I am a thoughtful sensitive and warm practitioner. I create a welcoming and confidential space in which children, teenagers and parents are able to relax, talk freely and explore what is concerning them. I support clients in experiencing a more positive sense of themselves and a greater peace of mind.
I specialise in enabling children, adolescents and families to thrive. I work both in private practice and as a child and adolescent psychotherapist for the NHS within a CAMHS team (child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). I give therapy to children and adolescents within primary and secondary schools throughout the borough of Barnet and work with families and schools in an advisory role.
It is my experience that therapy can and does make a difference. My main focus is to work with clients to find the space within themselves for greater acceptance and loving kindness. This then enables children, teenagers and parents to feel more confident, have better relationships with themselves and with one another, be able to focus better on their studies/work and enjoy their lives more fully.
I work with the client, using whichever tools best suit their needs and personality and can use a combination of talking therapy, Cognitive, Behavioural Therapy, mindfulness, guided visualisation, art and sandplay therapy.
The sort of problems I work with:
- low self-esteem
- panic attacks
- eating disorders
- difficulties concentrating
- domestic abuse
- MA Transpersonal Child, Adolescent and Family Therapy (Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education)
- Diploma in Sandplay Therapy (CCPE)
- Certificate in Teaching Mindfulness to Teenagers 11-18 (MISP)
- Diploma in Emotional Factors in Teaching and Learning (Tavistock and Portman Clinic)
- PGCE, Psychology (Institute of Education)
- Conversion Diploma in Psychology for Graduates (London Guildhall University)
- M.Phil Criminology (University of Cambridge)
I am UKCP registered (the umbrella organisation that holds the national register of psychotherapists, who have met the organisation’s exacting standards and training requirements).
I bring empathy and understanding to the children I work with
Sometimes things can feel difficult, like when you change class or school or your friends start acting weirdly. Sometimes parents are having problems and life can feel really hard and lonely. It might seem like there is no-one who understands what you are feeling or how to help you. Coming to therapy is about having someone (me) who you can talk to about stuff.
You can talk about things with me which are making you feel upset and hurt. You won’t always feel like talking, and that’s ok too. There are lots of other things to do in the room, games to play, art things, interesting toys, I’ve even got sand, which can be really nice to make shapes with. It can be a lot of fun, it’s a very special place which is just for you, however you are feeling. I’m here to help you feel better.
The room looks something like this….and that’s me, in the stripy socks!
You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think
It’s not easy being a young person. There are so many things to deal with, so many things which can feel out of control, like being told you have to ‘grow up’, but being treated like a child, pressure from school and parents, stuff happening online or with friends. These can all affect the way you feel.
Some of the reasons to come to therapy are because you are not feeling good, for example, sad, depressed or angry, you may be feeling really bad about yourself. Perhaps home is hard. You can’t talk to your friends, you may be scared they will judge you, tell others about your personal stuff or think you are mad, and sometimes it might feel like you are. Instead you bottle it all up, or you may be dealing with your problems in ways which are hurting yourself, like with food, alcohol, drugs or self-harm or you are full of really strong emotions that don’t make sense or can make you feel out of control.
It’s often helpful and a lot easier to talk to someone who is more neutral about the things which are going on (that’s me). Coming to see me is about having a place to talk about all of this, with someone who isn’t going to tell you what you ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t be doing.
You can come to talk over a specific problem, a more general feeling of anxiety or depression or the larger questions about life that you may feel worried by. You can even talk to me when things are going great. You will find therapy to be a place which supports you, however you are feeling. In therapy you can gain a more positive reflection of all that is good and strong about you.
You don’t always have to talk, if you want you can draw or be creative, it is up to you. There may be practical things I can suggest that you can do. But mainly what works about therapy is feeling understood, that you aren’t going crazy, learning about who you are, growing to see that you can trust yourself to navigate your way through life in a way that feels right for you.
I use a combination of psychotherapy, Cognitive, Behavioural Therapy, mindfulness, guided visualisation, art and sandplay therapy
I work one-to-one with parents, thinking together with you about your child and what changes you can make in order to help them with their difficulties. Therapy can support you to feel less overwhelmed by the issues which are going on in your life. With time we will non-judgementally explore the patterns which you may be repeating and are no longer helpful to yourself or to your family. Through therapy you will be supported to have a greater understanding of yourself, be able to listen and trust yourself and therefore make changes that will enable you to make your life feel easier and happier.
