Natalia Watts, MA, BA Hons, HCPC accredited
Sometimes it can be helpful to speak with someone when life feels hard, overwhelming or disappointing. I offer both short and long term support for anyone encountering difficulties or who wishes to work through any challenges they may be experiencing. Therapy can enhance a deeper understanding of self, relationships with others and our varying life situations. My approach is to offer a safe and contained space for you to process your thoughts and feelings in a way that is manageable for you and to develop your inner resources by thinking together about what unfolds as sessions progress.
There is often not a typical session procedure as sessions are essentially client led. We will consider your specific hopes and goals that you wish to fulfil from the therapy. Many people find a mixture of therapeutic interventions helpful such as EMDR, art therapy, mindfulness and directive tools used for resource building. Art materials are available to use in the space, as sometimes it can be difficult to talk directly about things so communicating through art materials may be easier or more appropriate.
Explanation of EMDR
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing ) is a therapy used to help people recover from distressing events and the impact that these events have had on their daily lives. It can be used to help treat depression and anxiety, especially where a difficult life event has occurred. When a person is involved in a traumatic event, they may feel overwhelmed and their brain may be unable to fully process what has happened.
'Old disturbing memories can be stored in the brain in isolation; they get locked into the nervous system with the original images, sounds, thoughts and feelings involved. The old distressing material just keeps getting triggered over and over again. This prevents learning/healing from taking place. In another part of your brain, you already have most of the information you need to resolve this problem; the two just can't connect. Once EMDR starts a linking takes place. New information can come to mind and resolve the old problems. This may be what happens spontaneously in REM or dream sleep when eye movements help to process unconscious material.' (directly taken from the EMDR transcript from EMDR works).
Clients can find EMDR helpful when they have witnessed or experienced a violent crime, an accident, bullying, abuse, a social humiliation, the sudden death of a loved one or suffering from a phobia.
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Explanation of Art Therapy
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy which uses creative making as a primary mode of expression and communication. It can be a helpful process to gain a deeper understanding of self, relationships, circumstance and unconscious processes that may be influencing any individuals life situation. The artwork is used as a medium to address emotional difficulties which may be confusing and distressing and provides a potential space between the client and their emotions to help process their experience in a safe and contained way. Clients don't need to have any previous experience or expertise in art. It is not a recreational activity or art lesson and can form an enjoyable part of the therapy.
Art therapy can be used for clients experiencing a wide range of difficulties and can be a a helpful therapeutic process when working with individuals, groups, families, young people and adults.
Art therapists are inspired by many different models of therapy including attachment- based psychotherapy, psychodynamic theory, client-centred approaches, object relations, mentalisation and 'Exploring the links between neuro-science and art therapy has also been at the forefront of some of the BAAT's conferences. Importantly, art therapy practice has evolved to reflect the cultural and social diversity of the people who engage in it.' (BAAT, website see below)
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Training, qualifications & experience
I trained as an Art psychotherapist, completing a Masters degree in Art Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths University London. I am a full member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) and I am registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). I am also a member of Art therapy in education Special Interest Group (ATESIG).
I have completed training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) and am a member of the EMDR Association UK & Ireland. EMDR is a leading trauma treatment recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). I have completed Children's Accelerated Trauma Treatment (CATT) level 1&2, Supervision training for Art Therapists and Mentalisation training through BAAT. Additionally I have trained in Mindfulness with The British Mindfulness Institute, which I often incorporate into my clinical practice.
I am currently working in Secondary education in North London. My private practice is based in Surrey. I have had extensive experience in many different contexts including CAMHS, Forensics, Primary and Secondary education, and NHS services. I have also worked abroad in a therapeutic capacity for Stepping Stones International based in Botswana.
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.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.
They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.
Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.
Areas of counselling I deal with