I have worked with many hundreds of clients since I started my first training as a counsellor back in 1992, both in private practice and in the NHS in East London where I worked as a clinician and manager for seven years. I now offer brief and longer term therapy to individuals and couples, and supervise the work of other counsellors and psychotherapists. I am interested in de-mystifying the process of counselling/therapy and aim to engage and communicate in as direct and straightforward a way as possible.
Both my counselling and psychotherapy trainings were humanistic trainings, an approach that takes an essentially optimistic view of human nature and which emphasises our capacity for growth and self-determination, our strivings for freedom and the inherent dignity of the person (in all dimensions). For a more complete elaboration see http://www.ahpweb.org
For what kinds of problems are people looking for help?
People most often come forward with difficulties maintaining or establishing intimate relationships. Many are trying to manage high levels of worry and anxiety, and many are dealing with what is often called depression, or low mood, or ‘stress’. Sometimes this is a more serious depression that has required the help of a GP and medication.
Some clients are trying to resolve long-standing problems which they have tried and failed to resolve themselves. Many identify ‘poor self esteem’ as a central concern. A number are wrestling with issues to do with sex or sexuality, or the consequences of childhood difficulties, of whatever kind. Others are struggling to come to terms with a loss, either through bereavement or separation.
Sometimes my clients are managing their lives pretty well. Life is, on the whole, going well enough. But there is somewhere a gnawing sense that they are not as fulfilled as they might be. Some are looking for help understanding a stunted or blocked creativity, or wanting to find ways of making their lives more meaningful and enriching.
But often enough my clients don’t know what it is exactly that troubles them. What they do know is that they need a space in which they can talk and reflect and think ...
As the technology improves it becomes increasingly possible to use video conferencing software (eg. Zoom) to stay in contact over distance. I have been using Zoom to maintain therapy contracts when my clients need to be away for extended periods and we have generally found the experience to be helpful and productive.
I have said more about me and my work on my website: www.aisthesis.co.uk.
Training, qualifications & experience
Diploma in Humanistic Counselling 1993
Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Supervision 2000
Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy 2001
Masters degree in Gestalt Psychotherapy 2001
I have considerable experience of working in both the voluntary sector (1990 - 1997) and the NHS (2000 - 2008) and have supervised the work of other counsellors and psychotherapists since 2000. I am particularly interested in the overlap between physical health and mental health and often work with colleagues in the medical profession. I am also an accredited Balint Group Leader and co-lead an on-going GP Balint Group group for GPs working in Lewisham and south London. I am also working with colleagues at St George's Medical School where we are offering Balint Groups to Medical Students in a new and innovative programme.
Prior to my training as a counsellor/psychotherapist I worked as an IT professional (analyst/programmer) for London based blue-chip companies working in the insurance & finance sectors (1981 - 1990).
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
Performance anxiety; creativity; musicians; singers; gay-affirmative therapy
EAP/Health Insurance Providers
I am an approved provider for the following health insurance companies: Aviva UK Health, PruHealth, Western Provident Association (WPA) and CIGNA.
I work Tuesday afternoon and evenings in WC1, a few minutes from Holborn and Tottenham Court Road stations. The rest of the week I work in SE4.
As of September 2021, I am beginning to see clients in-person once more. In normal circumstances, I offer Zoom or Skype sessions to clients I am already seeing in person when they are travelling and wish to maintain contact. I do not offer on-line only contracts/teletherapy.