Astrid Hoang-Brown UKCP Registered
We all need help sometimes, and sometimes family and friends are not what we need.
Making the decision to seek help can be the start of a solution, or accommodation of the issues that we all have to deal with.
My personal and professional experience coupled with my training, means that I may be able to help you on your journey.
I am not easily shocked, and feel that confidentiality is very important..
My experience has informed me, that sometimes help is best given individually or within a group, but also in a combination of the two.
I also see couples to help with difficulties within their relationship.
We will discuss what you need and what will be most beneficial to you.
I can help you with difficulties to do with issues that come up at the different stages of life:e.g. leaving home, starting a relationship, family life, bereavement, work issues, depression, and sense of personal worth, children leaving home, retirement...
I am very much aware of the issues that come up with multi-cultural, multi-lingual experiences, which I have worked with, extensively.
In addition to my work in private practice, offering group, couple and individual consultations, I practiced for many years, within the context of mental health, such as Mind, the Richmond Fellowship, in Therapeutic Communities, and Day Centres settings, as well as ,in agencies offering psychotherapy to young people, such as the Crouch End Consultation Centre for Young people, the Hackney Counselling Centre for Young People.
I have also counselled adults and older adults, over 65.
Currently in addition to my psychotherapy work, I supervise counsellors and psychotherapists, both individually and in groups of therapists within organisations.
My therapeutic work has included sessions with people art activities (writing, drawing, painting etc..) or who might be helped to use art both to unblock their creativity, and to use these activities to explore their difficulties.
- How does counselling/psychotherapy help?
It gives you a safe space, for you to talk, on a regular basis, ie: once or more a week, with the assurance of confidentiality.
You will have someone- a therapist - and if we work together: it will be me, who, by listening with great care to you, to what you are expressing verbally, non verbally, will undertake to help you explore your feelings, and thoughts better understand them , as well as , think together, in some depth, with you, about the issues that have led you to seek help. This, hopefully., will enabled to find a resolution of your difficulties.: and in doing so, help you to feel better about yourself, and your life..
We will endeavour to help you become clearer, in your own mind, about the reasons for your difficulties, in order for you to feel, and to be gradually less burdened by them, and so ,begin hopefully, to realise your potential, more fully, as a person,. which would positively alter your outlook on yourself, and all aspects of your life.
This process of understanding yourself, helps because it gives you "a handle", on your life, a greater sense of your own agency, and strategies to cope better. with situations, and relationships
.It can also offer different non- destructive models of relating, than those, from your past,.
This in turn hopefully helps ease feelings such as : anxiety, panic, confusion, depression, or anger , and many more ...
I tend to work on a longer term basis, rather than shorter , with people who come to me for help, as difficulties that have arisen in a person s life, have not developed over night, but over years, often including childhood and teenage years .So if it has taken years to develop a problem, it cannot be fully resolved in a few weeks.
In my experience, I have found that therefore a longer period of therapy, can really maximise the chances of making a real difference to someone s quality of life, by tackling the roots of the difficulties..
However, I have practiced, and have therefore experience of short term counselling.
When we meet, for the initial consultation, we will ,of course, discuss together fully - and, with my guidance- decide on the most appropriate form of help,( and set up short term therapy if this is deemed to be the most helpful)
I might sometimes at first, suggest meeting twice , if a longer time would be helpful ,to ensure that I am providing you with the best possible way forward.
Training, qualifications & experience
I trained and qualified at the Westminster Pastoral Foundation, for four years, graduating in 1989 in psycho- analytic and psychodynamic Psychotherapy, later in psychoanalytic and psychodynamic Supervision, in 1993 and at the Tavistock, in the psychoanalytic study of the couples relationship, in 1994 .
I taught and supervised, trainees for a number of years, at the Westminster and at the Chelsea Pastoral Foundations, as well as, at the Highgate and the Enfield Counselling Centres, on Introduction to counselling courses, as well as the professional diploma trainings in individual psychodynamic counselling, and in group analytic psychotherapy, :supervising the clinical work of therapists in training, teaching on the theoretical seminars, and facilitating the experiential groups within these trainings.
I worked as a a supervisor as well as a psychotherapist/counsellor to adults and young people in the low cost clinical services, attached to these training institutions WPF, CPF, HCC, ECC.
For a number of years, as an external consultant, I facilitated staff sensitivity groups,within several mental health organisations , specialising in: offering services to people, with issues arising from::
- alcohol and drug dependancy/codependancy ,
-adolescence and young adulthood,
-young carers, adoptive families
-second generation jewish people
I helped the teams to think about their work, dynamics, and how to best deliver their service.
Later ,I managed a Therapeutic Community for young adults with a variety of mental health problems, leading its therapeutic team, (under the auspices of Mind) .
