About me

I offer shorter term therapy using both motivational interviewing and cognitive behaviour therapy for substance use and mental health struggles where our sessions would be very much based on identifying and managing difficult thoughts, feelings and behaviour, harm reduction and relapse prevention with compassion and care.

I also provide longer term holistic psychodynamic and counselling therapy for deeper distress related to relationships, anxiety, stress, anger, work problems, feelings of isolation and depression, and maybe bigger or more longstanding issues with using substances, especially within the current climate. Many of us are facing anxiety, fear and uncertainty about what the future may hold following COVID and the relaxation or increase in restrictions of the lockdown and Tier system.

These are very unusual times, and I am happy to provide a space to discuss these. I continue to work both in the NHS and in private practice in Essex, as well as across the UK online. Many people have also found that their support network has reduced during lockdown, that they are feeling trapped within their own home, being furloughed, being forced from working from home to back into working onsite and having to commute when they may understandably not feel comfortable.

I've noticed that many of my clients are using alcohol, drugs, prescription medication, online shopping, gaming and gambling as ways of coping with this. I offer a non-judgemental open space, currently only online, but am open to face to face working again in the future as long as all the government recommendations are adhered to to keep us both safe. There are things we can change and things we can't. We are all struggling, and that's ok.

Training, qualifications & experience

UK wide expert in substance use and mental health including new psychoactive drugs like spice. Multiple NHS Leadership Programmes, plus multiple CBT, psychodynamic and motivational trainings. I still work in the NHS as a Senior Clinical Psychologist with young people and have done for the last 17 years. Sometimes though I am often disappointed by what the NHS can offer or are currently able to and funded for, and at what other services are seemingly able to provide, their availability and their quality. My way of working in my own private practice always tallies up with my clients goals as opposed to the NHS targets, and I would much rather work with yours.

I am a Member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)  and the British Psychological Society, Division of Clinical Psychology. I am also an Associate Fellow of the BPS which is a good indicator of the level of my professional skills and experience and I adhere to and am accountable for all their strict standards of professional behaviour.


EMDR (2020)

Graduate Certificate in Group Analysis (2011)

Certificate in Group Work (2008)

Personal CBT, CAT, Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytic Long Term Personal Therapy 1999-2019) (absolutely essential for any therapist in my opinion)

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology UCL (2003)

Masters in Psychology, (Hons) Edinburgh University, (1993)

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I have specialist interest in working with people who are struggling with drug and alcohol use, not only but including the new psychoactive substances such as spice/synthetic cannabis. In addition I am experienced in working with coping strategies that are starting to feel or become addictive but not be as be helpful as they were, or have started becoming unhelpful and maybe even making your struggles worse.

Therapies offered

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Cognitive and behavioural therapies
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Compassion-Focused Therapy
  • Existential therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Humanistic therapies
  • Integrative
  • Mindfulness
  • Other therapies
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Solution focused brief therapy


Additional information

Fees vary but reflect my experience and training and are available on request.

I am also registered with multiple insurance companies.


Flexible in the evenings and at weekends, currently only online.

Further information

I am happy to work with you online via various forms of secure messaging, Skype or Zoom sessions if you are in a different locations, or feel more comfortable with the increased anonymity. I am relaxed, highly knowledgeable, chilled, non judgmental and very professional. I understand the importance of potentially talking about something that for some may be controversial such as substance use or other addictive behaviours or even those that have got out of hand.  And we are all doing our best, but right now from my perspective we are all coping as best as  can, whatever form that takes.

Confidentially is guaranteed, and a breach of this would only occur in extreme circumstances, fore example,  if I thought that you or someone else was at risk of immediate and/or serious significant harm. This would always be discussed with you in and mutually and collaboratively agreed in advance about the best management strategy at the time of our first meeting, in line with our Terms and Agreements as well as on an on-going basis.

I do ask that time booked in, both in person and online, and then cancelled within 24 hours or a DNA will be liable for full charge. I know this might sound harsh but it’s standard practice.

Saffron Walden

Type of session


Types of client

Young people
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

Languages offered

Sorry, no


Online supervision
Telephone supervision

Drug and Alcohol Awareness, NPS, Drug and Alcohol Use, Motivational Interviewing, CBT, Relapse Prevention, Therapeutic Group Skills, Staff Support, Staff Reflective Practice, Boundaries and Bullying and Harassment.

View supervision profile

Dr Nikki Wood

Dr Nikki Wood