Dr Venetia Kotaki - Chartered Psychologist, HCPC Practitioner
My name is Venetia Kotaki and I am a Doctor of Counselling Psychology. I also am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a Practitioner Psychologist registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). I have many years of experience of clinical practice in the NHS and in Private Sector organisations and I am available for face to face appointments in SW16 as well as for online counselling sessions.
I work with adults, couples and families and use a range of therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Therapies and Humanistic Therapies. I create an individualised treatment programme for each of my patients based on what they need and feel comfortable and taking into consideration what is proven to bring the fastest and most long lasting relief for their particular difficulty. I am experienced in helping people to resolve the majority of problems that cause emotional distress and discomfort including (but not limited to):
- Panic Attacks
- Relationship Problems
- Self Harm
- Sleep Problems and Disturbance
- Low Self-Esteem/Confidence
- Physical Pain
- General Life Dissatisfcation
I also offer the following services:
- Bereavement Counselling
- Marriage Counselling
- Family Counselling
- Anger Management and Counselling
- Anxiety Counselling
- Depression Counselling
- Health Related Counselling
I endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 48 hours.
From a young age, I have been interested in listening to people. Understanding and relating to others is key to helping them to find a resolution to what is troubling them and to improving their lives. My studies were natural choices for me: Social Work, Psychology, Counselling and Counselling Psychology. My journey reinforced what I always knew – helping people is more than just a career for me.
Therapy for me is a safe and confidential place where people can be themselves without the fear of being judged. It is also the place where they can feel listened to, understood, supported, contained and held even during their darkest moments. Moreover, it is the place where they can reflect, identify, challenge and change the ways they think, feel, behave and treat themselves and others. With the right attitude therapy can transform people’s lives.
I am a highly experienced therapist who enjoys learning and being informed about the developments that take place in my field. My training and experience allows me to use a range of therapeutic approaches that I ensure are tailored to meet my patients’ specific needs and goals. My motto is “Where there is a problem there is also a solution”. Developing a trustworthy and robust relationship with my patients is of upmost importance as this is the foundation for therapy to succeed. I have a strong theoretical background and a substantial experience in practicing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Humanistic Therapy and Integrative Therapy. The choice of the therapeutic approach I use depends on the nature of my patients’ difficulties, the impact on their life and their goals.
My journey as a therapist involves clinical practice in NHS primary care settings where I provided psychological therapy to adults who experienced a wide range of mild to medium level of mental health problems, secondary care settings where I provided psychological therapy to adults who experienced complex, severe and enduring mental health problems, and in in-patient care settings where I worked therapeutically with acute psychiatric in-patients. I have a special interest in working with adults who experience depression, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, low self-esteem, anger management difficulties, relationship problems, work-related problems, changes and crises that occur throughout their life and bereavement.
Practising therapy is simply where my heart is. I care about my patients deeply and I endeavour to develop a warm, genuine, collaborative and strong relationship with them. The therapeutic process can either be short or long term and can at times be challenging. Therapy, however, has the power to hold people and enable them to do the work they need to move forwards.
A Little More About Me
I am moved that my patients trust me with their fears, their demons, their dreams, their hopes and their future. The responsibility I hold towards them is immense but it does not scare me. Instead, it motivates me to become better and better for them. Witnessing their change, seeing them flourishing and taking back the control for themselves and their life is my biggest reward.
I can offer treatment in either English or Greek as I am fluent in both.
Training, qualifications & experience
DPsych in Counselling Psychology
PgDip in the Practice of Counselling Psychology
MSc in Counselling Psychology
MSc in Counselling Studies
BA in Psychology
Certificate in Clinical Supervision (RAPPS)
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.
British Psychological Society
British Psychological Society
Areas of counselling I deal with
Free Of Charge Consultation Call
It is part of my practice to have a 20' free of charge consultation call with all potential clients before booking the first session.
Self Funded Treatment
The fees below are for a 50-60 minute face to face or online (Face Time / Skype) counselling session. Sessions are weekly but as you begin to resolve your problem(s) the frequency of your sessions will reduce to fortnightly and then monthly. Three and six month follow up sessions are offered if appropriate.
