North London Counselling
26 Kynaston Road,
London N16 0EX
Tel: 020 7249 7036
I am an experienced Counsellor who originally trained at London Marriage Guidance (now Relationship Counselling for London). Since I completed their accredited post-graduate training course in 1996, I have worked as a senior counsellor and a trainer for this organisation. I have also undertaken further training and continued professional development. I work with couples and individuals in my own private practice in North London and in Essex. My theoretical background is psychodynamic.
What sorts of people come to counselling?
Anyone and everyone. Anyone, that is, who is concerned about their relationship world and who wants to enrich that part of their life. Some people come when there is a big problem or a crisis; perhaps an affair, a breakdown in communication or unpleasant conflict (amongst many other possible difficulties), but that’s not always the case. The couples and individuals I see come from differing backgrounds and present a very wide range of presenting issues.
There’s a notion that you have to be sick to need a doctor, or mad to need a counsellor–but another way of looking at it is to consider promoting the health of your relationships–keeping your “heart” healthy, so to speak. Many people come to see me when things are so-so, but could be better. Often there’s just a niggling sense that things aren’t quite right, or a question about whether this life or that relationship is as good as it gets.
What happens in counselling?
Counselling is an experience unique to each individual, so it would be difficult to give a single answer, which would apply, to everyone. But essentially, the client brings anything from his or her, or the couple’s life, which seems to be relevant.
The counsellor isn’t there to tell you what to do, pass judgement or provide solutions. Nor is there pressure to make changes; many couples and individuals require something else. There are no hard and fast rules, but for example, some need to mourn losses, some to talk about their feelings, others wish to understand a bit more about what makes them tick, or maybe they just need to be listened to. Ideally, the process of counselling will promote your ability to make your life more rewarding and satisfying. It’s not a cure-all, but it is an effective way of grappling with important personal issues.
Fifty-minute sessions are held once weekly, at the same time, and in the same place. Over the period of the work, not only can issues be raised and thought about in depth, but also a real working alliance builds up between the people involved in the therapy. When the work is finished, clients and counsellor agree to end the therapy in an equally helpful way.
What is psychodynamic counselling?
A psychodynamic approach looks at the inner man or woman, with a view to understanding more about each individual. This might include taking into account early experiences, the formative years and relationships that might have contributed to the adult’s emotional make up. However, there is no compulsion to talk about the past if it is too painful or difficult to recall; looking at present relationships and everyday life can be an equally useful tool for understanding someone’s emotional life. Essentially, working psychodynamically aims to increase self-awareness and insight, leading to greater autonomy and an increased ability to relate to others.
Do I choose Couple Counselling or do I come by myself?
It can be hard to know where the problem lies when you first consider counselling! Couple Counselling looks at what has been created between two people; it looks at the relationship. It’s therefore more effective if both people can attend. Individual work has a slightly different emphasis, and places the client who is present at the centre of the work. But inevitably there are some overlapping areas, and either course of counselling can be useful. This choice can be discussed when we meet.
How long and how much?
I am happy to offer time-limited work, or to continue open-endedly. Typical lengths of work vary from 6 sessions to 3 years. Sometimes a short-term piece of work over a few sessions can be used as an introduction to something longer.
The charge for the preliminary session is £45.00 My fees for ongoing work are between £35.00 and £65.00 according to your individual circumstances and the appointment time chosen. For individuals who wish to work twice weekly, I can sometimes negotiate a much lower fee.
I offer sessions during the evening, the weekend and some early mornings as well as during the day.
What do I do now?
Please call me on 020 7249 7036, which is a confidential line dedicated to my practice. The answering machine will be on while I am engaged in a session, so please do not be put off if I don’t answer the phone. I will ring back as soon as I have enough time for a reasonable conversation, and I will be sensitive to your possible situation when returning the call. I also welcome informal enquiries should there be anything you wish to ask me.
We can then arrange a preliminary session, which lasts for a full hour. This is a chance for you to get to meet me (and vice versa) and the session provides a taste of what it might be like to come to sessions. I hope this session will help you decide whether you would like to engage in on-going work; at that point we could agree on a time and a day to suit.
Please note I am pleased to adhere to the BACP Code of Ethics for Relationship Counselling and to The Guild of Psychotherapists’ code of ethics for Individual Psychotherapy.