Mic Austen Counselling and Psychotherapy

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About Me

I was naturally drawn to becoming a psychotherapist as I have found it very helpful during my own personal crises. It helped me through some very difficult and painful periods in my life and I know how helpful and rewarding therapy can be. My own personal development continues through attending workshops, courses and my own psychotherapy.

I grew up partly in England and partly in Africa and so have experience of living, studying and working in a variety of cultures. I believe that my own life experiences contribute to the way I am, my work and my ability to build strong and trusting relationships with all my clients.

I am able to offer my clients a unique, relaxed, sympathetic yet professional relationship in order for you to explore the difficulties that you are facing in your own life.

Formal Training

I trained at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in London (CCPE ), completing first a Foundation in Counselling and Psychotherapy, then a 4-year post-graduate Diploma and finally a Master's Degree in Transpersonal Counselling and Psychotherapy.

I am accredited by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and abide by their ethics and of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. I also receive weekly supervision as stipulated by the UKCP and BACP and client anonymity is maintained throughout.


Any other questions?

Q.Do I need a referral to come and see you?

A. No - the most usual route to get counselling and psychotherapy is self-referral, where you contact me directly and we agree to meet and discuss what you feel you need. However, I also take referrals from G.P.s, psychiatrists, other medical consultants, private medical insurance companies and Employee Assistance Programmes. I am an accredited provider with a number of private medical insurance companies, including BUPA, so you may be able to claim for your counselling and psychotherapy through your medical insurance company.

Q. What's the difference between counselling & Psychotherapy

A. Although the terms counselling and psychotherapy are both used, counselling tends to be shorter and more solution-focused, whereas psychotherapy is more open-ended and allows for deeper, more meaningful work. While psychotherapy can include certain aspects of counselling, it is also an opportunity for you to explore your problems and difficulties in more depth. The main difference in the two ways of working is in the training: psychotherapy training is longer and more in-depth and as a psychotherapist we are required by our accrediting body to be in our own therapy for the length of training.


Q. What is IMAGO Therapy?

A. IMAGO therapy was developed by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, in their book 'Getting the Love you Want'. It is a systematic theory of relationship therapy, which offers powerful and effective ways for couples to quickly and effectively access the core reasons for the problems they experience in their relationship and offers them the 'tools' to work towards healing. It is a systematic and structured approach that integrates different theoretical orientations such as Systemic, Psychodynamic, Humanistic and Transpersonal approaches to psychology.

Q. What is Encounter-centred Couples Therapy?

A. Encounter-centred Couples Therapy takes IMAGO to an even deeper level - it is a powerful tool to really connect to our partner. It is challenging and yet very rewarding in terms of providing a safe and loving space in which to explore who you are and what happens to you in the relationship and life in general.

You've come this far, please let me help you...

Who do you work with?
I work with men and women of all backgrounds and sexualities and I work with both individuals and couples.

What can I expect at my first session?
This will be an opportunity for both of us to get a sense of each other. It will also be a chance for me to gather some detailed information on your background and what has brought you to counselling or psychotherapy.

You will need to commit to a session each week, usually at a regular time, and be prepared to talk about yourself for 55 minutes. In fact you don't always need to talk, but you will need to be curious to understand yourself better, and some courage to face difficult issues that you may not have ever talked about before.

How long is a session?
Sessions last 55 minutes. However, if we decide to use EMDR in a session, we will book one and a half hours and I charge pro-rata for whatever time we use. For couples the first session is generally three hours long and subsequent sessions are usually 90-120 minutes.

How long will I be in Counselling/Psychotherapy for?
There is not a typical time for someone to be in counselling/psychotherapy - depending on what you bring, what you would like to work on and in what depth.
Short-term Counselling tends to be anything from six weeks to a year or more. Long-term Psychotherapy, which is about real change, tends to take longer. Psychotherapy usually explores issues in greater depth and leaves a more lasting effect.

How much do you charge?
My fees change each year and depend on where and when we arrange to meet. Fees are £10 higher in London and I charge an extra £5 for appointments after 4pm. My fees are currently from £50-£80

If you have genuine financial difficulty that may exclude you attending therapy, a form of sliding scale exists where fees are negotiated according to what you can comfortably afford. If the financial situation should change at any time during therapy, it is assumed that the fee would be re-negotiated.

Do I need a referral to come and see you?
No. The most usual route to get counselling and psychotherapy is self-referral, where you contact me directly and we agree to meet and discuss what you feel you need. However, I also take referrals from G.P.s, Psychiatrists, other medical consultants, private medical insurance companies and Employee Assistance Programmes. I am an accredited provider with a number of private medical insurance companies, including BUPA so you may be able to claim for your counselling and psychotherapy through your medical insurance company.

Why go privately?
NHS counselling through GP surgeries is often time-limited and you may have to wait a long time to see someone. Usually counselling is not offered on a weekly basis and you are unlikely to have much choice about who you see, when you see them, or the approach they offer. Some counsellors are not registered/accredited to UKCP or BACP.

Do you do CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)?
CBT is the favoured approach offered by the NHS for everything from depression to stress and bereavement. I do not offer CBT. Whilst CBT works for some people some of the time, it does not work for all the people all of the time. If it has not worked for you, it may have left you feeling even worse as you may feel like you're a failure and even more hopeless. If this is your experience, you are not alone - this is quite usual. CBT is a top-down approach, meaning that it works to change your thought patterns and then your behaviour. Whilst this works sometimes, for most of us fear, anxiety, depression, trauma, fear, etc is not just about our thoughts but something much deeper. There are many good articles on the internet about CBT and I encourage you to check out whether this form of therapy would work for you. For example: check out this article

Do you contract with your clients?
Yes. The contract covers issues such as confidentiality, cancellation policy, etc. If we are both happy to continue after the first session I will ask you to sign the Contract. I have found that a Contract makes clients feel safe enough to do the work.

CONTACT DETAILS:

To arrange an initial appointment please call me on: Tel: 07445-672295 or 01277-213935
Or click here to email me: micausten1@hotmail.com
On contacting you I will arrange a date and time for an initial appointment.
All messages and calls will be treated in strictest confidence. Both my e-mail account and mobile answer phone service are only ever accessed by me.

My Essex details are:
36, Warley Hill,
Brentwood,
Essex
CM14 5HA

Tel: 01277-213935 or 07445-672295
Map: CLICK HERE

In London, my practice details are:
C/o Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education (CCPE )
Beauchamp Lodge
2 Warwick Crescent
London W2

Tel: 07445-672295
Map: CLICK HERE



Mic Austen
Brentwood Counselling and Psychotherapy
Tel: 07445-672295
Click here to email me

Accredited Counsellor & Psychotherapist
IMAGO Relationship Therapist
Sensorimotor psychotherapy for trauma

Trauma and dissociative disorders
Individuals, Relationships and Couples Therapist

Counselling & Psychotherapy in Brentwood, Shenfield, Chelmsford, Upminster, Hornchurch, Billericay in Essex
Paddington, Maida Vale, Little Venice, Bayswater, West London
United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy


Other sites where I can be found:
www.essexpsychotherapy.co.uk
United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
Thomson Local
Yellow Pages
Local Search UK
Imago Relationship Therapy - UK
IMAGO Relationship Therapy - International

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