Counselling Service staff
I started my professional journey supporting people with acute mental health difficulties as a befriender/ advocate, mainly in Westminster borough, subsequently focused my work on suicide support and prevention in the Maytree Suicide Respite Centre in North London while also working in psychotherapeutic communities around London. I have trained in the Person-Centred model of Counselling and Psychotherapy but, over the years, I have adopted a way of working which integrates a range of modalities and interventions, including Focusing-Oriented, Attachment theory, Experiential Psychotherapy, Mindfulness, Phenomenology, Pluralist theories of Self and ACT. In my work, I focus on the relationship with the Other; a co-created safe non-judgmental space for the clients to embrace their internal experiencing and potential for change.
I am particularly interested in: issues related to trauma; developmental change; attachment dynamics and family systems; and institutional thinking. In addition to Western psychology, I find it valuable to draw upon culturally diverse literature, expressive arts, and meditation. I am a BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) Accredited Counsellor and a registered psychotherapist with the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy).
I began my counselling journey as a befriender for people in suicidal crisis. My background in writing, publishing and improvisational arts eventually led to what seemed a natural progression and I began training as an integrative arts psychotherapist. I have found that talking combined with optional creative practices can help bring to light previously unseen perspectives, as well as helping to express and understand emotions and experiences that are harder to put into words, or may feel overwhelming. I am informed by a relational integrative approach, working collaboratively with individuals and groups to find practises that best suit their unique needs and situation.
I have long been passionate about helping people start to heal from the impact of trauma and violence, and also creating wider conversation and cultural change to increase awareness and support around the needs of victims/survivors of sexual violence. As part of the Not the Only One project, I have offered training and support to university staff and students around issues faced by those who experienced sexualised violence, including child sexual abuse, and facilitated survivor consent and wellbeing workshops as well as ongoing support groups. I was also involved in organizing the Clear Lines Festival in 2015, the first four day event of its kind solely focused on issues of sexual violence and consent.
I have worked with adults and young people in a range of settings, including with women affected by criminal justice and mental health systems, and managing a counselling service for young people in a secondary school. I continue to develop my understanding of ways to safely and creatively help develop resilience and self-compassion through ongoing trainings in trauma-informed practices, focusing, nonviolent communication, and various therapeutic and modalities.
Hi, my name is Andy, and I have been an accredited psychotherapist and counsellor for ten years. Prior to becoming a counsellor, I worked in the public and charity sectors, building helping relationships with people from diverse backgrounds. It is my belief that counselling should be a flexible and supportive process; one that is firmly grounded in theory, yet also adapted to suit the strains and difficulties of modern life.
I am trained integratively, which means that I combine many approaches and theories in my work with the hope that together we can find a unique model that works for you. My particular areas of interest and experience are sexual and gender identity, LGBT+ mental and sexual health, relationship and sexual difficulties, anxiety and depression, sexual violation, bereavement and chronic illness. However, we are all unique beings and are much more than the sum of our experiences and difficulties. For that reason, I approach every new client with fresh eyes and hope to provide a safe, non-judgemental space for you to explore.
If I can help at all, or if you would like to ask a question or find out more, please do get in touch – I would be very happy to hear from you.
As well as having been a counsellor in two universities, I have also worked therapeutically in colleges and schools. During and since my counselling degree, I have found myself being drawn to working in both education and in community-based services in London, such as a Womens Project for refugees and migrants in Deptford, a charity in Richmond offering residential care to teenagers with substance abuse, and a community centre for young families in Lewisham. I am a Registered Member of the BACP.
Being a counsellor is a career change for me, having worked as an employment lawyer in a previous life. It was a decision that has at times felt risky but ultimately, has always felt right. It has given me a personal appreciation for our ability to shape our own journeys, adapt to different worlds, and that in one way or another, we are always in transition and learning something new. My work at the university offers me balance as I run my private practice alongside it. I think it is fair to say that I enjoy variety!
In my style of working, I try to be gentle and respectful. I also try to be pragmatic and creative in integrating different approaches and my new learning along the way. I am keen to keep up to date with current research, such as neuroscience, which helps to inform my work, particularly with trauma and relationship issues. I strive to be open to the unique experiences and world views that all my clients bring, and to meet them in that place. I work with my clients to connect with their own power to cope through life challenges and to fulfil their potential, at whatever stage they are at.
In 2000, while running an Employment & Training project for MIND in Haringey, I began my training as an Integrative Counsellor combining psychodynamic and humanistic approaches. From MIND I went on to work as an advocate and counsellor with clients who had experienced abuse by health and care professionals. As a counsellor, I then moved into the field of disability and traumatic sight-loss with RNIB. Overall, I have worked a great deal with issues of power, identity, difference, diversity and marginalisation. My role has often involved helping clients to explore how they can move towards recovery and rediscovering a sense of meaning in their lives. I spent three years as a student counsellor at City Lit, working with students facing a variety of challenges and wishing to find ways to develop their potential and live more fulfilling lives.
My initial degree was in Comparative Religion and I have a longstanding interest in the beliefs and outlooks of different communities and faiths. From this, I hope I bring a respectful way of working with issues of culture, and also an interest in meditational practices, which I find can be a helpful component in counselling, pain/stress management and, more broadly, in personal development (no faith required!).