Dr Simona Chereji
I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Counselling Psychologist with over 15 years of experience in this field. I have qualified as a clinical psychologist in 2012 and as a CBT therapist in 2008. I work with working age adults and older adults on a wide variety of difficulties, such as anxiety disorders (post-traumatic stress disorder, specific phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, health anxiety, social phobia, panic attacks and panic disorder, agoraphobia), depression and low mood, post-natal depression, anger problems, adjustment disorders, body image difficulties, relationship and social interaction problems, work related problems, stress difficulties, loss and bereavement, personality disorders. I have a special interest in working with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Trauma and Dissociation related difficulties. I have extensive experience in supporting people working in the corporate world who struggle with emotional and behavioural difficulties that stay in the way of their performance and wellbeing at workplace.
Over the last 10 years I have split my work between the public health sector and private practice. I have recently moved my entire professional activity in the private healthcare sector, where I run my own practice and I am also employed by an international private healthcare provider. In my clinical work I see clients who will contact me directly for support and clients referred through their employers or insurance companies.
I've always valued my clients’ expectations for professionalism and positive outcomes out of the treatment, helping them to overcome any obstacles during the therapy in order to find a solution to their difficulties. The main purpose for me as a practitioner is to help my clients not only feel better at the end of the therapy journey, but get better.
What is CBT?
CBT is currently one of the most used forms of therapy that has been proven through many research studies to be very effective in treating most of the emotional and mental health disorders. CBT is a widely recommended treatment by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which is a body that regulates the medical and psychological treatments for most of physical and mental health disorders.
CBT states that the way we feel and behave is caused by the way we think, and not by the negative life events themselves. The therapy will be focused on identifying the negative emotions (i.e. anxiety, depression, anger, hate) and unhelpful behaviours (i.e. aggression, avoidance, running away, drug use, isolation, withdrawal from social life), and the underlying unhelpful thinking (i.e. catastrophizing, all or nothing thinking, overgeneralisation, self-blame) that might cause the negative emotions and unhelpful behaviours. In the sessions we will aim to challenge and change the unhelpful, rigid pattern of thinking that cause the negative emotions and you will be introduced to different behavioural skills in order to live a more meaningful life and cope better with stressful life situations.
What to expect from our sessions
The sessions are collaborative and focused on working towards your goals and needs for therapy. You will be guided in how to practice the learnt techniques in your day to day life. The therapy is directive and it offers you the most efficient techniques for your problems, so that you get better rather than just feeling better after a session of therapy.
The therapy will start with a couple of sessions of assessment of the problem using self-report measurements (inventories, scales, and questionnaires), semi-structured clinical interview, discussions and observation. The main purpose of the assessment is to look at your current difficulties, understand your current psychological symptoms, identify past experiences that might have a link with the present problems, understand your current needs that can be addressed in therapy, etc.
This will lead to the next step which is the formulation of the problem. It is similar to a jigsaw that combines and integrates the information about you from the assessment with the psychological theories and provides a framework for next step of treatment plan and intervention. One of my responsibilities as your therapist is to find and tailor the most suitable psychological interventions for your presentation.
The number of sessions you will need depends on the complexity of the problem, number of the problems and goals you want to address. When you think the goals have been achieved, the therapy can end or some other goals can be established for further sessions.
There will be some in between session activities (or homework) that are very important and necessary to happen in order to learn and integrate into your daily life the new thinking and behaviours that help you better cope with your emotions and difficult life situations.
Overall, therapy can be a difficult path, an emotional rollercoaster, but I am there to support you in overcoming any barriers you might encounter during it.
Format of the sessions
- face to face
- long term or short-term ( depends on the type of problem and the client's goals)
- 50 minutes session/weekly
Type of clients
- older people
I also offer counselling and coaching (performance and life coaching).
Training, qualifications & experience
Training and qualifications:
- Training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Rational-Emotive and Behavioural Therapy.
- Associate Fellow of Albert Ellis Institute from New York and diploma in Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy
- Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
- Master degree in Counselling Psychology
- Training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT and Mindfulness)
- Training in working with Trauma and Dissociation
- Registered Clinical Psychologist and Counselling Psychologist (HCPC)
- Chartered Clinical Psychologist (BPS)
I have almost 15 years experience in working with a wide range of difficulties, using recommended treatments by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for mental health disorders, among which:
- Depression and low mood
- Sleeping problems
- Anxiety disorders (Generalised Anxiety, Specific Phobias, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder),
- Anger issues
- Eating disorders
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder
- Chronic Pain
- Post-natal depression
- Pregnancy and birth difficulties
- Work related stress
- Terminal illness
- Relationship/couples/marital problems
- Addictions (alcohol, internet, gambling)
- Personality disorders
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.