Dr Niki Andreou
Within my private therapy practice, I offer specialised counselling to adults and adolescents. I currently practice within Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic and person-centred psychological therapy models. I offer short and longer term therapy services. The duration of counselling for each individual is dependent on the presenting problem/s of each individual client and is tailored specifically to client individual need.
I am passionate about working with adolescents who suffer from anxiety and depression. I work with adolescents who suffer with family problems, bullying, OCD bereavement, self-harm, relationship problems etc. If possible I like to involve the family in some of the sessions as it is important to build understanding, support and relationships within the family network.
I am also passionate about working with adults who suffer from anxiety and depression. I work with adults who have suffered from bereavement, problems in childhood which resurface into our adult lives, relationship problems, domestic violence, abuse, postnatal depression, identity, etc.
I am an insightful, warm and approachable therapist. I genuinely care for each and every one of my clients and I believe this is recognised from the clients I have had the pleasure of working with.
My philosophical stance
I believe that medication and the diagnostic system are not the only or complete answer to achieving positive therapeutic change. An individual's environment or way of thinking can have a direct effect on their thoughts, behaviours and psychological make-up. The way that each of us view and interpret the world is different. I aim to understand each individuals experience of being human and what each person's lived world consists of. We are all different.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a qualified chartered counseling psychologist. I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the organization that regulates Psychology within the UK. I am also chartered by the British Psychological Society (BPS), which is the gold standard of practice for psychologists within the UK. I work within the code of ethics and standards set by these organisations.
I always had an interest in individual behaviours’ as a child. My curious child mind would always try to understand why people in my life would say and behave in certain ways and why. This curiosity led me to undertake an A Level in Psychology in 2001. I enjoyed the study of the human mind so much that I went on to study my Psychology degree in 2002 whilst working with children who were underachieving in school because of burdens in their personal life. I also counselled students online who were having difficulties at university.
Once I had completed my degree I went on to work in a Personality Disorder secure unit for adults who had committed dangerous and violent crimes. Here, I learnt firsthand the importance of early childhood experiences and how they can impact our lives in a very negative and self-destructive way.
In 2009 I undertook my Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology. I published a thesis titled "When Personal and Professional Worlds Collide: An exploration of trainee counselling psychologists' experience of having a relative with mental health problems". I undertook placements where I worked using a Play Therapy approach with children in a school. I also worked in a primary care NHS Psychological Health center where I also worked with individuals experiencing difficulties like anxiety, depression, bereavement, OCD, abuse, etc.
I worked in a Secondary school where I delivered one-to-one short and long term therapy to adolescents who are experiencing phenomenon’s like panic disorder, OCD, SAD, phobias, low self-esteem, body dysmorphic disorder, the effects of bullying/cyber bullying etc. I also worked with the NHS where I delivered one-to-one psychological therapy to adults. I worked with relationship issues, depression, anxiety, phobias, postnatal depression, family issues, separation and divorce, carer support, domestic violence, abuse, bereavement etc.
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.
British Psychological Society
British Psychological Society
Areas of counselling I deal with
Assessment session (50 minutes): £40 for the first assessment session (reduced fee for assessment)
Therapy session (50 minutes): £80 per session (Student concessions £70)
Skype therapy session (50 minutes): £70 per session
Assessment session: the assessment session is the first initial meeting between the psychologist and client. It is 50 minutes long and usually takes one session to complete. An assessment session is an opportunity for the client to understand what therapy is and how it works. The client will talk briefly about why they want to come to therapy and talk a little about their present life and past history. After the assessment session, client and therapist will decide if the type of therapy offered is a suitable option. If it is a suitable option then an agreement will be made to start therapy sessions.
If it is not a suitable option I will try to signpost you to a service which may be more appropriate. Therapy can be a trial and error process and finding the right therapist for you can take some time and patience. The client-therapist relationship is of great importance. As client and therapist we will work together as a team to find the best mode of treatment for you.
Therapy session: therapy sessions are 50 minute sessions which usually take place once a week or fortnightly.
Skype therapy session: Skype therapy is for individuals who find it hard to commute and can save travelling time and costs.
What is a counselling psychologist?
A counselling psychologist works collaboratively with individuals in dealing with a wide range of lifes difficulties, e.g. anxiety, depression, domestic violence, phobias, relationship issues, bereavement, etc. Counselling psychologists look at an indivduals past, present and perceived future to try and identify and make sense of how their internal and external world processes can be linked by phenomenons that take place in time.
