Loretta Riordan Verified Professional Verified Professional
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BA(Hons), MBACP (Snr Accred)

About me

You may be visiting this site for help related to the COVID pandemic and its impact, but equally you may be here because of something troubling in your life that precedes COVID by a long way. Our emotional lives, careers and relationships have all had to continue, against this most stressful of backgrounds.

I'm a BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist with almost 30 years' full-time experience, and have worked successfully with hundreds of clients, seeing individuals, couples and groups. I worked for the NHS from 1993-2008 in a number of 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 is 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 building 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've done a lot of work with people from the creative arts field - musicians, artists, actors, writers and directors struggling with professional confidence, insecurity, depression, and relationship problems. I also work with Health Professionals, from across the 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've 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 I've 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 understanding of 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 and BUPA

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

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
Creative block
Stage fright
Life on the road (musicians, actors, theatre work) and after
Family Estrangement


Health Insurance/EAP

  • BUPA
  • HealthAssured
  • Aviva
  • Vitality

Additional information

Fees vary depending on time of day required and whether individual/couple.

I have recently resumed offering a limited number of face-to-face sessions each week, though most of my work continues to be carried out remotely. If you'd prefer face-to-face, I would need you to be double-vaccinated and to agree to carry out a Lateral Flow Test on the morning of your session. 

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!

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Early morning (08.00) appointments available every day; later evenings Mon and Tues.

Further information

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 evening sessions are available on Mondays and Tuesdays.

I also offer Skype and telephone sessions, by arrangement.

I am a Registered Provider with Aviva and with BUPA.

Brighton, East Sussex, BN2

Type of session


Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme