Lucy Christopher, MSc (Psych) UKCP reg.
I am a psychotherapist working in Stoke Newington, N16 in a peaceful room beside Clissold Park.
I genuinely believe that with the right support, it is possible to overcome painful experiences from the past; build coping strategies to manage current challenges in your life; and develop deeper awareness of your self and 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, safe and comfortable space. I will be genuinely curious in who you are, how you came to be this way, what is troubling you, and what brings your life hope and meaning.
I strongly believe that all behaviour is there to meet a need; I don't consider it self-supportive to label parts of yourself as 'bad' or 'shameful'. 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 have helped you manage a hostile or unsupportive environment).
I embrace diversity, and work affirmatively with people who identify as LGBTQ+. As a white therapist I strive to offer a black empathic approach. My intention is to offer an open-hearted, safe and reflective space that allows you to explore who you are, how you experience yourself in relation to the world around you, and what makes you thrive.
My psychotherapy training is in Gestalt, with its rich foundations in Zen Buddhism, existentialism, and embodiment (i.e. seeing the mind and body as parts of the same whole). I also draw on other approaches including CBT; Mindfulness; developmental theory (exploring how things you experienced in infancy may still be affecting your relationships in the present).
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, 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 what you hope for, and 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 working as a therapist since 2010. I trained at the Metanoia Institute, where I currently work as a tutor on their MSc in Gestalt Psychotherapy and also their foundation certificate in therapeutic skills. I also work for a charity where I run therapeutic weaving support 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 developmental trauma, trauma and PTSD, anxiety, addiction, bereavement, mental health difficulties, domestic abuse, abuse, anger, mindfulness and meditation, body process and group dynamics.
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
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
- 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
Not taking on new clients until end Aug 2020.