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Fiona Desai: BA (Hons) Psychology, BACP Accred HPD, Regd MBACP, Caris Counsellor

About me

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. We maybe grieving the death of a loved one, or mourning the loss of a job, relationship, or a particular future.

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 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 to see how I might be able to help and if we are a good fit.

How counselling can help

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.

My past

Prior to training and practicing as a psychotherapist, I worked for 25-years in the private sector, initially in the UK and then the US, where I lived for many years.  The industry I worked in reinforced my interest in psychology and the relationship between emotions and behaviour and it gave me insight on the emotional and personal 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’ or being an ‘outsider’ can take, too.

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
  • Bereavement
  • Depression and low mood
  • Dissociation and disconnection - self, others, society
  • Domestic abuse/coercive control
  • Emergence of old patterns of behaviour
  • Grief
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Low self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Loss
  • Past/present stress and trauma
  • Recovery from addiction
  • Shame-based experiences, identity

I have specific experience with addiction-related problems, including how addiction affects the lives of others.

While bereavement and grief is another area where I have extensive experience, over the course of the last year I have worked with loss as a broader area.

So many of us have experienced loss in different ways and every change in our lives inevitably brings a feeling our world has been turned upside down and can leave us feeling fragile and questioning ourselves.

Perhaps it's the loss of a job, a relationship, or the loss of a sense of self. Our collective enforced separation from friends and loved ones may have left us feeling lonely and isolated.  Whatever challenges 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.

Therapies offered

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Existential therapy
  • Humanistic therapies
  • Integrative
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Transactional analysis

Fees

£60.00 per session
Free initial in-person or online session

Concessions offered for

  • Keyworkers
  • Low income
  • OAPs
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors
  • Unemployed

Additional information

Individual Therapy: £60 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 currently offer face-to-face and online counselling. 
  • Please contact me if you have any further questions or you would like to make arrangements for counselling.

Lower rate spaces, limited but available

  • In terms of concession spaces and lower rates for people with low incomes, or are unemployed, or counselling students in training, I have some availability though it is limited. 

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

Availability

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

While my working hours are flexible, availability for face-to-face sessions is limited at the moment. 

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.

Languages offered

Conversational Spanish

Fiona Desai: BA (Hons) Psychology, BACP Accred HPD, Regd MBACP, Caris Counsellor

Fiona Desai: BA (Hons) Psychology, BACP Accred HPD, Regd MBACP, Caris Counsellor