Karen Spencer Verified Professional Verified Professional
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Registered MBACP, ACAT, BPC - Psychotherapist & EMDR

About me

I am a fully qualified, and experienced, Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and Cognitive Analytic Therapist (CAT) working in private practice in Richmond, with wide experience working in the NHS. I also work online, and am fully trained in EMDR for helping clients manage trauma and value the importance of creating a strong and scaffolding therapeutic alliance.

Are you finding it difficult to cope on your own with problems you encounter in your day-to-day living? In our lives we often need support beyond what can be offered by family and friends especially around challenges connected with:

  • relationship issues
  • anxiety
  • addiction
  • stress
  • depression
  • low self-esteem
  • loneliness
  • trauma
  • illness and chronic pain management
  • loss/separation/divorce
  • attachment disorders
  • gender and sexuality issues
  • communication difficulties (e.g. assertiveness)
  • childhood trauma.

I offer both short term psychotherapy and longer-term, more in-depth, psychodynamic psychotherapy depending on what would be most helpful for you at this time. I work both online and face-to-face. I also offer an initial telephone conversation at no charge to explore what support you are seeking and how therapy might help you.

Cognitive Analytic Therapy ('CAT') is a highly collaborative form of therapy which helps you look at the way you think, feel and act, providing a space to think together about events and relationships that underlie how you feel about yourself, others and the world. When working together the therapy is focused around what you need, which we can think about together. Cognitive analytic therapy is normally time limited, between 6 and 24 sessions, but typically runs for 16 weeks and is a very supportive and creative form of therapy.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is traditionally offered as a more long-term therapy (but I also offer time-limited psychodynamic psychotherapy) and relies on the interpersonal relationship between you, the client, and me, as therapist. It is based on psychoanalytic concepts. I work within this approach to create a containing and safe space where you can hopefully feel able to bring, and be, yourself which is such an important part of the work together.

My private practice is located conveniently directly opposite Richmond station with easy access to British Rail and overground and underground services and local bus routes.

I like to work collaboratively helping develop scaffolding to help support you when managing difficulties by creating a warm and respectful relationship that will hopefully help you to feel safe to express your feelings and concerns as openly as you can. I am very committed to developing a strong therapeutic alliance and appreciate the courage that can be necessary when starting therapy. I suggest an initial consultation so that you can understand what is involved in the therapy and so we can think together about what type of therapy is most suited to where you are now and where you want to be.

Training, qualifications & experience

I completed my professional psychotherapy training within the NHS, having studied at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, majoring in inter-cultural psychodynamic psychotherapy, where I also completed an MSc. I am a fully qualified psychodynamic psychotherapist.

I am also a qualified Cognitive Analytic Therapist, having completed my training through the Sussex NHS Partnership and registered with ACAT w the Association of Cognitive Analytic Therapy and abide by its Ethical Framework and am accountable to ACAT for my conduct performance and continuous personal development.

I am also fully trained in EMDR for trauma work

I am registered with the BPC, TSSP, ACAT and EMDR UK. I am registered with the BACP and abide by their ethical code and standards

I am a qualified trainer and HR consultant working with organisations around positive mental health, reflective practice and communication styles and assertiveness. I am also a qualified careers advisor often appropriate to thinking about career choices and challenges. Hi

My work is supervised professionally by an independent qualified supervisor.

Member organisations


The Association of Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT)

The Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy (ACAT) is a registered charity. They welcome members of the public, health professionals, ACAT accredited professionals, and anyone interested in finding out more about CAT. They list CAT practitioners.

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I am also a qualified careers advisor, trainer and HR consultant having worked within the area of HR consultancy around work-related issues. I am particularly experienced within the area of effective communication and personal development.


£65.00 per session
Free initial telephone session

Concessions offered for

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

Additional information

Initial assessment fee: £65

Weekly one-to-one session: £65

Therapy sessions take place for 50 minutes within my private practice in Richmond at a time that is agreed with you.

I understand that starting any form of therapy, especially for the first time, can be challenging and I am happy to speak over the phone before you commit to meeting up.

I also offer a limited number of concessions for clients on low incomes which I am delighted to discuss within the initial assessment.

When I work

Thursday mornings and evenings

Further information

I am committed to working with a variety of clients respecting differences and diversity including gender, sexual orientation, and racial background and ethnicity and religious beliefs. I do not diagnose, or judge rather I try to understand your story so we can find new ways of understanding and coping with challenges and distress with a respect to individual issues around identity and values/beliefs.

Richmond Upon Thames, TW9

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Older adults