- Students - Individual Therapy: £70.00 per session - Face to face or online (FaceTime, Skype)
- Individual Therapy: £80 per session - Face to face or online (FaceTime, Skype)
- Couples Therapy: £110 per session - Face to face or online (FaceTime, Skype)
- Family Therapy: £130 per session - Face to face only; this service is not available online
Negotiation on fees is possible depending on your financial situation.
Appointments available throughout the week, both daytime and evenings including Saturdays. Please e-mail me to confirm my latest availability. Thank you.
Individual Therapy Clients - Couple Therapy Clients
"I first came to see Venetia after the death of my father and increasing levels of anxiety had led me to become very depressed. At that stage I felt unable to cope with day-to-day life. I had stopped working as I found it too stressful and felt that I could never do my job well enough. I was at a very low point. Working with Venetia, has helped me to return to an even keel and gain a fresh perspective on my life. The process we undertook has given me the tools to approach adversity and deal with the ups and downs that life throws up. Although ostensibly my life has not changed in any material sense, I am now able to enjoy the opportunities I have and face the adversities that come along. Venetia was a calm and supportive presence in my life enabling me to move on from a period of difficulty. Through her help, I feel confident that I have gained life- long skills that will continue to aid me in to the future." Katherine W (Clapham, London)
"I had therapy before but anxiety kept recurring with a higher intensity every time. I was feeling despair, panic and physical exhaustion when I had my first session with Venetia. She helped me to understand my thought process and the impact it was having. She provided me with the techniques to challenge the negative thoughts and learn more helpful ways of thinking. Through our work together I have been able to bring balance and control to my life. Although negative thoughts can flare up at any time I now feel confident that I have the tools and mental strength to manage my emotions. Venetia was highly dedicated and had a genuine commitment and interest in helping me to find solutions. It was very apparent that she was doing a lot of work outside of the sessions to ensure our sessions remained personal and specifically targeted to my own ongoing treatment." Patricia (Clapham, London)
"My husband and I came to see Venetia when we were at absolute crisis point in our marriage. We both felt committed to making it work but neither of us were at all able to see a way forward – to the point where we were unable to live together or spend very much more than an evening together without arguing. Venetia immediately helped us with practical advice, techniques and exercises to help us through that most difficult time. As we progressed we completely trusted her to develop a schedule of therapy for us as both a couple and individuals. We have found her approach very balanced and even handed – she is compassionate yet firm all in one. Without her guidance through this difficult time I struggle to see how we would have found a way through on our own – we are now back living together and looking forward to the future." Catherine (Clapham, London)
"I came to see Venetia with anger and irritability issues stemming from behaviour I’d learnt as a child. With the CBT techniques and Venetia’s support I have been able to identify and challenge these thoughts and feelings to effectively communicate, without isolating myself. Previously, the anger was having an impact on my personal relationships, specifically with my boyfriend; now I have been able to re-connect and make new beginnings with the people who matter the most." Jackie H (Clapham, London)
"My name is Louisa and I have been going to see Venetia for almost a year. At first I began therapy due to a crisis in my marriage. It was an extremely difficult time in my life and Venetia worked with my husband and me to identify issues which needed to be worked on and rebuild trust and communication skills which were lost (or perhaps we never had). The sessions were a combination of couple therapy and one-on-one therapy which I felt struck the right balance between couple time and 'me' time. The work that we are doing on our marriage has made a large positive impact on both our marriage and also our family overall. Venetia's techniques and practical application advice has been invaluable and her sensitivity and kindness to our situation have been consistent throughout the entire experience. After a few months, we moved onto Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for my single sessions to address personal issues which had been part of my psyche for years including stress, acute anxiety and fear. Although not completed yet, I believe that I am more in control and responsible for my own thoughts and emotions that I have ever been in my adult life. Life doesn't feel as overwhelming and my confidence in myself is growing every day. I have personally found CBT easy to understand and apply in my daily life and it helps me to make sense of my thoughts, feelings and actions.