If you are reading this in order to find a therapist for your son or daughter let me explain a little about the work I do with young people:
For children and teenagers therapy is where they can talk about any or all of the things which are making them feel anxious, sad or angry in their life. They also have a space to talk about what is going well, the things they are proud of, their dreams and hopes for the future. Teenagers tend to want to talk, and children will tend to play as this is the language in which they express themselves.
As a parent how can you spot that there is a deeper problem? You may have noticed a shift in your child’s emotions or behaviour, perhaps not being able to socialise with friends in the way they used to, or they may be spending more time on technology, have become withdrawn and secretive, have trouble sleeping or eating or they are struggling at school with their studies. You may also have spotted that your child is self harming. Such behaviours are often adopted by children to cope with underlying problems.
As I and your son/daughter develop a safe and trusting relationship they will feel more able to say things which they have stopped themselves talking about elsewhere. They may have silenced themselves because they are worried about hurting or angering you or their teachers or friends. This is not to say that therapy is about keeping secrets from parents, but rather that the space is one in which children can be angry, upset, love or hate, without feeling terrified that these feelings have spread into their daily life and hurt the people that they love so much. Therapy is about your child learning to understand feelings and appreciate that all of them can be felt and allowed, which then enables them to flow again rather than be blocked.
The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge
Mindfulness is about learning to direct our attention to our experience as it unfolds, moment by moment, with open-minded curiosity and acceptance. It trains us to respond skilfully to whatever is happening right now, be that good or bad.
Through mindfulness training we come to notice how our mind wanders constantly. With practice we learn to sustain our attention and break the grip of unhelpful mental habits, judgements and impulses, making way for greater calm, and for more helpful, kinder and rational thinking about all aspects of life.
Adults and children find that mindfulness training helps them to think more clearly, perform and concentrate better, feel calmer and happier, less anxious and less depressed and get on better with others. Mindfulness is now recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence and GPs are referring adults on 8 week courses to reduce stress and help prevent recurrent depression.
I regularly practice mindfulness myself and am trained to teach mindfulness to children, teenagers and teachers in a structured ten session course. The course has been designed to appeal to student audiences with striking visuals film clips and practical activities in order to practice mindfulness (Mindfulness in Schools Project).
I have taught mindfulness to large groups of sixth-form students and teachers and also work with clients using these techniques on a one-to-one basis.
If we hope to go anywhere or develop ourselves in any way, we can only step from where we are standing. If we don’t really know where we are standing…We many only go in circles…
I work with children from 5 to 12 and teenagers/young adults from 13 to late 20s.
I work one-to-one with parents and adults.
Therapy is weekly, and takes place on the same day and at the same time each week (excluding school holidays) and lasts for 50 minutes.
Coming for the first session can feel nerve wracking, for children and for adults. But I am experienced at helping people to feel relaxed and at ease.
During the first session we will have a general chat about the issues and some background information as well as thinking about what you want from therapy.
For sessions with children I see the child with their parent/s in the first meeting.
Sometimes short-term therapy is all that is needed to help with problems, and so I offer a six session package – one assessment session with parent and child, four sessions with the child and then a final session with parent and child.
I also work with clients long-term, this can be anything from a few months to a year or more. We will assess the therapy as we go, re-evaluating how things are and what is needed.
Whatever is discussed during sessions is confidential, except if I believe that there is an issue of safety. Then I reserve the right to break confidentiality. This will always be discussed with the client before action is taken.
With children and teenagers I might discuss them telling their parents about difficult things and whether they want to invite parents into a session to discuss issues which have been upsetting them.
I discuss my work with a clinical supervisor from time to time to ensure that I am working with clients to meet their needs as well as I can. This is standard practice within psychotherapy and my supervisor is bound by the same code of ethics and confidentiality that I work by.
£150 couple or family sessions – 80 minutes
I have a limited number of concessions for those unable to pay the full fee.
Fees are payable in cash or cheque at the end of sessions or by bank transfer post session.
If you need to rearrange your appointment, with more than 48 hours notice I can see if there is another time possible, and if not there is no charge. Less that 48 hours notice and the session is charged in full.
I work in Hampstead Garden Suburb/Golders Green.
Parking is free and it is easy to find spaces.
The building is 10 minutes walk from Golders Green Station.