Catherine Bechirian M.A. (HCPC and BAAT Registered)
I am an HCPC and BAAT registered Art Psychotherapist with over 15 years experience, working with patients individually and in groups for NHS mental Health Services, Prison and Probation Services, in Education, Fostering Services and for various charities.
I also maintain a private practice and continue to support people with a wide range of needs and diagnoses, working with adults (including older adults), and young people. I can offer short-term therapy, as well as longer periods of psychotherapy and will advise clients which would work better for their particular issues and needs.
My way of working is always informed by my initial training as a psychodynamic therapist, and then by what we decide together would be best for your specific needs. I aim to have an adaptable, empathic approach to using a variety of therapeutic perspectives, which will be based on my further training, research and broad experience as a therapist.
I believe that each person brings to therapy their own unique story. You might have a specific event, or issues that you have become aware of, for instance; feelings of anxiety or depression, the effects of trauma, relationship problems, low self esteem, a loss, or uncontrollable anger, that you would like to share and understand better, maybe working towards a change in your way of coping. Or you might be experiencing uncomfortable feelings or thoughts, or meaninglessness in your life but don’t know why.
At present many people are struggling with the psychological impact of the pandemic. Experiencing doubt, anxiety, stress, guilt, loneliness, feeling sad, depressed, or frightened, and dealing with changes and uncertainty all around may have begun to feel overwhelming. Or you might have been dealing with other problems or issues on your own for a very long time, but are no longer able use the usual distractions or coping mechanisms, because of the restrictions caused by the pandemic. If this is the case it can help to talk about how your life and your wellbeing is being affected, maybe thinking with a therapist about how to deal with this change.
In therapy sessions I offer a confidential, safe and non-judgmental therapeutic space where it's possible to explore and work through anything that might be causing you distress or confusion.
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 additional training and ongoing research areas have included: attachment theories and neuroscience, delivering online therapy, brief psychotherapy, mentalisation in psychotherapy, mindfulness and psychotherapy, trauma and PTSD, dissociation, anger problems, selective mutism, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, depression, bereavement counselling, loss, psychosis, personality disorders, behaviour problems, learning disabilities or difficulties, ADHD, attachment focused couples counselling, dementia, complex trauma, eating disorders, chronic pain, physical disabilities, life transitions.
Why use art?
We can't always find the right words to express something we feel or think, especially where memories are stored as images, or are pre-verbal.
Making art can aid in expressing, or understanding better what might be difficult to put into words. Sometimes it helps us find what it is we do want to talk or think about, if it seems to be evading us. It isn’t about being 'good at art', or about being judged, or about a therapist analysing your images.
Sometimes people just would rather talk in the sessions, which, of course, is also fine!
Training, qualifications & experience
Relevant Training qualifications and experience
- MA Art Psychotherapy
- CPD: Continuous further training, which has included bereavement counselling, couples counselling, mindfulness, mentalisation, brief work, online work, attachment theories, eating disorders, post partum depression, working with trauma.. as well as conferences and research in specific areas of interest, and relating to issues and specific needs of clients. CPD is a condition of my professional membership of HCPC and BAAT, and is necessary in order to work safely and effectively.
- Experience. I've been working in private practice for around eight years after gaining experience seeing clients through charities, the NHS, Prison and Probation services, in Education services working with children, young people and families, for Fostering services working with families and Social Services, with older adults with age related concerns and/or dementia. My private practice experience has covered many areas and I have a particular interest, through my work with people from infant age ranges to older adults, in working with the effects of early and/or current trauma, relationship issues, loss, and anxiety disorders.
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.
Fees for 50 minute sessions: £55 - £75 depending on the session location, and your circumstances.
Some concessions will be considered. Please feel free to email me if you would like to discuss this.
Concessions offered for
If you'd like to find out more, please email me and we can arrange a free 30 minute trial session, during which we can think about whether I might be the right therapist for you.