Dr Maria Pournara, Counselling Psychologist, HCPC registered, MBPS, MBACP
In the light of current circumstances, I offer online and telephone therapy to individuals and couples through an encrypted and GDPR compliant platform that guarantees confidentiality protection.
As a clinician I believe that maintaining continuity and normality during periods of crisis, such as this, is essential. Online therapy is an evidence-based treatment medium and is as effective as face-to-face therapy (https://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2013.0075). Online therapy can provide support:
- to deal with the emotional impact of the COVID-19 crisis (generalised anxiety, health anxiety, low mood)
- to prevent emotional isolation
- to deal with day to day personal and relational challenges during the period of self-isolation
- to encourage good psychological health
- to deal with the impact of this crisis on relationships, couples and families
I am a highly trained and experienced psychologist, 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
- Health anxiety
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- 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|
Online appointments flexible times.
Day times and Evening times during the week. Also Saturday appointments available.
Types of client