I am a psychotherapist working in Stoke Newington N16, from a cosy rented room off Church Street, and online via Zoom. I currently have a few spaces.
I genuinely believe that with the right support, you can overcome painful experiences from the past; build coping strategies to manage current challenges in your life; and develop a deeper awareness of your self to enjoy more satisfying relationships in the present.
What will therapy be like with me?
In our initial session we will explore what brought you to therapy and what you hope to gain. This helps us come to a shared understanding of where we should focus, and what to prioritise. You might have a really clear idea of what you want, or you might not be sure - perhaps something doesn't feel right and you want space to explore things.
I won't tell you what to do; and I won't 'fix' you either. I will meet you with honesty, non-judgement, and open-mindedness, in a confidential space. I will be genuinely curious about who you are, how you came to be this way, what is troubling you, and what brings your life hope and meaning. I will also invite you to really explore what it would mean to live an authentic life that is true to your beliefs and values, and the extent to which you are living this life today.
I strongly believe all behaviour is there to meet a need; I don't consider it useful to label parts of yourself or your emotions, as 'bad' or 'shameful'. I also don't believe people feel sadness, anxiety, depression and other challenges in a vacuum - I will be interested in your wider context/ life situation and the extent to which these may be exacerbating the problem. I will help you to be more compassionate and less self-critical of yourself, to be curious about how you came to be this way (and how it may once have helped you manage hostile or unsupportive environments).
I am cis-gendered and embrace diversity. This includes working affirmatively with LGBTQ+ clients; subscribing to the social model of disability and - as a white woman - striving to offer a "black empathic approach" (Dr Isha Mckenzie-Mavinga). If you have a young infant (under age 1) I am fine for them to be with you in our sessions. My intention is to offer an open-hearted, reflective space that enables you to truthfully explore who you are, how you experience yourself in relation to the world around you, and what it would mean for you to thrive.
My psychotherapy training is in Gestalt, with its rich foundations in Zen Buddhism and Taoism, existentialism, embodiment (i.e. seeing the mind and body as parts of the same whole) and experimentation. I may also draw on other approaches including CBT; Mindfulness; developmental theory (exploring how things you experienced in infancy/ childhood may still be affecting your relationships in the present) and the latest neurobiology and research around contemporary approaches to trauma.
As well as traditional talking-therapy, I welcome expressive ways of working (although we don't have to; I take my cue from you). This includes drawing, crayons, sculpture, body movement, creative writing, role play, the use of music - the possibilities are endless.
What is Gestalt?
Gestalt is a German word, which can translate as 'whole', 'completion' or 'pattern'. As a therapist trained in the Gestalt approach, I will be curious about what you are thinking, feeling and doing right now in the present. Through our work, you will start to notice patterns of behaviour, thoughts and feelings, and patterns in both what you yearn for, and what you have come to expect, in your relationships with others. This awareness opens up choices: the more aware of your 'self' you become, the more opportunities you have to try to do things differently (experimenting with new ways of being).
The Gestalt approach is also a highly effective way of understanding the current impact of past experiences. For example you may feel anxious a lot of the time, but don't know why. Gestalt therapy with me can help you to gain a deeper insight into your way of being, showing how experiences from the past - or current oppression or discrimination - may be affecting you in the present. This will help you to gain closure and set yourself free, and choose a more authentic and meaningful present and future for yourself.
Training, qualifications & experience
UKCP Reg Gestalt Psychotherapist.
I gained my Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy in 2015, and have been seeing clients since 2010. I trained at Metanoia Institute, where I currently teach on the MSc in Gestalt Psychotherapy. I also work for a women's charity where I run therapeutic weaving groups.
I attend training on a regular basis to keep me up to date with recent research findings and different therapy approaches. This includes a particular interest in group dynamics, diversity, bereavement, trauma and PTSD, anxiety, addiction, domestic abuse / sexual violence, anger, mindfulness and meditation, and body processes.
I am in regular clinical supervision, which supports my practice.
Before becoming a psychotherapist I worked in mental health and in the criminal justice system, where I completed training in CBT for anger management and addiction.
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 (UKCP)
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.
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
The issues I have a particular interest in are:
- anxiety and panic attacks
- feeling there is something wrong with you but you don't know what or why
- work-related stress
- professional and careers issues
- pregnancy and fertility issues
- parenting / early years parenting
- family issues
- understanding anger
- substance misuse and addiction
- developmental issues and difficulties from childhood
- exploring the 'big questions' around the meaning of life and death
Concessions offered for
£70 per session.
Concessions available (please ask at initial enquiry).
When I work
I have some face-to-face availability on Tuesdays (will have more days from September 2021). Other days I work online over Zoom.