Philippa Smethurst MBACP, UKCP - Experienced Counsellor and Psychotherapist
I am a counsellor and psychotherapist with over twenty years experience, working in two settings in Hither Green, South East London and Banbury in Oxfordshire. I work with individuals and couples who want to make changes in their lives. This is sometimes a short process of just a few weeks and sometimes a longer process of exploration. Counselling and Psychotherapy can help towards gaining an understanding of difficulties, coping strategies and ultimately a greater sense of peace.
I work with individuals and couples on both a short or longer term basis and am highly skilled to listen and accept you and also to help shed light on the root of a difficulty and work through painful life events and situations. The kinds of triggering events that I work with may be a bereavement, a broken relationship, problems at work or an addiction. Sometimes it is less clear to know why you are unhappy or distressed, but the opportunity to speak confidentially to a qualified practitioner can be immensely relieving.
I have a special interest in trauma and integrate Sensorimotor Psychotherapy in my practice, which is a newer paradigm that directly addresses the effects of trauma by working with the body without the need to use touch. Clients report an appreciation of its gentle and empowering interventions and its practical approach to internal distress. I am often able to offer help and tools for you to manage things in between sessions.
Getting started with Counselling and Psychotherapy
Undertaking counselling or psychotherapy is an important decision, so it is very important to find the right person to work with. You may wish to visit a number of practitioners for an initial consultation and trust your intuition in selecting the person who feels right for you.
In your first session with me, we would talk together about the things that are concerning you. I would be interested to know something about your history and some details about your story as well as your current life.
After this assessment session, I would be able to tell you whether I feel I am an appropriate person to help you and on leaving you would have the opportunity to reflect on whether I am the person you would like to work with.
Here are some other details about the way I work: Each session lasts 50 minutes and sessions will usually be weekly, sometimes twice weekly. Your sessions will usually be at the same time and on the same day each week.
Counselling is generally a shorter term process and psychotherapy is generally more in depth for a more substantial time. At the assessment, we would talk about how long your process might be. It is not possible to be exact about this, but I would hope to give you some indication.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am an Integrative Psychotherapist (M.Sc.) and a member of the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy and Senior Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. I hold a Diploma in Supervision (Cascade). I trained in Person Centred Counselling and Integrative Psychotherapy at the Metanoia Institute in London.
I use a number of approaches and techniques in my work, primarily drawing on psychodynamic and humanistic principles. It is not unusual for individuals to understand a lot about their emotional difficulties but can find themselves locked into repeating patterns and sometimes feel powerless to change them. It can be these recurrent patterns than can cause us distress and difficulties and they can be addressed in a therapeutic relationship.
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.
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
UK Council for Psychotherapy
The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a leading professional body for the education, training and regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its register is accredited by the government's Professional Standards Authority.
As part of its commitment to protect the public, it works to improve access to psychotherapy, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against its members.
UKCP standards cover the range of different psychotherapies. Registration is obtained by training or accrediting with one of its member organisations, or by holding a European Certificate in Psychotherapy. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Person Centred Counselling
- Integrative Psychotherapy (Psychodynamic and Humanistic)
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.
My current fee is £75-95 and I have a limited number of lower cost spaces.
A little information about the different therapeutic approaches:
Psychological therapies generally fall into three categories. These are behavioural therapies which focus first on thinking and behaviours, psychoanalytical/psychodynamic therapies which focus on unconscious patterns and processes and humanistic therapies which firstly on self development and the 'here and now'. In addition to using these modalities, I also integrate Sensorimotor Psychotherapy which works with the information that our bodies give us.