Throughout the process I am acutely aware that part of the success of my therapy has been Venetia herself. The level of professionalism she exhibits in all aspects is extremely high and she is not afraid to be tough on me (or deliver tough messages) when I need it. Venetia shares with me practical advice that I can apply to situations or my days in general which is extremely helpful when I think I am lost or that I can't grasp a concept. At time when I am vulnerable and emotional, Venetia has been a source of support and kindness which I am truly grateful for. Although I began my therapy as a reaction to a situation, I now view it like going to the gym for my body - it is an important part of my life currently to exercise and develop my mind! I would highly recommend both CBT and Venetia." Louisa (Clapham, London)
"My wife and I went to see Venetia about a year ago after going through a very challenging time in our relationship. Our individual combined with the couple consultations helped us find back our communication skills within each other. Venetia is providing us new tools to be more confident in sharing our feelings, fears but also joys to allow us to reconnect in a positive and productive way. Seeing Venetia weekly is for me a way to recharge my "batteries" and allows me to reflect positively on the past events. This has been and still is a fantastic experience." Archie (Clapham, London)
"Working with Venetia has enabled me to gain a sense of self and to learn a set of techniques which, combined, allow me to catch and challenge unhelpful thought patterns about myself and my ability to cope with life. Previously, I was just in for the ride; sometimes washing up in a happy place and others in an angstful one without ever really knowing why. I now feel less stress and frustration and I have more confidence in myself and ability to deal with both the small and big challenges I encounter in my life.
Having previously tried therapy with mixed results, I was sceptical about being ‘just another number’ and felt uneasy about sharing my most personal thoughts. My misgivings were quickly put to rest by Venetia's humility, understanding and all round sense of care. Also, I liked the structured, logical approach of learning CBT and session format. Both followed patterns and I appreciated the predictability of the learning process. It felt as much like study as it did therapy. If I was feeling particularly high levels of stress and unable to focus on the CBT work, Venetia would pick up on this and we would have a less structured session - sometimes just talking through events, when necessary these sessions were a great help also. From this therapy - I wanted a ‘tool kit’ that I could use for years to come to stop anxious thoughts getting the upper hand. I very much think I have gained that from working with Venetia." Michael (Clapham, London)
"Before engaging with therapy I was dealing with longstanding issues concerning the realities of maintaining relationships. I struggled to connect and communicate with family members. I found myself making poor choices with regards to choosing partners and I was unable to tend to the relationship thereafter. Therapy with Venetia has benefited me greatly. I was assured from the very beginning by her intelligence and warm nature and it was soon clear that I was working with a highly skilled practitioner. The results felt palpable as we continued through the sessions and my natural scepticism reseeded as I felt the work was always handled with integrity and that my personal development was held paramount. It was obvious to me that Venetia cares greatly about her work and that she takes great pride in helping her clients move forward towards a better understanding of themselves." Mark (Clapham, London)
"I first visited Venetia following a sudden illness, when she supported me to find helpful and practical ways to cope with my recovery. A big insight for me was learning that we often do cope with life’s ups and downs, but can be so caught up in the emotions of the moment that we don’t always see it that way. By teaching me to break problems down and look at them more realistically, Venetia has helped me to get things in perspective, and face problems and anxieties with greater emotional resilience for the future." Richard (Clapham, London)
"I started seeing Venetia after several years of trying in vain to deal with a serious substance abuse problem. I had been to rehab, twice, and tried repeatedly to engage with 12-step programmes. Nothing was providing anything other than brief respite, and I hadn't got close to addressing the root cause of my problems. I was trapped in an endless cycle of relapsing which, after several years, had cost me my job, my marriage and was threatening to destroy everything. I was in a self-defeating vicious circle, about which I no longer had any objectivity. I had reached a point where I was utterly at a loss to understand certain key aspects of my behaviour and thought processes. It was appalling and hopeless in equal measure.
