About me

Welcome

We can find it extremely challenging to acknowledge that we are facing difficulties in our life and seeking or accepting help can pose an even greater challenge. I very much commend you for taking this gentle step towards achieving a life in which you feel more fulfilled, purposeful, joyous and free; you are deserving of this.

I believe that we are born to thrive rather than merely survive and be a blessing to others. My therapy invites you to honestly and compassionately delve into the uncomfortable parts of yourself, your pain, your disappointments, your shame, your guilt, your grief, to discover and dismantle what has been blocking you from living a peaceful, authentic, joyful and purposeful life. My approach to therapy endeavours explore the story of you and the hurtful false truths you have internalised as facts due to what you, others close to you or society says about you.

Training, qualifications & experience

My Training

I am a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Counselling Psychologist with over 10 years of experience of working in the NHS with adults and adolescents with varying forms of distress. I am currently employed as a Highly Specialist Counselling Psychologist for Kings College NHS Foundation Trust and previously worked as a Specialist Counselling Psychologist in an NHS Secondary Care community mental health service for clients experiencing severe mental health difficulties i.e. psychosis with trauma, depression and/or anxiety. I have also worked in health psychology, forensic psychiatry and primary care.  

I am trained in the three core psychotherapeutic approaches, these being person-centred or humanistic therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) including third waves approaches, these being acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness based approaches i.e. (MBSR). Regarding my educational background, I completed an undergraduate Bachelors of science degree with honors (BSc Hons) in Psychology, a postgraduate Masters of science (MSc) degree in Clinical and Community Psychology and a doctorate in Counselling Psychology (PsychD). As much as I am trained to identify and understand medical diagnostic labels associated with mental health difficulties and their accompanying symptoms, such as those in the section below, my training is also very much embedded in understanding the personal experience of your distress and how it impacts your life; this is of paramount concern.

Areas of Specialisation

  • Depression - Acute and chronic depression 
  • Anxiety disorders - Generalised anxiety, social phobia and panic disorder
  • Work related stress - Managing the emotional and physical stress that accompanies certain high pressure roles. I have successfully worked with junior doctors, medical consultants and head of departments regarding this area. 
  • Trauma - Emotional, physical and sexual abuse i.e. childhood sexual abuse, childhood neglect, adult sexual assault and domestic violence.
  • Existential challenges and life cycle concerns
  • Sexual and relationship difficulties
  • Challenges with self-esteem
  • Challenges with perfectionism
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Health anxiety

Perhaps you do not identify with the labels above, below are a few ways such challenges may present in your life:

  •  Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
  • Feeling that you always have to put the needs of others before your own needs
  • Feeling unlike yourself but unable to discern why you feel such a way
  • Difficulty with seeking help or accepting help
  • Challenges with vulnerability
  • Fears of rejection and abandonment
  • Feeling that you are not enough and others are better than you
  • Fear of negative appraisal or judgement
  • Avoidance of confrontation and expressing your disappointments, needs and desires
  • Feeling overwhelmed by work and that it is having a negative impact on your life and relationships
  • Feeling a loss of meaning and purpose in your life 
  • Challenges with romantic relationships and emotional and physical intimacy
  • Challenges with life transitions i.e. marriage, parenting, divorce and aging
  • Challenges with coping with the emotional weight of past or current distressing events
  • Relationship difficulties with your partner, children, siblings, parents, colleagues and/or friends
  • Feeling resentful towards others and the need for constant comparison
  • Unshakable feelings of shame and guilt 
  • Feeling unable to find peace within yourself
  • Ruminating about the past or future in a manner which leads to you feeling overwhelmed and helpless
  • Constant self-critical thoughts
  • Unable to see positive aspects of yourself
  • Feeling undervalued in your professional and/or personal life
  • Struggling with managing the physical and emotional impact of a health condition
  • Fears regarding you or those important to you becoming unwell

What you can expect

I am trained as an integrative counselling psychologist meaning that I have been trained to offer you a bespoke and personalised form of therapy, drawing on the most relevant and useful aspects the aforementioned therapy approaches. I am also trained in critical psychology approaches meaning that although I understand the importance of diagnoses, I also use the very real way your distress impacts your life to guide our work together, taking into consideration your intersectionality, the social labels that make you you, for example your age, gender, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status and etc., to gain an holistic understanding of your current challenges. 

It is my belief that psychological therapy has to be collaborative in order for the therapeutic space to feel safe and emotional healing and growth to take place. As such I am open to hearing your ideas regarding what you would like from your therapy for example, incorporating your faith or spiritual beliefs in the therapeutic work or exploring the use of techniques or approaches, in accordance with my skill set, which has helped you in the past or you are curious to try. 

All therapy sessions are 50 minutes in length. Therapy also tends to take place weekly, however, I am again open to creating a pattern of therapy sessions that suits your state of distress and time commitments; I have seen clients for therapy two times a week, weekly, fortnightly and on an ad hoc basis after a course of therapy. 

Therapy can be a very exciting, challenging and rewarding process; I will be there to support you through this journey of self discovery, healing and inner peace

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.

HCPC

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.

Fees

Free initial telephone session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Keyworkers
  • OAPs
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors
  • Unemployed

Additional information

I offer a free 15 minute initial telephone assessment.  

I currently only have availability in my Tuesday evening clinic. 

Modern Formats

Video conferencing 

Telephone 

Walks i.e. parks 

Individual: £80

Couples: £90

Traditional setting

Therapy taking place in a private room in the London Bridge/Borough or Blackheath/Greenwich area

Individual: £95 - £115

Couples: £105- £125

Get in Touch

If you are ready to take the next step to developing a deeper connection with your authentic self and living a life with greater meaning and a felt sense of purpose, simply follow these steps: 

ONE 

Schedule free 15 minute telephone consultation

TWO 

We'll schedule a 50 minute formal initial assessment

THREE 

We'll make arrangements for your first and subsequent sessions

Availability

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone
Dr Sara A Stephanie Okwu

Dr Sara A Stephanie Okwu