Benjamin Marr (MBACP, UKCP)
“You can’t change what’s going on around you, until you start changing what’s going on within you” Benjamin Marr, Psychotherapist.
My name is Benjamin and I have been a practising psychotherapist & counsellor for the past 26 years. I have also written for the ‘Attachment Journal’ which is published by Karnac Books.
In this time I have worked with numerous client groups, and conducted training and supervision.
What is Relational Psychotherapy?
Relational Psychotherapy is based on the idea that who we are and how we relate to others is formed early on. When we come to understand what we believe to be true about ourselves, we realise as well, that these beliefs come from the messages/responses others gave us at a very young age. Questioning these beliefs makes changes possible. The process of bridging the old ways with the new. Hence, the emphasis on the word – relational.
How can I help you?
My approach to psychotherapy is one of a deep belief in the clients ability to heal, resolve issues and move forward towards a positive ending. I work openly with all communities and have extensive experience with LGBT people and people with disabilities. I am able to provide a non-judgemental environment that is also caring and safe. This allows change to happen in a way that suits the client.
I can also help with:
Immune Related conditions.
Addiction (including porn addiction).
Loss & Bereavement.
This list is not exhaustive, so please get in contact with me, to discuss your needs.
My online relational psychotherapy (e-psychotherapy) service is a necessary part of my private client practice, by way of which I offer comprehensive psychotherapeutic advice and support on the internet via Skype calls and video one-on-one sessions in real-time. In conjunction to this, I actively use WhatsApp video sessions which are particularly beneficial when enhancing the relationship psychotherapeutic support with my experience in art, dance and music therapies. This methodology allows me to carry on maintaining an accessible psychotherapeutic service with clients, even when their professional and social commitments may oblige them to be absent from home.
My clients consider these facets of my relational psychotherapy to be important and effective resources for the support they are seeking and have fed back to me high levels of satisfaction with this branch of my practice. Naturally, online psychotherapy is not appropriate for everyone, but it has shown effectiveness in a number of important situations. For example, issues involving recovery from various addictions have benefited from online therapy, especially in cases where the client might wish to overcome any attitude to regularly attending traditional face-to-face and one-on-one supportive psychotherapy sessions.
Obviously, the convenience element is a major factor for clients and I have endeavoured to put into place as robust an I.T. structure as appropriate for the privacy and security of all clients.
Addictions/ Substance Abuse
Since I started my career in psychotherapy, I have successfully dedicated considerable productive efforts to client issues. In my private practice, I create a safe and supportive therapy environment in which clients interact with me in terms of the point to where they wish to advance. To these circumstances, I bring my experience with the nature of illness, drug therapies, professional ethics and more.
In many cases, relational psychotherapy can be particularly useful in overcoming anger issues, particularly on the one-to-one basis that I employ in my private practice.
Professionally, I always recognise that when a client acknowledges that s/he has a possible problem with an emotional imbalance and wishes to actively seek assistance to change, then this is a very positive first step towards solving the anger issues.
Borderline Personality Disorder
I offer treatment for borderline personality disorder (B.P.D.) which involves a comprehensive relational psychotherapeutic service on a one-to-one basis in a safe and supportive setting. In all instances, the aim is always to contribute to the provision of day-to-day support, whilst fomenting the greatest possible sense of self-empowerment and independence in the client.
In my private practice, I use relational psychotherapy as a tool for clients to use when combining self-help and talking through their perspectives on themselves and their lives. I offer “watchful relational psychotherapy”, which is a fortnightly review on how the client is relating to the therapy. There are a number of circumstances where some guidance and self-empowerment are used in creative therapy. This sense of self-empowerment extends to talking through the client’s feelings, all of which is very helpful for the client’s self-esteem. An interesting development over the last few years has also been the practical use social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Tinder and Grinder, all of which my private practice has positively used with some clients.
Domestic Abuse/ Violence
In all cases domestic violence and other forms of abuse have traumatic as well as physical effects on both the client and those closest to them. To effectively help, my relational psychotherapy service is always used in a professional and confidential manner. There are a number of possible instances when couples’ therapy might not help those in a relationship with domestic violence. It may not be healthy, or productive to work on a relationship with an abusive partner.
