Loretta Riordan BA(Hons), MBACP (Snr Accred)
The COVID crisis has affected all our lives and relationships, and taking good care of our mental health may never have been more important. Professionally, my biggest change has been having to make the switch to Skype, FaceTime, or old-fashioned phone for now - but I am glad to be able to offer a service. If you are looking for a therapist and wondering where on earth to start, read on and I can tell you more about my practice.
I'm a BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist with over 28 years' full-time experience, and have worked successfully with hundreds of clients, seeing individuals, couples and groups. I was employed by the NHS from 1993-2008 in several senior posts, delivering long-term and brief time-limited therapy (specialising in Trauma and Sexual Abuse), and maintaining a particular interest in Depression.
If you've never had therapy before, finding the right practitioner can be a baffling procedure. Professional qualifications and experience are naturally very important, but most crucial of all is the quality of the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client. For me, therapy should be a collaborative, dynamic process where the client feels comfortable with and confident in the therapist, so that difficult subjects can be explored in safety and freedom. This means cultivating a unique working partnership with each individual client, and I get enormous job satisfaction from using that partnership to help clients turn their lives around.
I have worked extensively with people from the creative arts field - musicians, artists, actors, writers and directors struggling with professional confidence, reliance on alcohol, depression, and relationship problems. I also see many Health Professionals, from across the entire spectrum of care and clinical work. Having been an NHS practitioner for fifteen years, I know how comparatively poor we can often be at taking enough care of ourselves whilst looking after others. I have also worked with young adults in an educational setting (Eastbourne College), and for The Priory (Hove), with adult inpatient and day clients.
Integrative in approach, I have continued to explore different therapeutic techniques, including CBT, Mindfulness-based therapy, EMDR and Brief Psychodynamic Therapy, and have developed a repertoire of skills which I try to match to the specific needs and circumstances of each client. In my experience, one approach definitely does not 'fit all', so in any assessment session I will work on jointly formulating a clear therapy plan that will be tailored specifically you as an individual (or couple). You may only need a few sessions to get through a transient crisis, or you might be looking for something longer-term to tackle more deep-rooted issues. Whatever the focus, I try to keep consultations as free of jargon as possible - and if I am not the right person to help you I will be honest about this, and will suggest appropriate alternatives.
Training, qualifications & experience
I worked in journalism for several years after graduation, but maintained my interest in psychology and human relations through voluntary work, and via my own therapy. Eventually I switched careers and in 1991 began my training, completing my Post-Graduate Diploma in Humanistic Counselling at Brighton University in 1993.
I held honorary posts in NHS Secondary Care at Hastings, Brighton and Eastbourne whilst training, and on qualification I went straight into a Primary Care NHS job in Eastbourne, where I worked for fifteen years. I also worked for Brighton and Newhaven Departments of Psychology, and held a Senior post at the Bethlem and Maudsley NHS Trust where I helped set up a new Primary Care service as well as developing my special interest in Trauma work. I also founded the Eastbourne Primary Care Counsellors' Group, which I ran from 1994-2000. I facilitated groups for the Eastbourne Survivors Project (a service for adult female survivors of sexual abuse), and worked as School Counsellor to Eastbourne College from 1997-2003. I established my own private practice in Brighton Kemp Town, which I have run successfully since 1993, working with EAP and private clients and offering couple counselling as well as individual sessions. I have built up good working relationships with a number of local GPs, and other mental health professionals within the NHS.
As mentioned above, I am particularly interested in the creative arts, and have worked for the BBC as a consultant for its Comedy College project, running seminars on The Psychology of Comedy for groups of new writers. This has led to a natural progression in my practice, hence my work with actors, journalists, writers, broadcasters, artists, musicians and other clients from the creative field.
I have completed extra training in a number of different therapeutic approaches and methods, including CBT, EMDR, Brief Psychodynamic Therapy, and Mindfulness. My practice continues to evolve as I attend new courses and conferences every year, with organisations including the Tavistock Clinic, Salomon's Centre for Applied Psychology, and the Bowlby Centre. This keeps me professionally flexible and helps ensure that each client gets the most appropriate and effective treatment possible.
Registered therapist with Aviva Health Insurance.
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 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
Other areas of counselling I deal with
"Burnout" (professional/personal), particularly with regard to NHS/Social Care work
Adjustment to life-changing illness/pain management
Life on the road (musicians, actors, theatre work) and after
Fees vary depending on time of day required and whether individual/couple - please note that I won't be taking on any couples work until I can return to face-to-face sessions, sadly.
I will always answer any initial questions you might have by phone or email, without charge or obligation. If you call and leave a message, please ensure that you include your phone number!
I work from quiet, pleasant premises close to the Sussex County Hospital (bus routes 1, 1a, 7, 14, 14C, 37, 52, 12, 27 all run nearby) in Kemp Town. The practice is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Early morning and late evening sessions are available on Mondays and Tuesdays, with Saturday morning sessions by arrangement (assessment only).
I also offer Skype and telephone sessions, by arrangement.