Laura Vowels, MSc, MBACP
I’m a fully qualified relationship therapist working with individuals, couples and families from a variety of backgrounds. Although I have received training in a range of therapeutic modalities, I work primarily from Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) perspective. The focus of EFT is to help people feel more secure, resilient, loved and connected in the relationships they have with themselves and others. EFT is the most evidence-based couples therapy modality with over 90% of couples showing improvement after therapy. It has more recently also been adapted to work with individuals and families with success.
By seeking therapy you have already taken the first step towards change. My role is to help guide you in your journey towards a brighter future and to carry hope that things will get better even in times when you may struggle to see the path ahead of you. I believe that therapy can be an incredibly helpful and rewarding experience but may also be challenging at times. Through the therapeutic process people can discover inner strength they never knew they had and connect with others in a completely new and deeper way.
I have previously worked in different settings including secondary mental health outreach services, residential care units, NHS depression and anxiety service, relationship charities and private online therapy services. I currently work in private practice in Central London.
Options for therapy
I primarily work with couples and families that are struggling with a range of emotional, relational and sexual issues. I help them move towards safe and loving emotional connection from being stuck in destructive conflict patterns of attack-withdraw and blame-defend. I work with many different relationship types including mixed-sex and same-sex couples who may be married, cohabiting, dating, separated or consensually non-monogamous/polyamorous.
I also work with children (from the age of 5), young people and adults on a variety of issues including mental health problems, relational and emotional struggles and interpersonal trauma. The most appropriate treatment options can be discussed based on individual needs but usually include cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), emotionally focused therapy, integrative therapy or play therapy (for children).
I usually see people face-to-face but I’m also happy to work with people over the phone or via Skype. I often see couples or family members who do not live together in the same location over a video conference. I also occasionally offer home visits. I am bilingual and work both in English and Finnish.
What happens next?
If you are interested in therapy with me, please get in touch via email, text message or phone call. I aim to respond to all queries within a few hours. I offer a free initial 20-minute consultation over the phone during which you can give me brief details of your situation and ask any questions you may have. If I believe I can help you, we can arrange an initial consultation where we can discuss more about your situation, explore what you would like to achieve from therapy and determine whether we both feel comfortable working together.
If we decide to begin working together it is important to establish a sense of continuity and we can arrange a regular weekly time slot for the duration of the counselling. I offer both daytime and evening appointments that are either 1 hour or 90 minutes in duration (including note-taking). Sometimes after the initial consultation we may feel that other forms of help may be more beneficial in which case we can discuss alternative options.
My consulting room in Central London is a part of the first EFT clinic in the UK and is located in Cavendish Square just off Oxford street. Both Oxford Street and Bond Street stations are less than 5 minutes walk away.
Training, qualifications & experience
I began my career working for a charity who offered support for people struggling with serious mental health problems including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. I then trained as a low intensity cognitive behavioural therapist (psychological wellbeing practitioner) and worked in the NHS with individuals struggling with common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, phobias and eating disorders.
Later I completed my training as a couple and family therapist in the US. My training involved working with children, young people, couples and families. I have been trained in a range of play therapy methods for children, systemic therapies for couples and families, psychosexual therapy for a range of sexual difficulties and I also received training in the most evidence-based couples therapies including Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and the Gottman method. I have since sought further training in EFT and I’m in the process of becoming one of the few certified EFT therapists in the UK.
I am currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology at University of Southampton. My research area broadly focuses on close relationships with a specific focus on how partners can feel more safe and secure with each other and help each other achieve their full potential and how couples can navigate instances of sexual desire discrepancy in their relationships. I have published several articles around sex and close relationships and presented at multiple scientific conferences. In May 2019, I received the Sandra Leiblum student research award for the best scientific article of the year, which was titled “Strategies for Mitigating Desire Discrepancy in Long-Term Relationships” and in 2018 I was in the Top 5 best research projects of the International Association for Sex Research for my research on how love and sexual desire impact quality and quantity of sexual experience.
- PhD Psychology (ongoing, expected 2021), University of Southampton, UK
- Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy, Couples Care Centre, ICEEFT, US
- MSc Family Sciences, Couple and Family Therapy, University of Kentucky, US
- Postgraduate certificate Evidence-based psychological practice, University of Exeter, UK
- Level 4 Counselling Skills certificate, Cambridge Open College, UK
- BSc Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
- British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
- British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
- International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)
- Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR)
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
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
I offer a free initial 20-minute conversation over the phone to establish whether we think I could help you.
Individuals: £95 per hour
Couples and families: £110 per hour or £165 for 90 minutes.
I also offer discounts for students and individuals on low income or retired.