Tamara Idelson CBT therapy (BABCP)& Integrative counselling (MBACP)

Tamara Idelson CBT therapy (BABCP)& Integrative counselling (MBACP)

175-177 Borough High Street

239 Balham High Road
Tooting Bec
South West London
SW17 7BE

07484 195571

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175-177 Borough High Street

239 Balham High Road
Tooting Bec
South West London
SW17 7BE

07484 195571

About me

What I offer

Thoughtful, practical therapy for difficulties such as stress, low mood, depression, low confidence, anxiety, worry, panic attacks and phobias.  Additional specialism in health anxiety and managing long term health conditions.

I  will work collaboratively with you with the aim of gaining a shared understanding about what is happening for you and what might help - be that the practical, goal-focused approach of CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) or a less directed space to talk and reflect, or an integration of the two.


During 8 years with the NHS I have found that many, many people I have worked with feel better using CBT and experience relief from experiences such as depression, generalised anxiety, panic attacks, phobias.

I have advanced training in CBT and thus am an accredited member of the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapists as well as a registered member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

Integrative Counselling

For people experiencing difficulties with relationships and/or adjustment to changing life circumstances I can offer integrative therapy (CBT, person-centred and mindfulness combined).

During the seven years I spent as a volunteer for the UK's largest emotional support charity before a full career change into mental health I experienced how a space to talk, reflect and name emotions can be tremendously beneficial.  This was consolidated through a postgraduate diploma in integrative counselling and psychotherapy which allows me to offer this approach where there is time and space to reflect and process your emotions .

Health conditions

I have additionally built an expertise in working with people with health anxiety and chronic, long-term health conditions, including functional bowel disorders (IBS) or bowel disease such as Crohn's and Colitis. These conditions can be difficult to manage and embarrassing to talk about in detail; I do my best to create an atmosphere that allows you to feel relaxed and able to talk about what is happening for you. Therapy does not cure these conditions but it can help to manage them.

I also offer CBT for fears or phobias of medical tests, this usually involves working in conjunction with your doctor or medical team.

Choosing therapy and a therapist

If you have been in counselling or therapy already you may know what you are looking for but if you are new to this it can be confusing to know where to start. During my time with the NHS I was the first point of contact for hundreds of patients looking to access therapy, so I am very used to helping people try to pinpoint where to start and what would help. My first session is a consultation session to see if what I can offer may help you.  If it seems that I am not the right person for you, I will do my best to give you information about what might be considered the most evidence-based approach according to NICE guidelines and how to access it.

Training, qualifications & experience

2013-17: Cognitive behavioural psychotherapy - PG Dip - King's (IOP) London University

2011-13: Integrative counselling and psychotherapy - PG Dip - University of East London

2009/10: CBT interventions (NHS IAPT PWP specific) - PG Cert - Surrey University

2003: Couples Therapy - introductory certificate - London Marriage Guidance

2003: Counselling Skills - introductory certificate - WPF London

Member organisations


Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Fear of medical tests e.g. MRI, colonoscopy, smear

Health anxiety





Managing steroid (prednisolone) induced mental health side effects

Adjusting to ostomies, stoma


I suggest we arrange a 10 - 15 minute phone call (not charged) before booking.

If you wish to pay via a health insurance policy please check with me if you are with one of the companies I am registered with.

General Fee Schedule

Balham/Tooting in person -initial consultation session 75 mins: £70

Telephone initial consultation session 75 mins: £50

Ongoing sessions face-to-face 50 mins: £60

Ongoing sessions telephone 45 minutes: £40

Ongoing sessions telephone 30 minutes: £30

Session specifics

Sometimes we may run shorter sessions (for instance when very depressed it can be recommended to start with 30-minute sessions as concentration and energy are depleted) or we may need a longer session occasionally if working on a specific task.  Sometimes face-to-face appointments with CBT take place outside of the room such as going together to the tube to tackle a phobia or together to a public place to tackle social anxiety.

How many sessions?

"How many sessions will I need?" is, of course, a question often asked when planning to pay for therapy.  I offer short to medium term work. Many problems respond to 10 - 12 sessions, more severe depression is recommended by NICE for 16 - 20 sessions. If you are functioning pretty well but would like some support working through self-help materials 6 - 8 telephone sessions may suffice.  We will discuss this after consultation and I strive to give an honest appraisal of what might be achieved and we review progress at each session.

Further information


I currently see people on a Friday in the Balham/Tooting area face to face (the room is at the top of several flights of stairs with no lift so I am sorry that I cannot currently accommodate people who would need a lift).

I also offer telephone appointments on days other than Fridays. Having worked extensively over the telephone in my charity volunteer role and my NHS role I find what research has also found, that therapy via the phone can work well.

Getting in touch

The easiest way to make contact is to drop me an email and we can have a brief telephone chat before you book in if you prefer.  Please remember that emails are never 100% secure so please do not send sensitive personal information via email.

I will send you some questions and possibly questionnaires in advance of our first session to help you be able to pinpoint what is most important for you and for me to see if your problems fall into one of the common conditions.  You are not obliged to do these but I find that it makes for a better use of your time and as you are paying for this time I want to try to ensure that you get the most out of it.

Maps & Directions

London, SE1 1HR
London, SW17 7BE

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: I understand French and Russian although I will conduct therapy in English


Wheelchair access: Unspecified


Fridays in Balham/Tooting including evening. Thursdays in Borough

Types of client

Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme