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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.
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.
Since completing my psychotherapy training, I continue to expand my toolbox with further qualifications. I am an EMDR Practitioner trained to work with trauma, complex trauma and dissociation. I have also done training in Sensorimotor Psythotherapy, Brainspotting, IMAGO couples training and Encounter-centred couples training.
I am accredited by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and abide by their ethics. I am compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and have a GDPR policy setting out in detail how I register and store information that we discuss in our work. If you would like to see it, please ask me. I also receive weekly supervision as stipulated by the UKCP and BACP and client anonymity is maintained throughout.
Q.Do you offer therapy over the phone or online?
A. Yes. Since the Coronavirus has exploded into our lives, people are naturally very anxious and yet are worried about attending therapy face-to-face. Online therapy offers a perfect way to get to 'see' a therapist and to stay safe.
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.
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, and usually beyond. Personal work continues in workshops and trainings which I then bring back into my work with clients to expand and deepen the work we do.
What is EMDR?
EMDR is a treatment approved by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence for the treatment of a number of disorders, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. I use it in conjunction with talking therapy and found it very effective and provides subtle and quicker results than just talking therapy. In brief, counselling and psychotherapy provide insight but EMDR can provide profound changes. Come and give it a try!
B>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.
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. We will discuss whether you want insight or change and how best to support you in that.
How often do I have to come?
Therapy works best on a weekly basis. If you are in a lot of distress, twice a week may be helpful but we would discuss what is right for you.
We try and meet at a regular time each week. I invite you to be curious about yourself and without judgement. We all have behaviours we are not proud of but trust that these are developed for a reason, a long time ago so we may have forgotten what that reason is.
How long is a session?
Sessions usually last 55 minutes. However, there may be times that we schedule in a longer session if needed and if so, 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. It also depends on whether you want insight, which tends to take a long time or change which, with EMDR, may be relatively quick.
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. EMDR makes for real, tangible and profound changes.
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 £60-£90, although 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. I would rather you were able to come to therapy than not, if the only obstacle is financial. 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.
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)?
No. 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 and this....
Do you contract with your clients?
Yes. The contract covers issues such as confidentiality, cancellation policy, etc. I usually give the contract to you at the end of the first session and then discuss it with you at the 2nd session to make sure you are happy with it. I am happy to discuss any concerns you might have.
Do you abide by the new General Data Protection Regulations?
Yes I have a privacy statement which I can give you when we start working together if you would like a copy.
To arrange an initial appointment please call me on: Tel: 07445-672295
Or click here to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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,
Tel: 01277-213935 or 07445-672295
Map: CLICK HERE
In London, my practice details are:
C/o Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education (CCPE )
2 Warwick Crescent
Map: CLICK HERE
Mic Austen MA, MSc, MA, Dip
Masters degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Advanced Trauma Training
Brentwood Counsellor and Psychotherapy
Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education
UKCP Accredited Counsellor & Psychotherapist
IMAGO Relationship Therapist
Sensorimotor psychotherapy for trauma
Trauma and Dissociative disorders
Individuals, Relationships and Couples Therapist
Counselling, Psychotherapy & EMDR in Brentwood, Shenfield, Chelmsford, Upminster, Hornchurch, Billericay in Essex
Paddington, Maida Vale, Little Venice, Bayswater, West London
United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists
Please see my @22 for more information on how I work...
Latest @22 entry is: Counselling and Psychotherapy: What to expect in the first sesson?
I am an experienced UKCP registered Psychotherapist and Counsellor and an EMDR Practitioner working in private practice in Brentwood, Essex near Shenfield, Billericay and Chelmsford, I also work in Central London, near Maida Vale/Paddington.
Other sites where I can be found:
United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
Local Search UK
Imago Relationship Therapy - UK
IMAGO Relationship Therapy - International
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