Samantha Merry MA PGDip MBACP
There could be many reasons why you are seeking therapy. I offer an initial free session to listen to what is troubling you. Maybe you feel sad, lonely or confused, perhaps you are dissatisfied in relationships, or feel trapped in your current life? Therapy can help when you have been bullied, betrayed, let down or hurt. No matter what is bothering you, I will provide a kind, welcoming environment to explore your thoughts and feelings so you can understand yourself better. We will identify what is important for you and thoughtfully explore the story of your life.
I have experience with and am particularly interested in
Anxiety is one of the most common psychological problems for which people seek counselling. Anxiety symptoms include worry, panic, social anxiety, health anxiety, agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Counselling helps you consider what the anxiety might be trying to tell you and why it is present at the moment.
Becoming a parent is a significant milestone. Raising children can be a challenging and demanding time for many parents. The arrival of a baby can alter your relationships. The parent who stays at home can feel the loss of a career or working parents can feel guilty for leaving their child to go to work. Perhaps you have a child whose behaviour has become particularly challenging, or your child has disabilities which leave you feeling alone with the experience. Children with diagnosis of ADHD, Autism and other special educational needs (SEN) places demands on you that you may not have expected to encounter. It is not uncommon for a parent to wonder what has happened to make their child ‘different’. Guilt, loneliness and confusion are common. Or maybe you have an adolescent that is struggling with anxiety, depression or are self-harming. Talking about your experience and feelings in therapy can help you process what is going on for you and your family, so you are better able to cope.
Shame is a social emotion, it is often present in people who have experienced bullying, trauma or abuse. When shame is used to humiliate and degrade it can be experienced as overwhelming and unbearable. Shame can lead people to be fearful and hide. Seeking counselling to work through feelings of shame gives you the chance to grieve the harm that was done to you.
Grief and loss
Loss is inevitable for all of us as we progress through life. Dealing with the death of a loved one can bring up feelings of deep sadness, confusion and even anger. Sometimes grief lifts over time and sometimes it can still cause upset many years later. Grief is not linear; it affects us all in different ways and can resurface when we least expect it. I help you to work through the grieving process, whether you have lost a parent, a child, a good friend or even a pet.
Bullying behaviour might include being teased in a manner that is hurtful, being humiliated or put down without thought for your feelings, being ignored, intimidated or threatened whether explicitly or implicitly. Bullying might occur in your workplace, in your relationships or in other areas of our lives such as online via social media (cyberbullying). Bullying can leave us feeling isolated and alone. Perhaps you experienced bullying in childhood and the experience still remains with you, or you are supporting your own child through a bullying experience. Speaking out about your experience gives you the opportunity to feel supported and heard so that you can process your feelings.
Sexual or domestic violence
Sexual abuse is defined as any type of sexual activity which is unwanted. Sexual abuse includes rape, being touched sexually without your permission, being coerced or exploited into sexual activity, it also includes having intimate images of yourself shared or posted online without your permission or receiving unsolicited explicit images (sexting). People who have experienced sexual abuse often feel unable to share their experiences with others. Are you starting to feel you are in a relationship that is abusive? Does your partner put you down, hurt you or withdraw their affection on their terms? Perhaps you worry the situation isn’t bad enough to leave, or that you are in some way to blame. Being able to talk, perhaps for the first time about painful experiences is possible in counselling. Whether a recent event or something that happened a long time ago counselling will provide a space place for you to talk through your experience without judgement.
Illness and Disability
Illness and disabilities can cause significant difficulties in daily life whether the illness is yours or you are a carer. Perhaps a sudden illness has impacted your life and you are struggling to cope. Chronic illness can also represent a substantial challenge to daily functioning, perhaps you struggle to manage pain, maintain employment, or keep up physical activities. Living with illness or disabilities can also be met with family and colleagues in ways that are experienced as hurtful. Therapy can help support clients who are managing distress as a result of illness or disability.
Do you worry about your health? Do unusual symptoms spark concern that something serious might be wrong? Being hyper alert of our body, scanning for changes that might indicate a problem can cause us profound. Health anxiety is a distressing, painful and often misunderstood condition. It can become hard to concentrate on your job, your relationships and your life if you are worried about cancer, heart attacks and other illnesses being just around the corner. It is entirely normal to react to worrying symptoms, to look these up on the internet maybe and consult a doctor. If you continue to worry, even after test results discount a problem, counselling can help support you and give you a safe space to talk about your concerns.