I believe that relational psychotherapy can be helpful in treating the effects of domestic abuse. Domestic violence can have the capacity to leave lasting physical and mental effects. My relational psychotherapeutic support will be able to assist clients work through mental health issues which could be caused by domestic abuse.
Relational psychotherapy for domestic abuse has the capacity to be positively effective when each party of the relationship seeks therapy separately.
The generalised term “eating disorder” can cover many forms of unusual, or atypical eating habits and also includes disordered, or distorted body image (body dysmorphia) and even, possibly, addiction to exercise. Eating disorders can effect both men and women and it has been estimated to affect anything up to 5% of all people at some point in their lives, with a relatively greater propensity amongst older adolescent boys and younger men. Other eating disorders may also include behaviours such as the compulsion to exercise excessively, or a negative, or distorted body image, as well as obsessive thoughts, habits and behaviours surrounding various aspects of food.
Relational psychotherapy can generate the opportunity with eating disorders to examine and explore any possibly deep-rooted emotional explanations that may have contributed to issues around food, exercise and body image. With eating disorders, relational psychotherapy creates the opportunity to possibly identify any such sensitive areas and instigate a process to overcome troubling, obsessive or destructive behaviours in a supportively safe space. My private practice has successfully provided a guided and structured approach – comprising both cognitive interventions and practical strategies – to support clients as they initialise a process to create a healthier relationship for themselves with both food and their bodies.
Grief and Loss
There have been instances when clients have brought their grief to therapy that was causing them major pain and in such instances, these emotions can morph into quite overwhelming situations. The supportive and safe environment my relational psychotherapy practice offers can be effective in reducing such unrelenting feelings. With the correct sort of professional therapy available in my private practice and given the right amount of time, my clients recover from their specific feelings of loss and successfully adjusted to their next phase of life.
Naturally, each client’s experience with grief is equally unique and complex, as well as being personal. Grief may cover such aspects as the demise of a loved one or friend, or it could involve a life changing circumstance, such as a relational break-up, or even a job loss. The client’s culture, personality and past life-experiences may all affect their particular grieving process.
With my relational psychotherapy, I do my utmost to tailor each therapy programme to specifically meet each client’s particular needs. In many instances, one useful aim of my therapy service is to contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of healthy connections with client’s circle of family and friends. Equally, many clients may find catharsis while talking about both their current and lost loved ones. Reflection on positive memories may strengthen client’s bond with the lost person.
This reaffirmation of the client’s bond may effectively reduce any possible “sting” from the loss felt. That said, every effort is taken by me to balance all attachments within therapy. In complicated grief, a client may feel hopeless and desire to join the lost loved one.
Another common goal with my relational psychotherapy is to facilitate the listening process. There are occasions when society may stigmatize the client for grieving in a certain way. However, my therapy approach is to assist the client to express their feelings without any form of judgment.
With all immune-related conditions, there tends to be created an entire panoply of feelings that have the capability to weigh down people who have contracted them. In such cases, relational psychotherapy can be very useful in helping to overcome most non-productive feelings that a client might be facing. It can be relatively easy for clients to allow themselves to believe that their lives are somewhat spiralling out of control. What is most prevalent in the first number of sessions with this group of clients is how the shock of diagnosis can be displayed either by complete denial e.g.”I’m fine” or through a course of body modifications such as tattoos, piercings, cosmetic surgery. Amongst gay men who are HIV positive, it is not uncommon to develop an addiction for building as a means of masking their feelings of physical inferiority. Amongst this group, of clients, addictions in many ways forms a ghetto within a ghetto; they are gay men, but trap themselves further by becoming addicted to chemsex. This is quite a positive group to work with in regards to developments.
Equally, a client may bring to therapy an extreme sense of anxiety, brought on by receiving their diagnosis of conditions such as HIV or Hepatitis. Relational Psychotherapy can usefully contribute to assisting with the dispelling of such feelings.