Counselling psychologists also explore conscious and unconscious processes and work with an individual to try and gain a deeper understanding of their internal and external world and how the two link together. Counselling psychologists use interventions and techniques to encourage positive personal psychological growth for their clients.
What is cognitive behavioural therapy?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) usually consists of short term therapy which focuses in the here and now. It identifies how our thoughts and beliefs are connected to our behaviours and physiological symptoms.
For example, if we interpret a situation in a negative way, we may then experience negative thoughts and emotions. As a result, these negative constructs may lead us to behave in a negative way. If these negative interpretations go unchallenged, this can result in a negative response to specific situations.
CBT allows us to identify and challenge some of these negative thinking patterns which help us to think in a more realistic and positive way. CBT teaches us different ways of thinking and coping. This can help us to feel different in specific situations which can subsequently have a positive influence on our behaviour.
What is psychodynamic therapy?
Psychodynamic therapy recognises that the unconscious mind stores memories, thoughts and feelings that we are unaware of. These unconscious processes can have a direct link to our conscious thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
In a psychodynamic therapy session, the therapist actively listens to the client in an empathic and non-judgemental way which encourages the client to open up and explore unresolved conflict buried within their unconscious. This uncovering of unconscious processes can help the client to understand their moods and behaviours further and feel empowered to make a positive change in their lives.
The client-therapist relationship is important in psychodynamic therapy as re-directed feelings can be transferred onto the therapist. An experienced therapist who knows her own cognitive processes well, will be able to recognise the unconscious transference of the clients emotions and have the ability to interpret and reflect back to the client. This is a powerful therapy tool as the client does not realise at times what she/he is doing and a realisation of this can aid in a deeper understanding of the self and facilitate therapeutic growth.
In psychodynamic therapy, the therapist will at times interject with his/her own thoughts and hypothesis in relation to the client. These can be concepts that the client may be unaware of and may contribute to facilitating a deeper understanding of self and positive personal growth for the client.
What is person centred therapy?
Peron centred therapy is a humanistic therapy approach which focuses on the ways in which an individual views themselves consciously. The therapist actively listens and mirrors the client whilst providing sufficient positive feedback to empower the client to further explore their difficulties in a safe, understanding and non-judgemental environment.
Carl Rogers created person-centred therapy in the 1950s. He proposed that humans have an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential. This means that we have a natural 'want' to create the best version of ourselves. We want to grow in a positive way and develop towards our own potential. Person-centred therapy encourages us, as indivduals, to have a healthy psychological outlook, trust our own feelings and have a true relationship with ourselves and our life experience.
A person centred therapy session is a non-directive therapy approach led by the client which focuses on the here and now. The relationship between the client and therapist plays a big part in person centred therapy. The development of trust and understanding between client and therapist encourages self-awareness and realisation within the client in regards to their own processes and issues. This allows the client to reflect on their problems and think of solutions with gentle encouragement from the therapist. These processes facilitate positive therapeutic growth for the client.
What is integrative therapy?
As a counsellor, I have worked with many different individuals who all have different personalities and different presenting problems. No mode of therapy has ever been exactly the same for each individual because we are all different, we function in different ways and come to therapy for different reasons.
As a counsellor I have worked solely within the respective CBT, person-centred and psychodynamic therapy approaches if the service or client needed it. However, I also work within an integrative therapy approach.
As an integrative counsellor I use specific techniques and key concepts drawn from the various therapeutic approaches spoken about above. This integration of various approaches is tailored to each specific client and their need and way of working. It is a flexible therapy approach and allows me to focus on the whole of the client.
For example, if I am working with a client who has been feeling acute depression and doesnt feel like doing much, we could undertake some cognitive work to gain a deeper understanding of his/her low mood and set tasks to encourage him/her to incorporate into his/her life things s/he enjoys (CBT). We would also do some work looking into his/her past to try and understand where his/her depression started and acknowledging any unconscious processes s/he displays in the session but may be unaware of (psychodynamic). The foundations of an integrative approach would be to continously utilise Rogers core conditions. To facilitate personal growth for the client so that s/he would feel empowered to lead a more positive life (person-centred). This is a therapeutic model which is tailored specifically for this individual.