Robert French, UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist

Robert French

London N1 English
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Robert French, UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist

Robert French

London N1 English
Shortlist Share

My Approach

At the heart of my approach is the humanistic belief that people are naturally oriented towards health and growth. I see my job as one of supporting my client’s natural change process through increased awareness.

This is a specific attitude towards change- it rests on the belief that natural and long-lasting change comes from within, rather than being imposed from the outside. I’ll try to explain this more fully below:

People are very good at doing the best they can with what they’ve got. As we navigate our way through childhood, through socialisation, into adulthood, we generally manage life as best we can.

Difficulties often arise due to unaware value systems, fixed patterns of relating to others, lost potential, ways of being that are responses to adverse childhood relationships, or societal prejudice and discrimination.

Behaviours such as avoidance, perfectionism, over-working, depression, self-criticism, addiction, and so forth are often creative responses to life’s difficulties. Feelings such as anxiety, fear, shame, anger, low self-esteem, depression, and so forth are often responses to, or attempted solutions to life's problems.

By exploring, understanding, increasing awareness, we can facilitate long-lasting, non-coercive change. Problematic feelings and behaviours subside when their meaning is understood and necessary change is accomplished.

The above is essentially a description of the main principle of humanistic counselling and psychotherapy- a warm and engaging approach. Initially trained in Gestalt, I now work in a humanistic / integrative manner, having been influenced by person-centred therapy, body work and trauma therapy.

I strive to follow the four 'H's' for therapy- Honesty, Humanity, Humour and Humility.

To locate myself- I'm a white heterosexual man with pronouns he/him. I am committed and engaged in the life-long work of raising my awareness around equity, diversity, and inclusion. I strive to be ever-more affirmative and ally to minority and oppressed people.

About Me

Hello, I'm Rob French.

I'm an integrative therapist working with individuals, couples, and groups. I also teach humanistic counselling at the Gestalt Centre in Kings Cross.

I've been practicing for over fifteen years and have lots of experience working with a diverse range of clients on many types of difficulty.

I also work with trainee counsellors / therapists and people who experience no particular difficulty, but are interested in therapy to support living a full and satisfying life.

I work with

  • Couples
  • Families
  • Groups
  • Individuals

Special Interests

Like all UKCP registered psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors I can work with a wide range of issues, but here are some areas in which I have a special interest or additional experience.

The sensation of anxiety and panic are extremely uncomfortable. Often people want to get rid of their anxiety. Unfortunately, this often leads to its increase. One way of understanding this is that anxiety is a mobilisation of energy that 'wants' an action. It is an attempted solution to a problem, at a body level, below the threshold of awareness. It's certainly beneficial to learn techniques to manage feelings of anxiety and panic- this is done through breathing and grounding exercises. In addition, understanding the deeper meaning of the feelings and working to resolve the background issues will lead to long-lasting change.
As social beings, much human distress is experienced due to difficulties in relationships, or lack of relationship. People may be avoidant of intimacy and connection due to lack of safety in their early relationships. Couples often get into fixed patterns and find that they keep arguing over the same things. A couple of 'stem sentences' come to mind as I write this: "The thing I want from you that I'm not getting is...." Followed by "In the event you can't give it, I will look after myself by...." These can be useful as our partners cannot plug the holes left in us by our own upbringing. As usual, deepening awareness is the way to loosen or resolve relationship difficulties.
As a parent myself, I want to do a good job of parenting my children. I often feel shame or guilt when I find myself behaving in ways that my own parents did, that I have tried so hard not to repeat! The old patterns run strong. I believe that we can only do so much through willpower, but that we can make lasting and effective change through the process of deepening our awareness. I enjoy working on these issues with parents. Another aspect of the special interest in parents is, of course, the fact that all people have been parented themselves. Many difficulties have their root in childhood because our early relationships shaped us as we are now.
As well as being a therapist, I teach humanistic counselling at the Gestalt Centre in Kings Cross. I love teaching and do it largely because I learn and grow myself. Some of my clients are trainee counsellors or psychotherapists. I enjoy working with these clients as the combination of therapy and training often leads to deep awareness and lots of change. I am endlessly fascinated in the theory and philosophy that underpins the counselling process, and the way this structures the practice. Conversely, theory is often largely a description of usual human processes. Being a therapist works both ways- I often learn and grow through my work.
I have a special interest in trauma as being at the heart of many difficulties. I believe trauma to be a widespread phenomenon, rather than something that effects only a few people. The best-known type of trauma is probably single-event trauma, with which many people are familiar. But trauma has many faces. Trauma is passed down through families- this is known as trans-generational trauma. Developmental trauma occurs as a result of being brought up by parents or care-givers who are themselves traumatised. Sociogenic trauma arises due to the damaging effects of prejudice and discrimination in society. Thankfully all of these can be addressed in therapy as part of the ongoing process of healing and growth.

Types of Therapies Offered

  • Gestalt Group Psychotherapist
  • Gestalt Psychotherapist

Types of sessions

  • Face to Face - Long Term
  • Face to Face - Short Term
  • Online Therapy
  • Telephone Therapy

London Office

The Practice Rooms
150 Caledonian Road
London N1 9RD

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UKCP College

  • Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College (HIPC)
Robert French

Robert French

London N1

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