Stephanie Bushell PGDip MSc MBACP (Snr Accred)
I am a BACP Senior Accredited integrative counsellor and psychotherapist who combines a robust theoretical training with warmth, kindness and insight. I work with both individuals and couples of all sexualities.
I value the importance of being clear, honest and human as a therapist. I don't believe that therapy should feel intimidating or mysterious. I'm always happy to explain things if you feel confused and I encourage clients to be open about what they need from me.
I see therapy as a collaborative process - you invite me to help you (as an individual or couple) to make sense of things. Through careful listening, genuine empathy and creative thinking, there is potential for us to come up with new insights together. Therapy is not about an expert offering generic solutions. It's about working together to see yourselves more clearly.
How I Work
Therapy is about entering into a safe relationship with a non-judgemental person where you can be honest and vulnerable about who you really are and explore the aspects of your life that feel as if they're blocking you from reaching your full potential. It's you that sets the pace and it's you that chooses what you're ready to share and explore.
I am trained integratively which means that I have expertise in more than one counselling theory, which I then integrate to provide a flexible and tailored approach. Being competent in several different approaches allows me to work with the most diverse range of people and problems. No two people that come to see me for help will ever be alike, so it's important to be able to think openly and flexibly about the best way to work with someone.
My original integrative training was based on three core theories:
Psychodynamic: This approach is led by the idea that our pasts have an impact on our present situations - understanding and healing our past can help us to break patterns that we may feel trapped in without understanding why, and to help us to have greater compassion on ourselves. This can be particularly useful within couple relationships where the same patterns can repeat endlessly without real understanding. The psychodynamic approach also focuses on unconscious processes. This means that we are often driven by things that we're not yet aware of. Once we do become more aware of them through therapy, we become more empowered to make different choices in our lives. The stuckness we have felt can finally be shifted. My ongoing training has been psychodynamically focused, so I now consider this my core approach.
Person-Centered: This is led by a philosophy that we all have within us the capacity to grow and reach our potential, but that life circumstances can get in the way of that. Person-centered counselling offers the foundational principles of real empathy, unconditional and non-judgemental care, and a down-to-earth realness that makes counselling feel safe, natural and open. This philosophy still forms an important part of my work.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: This is an approach that tackles the unhelpful thoughts that lead to distressing feelings that in turn lead to unwanted behaviours. This can be a useful way of thinking, but please note that I no longer work in this way, except when working purely with phobias. If CBT is what you are looking for, another therapist specialising in this approach would be a better fit for you.
My usual approach is traditional 'talking therapy' but I am also open to using the arts and creative methods to express things that are hard to put into words (if that is something that you as the client are comfortable with).
How Therapy can Help You
I believe in therapy as a way of getting to the heart of what drives a person or a couple to do and feel the things that they do, and to unlock new and healthier ways of living. The applications of it are endless and the potential for positive change is enormous.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have spent over 10 years in total undergoing therapy training, the vast majority of which was at a postgraduate level. This means that it involved in-depth and complex theory, deep thinking and reflection. It also involved critically supervised practice and ongoing critique and feedback on my integrity and the personal qualities required to be a competent practicing therapist.
MSc (Merit) in Therapeutic Counselling
Postgraduate Diploma in Couple and Individual Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Advanced Diploma in Eating Disorders & Obesity
Certificate in Gambling Addiction
Certificate in Using Video Conferencing to Conduct Online Therapy
Certificate in Online Counselling Skills
Diploma in Integrative Supervision
I have completed Continuing Professional Development courses in the following: Couple Psychotherapy, Psychosexual Therapy; Psychoanalytic Thought; Sexuality & Shame; Domestic Violence; Systemic Family Therapy; Using Creative Arts in Therapy; Sand Tray Therapy; Guided Visualisation; Equality & Diversity; CBT & Integration; CBT & Mindfulness; Attachment Disorders; Attachment Neuroscience; Working with the Shadow Self; Loss & Bereavement; Working with Anger; and Play Therapy.
As well as my private practice I have also worked as a counsellor in a higher education setting; in a bereavement charity; offering crisis counselling for addiction; working with primary aged children and offering counselling for people living with a serious illness.
I am currently also a lecturer on a counselling degree in a London university, teaching various aspects of integrative counselling.
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
£75.00 per session
All fees are £75 for both individuals and couples, whether in person or online. Sessions are 50 minutes long. Assessment sessions are charged at the same rate.
All sessions are currently taking place via Zoom until government guidance changes regarding the use of face masks indoors.
Please see my website for more details: www.compassion-counselling.com
Please note that I will be taking the month of August off, so please bear this in mind if you are wishing to make a start on therapy with me close to this date.
My practice is about 16 minutes walk from Honor Oak Park station.
Alternatively, the 343, the P12, the 63, the 363, the 484 and the 12 buses all stop nearby.
I have a driveway, where you are welcome to park your car - but please give me notice so that I can move mine out of the way first. Alternatively, the street where I live is unmetered and free to park in.