredited Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling. I now convene and chair the Southampton Psychodynamic Reading Group - an educational forum for licensed clinicians.

BACP-Accredited Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling (WPF)

Certificate in Supervision (Psychodynamic)

I undertake regular and appropriate CPD.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited


Accredited register membership


My standard fee is £55 per session (50 minutes).

Please note: I am sometimes able to reduced rates for students, people on low incomes and trainee counsellors. Reductions are negotiated on an individual basis.

Further information

To arrange an appointment, please use the "Email" button on this site or telephone 07884 632647 (please leave a message).

I respond to messages as soon as possible. This is usually within 24 hours (on week days) but occasionally may be longer if I am out of town, or during holiday periods.

Maps & Directions

Southampton, SO17 1TJ

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: No
Face to face counselling: Yes
Home visits: No

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: None


Accessibility information
Wheelchair access: No


My practice is currently full; however, if you are interested in working together please contact me as availability can change - and I do keep a small waiting list. AL - 30.08.19.

Types of client

Young people
Older adults