Dr Maria Pournara, Counselling Psychologist, HCPC registered, MBPS, MBACP
Do you feel anxious or overwhelmed? Do you feel depressed or stuck in your life? Do you find it hard to cope with certain feelings or behaviours? Are you worried about your relationship or your marriage? Are family problems too much to handle? Is work taking over your personal life? Are you burdened by things that happened in the past and you are struggling to move on? Or are you a couple facing challenges in your relationship such as anxiety before getting married, the discovery of an affair, difficulties in communication or feeling distant from each other?
This is when a therapist like me, may be able to help you. I am passionate about supporting individuals and couples to improve their psychological wellbeing and to thoughtfully find ways to move forward in their lives. I believe that each person/couple is unique, hence I always endeavour to tailor my approach to your specific psychological needs. Together we can explore internal and external struggles, we can gain a deeper insight of what is the root of the problem and think of ways to move forward.
In my work with couples, I focus on your relationship to help you change the way you relate to each other, enhance more effective communication, develop intimacy as well as to support you in making decisions about your future as a couple.
I am committed to a high standard professional therapeutic practice, offering a confidential, non-judgemental, space to help you enhance psychological growth and development.
I can offer you a free telephone consultation to discuss what brings you to therapy and what you hope you get from it. You can call me or text me on 07714 997473 or email me to arrange a time to talk and discuss any further inquiries you may have.
My areas of work.
In my private practice, I see people every day who may be faced with a variety of issues. Some examples of how therapy can be helpful for you may be:
- Gaining a deeper insight of what may be causing your difficulties.
- Connecting with different aspects of yourself.
- Understanding your feelings and emotions.
- Exploring difficulties in relationships with others around you, including intimate, family, social or professional relationships.
- Managing problems, such as anger, sadness, stress, that impede on your day to day life.
- Changing behaviours or patterns that cause tension in your life.
- Finding ways to move forward.
More specifically, I have worked with anxiety, depression, relationships problems, affairs, family issues, addictions, bullying, anger issues and personality difficulties. My clinical experience further includes but is not limited to: panic attacks, stress, low confidence, low self-esteem, life-crisis, life transitions, work-related issues, loss, grief, trauma (including sexual trauma), abuse (including emotional, physical or sexual) and identity issues.
I offer short-term (8 to 12 weeks), medium-term (up to 24 weeks) and long-term (a year or more) therapy. I am committed to an ethical, non-discriminatory practice and I welcome individuals from all cultures, backgrounds and sexualities. I abide strongly by the ethical framework of the BPS, HCPC and BACP.
How can Counselling/Therapy help?
Counselling, or personal therapy, allows you to explore any challenges you may encounter in a safe, confidential space. Counselling can help you deal with difficult feelings and thoughts as well as issues that may affect your personal, professional or social life.
The therapist is there to support you in a non-judgemental way. Although therapists will not give you advice they will help you to find your own insights, identify your own needs and think about how you would like to move forward.
Counselling often involves talking about emotionally painful issues, therefore initially you may find you are feeling worse. However, this is often the case for most clients and with the therapist's support you should gradually feel better. Normally, it takes a number of sessions before counselling makes a difference and regular commitment with your therapist is highly recommended so that you make best use of therapy.
What to expect in your first session.
The purpose of the first session is to meet each other and decide whether we can work together. Attending the first session does not mean you have to commit to therapeutic a contract with me.
I see my first meeting with a new client as an assessment session. I normally ask a number of questions to gain a good understanding of what brings you to counselling and identify your therapeutic needs. This is important so we can identify together how therapy can be useful to you. Additionally, in the first session, I explain how I work (for example confidentiality, cancellations, holidays, fees) and what you can expect from me.
The first session is also a good opportunity for you to ask any questions about my role, experience and training as a Counselling Psychologist/Psychotherapist as well as Counselling/Therapy in general.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have a breadth of educational and professional experience. I have been trained and worked in a number of NHS and third-sector psychotherapeutic services offering both short-term and longer term therapy, as well as clinical assessments, to widely diverse client groups.
Before starting private practice I worked as a Counselling Assessor for thee years at Mind Tower Hamlets and Newham, a leading Mental Health Charity, conducting clinical assessments and participating in the running of the counselling service.
List of Qualifications
Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology (PsychD), University of Roehampton, UK (September 2012 - June 2017).
Post-Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy (PGDip), University of Edinburgh, UK (September 2009 – August 2011).
Master of Science in Counselling Studies (MSc), University of Edinburgh, UK (September 2007- September 2008).
Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology (BSc), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (September 2001 – March 2006).
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Career counselling
- Child related issues
- Domestic violence
- Drug addiction
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Panic attacks
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Separation and divorce
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Please call or email me to discuss any further queries you may have.
£120 for individual counselling (50 minutes)
£130 for couples counselling (60 minutes)
The fee is payable at the end of each session by cash or online transfer.
Some concessions are available for students and those who work part-time.
HCPC Registered - Membership Number: PYL34506
BACP: MBACP - Membership Number: 721479
BPS: MBPsS – Membership Number: 235504
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Day times and Evening times during the week. Also Saturday appointments available.
Types of client