A major impediment to my making any progress had been my own arrogance, and misplaced - but ironclad - belief that no one could possibly understand or relate to the workings of my mind such that they could help me solve my problems. I was also convinced that relapses were impossible to avoid, because by the time the threat of it happening had become apparent, it was already too late: it had become an inevitability. These two misapprehensions, and the undeniable cycle of behaviour, meant I was convinced I was a lost cause, and that I was beyond help. I also feared what I might become, given a total reboot seemed to be required.
Things changed quite quickly once I started seeing Venetia. Despite not being a 'specialist' in my particular substance abuse problem, she was able to break the situation down into components I could relate to, and challenge my beliefs about what was happening and why. Crucially, she gave me an ability to take half-a-step outside my own thought processes, just enough at first to give me a degree of objectivity/criticality about what was happening in my mind. I started to gain a much better understanding around cognitive cause and effect. It was like having a second opinion - which was my own, and therefore credible - which gave me the ability to interrupt the old thought processes which inevitably lead to relapse. This tool - an extra level of self-analysis that was somehow not self-defeating, and the attendant ability to interrupt my old thought processes - was key. I relapsed once more after starting to see Venetia, and never again.
From there, I could start to see that I had passed a nadir, and was on a positive trajectory. The benefits started to accrue quite quickly, and it became a virtuous circle.
I actively enjoyed our sessions, they appealed to my (inflated) sense of intellect, and I enjoyed learning about how my head works. It was thought provoking and fascinating. Venetia is a great listener, is extraordinarily perceptive, and I felt from the outset that she 'got' me. I'm sure this was partly down to my becoming more open and receptive to a process that was 'working', but she guided this process deftly and quickly. She also pushed back on me whenever I was straying into old misconceptions, which she could spot easily.
Our sessions were a good mix of CBT work - identifying cognitive distortions, core beliefs, etc - and more free-form psychoanalytical stuff. I invariably left feeling lighter, mentally freer, illuminated, and in a better mood. I became much more self-aware, much less a horrified observer of my own existence, much more present. I gained the ability to let go of things (which I never had before), and to not see life as a never ending sequence of life/death binary outcomes. Old habits do die hard after 35 years of conditioning, but Venetia was able to gradually challenge and shift my worldview.
Much of what I had lost, and feared I would lose, was recovered or maintained. My interpersonal relationships - with my family, my kids, my partner, my ex-wife - have improved beyond all recognition. My career is back on track. And I have been sober for nearly four years. Much of this I owe to Venetia. I am still guilty of focusing on the single B+ rather than the 10 As, and tend to focus on future problems rather than past successes. But having achieved quite a lot in my my life, then very nearly destroying it all, my greatest achievement is almost certainly overcoming my alcoholic behaviour, and I could never have done it without Venetia. She showed me how to do it, and for that I will be forever grateful." Steve (Clapham, London)
"I first came to visit Venetia after losing my father. Thanks to the CBT techniques she taught me, I not only learned to manage my grief, but have achieved all the goals I set myself at the start of therapy which were to manage my anxiety, return to employment and get back the control of my life. Venetia is extremely professional, experienced and has a lot of empathy. I wouldn't hesitate to visit her again during a difficult period in my life." Rebecca (Clapham, London)
"Venetia really helped my partner and I to look at the problems we were having in a more balanced and structured way. During our time working with her she gave us practical ways to approach and solve problems and moderate our behaviours to have a more successful relationship. Overall I would really recommend her service to any couple." Andrew (Clapham, London)
"Venetia was very helpful for me during a difficult time and helped me to identify and manage problems with greater awareness and clarity. I learned that often my thoughts were unhelpful as they were distortions and not the best way of thinking, then I learned how to challenge these thoughts with a number of tools that therapy provided me". Betty (Clapham, London)
"I started working with Venetia after my father had died. I had recently moved countries, had my second baby, resigned from a job and was struggling with all of that when I also had to nurse my father through cancer. I had never been to therapy before and never knew what to expect but I did know that I desperately needed someone to speak to. Venetia was a lifeline and helped me in many ways to navigate the roller coaster of emotions I was dealing with and the impact my fathers death and a new baby was having on my life. She was structured in her approach and we worked together to focus on what I wanted to get out of our sessions. She spent time getting to know me and understand my background and experiences. She listened, offered techniques which were practical that I could use in daily life to help me cope. I will use many of the techniques for the rest of my life. Every session was focused on what I wanted to speak about - nothing was forced. It did require work from me - sometimes the therapy can be exhausting as you are talking about emotional subjects - but it’s such an important process to go through and I believe wholeheartedly that I would not have been able to adjust to a world without my father in such the way I have - if it had not been for Venetia’s care and guidance. She loves her job and cares about what she does and that comes across. Thank you Venetia." Sarah (Clapham, London)
"Simon and I have been together for 14 years and married for nearly 10. We always had a relationship that was prone to disagreements, but they really took off once we had our first child. He wasn’t an easy baby and lack of sleep and stress brought tensions to a head. Our relationship declined so badly to the point that we were arguing every day.
We were muddling along and after seeking counselling from two other therapists – who weren’t quite right – I found Venetia. God bless Venetia! She has given us hope! We were talking about divorce, splitting up the home and family.
Now we are communicating like adults rather than kids, and can see a future together. She has given us the tools to make our marriage work. Without her we could well be separated, our family ripped apart and talking to solicitors. We do have to work at it every day but, thanks to her, we are heading in the right direction and know that we have a chance." Maria (Streatham, London)
"I approached Venetia when I struggled with anxiety and I found it very difficult to switch off / relax. Being a first time parent with a baby I found the initial few months very overwhelming and generally hard to cope. Using CBT, Venetia helped me to understand what was creating the anxiety and how to cope with it and eventually how to change my way of thinking to feel better. I can now continue practicing my new skills and use them in my everyday life. Venetia is a great listener and able to support you in a trustworthy environment." Anna (Streatham, London)
"I have worked with Venetia for nearly 10 months now and during that time I have developed a range of skills and tools to use to help me manage the anxiety I have experienced over many years. I instantly felt comfort talking to Venetia and thought I could easily open up. I look forward to our sessions each week and she has helped me to learn a lot about myself and understand how my mind works. I now see and think about situations very differently and think I am equipped to deal with things on my own. However I do think that I have found someone that I can always go back to in the future should I need to. She has helped me to dramatically change my life not only personal but also grow in confidence at work for which I am extremely grateful. I would highly recommend her to anyone seeking support coping with anxiety." Sophia (Streatham, London)
"When I first went to see Dr Kotaki I was feeling low and struggling with a bad break up. Through sessions she helped me through and we worked together to understand what was happening and to put coping strategies in place. I am now far more settled and happier, and it is in large part down to her. She is professional, warm, understanding and very easy to speak to. I felt comfortable at all times. I’d highly recommend her." Katie (Streatham, London)
"What initially was meant to be couple's therapy turned into just me, and I decided to give it a go - through therapy we explored my history, infidelity, and dealt with my most recent break up. With Dr Kotaki's help we looked at patterns in the past, and trying to understand more about them to stop them happening in the future. And looking at significant problems I had around communication and solving problems in relationships. It was a real help, and Dr Kotaki gave me solutions and techniques to help in the future. And after this we dealt with some of the ingrained problems around self confidence which was a real help, just having that weekly space to discuss problems and significant events and look for solutions and guidance. Before beginning therapy I had no idea what to expect and little hope that it would have an impact, and it hasn't taken away the mistakes I've made in the past or hurt. But I feel like I've learnt a lot from it and am extremely grateful to Dr Kotaki for where I am now." Walter (Streatham, London)
"My husband and I went to see Venetia after a particularly horrible argument that had spiralled out of control and left some horrible emotional scars. We could barely communicate and were both full of resentment. We learnt more about each other in the six months with Venetia than we had in our ten year relationship. We now understand each other’s sensitivities, we have learnt how to discuss difficult subjects and we have strategies to avoid major conflict. Venetia helped bring us back together and to feel like a real team." Heather (Streatham, London)
"My wife and I went to see Venetia at a very difficult time in our relationship. There had been a major argument that had spiralled out of control. We had tried for months to move past the incident on our own, but things were getting progressively worse. I very reluctantly agreed to go to counselling with my wife. Venetia really helped us to move past the incident. Venetia remained impartial throughout. I learned a huge amount about both my wife and myself throughout the process. Venetia facilitated us moving forward with our relationship and forgiving each other. She also taught us strategies and tactics so that we can resolve issues as and when they arise so they don't fester. I would highly recommend Venetia for any couple who are struggling with significant unresolved issues. We are now genuinely happier than ever." Robert (Streatham, London)
"Venetia has helped us get a marriage that had been struggling for years, till we were both at a point where we were pretty much ready to walk away - and get it back on track again. She identified that my husband was suffering from depression that would benefit from medication in conjunction with the counselling, and the transformation has been amazing. He says he feels like a person again; and I feel as though I have my husband back. Meanwhile, she has worked through a course of CBT with us, showing great patience but firmness with us and a true desire to understand and help us with our difficulties. We both agree that our marriage would have been unlikely to have survived without Venetia's help; and that - although counselling is hard, painful and at times the thing you'd least like to do - it has been transformative. When things were at their toughest, it was comforting to know that she was there." Kelly (Streatham, London)
"When I came to Venetia over 6 months ago, I was in a desperate place. Although I had a great partner who I had recently bought a house with, friends, a loving family and well-paid job every day felt like a struggle. I found myself often crying and thinking about ending my life. It felt like life was caving in on me and I couldn’t escape or breathe. Six months on, with the help of Venetia I have a new lease of life. I have broken through the depression and anxiety I faced at the time.
We worked through various techniques and methods but the most helpful I found was CBT. It has helped me to tackle unhelpful thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that affect by feelings and behaviour which had become a natural way of life for me – I hadn’t even realised!
I now use the techniques I learnt on a regular basis. Before one tiny comment from a stranger or a work colleague would create negative thoughts, which could affect my mood for the entire day. I’d ruminate on it again and again until it almost ate me up. Now after my time with Venetia I rationalise these events and move on from them quickly. This has helped me to grow in confidence and view situations in life from a different perspective which now helps me to process them in a more understanding viewpoint.
Every week Venetia applied the theory with real life examples from my week. This helped to make CBT relatable and logical. She also broke down each of the areas into bite sized pieces that I practiced each week until I was ready to move onto the next stage.
Venetia did this with other techniques also, going through examples and situations that I had been through that week helped immensely. Venetia is professional, approachable and understanding. I cannot thank her enough for all of her support these last six months." Samantha (Streatham, London)
"I came to Venetia after suffering from health anxiety, I found myself unhappy and extremely uncomfortable in my body and abilities. I worked with her over several months using CBT to tackle my problems. I found the first sessions comforting and made me sure I was in good hands. Eventually with the help I was getting I started to get better and I found my mood and anxiety getting better. At the moment I feel grateful for the help and tools I’ve been given. Venetia is great at what she does and has really helped me." Zeke (Streatham, London)
"A few years ago, my relationship of seven years ended. Despite very low points during the relationship, including infidelity on the part of my partner, ending it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I still cared deeply for my ex and felt a sense of responsibility for her wellbeing. I was also scared of being alone and never finding happiness again. During the subsequent two and half years, I tried to move on but struggled. I felt stuck and found myself unable to become emotionally invested in new relationships. I was anxious and confused, at times depressed, and gripped with periods of self-loathing. On the advice of a friend, I decided to seek professional help and I was lucky enough to find Venetia. Over the course of about 8 months, Venetia helped me to disentangle this tight knot of negative emotion that sat in my chest. We talked, a lot, working through aspects of my upbringing, my personality, and my past relationships, to understand what brought me to the present. We also worked on understanding personal boundaries and responsibilities and on improving self esteem. Venetia had a structure and plan for each session and for my overall 'treatment plan'. I felt like I was heading somewhere with therapy and I was making progress - this was important to me. As the months passed, I felt better and I have emerged from therapy a wiser, calmer, and more hopeful person - this is thanks to Venetia's guidance, compassion, and professionalism. I was really so lucky to find her and would absolutely recommend her to others. Thank you, Venetia!" Dorian K (Streatham, London)