Later, again, I oversaw the management of four residential therapeutic centre ,run on TC lines(Therapeutic Community) both for young people,( 18 to 25 year olds,) and for adults (over 25 up to 70)
.These small centres offered help through group, one to one psychotherapy and reality therapy to individuals with severe mental health difficulties, giving the possibility of either preventing an admission to in-patient psychiatric service,or after a period of hospitalisation , supporting them, in going back into a functional life , having developed a greater understanding of their vulnerabilties, and of their strengths, but also acquiring the necessary life skills to manage things better and have as fulfilling a life as possible. (Richmond Fellowship).
For eight years , I worked as psychotherapist and group therapist in 2 centres,in Hackney,at Off Centre Counselling Centre for Young People, and in Crouch End, at Open Door, Hornsey Consultation Service for Adolescents and Young Adults
I have been offering counselling and psychotherapy for over 25 years, in my East London private practice There I also see qualified practising psychotherapists for the supervision of their case load.
- Fully Registered Member of UKCP (Psychotherapy/G)
- Now being renewed: Full Registered Member of UKCP/ British Association of Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytic Supervision( BAPPS).
- Member of Foundation for Psychotherapy and Counselling
- Member of Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis College.
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
UK Council for Psychotherapy
The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a leading professional body for the education, training and regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its register is accredited by the government's Professional Standards Authority.
As part of its commitment to protect the public, it works to improve access to psychotherapy, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against its members.
UKCP standards cover the range of different psychotherapies. Registration is obtained by training or accrediting with one of its member organisations, or by holding a European Certificate in Psychotherapy. 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
- Work with older adults:
I have a particular additional interest in, and experience of offering help to older adults, over the age of 65 , as this time of life brings its then unavoidable issues; such as ones mortality, the loss of close relationships, family, friends, loss or decrease in potency, loss of one s familiar role in family or life or of social status.
- Work with young people
I also have helped people in their teens, late teens, and young adults, and have developed an in depth understanding of the particular issues facing people in that age group, and also, of the particularly intense pressures that are placed on young people now : an increase in tests, and exams, leaving home, going to university, and bearing the cost of studies, issues with sexual identity, sexual difficulties, starting a family, starting work, lacking confidence, being depressed, feeling alone, isolated, overwhelmed , anxiety states, panic attacks ..... it can often be a very difficult and anxious time of life, as there are many new changes, challenges, that a human being will be facing at that time, in their life, when still only very young..
- Work with codependancy
I have a great nterest and experience in helping individuals and couples with the difficulties that come up in codependant relationships and the specific therapeutic techniques needed to help with unhelpful entranched patterns of relating..
- Work with adopters/adopted
I have worked with the often very difficult and painful issues that adoption brings up, both for the adopter, and the adoptee.
- Trauma work
Emotional trauma is also an area of human experience that is of particular concern and interest to me, and the way in which whilst it may resemble and share some common points with psychosis, it is also very different
Its therapeutic treatment, in order to promote the recovery and healing from trauma requires some very distinct responses and techniques from the therapist.
.These are: An affirming response frequently more important than an interpreting one , bearing witness, offering a deep acceptance, a capacity and willingness to be in touch with ones own pain and terror and to then allow that of the patient to reach one emotionally, whilst not being phased, or unduly overwhelmed by it, and to compassionately offer ones own willingness to "feel with" the patient, his/her pain and dreadful isolation, and terrifying break down in trust.
The attunement is much the same than that of a mother, when she is being ordinarily "devoted" :willingly allowing herself to" be filled" with the cries of her young baby and letting herself feel the pain contained in those.. in order to understand and know what will best suit and help her baby.. what will make her baby feel comfortable, again, what will again and again be needed from her by the baby.
- Conjoint Group and Individual Psychotherapy
For over 25 years, I have been practising a form of group therapy which combines both individual and group sessions: Following an initial period of one to one sessions, and of preparation of an appropriate duration, on an individual basis, a person is then offered one( or two) individual sessions per week, as well as one ( or two) group therapy sessions per week.In experiencing both, they will have the opportunity to be supported in a specifically tailored way, thus receiving a very rounded and wholistic form of psychotherapeutic help that both these settings offer when combined, in this particular way.
How it works, and what are the benefits?
I have found this to be a very beneficial combination of "tools" resulting in a therapeutic method, which helps an individual in quite a unique way. The reason for this is that it is very close to "real life"! and to the reality that, we, human beings at the beginning of life, first in babyhood, and subsequently, in childhood, have to deal with, while we grow and are helped -in the best of cases- to develop the necessary close and intense trustful attachments first to our mother , then to our father and siblings, while receiving from her , all the support , protection and nurturing we all need to survive and thrive.
This more often than not, wont have been so, for a person who feels that they need help, often desperately so.
