Helen Maharaj BABCP Accredited CBT Therapist / EMDR Therapist
I am currently offering therapy by Skype, FaceTime and telephone.
Do you want to overcome depression, break free from anxiety and build your self-confidence?
I am Helen Maharaj a qualified accredited therapist who can help you achieve your goals.
I use two effective forms of therapy:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
I am passionate about supporting people to learn ways of coping with their experiences and overcome problems.
While following the latest research evidence, I am able to adapt therapy to you, as I understand that each person is an individual who requires a tailored approach.
I provide Therapy by Skype and on the telephone. My aim is to help you improve your self confidence, achieve your goals and live the life you want.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a quick (usually 6-12 weekly appointments), well researched type of talking therapy.
CBT works on the idea that the way you think and what you do affects the way you feel.
Thoughts, behaviours, emotions and physical sensations are all connected and influenced by the situation we are in.
As a CBT Therapist I will help you make small changes to your thoughts and behaviours, which in turn will affect your emotions. Changing one area will lead to a change in the other areas.
A key aim of treatment in CBT is to teach you to become your own therapist and independently maintain your wellbeing. We will do this by working together to plan tasks for you to do between the sessions. Such as writing down your thoughts, testing your fears and trying out new things to work towards your goals.
If you were learning to play the piano and had weekly lessons, you would be asked to practice your skills between lessons. CBT is similar in that you are training your brain to think differently. Expect to be doing something in relation to your therapy most days a week.
CBT is different from some traditional forms of talking therapies in a few ways. In CBT we will focus on the here and now, to see what is keeping your problems going. While we will talk about the past, this will be used to understand how it is influencing your current problems.
If you had fallen into a hole it would be better to first get out of the hole rather than to spend your time analysing how you got down there. Once you are out of the hole you can work on not falling in again.
Research shows CBT is effective for many mental health problems and is recommended by the NHS for problems including depression, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, OCD and PTSD.
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. It is especially helpful for people experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Sessions last between 60-90 minutes and overall therapy can be as short as 4 or 5 sessions up to 20 sessions depending on the type of problems being worked on.
I welcome diversity including people of all genders, sexualities, religions, ethnicities, body sizes, abilities and political values. During my time teaching trainee practitioners I co-ordinated a module on anti-discriminatory practice. I am continually updating my knowledge in this area, including recent training on the impact of microaggressions particularly as experienced by BAME people.
Contact me to arrange your free initial telephone consultation to discuss if which therapy is right for you. In this 15-20 minute call you can also ask any questions you have about therapy and what therapy will involve. Contact me now by phone or email.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a fully accredited with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) as Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. After undergraduate study and gaining clinical experience I have attended advanced intensive training in providing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology where I learnt the underlying psychological theories of mental health and human behaviour. Following this I completed a PgCert in Mental Health, to use CBT to help people with milder symptoms of depression and anxiety. Then following gaining experience in that, I have completed a PgDip in CBT during which I learnt advanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques from national and international experts.
I have completed Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4 of EMDR Training.
While I have been qualified for many years I recognise the importance of continually building my knowledge and experience as detailed at the end of this section.
Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - Royal Holloway, University of London
Postgraduate Certificate in Mental Health (Primary Care) - University of Hertfordshire
BSc Hons Psychology - University College Northampton
EMDR Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 (full training) - EMDR Works
I have worked in the NHS for many years. Gaining experience as a High Intensity CBT Therapist, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, Supervisor, Line Manager and Clinical Team Leader within busy psychological therapies services in London, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Somerset.
I have experience using CBT and EMDR to help people experiencing common and complex mental health and physical health problems.
This includes depression, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, specific phobias, low self-esteem, perfectionism, OCD, PTSD, chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome. As well as, slightly less common difficulties, such as excoriation disorder (skin picking), compulsive hoarding, and blood injury phobia.
I have experience providing CBT to individuals in person, over the telephone, on video chat (Skype) and in running group sessions. I have experience using EMDR in person and on video chat (Skype).
Through my NHS work, I have been involved as a therapist in the RAPID research trial which is investigating innovative CBT based treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
As part of this trial I have received in-depth training and supervision from the PTSD experts at the Oxford Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma, and from experts at the University of Cardiff.
Academic and Teaching Experience:
As well as practising as a therapist I worked as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Surrey.
My main role was training Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners to assess and treat people experiencing depression and anxiety, using a low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach on the Advanced Practice in Psychological Wellbeing Course. This course is part of the government's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative.
Furthermore, I have taught Practitioners, Therapists and Psychologists on the IAPT supervision programme. As well as teaching other mental health related modules to therapists, mental health nurses and other healthcare professionals.
As well as individual therapy I now provide bespoke training in CBT and mental health to individuals and services.
In addition to the qualifications listed above, I attend regular workshops and conferences run by national and international experts in CBT. Recent topics have included:
- An Introduction to CBT Supervision with Helen Kennerley
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder with Professor Paul Salkovskis
- Cognitive approaches to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- CBT Boot Camp 2.0 with world leading CBT expert Dr Christine Padesky
- Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Exposure and Response Prevention for Tics and Tourette Syndrome
- Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT)
- Solution Focused Brief Therapy
- Supervision of low intensity and high-intensity therapists
While I am trained, qualified and experienced I know that you are the expert on your own life. Therefore in my practice I seek to bring these together so we can work collaboratively and help you overcome your difficulties.
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.
British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
The BABCP is the lead organisation for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the UK.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the practice, theory or development of CBT. BABCP also provides accreditation for CBT therapists.
BABCP accredited members adhere to the Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics in the Practice of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, and are willing to be scrutinised in this adherence as required.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Initial telephone consultation lasting 15-20 minutes is free of charge.
Skype, FaceTime and telephone CBT
CBT Therapy Session £100 per hour
Skype and FaceTime EMDR
EMDR Therapy session £100 per hour
CBT Supervision by Skype or telephone £80 per hour
Training and Consultation
Contact us for a quote
Payment is accepted by bank transfer. Payment is due at the end of each session.
Concessions offered for
For much more information about my practice visit the website in the top of this profile.
I work with adults aged 18 and over.
Contact me to arrange your free 15-20 minute initial telephone consultation to discuss how you can overcome depression, break free from anxiety and build self confidence.
N.B. I am no longer taking new referrals for face to face therapy in Harpenden. I am taking new referrals for online and telephone therapy.
New clinic in Somerset is coming soon.