"Venetia is very easy to talk to and I quickly felt as though we built rapport and I could open up. I've previously had counselling where the counsellor didn't speak much and waited for me to take the lead. This approach didn't work for me and I liked that Venetia immediately made a plan of our sessions and there was structure and goals to what we wanted to achieve. I decided to have counselling as I found myself in a very low place. I was crying most days, feeling a lot of despair, high levels of anxiety and depression. I also frequently suffered with insomnia and couldn't switch off or relax. I was just about to return to work after maternity leave and although I was over the moon to be a mum and very much in love with my baby, I think being at home with my own thoughts for a long time without the distraction of work took it's toll. A lot of my issues stem from a challenging childhood with mental health issues running through the family. I felt very responsible for my family and didn't think I deserved happiness if they were struggling. Through speaking with Venetia for around 8 months, we started with CBT which helped me to realise I was negatively predicting the future a lot and worrying about things without any evidence they were going to happen. This really helped me to realise that a lot of the anxiety I was feeling was the way I perceived a situation rather than reality. After working on CBT techniques for a while, we moved onto schema work which was both interesting and insightful. I felt a sense of calmness between our sessions and have learned a lot about how to cope. I no longer feel anxiety, depression or dread and most importantly for me, I am learning boundaries from my family. I am very grateful to Venetia and think she is methodical, fun and extremely skilled." Sandra (Streatham, London)
"I have really benefited and enjoyed my sessions with Venetia. She is extremely easy to talk to and I felt very comfortable sharing my experiences with her. As a gay man with a husband and two adopted children we had plenty of things to discus. Venetia helped me understand a lot of my negative thoughts and put me back on track with myself and my family." Brandon (Clapham, London)
"Venetia has really helped us to develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and provided us with excellent tools to help us communicate more effectively. Her approach has enabled us to identify our main motivations, our ‘triggers’ and how we are responsible for our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We now communicate in a much more constructive way, understand better the emotions and fears that are in play, argue far less and when we do are able to maintain control and prevent things escalating too far." Emma and Patrick (Streatham, London)
"I worked with Venetia for 18 months due to suffering with severe depression following a number of traumatic life events over the preceding years. We initially worked for many months using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and then with psychotherapy. I found it extremely helpful – even life changing – to have a better understanding of my mind and how it was working, and to be taught tools that I could use to manage my condition and help myself to get better through doing the necessary work. I am delighted that I am now free from depression and living well, whilst still drawing on all that I learnt and worked on during therapy. It was a pleasure to work with Venetia who I found to be very helpful and thorough, and she encouraged me throughout the time I was seeing her. She – rightly – emphasised the importance of the ongoing work between sessions, and was also available for extra or emergency sessions if I was having a crisis. I found her to be understanding and compassionate in her work and would be delighted to recommend her to anyone who is in need of help." Cecelia (Streatham, London)
"I sought help from Venetia to understand how my thoughts were affecting my decisions, and how my mental health could be brought more under my control. Through our work together she helped me re-evaluate my understanding of my thoughts and emotions, and critically for me showed that no matter how out of our control our minds may feel, it is possible to learn techniques to bring them back to a state of calm.
Prior to our first session I had resigned from a position I had held for barely 3 months, the move being an attempt at a fresh start in my career following change associated a company merger that left me demotivated and frustrated. I crashed out of my new position because of my poor fit for the organization, and was in need of evaluating the chain of events that had led me to this point, as well as the disillusionment with ideas behind career progress and success in general.
Venetia's help was not to fill out the narrative I had experienced, and our sessions focused on CBT rather than counseling which I had not found successful at helping me in the past. I found our sessions together tough, she challenged me to learn and change and I often left tired but with gradual and greater insight. Those around me shared they could see the difference in my attitude and approach to thoughts.
