Catherine Bechirian MA (Art Psychotherapy) HCPC & BAAT reg.
I am an HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) registered Art Psychotherapist with over 15 years experience of working with organisations, and with individuals as a BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists) registered private practitioner.
I offer short-term or longer term therapy, depending on your needs, online using Skype or Zoom, by phone, or face to face.
I am at present offering low cost therapy if you are coping with the psychological effects of COVID-19. Anxiety, stress, isolation or lonliness, feeling sad, depressed, and dealing with the unprecedented changes can feel overwhelming, and it may help to talk through how that feels, and how it's affecting you, with a mental health professional.
Each person brings to therapy a unique story. You might have a specific issue you would like to share and understand better, maybe working towards a change in your way of coping. Or you might be experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression, or meaningless in your life but don’t know why.
My approach to working with what a client brings to sessions is informed by my initial training as a psychodynamic therapist, by what we decide together might meet their specific needs, and by my adaptable approach to using a variety of appropriate therapeutic approaches, based on my further training and my experience as a therapist.
In therapy sessions I will offer a confidential, safe and non-judgmental therapeutic space in which it's possible to acknowledge, articulate and go on to explore anything that is causing distress or confusion, supporting clients towards a positive change in their ways of coping.
I have a particular interest in working with adults and older adults who have experienced early, or current, trauma, and who feel they're being affected by this in their adult lives. Some of the effects of early trauma are that in our adult lives we may feel anxious, sad or depressed, or we may experience issues such as stress, eating disorders, behavioural problems, substance abuse, difficulties with personal relationships, identity issues, low self esteem, symptoms of PTSD, or a higher risk of certain physical health problems.
Life transitions such as becoming parents, relocating, finishing education, divorce or separation, times of loss or bereavement, illnesses, changes in family life, 'empty nest', ageing, are some but not all of the times any of us may need some support from a professional. Those of us who have experienced traumatic events can often find these transitional times particularly difficult.
As a member of the HCPC and BAAT I abide by their ethical principles and code of conduct. I have regular supervision to ensure that I work in a way that is safe, and that will benefit my clients. I am DBS checked and am fully insured for private practice. My further CPD training includes working online, using brief psychotherapy, using mentalisation in psychotherapy, using mindfulness, "parts' work in trauma therapy, bereavement counselling, attachment focused couples counselling, supporting mothers with post natal depression, and working with people with eating disorders.
Why use art?
Sometimes it's hard to find the right words to express something we feel.
Making art can aid in expressing what might be difficult to put into words, or in finding what it is we really want to talk about.
Whatever you create is unique to you, and the focus of the therapy can be on the unconscious process of making that creation. It's possible therefore to go quite deeply into the unconscious in a contained and safe way.
It isn’t necessary to have any artistic skills or experience - it's not about being 'good at art'.
Sometimes we can find that just being creative, while being with a trained therapist, can have a soothing, rehabilitative and therapeutic effect on feelings of wellness, and improve our mental and emotional health.
Sometimes people just would rather talk in the sessions, which, of course, is also fine!
If you think you'd like to know more, please email me in the first instance so that we can arrange a time to have a free initial, brief 15 minute consultation by phone, and you can decide if you would like to take things further.
Training, qualifications & experience
Relevant Training qualifications and experience
- MA Art Psychotherapy
- CPD – continuous further training and research in specific areas of interest, and relating to issues and specific needs of clients, is a condition of my professional membership of HCPC and BAAT.
I have worked with patients individually and in groups in NHS Mental Health Services, Prison and Probation Services, Education Services, Fostering Services and for various charities, and maintain a private practice. I work with individuals with a wide range of needs, difficulties, disabilities and diagnoses. I work with adults (including older adults), young people and with children. I am trained to deliver short term therapy, as well as longer periods of psychotherapy. I have an up to date Enhanced DBS check.
The areas I have worked in with patients and clients include but are not limited to:
- Personality disorders, Psychosis and schizophrenia
- Ageing and later life-related issues such as life change, social isolation, early attachment experiences.
- Postnatal depression
- Depression. Anxiety. Stress. Feeling sad.
- Low self-esteem
- Identity/sense of self/dissociation
- Eating Disorders
- Learning disabilities, such as autism
- Children and adolescents in the care system
- Behavioural problems
- Selective mutism
- Gender issues
- Trauma and PTSD
- Experiences of loss, such as bereavement and complicated bereavement and life transitions or change
- Physical illnesses and their effects on mental and emotional health
- Issues faced by people who are carers
- Issues faced by people who are refugees
- Suicidal thoughts
- Domestic Violence
- Abuse and Neglect
- Life transitions and feelings of displacement
- Relationship issues. Early attachment issues
- Issues around family relationships in the present or past
- Work related issues
- Students in training
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.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.
They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.
Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Loss, which can be associated with life transitions such as divorce, separation from loved ones, or retirement. Or a change of personal circumstances such as moving location, changing jobs. Or a loss of something we feel we never had, leaving us feeling bereft and empty, but not knowing why.
At present there are special reduced fees for online sessions if you feel your issues relate to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please email me for details.
Fees for 50 minute sessions: £55 - £70 depending on session location and circumstances.
Some concessions will be considered. Please feel free to email me if you like to discuss this.
Concessions offered for
I offer secure online counselling/art psychotherapy using Skype or Zoom, or telephone sessions, as well as face to face sessions.
Sometimes it isn't possible to meet in person, because of location or mobility issues. One of the benefits of online therapy is the very fact that it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, and that it involves no travelling to sessions. Expats are able to have sessions with an English speaking therapist.
During the Covid-19 outbreak it will not, of course be possible to meet face to face anyway..
If you would like to find out more please email me and we can arrange a brief telephone chat, and then you can decide if you would like to book an initial session..