Cognitive and schema therapy in North London
Welcome to my website. I am a cognitive therapist with a private practice in East Finchley, North London. I can help with a wide range of issues including stress, depression, anxiety, phobias, trauma and post-traumatic stress, relationship and parenting difficulties, anger management, panic attacks and agoraphobia, a lack of confidence or low-self esteem, substance abuse and eating disorders. I offer both cognitive and schema therapy, depending on the issue you want help with.
Having spent many years training in different approaches to counselling and psychotherapy I decided to focus on cognitive therapy, because it is widely recognised as the most effective way to tackle most psychological problems. My aim is both to help you feel better and to modify unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving so you can live a calmer, more satisfying and fulfilling life. Cognitive therapy is proven to be the best way to achieve that.
Schema therapy is a longer-term approach than standard CBT which is designed to help people with long-standing or hard-to-treat problems. It will be helpful if you have tried other approaches but nothing has worked; or your problems are very wide-ranging, affecting your work, relationships or family life.
I am a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), a Member of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), a Full Member of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST) and an Associate Member of the Association for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (AREBT).
I am happy to work either short or long-term, depending on the issue you want to tackle. If you would like to arrange a session call me on 07766 704210, email email@example.com or use the contact form to get in touch.
Why cognitive therapy?
Whatever difficulties you are currently facing, like everyone else you probably want to be happier and stronger, to feel calmer and more in control of your life. Cognitive therapy offers a highly effective way to help you achieve that, using techniques I will teach you how to use yourself long after we stop working together. Many of these techniques are available for free on my website, so you can start using them right away.
Some problems can be solved with a short-term approach, while for more deep-rooted issues I will help you understand how early life experiences can affect you as an adult; why negative or unhelpful thoughts and beliefs lead to emotional difficulties; and, crucially, help you change your way of thinking so you feel better and life becomes easier and more enjoyable.
How I can help
Although I can help with various issues, most people who come to see me are suffering from stress, depression or anxiety. If you are suffering from chronic stress you may feel deeply fatigued, irritable and unable to concentrate. You might be struggling to cope, feeling like everything is just too much at home or work. When people are stressed they suffer from psychological (feeling angry or depressed, negative or panicky thoughts), physiological (headaches, shortness of breath, racing heartbeat) and behavioural (being snappy with colleagues or family members, being unable to switch off or relax) symptoms – chronic stress makes life extremely unpleasant, so it's important to address it as soon as possible.
If you are depressed, you may have a hard time at work, in your relationships and as a parent – it casts a shadow over every moment of your day. Judging by all the research into depression – as well as my experience of helping dozens of people to recover from it – I believe that no-one need suffer in silence; and that most people with depression can feel a great deal better with the right treatment, support and encouragement. If you are depressed, I would very much like to help – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form to get in touch. Or do contact your GP or one of the many excellent mental health charities (such as Mind or the Depression Alliance).
If you are suffering from anxiety, day-to-day life may be a real struggle. You might have a hard time concentrating, making decisions or sleeping, have various physical symptoms and even panic attacks. But, like depression, anxiety can be treated with the right help and support. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is proven to be the most effective approach for stress, depression and anxiety. Again, please contact me for help, talk to your GP or visit Anxiety UK.
I have also helped people with:
•Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
•Phobias, including a fear of heights, animals and public speaking
•Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder
•Mood swings and bipolar disorder
•Personality problems such as borderline and narcissistic personality disorders
•Divorce, relationship and parenting problems
•Redundancy, unemployment and financial difficulties
•Problems related to fatigue including burnout and chronic fatigue syndrome
•Finding a better work/life balance
•Sleep-related problems and insomnia
•Problems related to retirement and growing older
•Panic attacks and agoraphobia
•Shyness and social anxiety
•Substance abuse including dependence on or addiction to alcohol, recreational or prescription drugs or gambling
•Binge eating disorder and overeating
Some of these problems are suitable for short-term therapy, while others need a slower pace and longer-term approach – I am happy to offer both.
My approach to therapy
My training has involved a number of different approaches to counselling and psychotherapy including humanistic, integrative, cognitive and mindfulness-based therapies, because I believe they all contain wisdom and have something unique to offer. As a therapist I mainly use cognitive therapy techniques, but also draw from the best of the other approaches. This allows me to help you find solutions to whatever problems you are facing.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is the most effective way to relieve chronic stress, anxiety or depression. It's a short-term approach that will help you modify the negative thoughts and beliefs that are at the root of these problems. The great thing about CBT is that it starts helping quickly and you can learn a set of simple, common-sense techniques you can then use any time you run into difficulties.
Longer-term therapy will involve gaining a greater understanding of the difficulties in your past, usually stemming from childhood, that are causing you problems today. The focus of longer-term work depends on the issue you need to address, but often involves tackling the unhelpful beliefs and patterns of behaviour that cause difficulties in your life today. There is no time limit to this kind of work and no rush, so we will go at your pace.
I also have a strong personal and professional interest in mindfulness meditation, which is increasingly recognised as an excellent way to tackle things like stress, anxiety, recurrent bouts of depression and even chronic pain. Mindfulness is now endorsed by the NHS and Mental Health Foundation, while compassion (another key Buddhist concept) is also becoming accepted as a useful antidote to a range of psychological problems.
I see clients at my private practice in East Finchley, north London.
When I'm not working with clients, I spend my time writing. Before retraining as a therapist, I was a health journalist for over a decade, writing for most of the UK's newspapers and magazines; and I'm the author of Bipolar Disorder: the Essential Guide. With both my book and this website, my aim is to pass on the knowledge and self-help techniques that I think are most effective and helpful for a wide range of mental health problems. I also blog for the Huffington Post and am often quoted in the media on my specialist subjects.
Here's what some of my clients have to say about working with me:
Where I work
My private practice in East Finchley is based at 4 Bedford Mews, London N2 9DF. The practice is in a quiet mews just off East Finchley High Road and is easily accessible from East Finchley Station, which is a 10-minute walk. There is plenty of free parking just outside, apart from 2-3pm when it's pay-and-display. It is also well served by local buses including the 263, 143 and 102, and within easy travelling distance of many areas of north London, such as Highgate, Muswell Hill, Barnet, Hampstead, Hendon, Golders Green, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Islington, Crouch End, Belsize Park, Holloway, Archway, Tufnell Park, Kentish Town, Camden, Euston and King's Cross.
Get in touch
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