Irena Trnka De Benedictis MA (Oxon.), MA (Sheffield) Accred./Reg. UKCP, IFC
How counselling can help you
Sometimes it is not enough to talk to a friend over a coffee or to a work-mate over a pint. Problems can be very personal, embarrassing and downright private.
It can also be that our friends have ‘heard it all before’ as many of us have a tendency to go round and round in circles when trying to explain our problems. Sometimes family and friends weigh right in with ‘The Solution’ and it is difficult to say ‘No’. Easier not to talk about the problem at all, but then we end up feeling isolated and helpless.
It is at times like this that talking to a trained and friendly professional can be invaluable. Counselling is confidential, private and gives you your own space to talk and explain.
I will not give you advice, which may surprise you at first, but I will try to help you understand your problem better and find a solution that works for you. I will not get bored and ask you ‘ to cut to the chase’. I will not tell you ‘chin up’ or ‘time heals everything’. I will not judge you. And I promise you that I will never get bored, even if you want to go over the same problem again and again. That is sometimes what it takes.
I work online providing a friendly and confidential service for my clients. Also face to face sessions when permitted. I have close to 15 years of experience in both psychotherapy dealing with complex problems and counselling offering help with day to day difficulties. I can help with anxiety stress and depression as well as lack of purpose and feelings of meaninglessness.
Who can come to me and be a client?
Anybody, as long as you are over 18 years old.
I work both with busy professional people and also with those of you who are students, starting on your career, are unemployed or are about to retire. I also work with couples who have family or relationship difficulties. Many of my clients have physical or learning disabilities.
In a bit more detail:
I have many years of experience working with professional businessmen and women, focussing on the stresses of your work life, with special attention to work-life balance. I draw on my earlier experience of 12 years working as a solicitor in the City of London.
I also work with ex-patriates concerning issues of change management and self-identity. Here I draw on my personal experience of two three year overseas assignments.
I assist with family and relationship difficulties and conflicts including providing couples counselling. Issues of difficulties in communication, domestic abuse and coercive control recur in my practice with couples and with individuals.
I have in depth experience working with clients with learning disabilities including dyslexia and post-stroke memory impairment and clients coping with limitations due to physical disability or chronic illness including rheumatic arthritis, chronic fatigue, ME and fibromyalgia.
The type of client I can help is a broad range. I work with adults, which means anyone over the age of 18. I work with individuals and I also offer Couples Counselling. I am also available for Group Therapy where the group would be at least 4 individuals. I offer a discount to selected key workers, currently NHS staff, and also to trainee counsellors and psychotherapists. I am bilingual in English and in Czech.
My clients can choose to have weekly or fortnightly sessions. Overall I provide a relaxed and safe space to talk about anything that may be on your mind.
What can you expect from the first session?
A warm and friendly welcome.
Someone who is interested in you, your problems and difficulties and who will respect that there are some things you do not want to talk about. You will have 50 minutes of YOUR TIME to talk about whatever is on your mind.
I will answer all your questions in the first session. I will also ask you some questions about your life to date (though you don’t have to answer them all) and what brought you to counselling in the first place. We will try and work out together some goals that you hope to achieve through counselling.
There is no need to prepare anything for your first session. Just bring yourself to see if talking to me might help you find a way forward.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have an MA in Law (Oxon.) and am a qualified solicitor of 12 years experience. I worked as a development banker for three years overseas. I draw on these qualifications and experience in my work with psychotherapy clients in the business, professional and ex-patriate sectors.
I have an MA in Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling (Sheffield University) and close to 15 years of experience. I am UKCP accredited and registered. I teach counselling skills to Counselling Diploma students. I have close to 15 years of experience working with psychotherapy and counselling clients both for the NHS (formerly) and in private practice.
- I am a trained Life Coach with 5 years of experience.
- I volunteered for close to 6 years with the Samaritans.
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.
Universities Psychotherapy & Counselling Association
Universities Psychotherapy & Counselling Association
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
- Coercive Control
- Immigration/Refugee Issues: identity, displacement and alienation.
- I am bilingual in English and Czech.
£70.00 per session
Concessions offered for
- £70 for a 50 minute session for individual clients.
- Discount for NHS staff.
- £100 for a 90 minute session for couples counselling.
I am flexible in my working hours including evenings and if necessary Saturday mornings. Each week I ring-fence a few sessions for clients who have urgent issues or need to be seen quickly.
I have worked online (Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp video and messaging) for 3 - 4 years as I believe this work is successful, disinhibited and particularly helpful to those clients who have little spare time or who are managing change as expatriates or for other professional reasons. This way psychotherapy becomes easily portable and convenient!
Covid Restrictions permitting after June 21, I am also keen to see clients face-to-face either in my consulting room in Central London (on Tottenham Court Road 3 minutes walk from Warren Street and Goodge Street Tube Stations) or in my psychotherapy room in Beckenham in the Greater London Borough of Bromley (10 minutes stroll from Beckenham Junction with fast train links to BR Victoria and tram links to Wimbledon and Croydon).