I am now employed full-time and am in control of my career and use the techniques I have learned every day. I cannot say I have resolved my relationship with concepts like what being a success is and where to gain motivation. But through Venetia I have learned how to recognize when thoughts lead me astray, and how to control them before they effect my life and that of those around me." Paul (Streatham Common, London)
“The environment that Venetia has created allowed me to express myself at ease. I felt Venetia understood what I wanted to work on and get out of the sessions from the get go, she's very knowledgeable. She helped me to feel more confident and positive and has given me the tools to cope with future situations. For that I am grateful.” Nancy (Streatham, London)
“Venetia's therapy really helped me to get to grips with my anger and anxiety issues. She and I were able to build an excellent rapport very quickly which helped get to the root of my fears and triggers. She also provided me with some amazing techniques to help understand the link between events, my perception of them, how they made me feel and my subsequent behaviours, and how I can make positive changes to them. Finally, Venetia provided me with the confidence to see I can deal with my issues and to be able to plan better responses to triggering events." Peter (Streatham Hill, London)
"My objective for therapy was generally to develop tools and approaches to better manage challenges and anxieties. After Venetia explained the various therapeutic routes and options, we agreed that CBT would be best. I quickly developed an easy and comfortable relationship with Venetia, and appreciated her extremely clear and logical teaching style which is necessary to grasp the sometimes complex CBT concepts. I also appreciated her flexibility in delving in to other non CBT related issues where I requested this, and tailoring the sessions to suit my needs. As a result I have a strong grasp of a range of behavioural and cognitive practices which I am now applying, while checking in regularly with Venetia to keep on track. Thanks so much Venetia!" Ellie (Streatham, London)
"I was once a person who had subsumed anger and anxiety into my everyday life. I made poor choices with regards to partners and, moreover, I did not understand them to be choices at all. Through my work with Venetia I have come to understand myself, the mechanics of my cognition, and I am able to manage my mental well-being comfortably. I am in a trusting and committed relationship of many years. In short, I have more control over my life than I had before I began therapy. Venetia is a professional first and foremost but it is easy to see that her work is her vocation. This is evidenced in the consummate ease with which she practices. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone." Marcus (Pontypool, Wales)
"I have found the work I have done with Venetia Kotaki to be incredibly helpful in managing issues within my personal life. These have ranged from relationship issues, marriage problems, parental struggles and work conflicts. In the past I have struggled a great deal with anxiety and inability to communicate my thoughts and needs. Venetia has given me the tools to help me manage the stresses of life and work towards a more balanced way of living. Venetia is professional, caring, thoughtful, and capable. I highly recommend her. " Laura (Richmond, London)
"My time with Venetia was incredibly beneficial. I approached Venetia after some past trauma which I thought was finally time to properly understand. Our sessions helped me identify some unhelpful daily habits that I had become accustomed to, and Venetia helped me both understand and then - with a helpful plan - start to adapt my daily routine for the better. Venetia's personal care and understanding is perfectly partnered with her professionalism and knowledge allowing you to feel you are in the best hands possible. It really feels like you have someone on your side with Venetia, allowing you to progress in a supportive space. This is all on top of Venetia simply being a lovely person, no matter what the session was about spending an hour with Venetia always felt worthwhile and beneficial. I would highly recommend getting in touch. "Tyrone (Sussex)
"I started working with Dr Kotaki as a requirement for my Professional Doctorate program in Counselling Psychology. Although I knew that I needed to see a psychotherapist or psychologist regardless of the course, I had no idea just how much I had been suppressing over the years. It is through my work with Dr Kotaki that I have been come to reconnect with the person I used to be in terms of sociability, confidence and trust in myself. I learned how to deal with depression and anxiety to the point where these conditions that I recognise, control and manage. " Sonya (London)
"Venetia, I really wanted to extend my appreciation to you for the high standard of supervision you have consistently offered to me. I will miss the thoughtfulness, compassion and warmth you have always conveyed. In addition, it is your clinical knowledge and experience and willingness to share and support my work which will be sorely missed. I very much value your honesty and down-to earth ways. Thank you." Sally (Central London)