Fiona Desai

BA Psychology, BACP Accred HPD, MBACP, Caris Counsellor

About me

Although limited, I now have availability for in-person sessions in East Dulwich - both daytime and evening. Online sessions are also available.

I provide a safe and private space where you can press 'pause' and talk with me in confidence about the distress you may be experiencing, without fear of being met with judgment, disapproval, or rejection. This environment provides the conditions for you to feel fully heard and understood, and work toward your emotional growth in a way that is comfortable for you.

Over the years, I have noticed that to be actively and sensitively listened to and feel heard, perhaps for the first time, is a potent force of change.

It takes great courage to come to therapy and talk about your difficulties, but together we can explore your world, your feelings, your behaviours and identify underlying issues and your potential for growth and change. The move to invest in yourself will be rewarding and worthwhile.

How Therapy Can Help

At some point in our lives, we all experience distressing life events that impact us in various ways. We can feel lost, anxious, hurt, depressed, scared, angry, empty, guilty, or full of shame, which may leave us feeling negative about ourselves. 

Sometimes we can navigate our way through with the help of family and friends, but this may not always be possible. At other times, it can feel like we have one to talk to, or no one who really listens and understands us and our circumstances. Whatever the situation, it can be very helpful to talk things through with a therapist who will remain objective and not make judgments about you.

Counselling can feel overwhelming, but I believe it takes strength and bravery to ask for professional support from a stranger, especially if it’s your first time.

Choosing a therapist who is right for you

Just as important as finding a therapist that has the right training and qualifications, is finding someone you feel is a good fit for you. Experience has shown me that the quality of the therapeutic relationship is essential for effective therapy and in my practice, this relationship sits at the heart of the therapy.

To support this, I offer the first session free of charge, with no obligation, to see how I might be able to help and if we are a good fit.

Before Becoming a Therapist...

Prior to training and practicing as a psychotherapist, I worked for 25-years in the private sector, specifically advertising and strategic communications, initially in the UK and then the US, where I lived for many years.  While the advertising industry reinforced my interest in psychology and the relationship between emotions and behaviour, it provided me with experience on the emotional, personal, and 'imposter' toll working in a corporate environment can sometimes take.

Living outside of the UK – my country of birth - for many years has also provided me with some insight on the toll a sense of ‘otherness’ can take.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • BA (HONS) Psychology
  • British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) Accredited Higher Professional Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling
  • BACP Registered Member
  • Caris Islington Adult Bereavement/Loss Counsellor
  • One in Four: Addiction, Attachment & Relational Trauma

I work with a diverse range of clients and some of the areas I have experience working with include:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Addiction and addictive tendencies
  • Anticipatory grief and loss
  • Bereavement
  • Depression and low mood
  • Dissociation and disconnection - self, others, society
  • Domestic abuse/coercive control
  • Emergence of repetitive patterns of thought/behaviour
  • Grief and loss
  • Impact of bullying
  • Impact of historical stressors and trauma on present
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Low self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Recovery from addiction
  • Shame-based experiences, identity
  • Spiralling anxious/negative thinking

Living Loss

While I have extensive experience working with grief and loss in the context of bereavement,  I am increasingly working with loss in the context of significant life-changes, or what I refer to as 'living losses.'  Every change in our lives and circumstances inevitably leaves a sense of loss in its wake, and can leave us feeling fragile or questioning ourselves as we grieve what has been lost and adjust to the change.  It might be the loss of a future we thought we were going to have, the loss of a job, a relationship, of youth, and its important to remember we can grieve the loss of things we never had the opportunity to have. Whatever changes and losses you maybe facing, we can work through them together. 

Member organisations

BACP

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.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

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.

Photos & videos

Fees

£65.00 per session
Free initial in-person or online session

Concessions offered for

  • Keyworkers
  • Low income
  • Trainee counsellors

Additional information

Individual Therapy: £65 per 50-minute session

What to expect in our first session

I offer the first session free of charge, with no obligation. This will be an assessment and will give us the opportunity to get to know each other and explore your reasons for coming to therapy.

Frequency

  • If we agree to continue we will choose a consistent day and time to meet. 
  • In terms of frequency, once a week is recommended but this can be discussed depending on your need. 
  • I work with an open-ended process so there is no fixed number of sessions. Some of my clients have been with me for several years, while others have gained what they need in shorter term work between 12-24 sessions.
  • As our relationship and work evolves, we will have regular reviews to check-in and monitor our progress.  

Where

  • I offer face-to-face counselling at my consulting rooms in East Dulwich, and I offer online sessions for clients who may prefer this.
  • Please contact me if you have any further questions or you would like to make arrangements for counselling.

Please contact me if you have any further questions or you would like to make arrangements for an initial session. 

Availability

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

I currently have some availability for face-to-face sessions during the day on Mondays, and in the evening on Tuesday's and Wednesday's. 

47B North Cross Road
London
SE22 9ET

The Vale Practice
64 Grove Vale
London
SE22 8DT

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone

Types of client

Young people
Adults
Older adults

Key details

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

Additional languages

Conversational Spanish

Fiona Desai

Fiona Desai