I have extensive experience of dealing with clients from differing backgrounds whose sexual orientation, as well as their gender identity may not be a direct source of distress to themselves, but people who identify as LGBTQIA may find that the social stigma from others of living as a minority to be a source of stress or anxiety. Relational psychotherapy has the scope to positively contribute to overcoming such issues, which can also possibly have ramifications in terms of the changes in the clients’ lives. My professional familiarity with the challenges that members of the LGBTQIA community often face have been critical to successful therapy outcomes.
Marriage and Relationship Counselling Therapy
I use my relational psychotherapy background to counsel couples and relationships in general and have created a comfortable and safe environment for couples and individuals to discuss, explore and contribute to finding possible ways of overcoming relationship issues. Healthy human relationships are a vital part of day-to-day life and can be very fulfilling when these are close, loving ones. In current times, the maintenance of such positive relationships can be problematic, given the normal social demands that are placed on everyone.
My relational psychotherapy is used to identify the probable issues in a relationship between two clients, including any evident, or supposed, causes of any deficiencies in that relationship. Difficulties with relationships may have their origins in such examples as problematic responses from one party, attachment issues, or some form of perceived hindrance by one party to creating a supportive background to future relationship developments amongst their social circles. Equally, my relational psychotherapy has borne successes when it comes to such facets as overcoming relational discordance and even conflicts.
In all instances, I carry out my psychotherapy sessions in a professional and respectful manner, with the utmost stress on the client’s confidentiality and privacy.
Psychosexual/ Sex Therapy
My qualified relational psychotherapy background has been further enhanced by additional training and professional experience I attained to assist clients specifically with any issues they may have with their sexual relationships. Furthermore, my research within the last year of Continual Professional Development (C.P.D.) has specifically been leaning towards Sex Therapy due to clients experiencing sexual-related issues. During the course of a normal lifetime, an individual may face difficulties with sexual developments that may be the reason for varying degrees of distress, or even unhappiness. My relational psychotherapy has experience in dealing with desire issues, erectile dysfunction, ejaculation issues, orgasm issues and penetrative issues.
I always start off by listening carefully to clients’ perceived problems, which is then followed a preliminary assessment to identify any psychological and/ or physical root to the particular issue the client has. Discussing those experiences that a client feels comfortable setting out is very usually an effective tool for her/ him to better comprehend why what is happening is indeed happening and underlying causes for this. There are instances in my psychosexual therapy that the use of exercises for the client and her/ his partner to try in the comfort of their homes can be productively employed.
Naturally, each psychosexual session is completely confidential, with the option of the client having either a one-on-one session or one with her/ his partner is left completely at the discretion of the client. For my psychosexual therapy, normally one session per week is the indicative recommendation, until such time as the therapy has a clearly suitable conclusion.
For further information on my practice, please refer to:
Training, qualifications & experience
- 1991: BA (hons) English, Drama and History of Art, Trinity College, Dublin
- 1992: Eurhythmy Class Observation Course, Rudolf Steiner School, Jarmä
- 1992: Masters of Drama and Theatre, University of London
- 1993: Creative Arts Therapy Course, University of Hertfordshire
- 1994: Intermediate Dance Therapy Course, Laban Centre for Movement and Dance
- 1995: Introductory Course on Psychodynamic Counselling for Lesbians and Gay Men, Birkbeck College, University of London
- 1998: Transactional Analysis 101 Instructor Qualification, Institute of Transactional Analysis, London
- 2003: Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Course, The Bowlby Centre, London
- 2005-2017: Registered with the Bowlby Centre and the UKCP as an Attachment-based Psychoanalytical Psychotherapist
- 2006: Registered member of The Institute of Psychotherapy and Disability
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.
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.
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
Areas I specialise in include:
- Addiction and substance abuse.
- LGBT issues.
- Disability issues.
- HIV issues.
- Loss and Grief.
- Relational therapy.
- Eating disorders.
- Sex therapy, marriage counselling and relationships.
- Sex and porn addiction.
- Anger management.
- Domestic abuse.
- Creative therapy (Art, music, dance and drama).
I have a sliding scale when it comes to fees: £35-£55, however this is always negotiable.
I am currently insured with Towergate Professional Liability Insurers.