Stephen Smith MA PgDip MBACP (Reg.)
I am an experienced counsellor and psychotherapist and registered member of the BACP.
I have been working in private practice in London since 2009 and also work as a Psychodynamic Counsellor for University College London (UCL) alongside private practice.
I work with women and men, individuals and couples and have a comfortable, safe and confidential practice in Dartmouth Park, North West London in between Tufnell Park and Archway N19. I take genuine interest in my clients, like to engage openly and talk in a straightforward way, developing a strong working relationship, showing empathy and building trust.
Here is what some clients have said:
"Stephen helped me enormously during a stressful and uncertain time in my life. His calm, non-judgmental manner and genuine interest and empathy made it possible for me to explore difficult thoughts and feelings for the first time. No jargon, confrontation or conflict - just careful listening and highly perceptive questions and observations. I am very grateful to him."
"I initially chose Stephen because of his credentials and his flexibility to fit in around my long work hours. What I didn't expect to find was his ability to really immerse himself in my situation so honestly, and over the following weeks, as I warmed to the idea of letting my thoughts out, I felt like I was being guided by someone who properly understood my state of mind. This has been invaluable to me and I began quite quickly to feel protected from my darker, more negative thoughts. His calm intelligence brought the trust I needed & his continual focus on positives, which I couldn’t initially see, helped me to reevaluate my entire perspective on life. I am now dramatically happier and have begun to process this traumatic period, but more importantly to me, I have come away feeling much more able to deal with any future difficulties I may face.”
Everyone has times when things aren't going the way we might like. We can find ourselves anywhere from, a bit grey and unhappy, to, extremely dark and depressed, overwhelmed, stressed and spun out. We can get stuck in negative patterns of thinking which are difficult to break, become worried or anxious about the future, or unable to reconcile past decisions. A neutral space to think and feel can be extremely useful. People come to counselling for a variety of reasons; it may be that you would like to:
- Work through a bereavement, relationship break-up, or redundancy
- Increase your confidence, self-esteem or self-image
- Work on cycles of behaviour that may be causing you concern
- Discuss feelings of depression, anxiety, sadness or emptiness
- Find more of a sense of purpose in life, to feel less stuck
- Try and resolve some issues from the past
- Feel more comfortable expressing your sexuality
- Work through a situation currently affecting your work life
- Develop a better understanding of your relationship issues, your partner and yourself
- Be able to resolve a family conflict
- Talk about something you have been bottling up
- Work on social skills to connect with people and make lasting friendships
Counselling may be able to offer insight into these and other concerns in a genuine, accepting and non-judgmental environment. Or it may be that it could be useful to talk about your situation with a trained professional who is not a friend, colleague or family member.
I have a background in sport and I am increasingly contacted by sportsmen and women looking to explore certain areas of their lives. These are often people with little or no experience of counselling or psychotherapy, who previously may have thought a 'talking therapy' wasn't for them but were curious as to what was involved. They tell me there might be stigma attached to therapy, or a perceived sense of weakness for not being able to 'sort things out' on their own. What they invariably find is that opening up, talking about and addressing certain issues they might have, actually makes them stronger both mentally and emotionally, increasing their ability to communicate their thoughts and feelings and what they want. This can help with relationships, decision-making, confidence, self-belief, work aspirations and general enjoyment of life.
Training, qualifications & experience
An experienced and fully qualified therapist and registered member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). (MBACP Reg.).
With a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of East London (accredited by the BACP) following on from a course in Psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy and a Masters from the University of Edinburgh.
Originally from Manchester, via Edinburgh University, then I.C.U. University in Tokyo, with 4 years in New York, 3 years working at an independent school in Surrey and now 18 years in North London, I have worked in education and management both in the UK and overseas for 25 years. I have worked therapeutically with people from many diverse backgrounds aged 11-65, counselling students and staff at City Lit in Covent Garden, Working Men's College in Camden and Bridge Academy, Hackney New School and Hackney Community Technical College as well as for a national mental health charity and continue to work at University College London (UCL) alongside private practice.
In private practice, I work at Archway Studios N19, off Junction Road (In easy reach from Crouch End, Hampstead, Gospel Oak, Belsize Park, Highgate, Holloway, Tufnell Park, Kentish Town, Camden Town, Kings Cross St. Pancras, Bloomsbury, Tottenham Court Road) and also am associated with a number of organisations across London including, Harley Street Therapy Centre, OneTherapy, Central London Counselling and The London Counselling Collective and UCL.
I will always try and work with you in an engaging, interactive, honest and professional way.
Beginning counselling or psychotherapy can be tough but it is often a positive experience which doesn't always have to be dark and dreary. Humour and personality play a huge part in the process.
My approach is to listen, try and pick up on and discuss what will be of most use to you and always try to work towards deeper understanding, a change or a new perspective.
This means I am an integrative practitioner, using a number of different approaches
depending on the presenting situation for each client.
If you feel there is something from your past that is unresolved we may work in a psychodynamic way to explore further. If there is a specific barrier now, then cognitive or solution-focused therapy could be adopted. If it is more general then a person-centred approach could be used.
I provide a calm and comfortable environment in which we can work together openly, honestly and confidentially and work under the BACP guidelines for ethical practice, offering the same standard of service to anybody in society who may wish to contact me.
Please feel free to get in touch at any time by phone, text or email to set up a first session in which we can discuss your situation without any further obligation.
All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence and I will always aim to respond as quickly as I can.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Bipolar disorder
- Career counselling
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Drug addiction
- Eating disorders
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
I have worked successfully with male and female clients from many different backgrounds aged 11 - 65 and will consider an initial meeting with anybody who wishes to contact me.
During the initial session, we will work together to establish the best next steps for you and I often see people for a one off session, without obligation, just for you to see what is involved.
Some clients stay for a few sessions, some for a few years, depending on individual circumstances.
Counselling works best on a weekly basis, at the same time each week but I am aware that this isn't always possible. I offer flexibility in some session times and will discuss this on an individual basis, if for example you have travel commitments for work.
Following your email or phone call we will arrange an initial session. This session is £60 for a full hour.
At the end of the initial session, if you feel that further sessions might be useful, we will negotiate a fee based on your ability to pay. We will discuss your current situation and come up with a suitable and agreeable figure for you, which ranges from £60 to £100 per session for individuals and £80 to £120 for couples.
I also offer reduced fee sessions for £40 to £50 at certain times. If you are a student or on a low income/work part-time or anyone who would like to discuss the availability of reduced fee sessions, please feel free to contact me.
Each session lasts 50 minutes and starts from the time agreed.
Sessions are offered by prior arrangement during the day, evenings and weekends.
You are under no obligation to have more than one session, this will be discussed when we meet.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Sessions are available from 8am until 8pm
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|