The added challenges of peri-menopause, menopause, and early menopause on women is very often underestimated. Symptoms and their impact seem to vary between women with many feeling deeply debilitated whilst others seem to sail through the transition. Perhaps you are mourning the loss of your childbearing years, find the lack of sleep affecting your working life or your moods difficult to manage. This sometimes-brutal reminder of ageing can be difficult to manage, and women are notorious for not talking about it with their friends and family. Experiencing an early menopause adds its own difficulties, including the loss of possible motherhood. Counselling can help you work through the frustrations and feelings menopause has brought up and support you to get through the transition.
How I work
Counselling gives you the freedom to explore what is happening so that together we can come to an understanding of what is troubling you. You may wish to talk about something in your session that is currently happening in your life, your relationships, work, feelings, dreams or images. Sessions are yours to explore whatever emerges. The process may find links to your past that illuminate your present. Therapy is a space where you come to understand yourself better.
I trained as a psychodynamic therapist, this means I sensitively help you look at how past experiences may be unconsciously impacting your current life and behaviours. Psychodynamic counselling endeavours to get to the root cause of your problems and address the symptoms and emotions they bring up for you now. Counselling can help you reconsider and reconnect with your past in a meaningful way. It gives you a safe space to consider how formative experiences might be influencing your relating patterns now, giving you opportunities to consider ways to adapt and change.
It is always your choice what you talk about, as your therapist it is my job to listen and support you whether you bring an issue located in the here and now or rooted in your past. I am comfortable working with gender, sexual & relationship diversity including LGBTQ+ and alternative lifestyles.
How do I know you are the right therapist for me?
I offer a free initial meeting to help you decide. This first session is a chance for us to meet each other and see if you feel we could work together, it is important that you feel safe and comfortable with your therapist. There will be time to ask any questions or raise any concerns you may have. Perhaps you will find being listened to really helpful and will want to continue. If you don't that is also OK. You are never obligated to continue if you don't feel I'm quite right for you.
I offer short-term counselling which usually provides support for a particular issue or situation, perhaps a job loss, a relationship breakdown or a bereavement. Typically, this would be between 12 and 24 weekly sessions.
Longer term counselling gives clients the opportunity to work on deeper issues with more time to work in depth. It is my job to help you identify issues and patterns of behaviour and work with you to understand how you came to be having difficulties. We can talk about how many counselling sessions you might need at the first session or at any point once we have started. You are always free to leave at any time. Starting therapy can feel scary and daunting, I will help you feel comfortable enough to talk no matter what you want to talk about. Please do not hesitate to get in touch. I work in both Bromley,BR1, Kent and London, SE8, (Surrey Quays / Deptford).
Training, qualifications & experience
Post Graduate Diploma Psychodynamic Psychotherapeutic Counselling
MA Psychoanalytic Studies
BA (Hons) Therapeutic Psychology and Counselling
Foundation in Group Analysis
Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy
I am a qualified professional psychotherapeutic counsellor with a calm, warm manner, and am registered with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I trained at Brighton University and hold a post graduate diploma in Psychodynamic Psychotherapeutic Counselling. I also hold an MA in Psychoanalysis and a first-class honours degree in Therapeutic Psychology, a creative counselling and psychology degree. My core training is psychodynamic, this means I sensitively help you look at how past experiences may be unconsciously impacting your current life and behaviours.
My training also gives me an understanding and depth of knowledge about the issues that might bring someone to seek counselling. I offer appropriate support and will help you consider the circumstances you may be facing. I aim to provide a space to help you feel able to express yourself freely, without fear of judgement or disapproval.
I have experience in a variety of settings including...
- In a domestic violence charity with women experience a variety of challenging domestic abuse and with children who had been in a household where this abuse was witnessed.
- In both primary and senior schools with children experiencing a range of emotional difficulties.
- In a hospice with clients approaching the end of their lives and their families both pre and post bereavement.
- In a counselling charity offering support for a wide range of emotional distress.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Photos & videos
You are welcome to book an initial meeting with me, at no cost, to see if I am the right therapist for you, there will be time to ask any questions you have and explore how I can help you.
Ongoing sessions are £55-£60 depending on location and time.
I work in two locations Bromley,BR1, Kent and London, SE8.
The consulting room in Bromley, BR1 is within walking distance from Bickley, Bromley South, Bromley North and Sundridge Park, it is close to local bus routes, being just off Widmore Road. On street parking is available nearby. The office is up six steps.
The consulting room in London, SE8 is near Grinstead Park, within walking distance of Canada Water tube (Jubilee line) and Surrey Quays as well as close to local bus routes (route 47/188). There is on street parking nearby. It is on the first floor with lift access and suitable for clients with mobility issues and wheelchair users.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
London fully wheelchair accessible Bromley is on the first floor without a lift.
Types of client