Sue Dowden Adv Dip Reg MBACP
01707 660854 / 07833 025966
Effective, confidential therapy for men, women & young people. I am a friendly, experienced, well-qualified counsellor offering professional help for depression, anxiety, abuse, eating disorders, anger & self-esteem issues...by working closely together, we will explore difficulties, think about issues and talk through painful feelings....
... Counselling can enable you to cope better, develop more self-awareness, make constructive changes, feel better emotionally and physically, improve relationships and your general outlook on life, as well as working with unhelpful behaviour patterns, past or present issues and current difficult situations.
I have appointments available during the daytime and evening.
Why should you come for counselling?
Whether you want help for specific reasons or are generally feeling low, taking some time to explore and work through your issues with someone who is trained to listen attentively and objectively, without judging or offering direct advice, can provide tremendous relief. You may feel that talking to friends and family is not enough; perhaps you are still struggling despite their support, fear being misunderstood or criticised, or worry about hurting people if you express your true feelings.
How can I help you?
Unhelpful feelings or difficulties can build up over a long period of time, even from childhood and we may continue to carry patterns of behaviour from the past into current relationships. Such thoughts, feelings, or behaviour can be destructive or even overwhelming. My aim is to help you understand and resolve these by providing the time and space to reflect on the underlying nature of the emotional conflicts.
What does 'psychodynamic' mean and what is 'CBT'?
The psychodynamic approach involves us working closely together to explore and understand the less conscious aspects of thoughts, feelings and behaviour. These thoughts or feelings may be adding to your problems or suffering, but the insight gained by us thinking together can allow you to resolve problems and make changes that enable you to live a more fulfilled life. Psychodynamic counselling/psychotherapy is normally open-ended, but can be time-limited if necessary or required.
The CBT approach (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is more goal-orientated and can be effective for a variety of problems by focussing more on specific thoughts, behaviour and present-day difficulties. It can be briefer and direct, is often time-limited and can be adapted for self-help after our work together ends.
I will often use a mixture of the two approaches within my work, adapting to most effectively help with the feelings or difficulties you express.
What does 'open-ended' and 'time-limited' mean?
Each counselling session is for 50 minutes, whether open-ended or time-limited.
With open-ended counselling/psychotherapy there is no limit to how many sessions or weeks you come for, but with time-limited work we will meet for a pre-agreed number of sessions/weeks.
Choosing a Counsellor - why come to me?
I understand how difficult it can be both to make the decision to come for counselling and it is so important to choose someone who is appropriately qualified for working in private practice and who makes you feel comfortable.
I have excellent qualifications and experience but also a warm, open, friendly nature and am comfortable to be with.
I will listen carefully to you because I am trained to listen, but also because I am genuinely interested and want to help. I will not have an agenda, will not judge or criticise you or discriminate in any way. Our relationship will be discreet, confidential and relaxed. You will be free to talk about anything you wish to, within your own time and at your own pace, to allow your thoughts and feelings to surface naturally.
Whatever your situation, life is often so busy and chaotic that it can be hard to find any time or space to yourself to think or relax, or to have any 'you time'. The counselling room and our relationship can provide a calm and effective place which is just for you and I believe this is very valuable and special. It can be exciting and liberating to feel safe enough to explore how you think, feel or behave and to speak openly.
Developing more self-awareness can enable you to make constructive changes, to feel better emotionally and physically, to improve relationships and your general outlook on life.
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You are very welcome to telephone, text, or e-mail me at any time to have an initial informal discussion, to talk about any queries you may have, or to make an appointment.
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Training, qualifications & experience
- WPF Certificate in Counselling Skills
- HBCF Advanced Certificate in Counselling Skills
- WPF Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling
- WPF Advanced Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling
- HBCF Post Advanced-Diploma Qualifying Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- RMBACP: Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
- AIP Member: Association for Independent Practitioners
- CCYP Member: Counselling Children & Young People
My training has been rigorous and thorough and it is important that your choose a therapist who is appropriately qualified through a respected organisation. I also believe that life experiences have enhanced my clinical training and empathy as a counsellor.
I am a Registered Member of the BACP which is one of the largest professional registering bodies for counsellors and psychotherapists, ensuring that members are appropriately trained and qualified and working ethically.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Personality disorders
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Lack of direction, low self esteem, lack of confidence, lack of motivation
- Difficulty controlling anger or temper
- Coming to terms with, or recovering from, the break up of a relationship
- Bereavement and loss
- Relationship issues, including affairs
- Sexual, verbal, or mental abuse
- Panic attacks, fear and anxiety issues
- Depression and low, difficult feelings, mood swings
- Work issues
- Eating disorders
- Issues around sexuality or gender
Photos & videos
Wherever possible, we will meet at the same time and day each week, as this provides a sense of continuity to our work together.
Each session is of 50 minutes' duration and the charge for counselling starts from £50 upwards per appointment depending on means. Initial consultations last up to 90 minutes and are charged at £85. It is important to allow time to get to know each other and for you to decide if you would like to begin counselling with me.
I am happy to discuss the fee and any other practical matters by telephone or e-mail and our initial meeting will also provide opportunity to discuss these details before making any commitment to proceed. Concessions may sometimes be available.
Brookmans Park is situated just outside Potters Bar and is easily accessible by road or public transport (including British Rail from Moorgate & Kings Cross). My consulting room feels calm and comfortable and provides a safe, relaxing environment, with a discreet entrance and ample parking.
I appreciate how difficult or confusing it can be to choose the right Counsellor and the right type of counselling for you and you are welcome to telephone, text, or e-mail me at any time to have an initial informal discussion, or to make an appointment. If you get an answerphone, please leave a message, it is confidential and I will call you back quickly.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Daytime and evening during weekdays and occasional weekend appointments.
Types of client