Some lives are easier than others, no doubt, but no one wholly escapes suffering. Old age, illness and death are sources of suffering we must all face, but there are plenty more besides. Traumas of all sorts can befall us, big and small. Some of these can be absolutely devastating to our ability to cope, the worst typically involving someone hurting us with apparent intent. Yet even if there’s no specific person to blame, it can seem as if fate itself conspired to harm us: the unexpected loss of a loved one; a debilitating accident; a pandemic, and so on.
At least in these instances we feel we can point the finger at some obvious event and say “that’s why I’m unhappy”. Yet it’s often the seemingly small but frequent cuts that hurt the most: growing up in a home where no-one said “I love you”, in words or otherwise; living with a spouse who never asks how your day was; the job that provides enough to live on, but sucks the life from you on a daily basis. Day in and day out we become blind to these things and the harm they cause. What compounds our suffering is we think we aren’t supposed to complain: this is how it’s supposed to be, so get on with it; everybody suffers.
Finding a Way Through
As well as specialising in addiction, particularly alcohol, drug and sex and love addictions, I work with many forms of suffering, including anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, bereavement, and so on. Over the years I have worked in a variety of settings including the NHS and Priory Group. Experience has shown me that as human beings we can suffer for a whole host of reasons, and what we often need is not a label (‘mentally ill’, ‘addict’, and so on) but to be met and acknowledged in our struggle. In this meeting, one human being to another, a way through the suffering can be found.
Psychotherapy (meaning ‘healing or attending to the soul’) is where we work to understand what’s really at the root of your suffering, and what needs to be done. I focus on building a strong, trusting relationship with clients, as it is from this place of security that we can safely explore whatever difficulties are present, and seek solutions.
Having trained in an integration of psychoanalytic, humanistic (person-centred) and existential approaches, I adapt to the individual’s needs, both in the moment and over the course of therapy. In particular, I specialise in existential psychotherapy, an approach that considers all aspects of a person's life in thinking about their difficulties: their individual history, present experiences and future aspirations, and how all of these influence their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. I work with clients to understand what it’s like to be in their unique situation and how they exist within it.
In sum, together we work to uncover whatever difficulties are present and in doing so open up new possibilities for living, with the hope that life becomes more fulfilling and satisfying. In this way, suffering passively is transformed to a meaningful struggle for a better life.
£70 - £90 per 50-minute session, depending on the time of session. Some concessionary slots offered, depending on available. I am a registered provider with Aviva and AXA PPP health insurance.
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
Advanced Diploma in Existential Psychotherapy, from Regent's University London;
MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling (Grade: Distinction), from Regent's University London;
Foundation Certificate in Psychotherapy and Counselling, from Regent's University London.
Psychoanalytic, humanistic (person-centred), and existential psychotherapies. My training is therefore broad, having covered: classical and modern psychoanalysis, attachment-informed therapy, relational approaches, embodiment, phenomenological theory and practice, philosophically-informed approaches including meaning-orientation and cultural situatedness, emotion-focussed work, gestalt, and so on.
Experience and positions held:
I have worked with men and women struggling with a range of issues, including: addiction, notably drug, alcohol and sex and love addictions; anxiety; depression; separation and divorce; bereavement, loss and limitation; historic abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) and its legacy; family of origin relational trauma; personality disorders including borderline presentation; difficulties in day to day relationships; work issues; meaninglessness and apathy.
May 2019 - present - Farah Therapy Centre - Psychotherapist and Counsellor - offering individual long- and short-term psychotherapy to adults
April 2018 - present - Priory North London Hospital - Sessional Psychotherapist, working with addicted clients on a long- and short-term basis
March 2018 - April 2019 - Claremont Project Islington - Psychotherapist - offering long-term existential-phenomenological therapy to adults
November 2015 - January 2018 - NELFT NHS Trust - Psychotherapist - offering long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy to a variety of clients in the Secondary Psychological Service.
Voluntary positions held:
Jan 2020 - present - Secretary of the Society for Existential Analysis
Non-psychotherapy related qualifications:
BSc (hons) Physics with Astrophysics, from the University of Leeds
FCA, Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
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.