This early experience of being born, babyhood with a protective mother, then the gradual introduction into the family "group" then into the wider world, and entry into tyhe social group of school...is symbolically represented, by first a period of one to one sessions with the therapist- me, if I see you, followed by entry into the group, discovering family members, then school, teachers, peers etc.. which in therapy, is entry into the group, and the gradual making of relationships with various members of the therapy group . Often in the majority of cases, in fact, they will , in aperson s mind, remind them, and so, represent, members of their family, their siblings , or their mother and , or their father, or other care takers, followed by at a later stage:( when of school age):the second social group ie: school. Foe many this will have been a traumatic , or at least emotionally painful time, which by being reexperienced in the safe context of the therapy group, as well as having the space all throughout therapy, to have the sole attention, and focus, from the therapist, both in the group, and outside it, ie in the individual session.
Because the therapist is present in both settings, it offers the possibility to clients for being supported by them (the therapist) as well as by their peers in the group.
One of the many healing factors in a group setting, is to realise that other people have felt the same feelings... a patient is enabled to actively learn from others, eg: how another person has survived, that they've successfully faced and overcome difficulties.
Due to the therapist being there, with them , in both settings, the client through the back and fourth motion individual to group, group to individual, regular, reliable, is given a very valuable continuity of experience, which theyn have probably missed when a child..
They have the hope and opportunity to receive support, encouragement, validation, due to their individual time being reliably offered, and safeguarded, (with mother, in the past, here with therapist: me) unlike probably what they experienced in childhood.. It is a kind of "special time" which, in therapy is offered and secured. As well of course as is the group: this therapeutic symbolic " family" is solid, ongoing , reliable, safe, so can accept, contain and facilitate the expression and working through of the intense feelings , a person would often not have been able to express , and even to feel, in childhood, and therefore also, not in their adult life.
In my many years of practicing this conjoint form of therapy, I have found that it does
seem to be very helpful indeed for most people , from the least to the most troubled, suitable for very young adults to adults, in their sixties, or seventies, who are seeking help, for the whole range of emotional difficulties that can befall a human being.. In providing an ongoing,and as gradual as needed, an opportunity for in- depth explorations of feelings and of issues, through the rich variety of relationships , offered by their being a group, ie the presence and participation of members in the group ,( up to 8 to 9 ) the possibilty for safely re- experiencing the problematic relationships and situations that have motivated their request for help,but at a pace, that is, this time round, emotionally manageable .
it opens up possibilities for the working through of difficulties, and provides an individual with the opportunity of learning or ( re-learning) to make relationships, in a safe and holding envronment,whereby changing unhelpful lifelong patterns, as well as giving a" real life" comprehension as to he why and the how of the issues have come about and have become often disabling problems.
it enables a person to emotionally " take risks", ie try out new strategies, and that will foster change and emotional growth and health. A person may discover who they really are, feel greater self esteem, confidence in themselves and able to make use of their attributes, qualities and talents, which were hidden, or not available, because of anxiety, or depression.The combination of individual and group sessions in the same week, seem in my experience of the people that I have helped, to have promoted changes that a sole individual or sole group approach might not have offered, at least not in the way the combined |G and I does.
It might give a space to a person who could for instance, have been unable to get in touch with their needs , and so, to be helped over a period of time, to healthily meet those, as well as reducing guilt, and shame,strengthen the capacity to feeling entitled to do so.
Work with carers, and young carers
I have offered counselling to help adults, often elderly, who carry the weight of responsibility for caring for a handicapped child, or an ageing vulnerable spouse, or an elderly mother, and similarly young people, as young as 15 year olds, who look after an infirm parent, or younger siblings, or a handicapped or ill sibling or family member, or parent. These carer will often become exhausteds, because they cannot not carry the heavy weight oflookig after a loved one, depsite the fact that an adult owes anoither adult nothung in reality,but that carers will tend to feel in an intractable labirynth
My fees, based on a sliding scale, are :
£ 60 for one-off assessment consultations.
£ 40 to £60 for individual sessions
£ 30 to £50 for group sessions
£ £70 to £100 for couple sessions
I also offer 2 spaces at a reduced rate.
Both the fees, and the therapeutic framework for sessions will be fully explored, explained, discussed and agreed during the initial session first one or first two sessions.
- Languages spoken:
As well as English, I offer psychotherapy and supervision in fluent French, and to a lesser degree in German
- Location of my Practice:
- a 15 mns walk from Walthamstow Central Underground station on the Victoria Line,
- a 5 mns bus journey: 212, 275 from Walthamstow Central Underground station, on the Victoria Line
- a 6 to 8 mns walk from Wood Street train station : from Liverpool Street Overground , Liverpool St -Chingford line: 16 mns by train.
- What will happen in the first session ?:
After having emailed me or left a message on my answerphone, I will contact you, and we will have a conversation on the phone, during which we will decide together whether or not you would like to book an initial face to face consultation and for me to see whether I can offer you any help.The first session will be an opportunity to talk together in greater depth about the difficulties that decided you to seek help, and to work out the best ways that I, may be able to help you. It will also be a time for you to see if you feel comfortable with the kind of therapist that I am and with the way that I work, It is important that you feel at your ease, and for both of us to see whether we can work together.
Having been a psychotherapist for many years, I have helped people with many different issues and difficulties.