Samantha Merry | MA MBACP | Bromley: London : Online
~ONLINE SESSIONS AVAILABLE USING ZOOM/SKYPE VIDEO OR TELEPHONE~
There could be many reasons why you are seeking therapy. Maybe you feel overwhelmed or are dealing with anxious thoughts, trauma, grief, guilt, or feel pressured to meet the needs of others before your own. Perhaps you feel sad, lonely or feel trapped in your current life? I help people recover from difficult experiences such as bereavement, domestic violence, menopause, family conflict, infant loss, trauma and PTSD.
I am comfortable working with difficult life stories and complex family dynamics. No matter what is bothering you, I will provide a warm, welcoming environment to explore your thoughts and feelings. Together we will identify what is important for you and thoughtfully explore the story of your life. Visit my website for further information.
At the moment I am only working online or on the telephone. Online therapy can be as effective as face-to-face. Sessions are available by telephone or secure online video. Convenient, flexible and accessible, offering support even while the coronavirus COVID-19 requires us to maintain social distancing. Online counselling can also be beneficial for people mobility issues, people who travel a lot, or those who are time poor. Some people also prefer to see a therapist outside of their own area. I have undertaken specific training to deliver online counselling or via the telephone. Spaces available now.
- You will need a smartphone, tablet or computer with webcam for video sessions. Setting this up is very straight forward requiring you to follow a link which I will send you through email or text. Free 15 minute introductory phone or video session to see if this type of therapy works for you.
I have interest and experience in supporting clients who have experienced all manner of emotional distress, for example -
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. [Learn more]
Grief and 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 will help you to work through the grieving process, whether you have lost a parent, a child, a good friend or even a pet.
Trauma is not reserved to military personnel; trauma also happens in families and relationships. Sadly, growing up with an alcoholic or abusive parent, sexual assault or witnessing domestic violence in the family all leave traumatic traces in our lives. Developmental trauma, that is trauma experienced in our childhoods often impacts us later in life. Research shows that trauma impacts our ability to manage emotions, reducing the capacity to manage relationships and enjoy life. Perhaps something has happened recently that has triggered old feelings. Therapy can help support you as you work through your feelings at a pace that is manageable.
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 life, 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. [Learn more]
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, working parents can also 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.
- 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.
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.
Infertility, Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss
As many as one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. Though common it is a painful loss for those that experience it. Loss of a pregnancy after 23 weeks is known as a stillbirth. Loss of an infant after birth, whether a neonatal loss, through SIDS (Sudden Infant death syndrome) or other cause is deeply distressing. It is not uncommon for relationships to become strained as each partner manages the loss in different ways. Even if pregnancy has come easily perhaps you experienced a traumatic birth or complications which has made your pregnancy feel traumatic. [Learn more]
Infertility is another challenging and distressing issue that affects both men and women. Navigating the testing process and possible treatments can add to the stress of trying to start a family. [Learn more]
Counselling may be useful to think about your thoughts and feeling with someone who will gently support you.
How I work
You may wish to talk about something in your session that is currently happening in your life, your relationships, work, feelings, or dreams. 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 am alert to possible unconscious processes which manifest in a client’s behaviour. Psychodynamic counselling endeavours to get to the root cause of your problems and address the symptoms and emotions they bring up for you now. 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 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.
Therapists undergo their own in depth personal psychotherapy as part of their training. This means I have personal experience of what it feels like to be a client, which helps me understand how the right support can be deeply helpful.
How do I know you are the right therapist for me?
- Book an 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. You are welcome to a free 15 minute phone call or video meeting before booking a full session if you prefer.
- I offer long-term therapy and which can be especially helpful for deeper seated issues with more time to work in depth.
- I also 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 6- 12 sessions.
What do I do next?
Send me a message to arrange a free 15 minute initial phone call or video session. Please give me an idea of your availability and location. I will reply within 24 hours on working days.
Training, qualifications & experience
Training and Qualifications
Post Graduate Diploma Psychodynamic Psychotherapeutic Counselling
MA Psychoanalytic Studies
BA (Hons) Therapeutic Psychology and Counselling
Complex Trauma Certification Training Level 1 and 2 Janina Fisher
Tavistock and Portman Psychoanalytical theory and treatment of Trauma (ongoing)
Foundation in Group Analysis
Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Certificate in online and telephone counselling
Foundation Certificate in Coaching
Registered Member of British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
Member of the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation
Member of Lapidus, the national organisation devoted to the promotion of writing and creativity for personal development.
Further training and professional development
It is a requirement for registered members of the British Association for counselling and psychotherapy (BACP) to undertake continuous professional development to keep skills up to date and relevant. Below is a list of some additional training and workshops taken.
- Online Therapy: Characteristics, Opportunities and Limitations - Tavistock
- Online Therapy:Technology in the Therapeutic Frame - Tavistock
- Online Therapy:Therapeutic Intervention - Tavistock
- Online therapy for mental health professionals -PESI
- Building Relationships In Online Therapy
- Telehealth - practicing therapy online
- Certificate in Online and Telephone counselling
- Certificate in Supporting Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse- NAPAC
- Healing the traumatised mind, brain and body with Dr Bessel Van der Kolk
- Healing traumatic stress: helping mind, brain and body - Dr Bessel Van der Kolk
- Therapeutic conversations to change lives - Dr Margot Sunderland
- 2nd Annual PTSD International Conference – Nscience
- Accredited Counselling for pregnancy, stillbirth and infant loss
- Bereavement counselling – Accredited Foundation Course
- Approaching Bereavement counselling in a hospice setting
- Working with end of Life narratives
- Working with suicide
- Safeguarding for domestic abuse
- Working with Metaphor
- Working with puppets and sandplay - Place2be
- Children's Emotional Wellbeing -Place2be
- Making Endings with Children – Place2be
- Trauma, Dissociation & Recovery - PODS (for Dissociative Survivors)
- PTSD and Working with dissociative disorders - PODS
- Attachment and Traumatic Bonding – Christiane Sanderson
- Managing Power,Control, Boundary and Attachment Dynamics with Survivors of Abuse
- Facilitating Support groups
- Working with online therapy groups
I have experience in a variety of settings including:-
- Domestic Violence charity
- Counselling agency
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.
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
Book an initial free 15 minute meeting with me 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 support you.
I have an office in :-
London, SE8 - no face to face sessions at present (resume approx end of August)
Bromley, BR1 -no face to face sessions at present (resume approx end of July)
Telephone/online video - spaces available Fee £55-65.
I work online where meeting in person is not possible. It will be possible to move from telephone/online working to face to face when the current social distancing measures are lifted. At the moment I hope to resume face to face sessions at the end of July in Bromley and August in London.
Do let me know what day and times suits you best.
Email enquiries & questions always welcome. I aim to reply to all messages, texts and voicemails within 24 hours on weekdays.
Concessions offered for
I work in two locations Bromley,BR1, and London, SE8. Both are offices in professional business centres. I prefer not to work from home. I offer evening (both locations) and some weekend appointments (Bromley only) to help you fit therapy into your life. Please visit my website to learn more and set up a free first meeting.
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 on the 2nd floor with no lift. I work from Bromley Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
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. I work in London Monday and Tuesday.
Online therapy can be as effective as face-to-face. Sessions are available by telephone or secure online video. Convenient, flexible and accessible, offering support even while the coronavirus COVID-19 requires us to maintain social distancing. At present due to Covid-19 I am only working online or on the telephone. Spaces available now. Free 15 minute introductory phone or video session to see if this type of therapy works for you.