Frank O'Donovan MA - Bell Yard, WC2. Also SW20 & SE1 UKCP Psychotherapist
1 Bell Yard
07807 051162 / 0780 7051162
I am an experienced psychotherapist and counsellor accredited by UPCA and a registered member of UKCP.
Prior to becoming a therapist I enjoyed a long and successful career in finance in Central London. Having always had an interest in psychotherapy, I changed careers in my early 50s and gained a Master's degree in psychotherapy and full accreditation as a psychotherapist some years later.
I have worked in a wide variety of counselling settings including the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust at Guy's hospital, HM Pentonville Prison, a bereavement centre and a university where I worked with a wide range of people of different ages, social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The issues and concerns I have worked with include depression, anxiety, stress, bereavement, loss, crisis, sexual abuse, relationship issues, eating disorders, lack of meaning in life. I also worked at a centre for survivors of sexual abuse and male rape.
How I work:
The focus of the work will be to explore the concerns and issues you may have about your life in a safe and supportive setting. The work will be collaborative and our aim will be to help you understand more about who you are and who you want to be.
While we each carry our own hopes and expectations of life, sometimes our lives can feel empty and meaningless, we seem to be drifting and disappointed. No one teaches us what we need to know to be at peace. Starting counselling and experiencing a therapeutic relationship could be the start of healing and growth and discovering a different approach to life.
I am also interested in working with people from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds and members of sexual minorities.
Issues we can explore:
Psychotherapy can help at times when we feel isolated or experiencing a major life change, such as:
- relationship issues
- panic disorder
- Issues of sexuality and gender can be discussed in an open and honest way
- family issues can be explored without tension, guilt or recrimination.
Psychotherapy should feel supportive but also challenging - how else will your life take on a different course? Working together we will identify your negative thinking patterns and work on solutions that can open your life to new possibilities.
At the first session we can explore your situation, how you are feeling and your expectations of therapy - there is no obligation on you to commit to further sessions nor any commitment required to a minimum number of sessions.
I work short term (up to 6 to 8 sessions), as well as long term therapy or open ended therapy.
I accept cash or debit/credit cards at the end of each session.
Off-street parking is available at Wimbledon.
My training is integrative which means that I draw upon a range of different therapeutic models but is essentially humanistic and existential. This means that I value your subjective experience and in our sessions the work will be tailored to your individual needs.
I subscribe to the Code of Ethics of the UKCP, and I am fully covered by Professional Liability Insurance.
Member of the SEA (Society for Existential Analysis)
Training, qualifications & experience
I hold a BA (Hons) in English Literature.
My initial psychotherapy training was at Birkbeck College (University of London) where I gained a Diploma in Psychoanalytic Psychology.
I subsequently gained a Masters Degree (MA) in Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling from Middlesex University through my studies at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in London.
I am fully accredited with the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association (UPCA) and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
I have extensive experience working with clients with:
- depression and anxiety
- relationship issues
- LGBT* issues
- loss and bereavement counselling
- survivors of sexual abuse.
I have been trained in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) at Guy's Hospital, London, where I worked for nearly four years as an honorary counsellor.
I have also worked as a counsellor at a bereavement centre, university, sexual abuse centre and at HM Pentonville Prison.
I continue to attend workshops and seminars as part of my professional development.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Gender dysphoria
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Passive aggressive behaviour
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Should you try therapy?
There's a lot that holds us back from trying therapy. There's the idea that you have to be a little mad or harbour some huge strange problem in order to go and see a therapist.
But therapy is for everyone because it entirely reasonable for a person to be anxious and confused by life, challenged by relationships, family life and the direction of your career. So really the only qualification for going to therapy is to be a normal human being.
There is also the worry about the strangeness of therapy, it will be you and a person you've never met to whom you're expected to divulge nothing less than your inner life. Why not talk to a friend - however, friends are not properly trained to listen, friends interrupt, and sometimes it's easier to tell someone who has no prior knowledge or expectations of you the big and important things about who you are, furthermore, therapists are the last people ever to judge the concept of a normal human being is far more expansive than that held by society at large. Therapists know how unusual and surprising we are especially around sex and anxiety. They know how surprising we all can be, it doesn't frighten them, it intrigues and motivates them, that's why they became therapists in the first place, they are, in the end, interested in mental health, that means in helping out.
So many of our problems come down to not having enough insight into how our minds work. What we want, what we fear, why we act the way we do, and overwhelmed by certain feelings. The goal of therapy is self knowledge. By talking a lot to someone who listens very carefully over many weeks, you come to deeper insights into the mind you inhabit. Patterns start to emerge that show a particular way for approaching relationships or dealing with defeat, a recurrent not very helpful approach to dealing with jealousy, an ongoing thing with your sibling or father.
To get the most of therapy you need to approach sessions with honesty, openness and empathy. Every person is unique and the journey is different for each client. Therapy is not a quick fix and often requires time and commitment into the process in order to find answers into your problems.
- 1 Bell Yard, WC2 - individuals: £90 per session; couples: £110 per session
- Wimbledon, SW20:
pre 9.00am - negotiable per session
9.00am onwards - individuals: £80 -per session; couples £100 per session
- Borough High St, SE1 - individuals: £90 per session; couples: £110 per session
There is no obligation on you to commit to further sessions nor any commitment required to a minimum number of sessions.
I accept cash or cards at the end of each session.
Fees are revised on an annual basis.
Please note that missed sessions or sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours notice are charged at full fee, except in exceptional circumstances.
Concessions for students and low income earners may be available for therapy at Wimbledon before 5.00pm.
Registered Practioner with Aviva Health UK Ltd.
The duration of the session is 50 minutes and takes place at the same time and day each week.
Sessions are available at Bell Yard on Wednesdays from 3.00pm to 10.00pm.
I can offer daytime, evening appointments at Bell Yard from 3.00pm on Wednesdays, daytime and weekend appointments at Wimbledon, SW20, and evenings (5.00pm onwards) at London Bridge SE1, subject to availability.
Detailed directions will be provided when an appointment is made.
- Directions: 1 Bell Yard, London WC2, off Fleet St, adjacent to Royal Courts of Justice
- Directions, SW20 :
My practice location is on Coombe Lane, mid-way between Cambridge Rd and Ave (Avenue) Rd.
Car: Off street parking available
Bus: Route 57, Cambridge Rd stop (either direction) 3 minutes walk away.
Overground Rail: Raynes Park station 10 mins walk. 57 Bus picks up outside station and then 3 stops.
Bicycle: Secure parking available
- Directions, Borough High St SE1: London Bridge Station is a 5 min walk away
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Bell Yard: Wednesday: 3.00pm - 10.00pm. SW20: Mon, Thurs, Friday: 7.00am to 9.00pm. SE1: Tues eve 5.00pm to 9.00pm
Types of client