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About Talking Therapies

Many people use Talking Therapy as a solution for a crisis, but it’s helpful to see a professional for regular, everyday issues too. Research shows that talking to a therapist can positively rewire the brain over time. Experts also say the practice can be transformative even if you don’t have a mental health condition: Therapists can help you work through acute life stressors, help you cope with major life changes or just offer solutions for a calmer state of mind.

Talking Therapies can help you work out how to deal with negative thoughts and feelings and make positive changes.  They can help people who are feeling distressed by difficult events in their lives as well as people with a mental health problem. Talking Therapies are called a confusing mix of names, but behind every technical term is a way of working with people that can help.  Therapies are divided into several broad types that include Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology.

The Mental Health Foundation has produced a very informative booklet called "Talking Therapies Explained".  

The Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Clinical Psychologists at Asana work from a variety of Theoretical Approaches with their clients.  These therapies range from the type of Psychoanalysis, originally practiced by Sigmund Freud and later developed into other forms of analytic psychotherapy by his pupils, through Humanistic Psychotherapy (based on personal growth and self-development) to the Behavioural Therapies used for dealing with specific phobias and anxieties. However, there is evidence that the relationship between the counsellor and the client is more important than the approach the therapist uses.

For overview photographs and specialisms of all our Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Clinical Psychologists, click here.

"What is it like to have counselling?"
You may find this in depth blog, candid and helpful. Click here.

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More about Psychotherapy

The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy offers a very effective definition of psychotherapy as, "The provision, by a qualified practitioner, of a formal and professional relationship within which patients/clients can profitably explore difficult, and often painful, emotions and experiences. These may include feelings of anxiety, depression, trauma, or perhaps the loss of meaning of one's life. It is a process that seeks to help the person gain an increased capacity for choice, through which the individual becomes more autonomous and self-determined. Psychotherapy may be provided for individuals or children, couples, families and in groups".

In addition, psychotherapy often serves to promote personal growth and self-actualisation. So many people choose psychotherapy as a form of personal development; to gain a better understanding of themselves; how they interrelate with others; to find inner peace; and to fulfil their potential. All these are valid reasons to start psychotherapy to help explore, understand and change what is happening in your life.

For overview photographs and specialisms of all our Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Clinical Psychologists, click here 

Psychotherapy is full of many beautiful theories - but the best therapists know that the greatest skill lies in the personal capacity to sit with fear, grief, anxiety, terror, grace, silence, and the unknown with total presence and equanimity.
After that, theory starts to count.           Dr. Aaron Balick

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More about Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. 

Clinical psychology is a broad branch of psychology that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Some of the more common disorders that might be treated include learning disabilities, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

Clinical psychologists help people make positive changes to their thinking and behaviour. They aim to understand their clients' thoughts and actions so they can work with them to manage or overcome their psychological distress and improve their well-being. 

Treatments may include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness based psychological therapies.

Further information is available through the website of the British Psychological Society. 

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Other kinds of Talking Therapy

Different talking therapies are called a confusing mix of names and some therapies have several names. Don’t let the jargon put you off! Behind every technical term is a way of working with people that is designed to help. Therapies are usually divided into several broad types. But even therapists who offer the same kind of therapy will have a slightly different way of working from each other because all therapists have a personal style as well. 

The Therapies listed below are just some of the Theoretical Approaches used  by our therapists and each one has a link to more information about it. These are by no means exhaustive, but are offered as additional outline information for clients. Typically, therapists may use a combination of techniques depending on the needs of their client.  Other approaches are more specific.  The individual profile of each of our Therapists provides more in depth information about their qualifications, experience and current area of expertise or focus.

CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Integrative Therapy

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy/Counselling

Gestalt Psychotherapy

Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Humanistic Therapy

Interpersonal Therapy 

Existential Therapy

Mindfulness Based Therapy

EMDR Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing

Life Coaching

Motivational Counselling

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List of Issues that can be addressed

If you would like more information about some of the conditions listed below, The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy has a comprehensive and user friendly 'What Therapy Can Help With' page. Click here to access it. 

Please be assured that the team of therapists at Asana have a wealth of experience of working with these conditions, and more, between them.  Indeed most have specialisms in certain conditions and will refer Clients to each other as the need arises. Some therapists also have experience in medico-legal assessment and reporting within their field of specialism and are on the register of expert witnesses.

Many of the conditions listed below also have links directly to other organisations where further in depth information on that particular condition can be found. Just click on the conditions which are in bold text.

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More about Couples Therapy

Couples counselling is a form of talking therapy that aims to improve communication and resolve issues within any intimate relationship.  Very few relationships exist conflict-free and staying together through life's twists and turns is rarely simple. When our most important relationship hits problems, our health and happiness often suffers and it is at this point that seeking outside help can be incredibly useful. However, many couples use therapy sessions as a way to keep their relationship healthy and to explore any worries that may become conflicts in the future.

Talking to a trained counsellor or therapist who is impartial, yet empathic, can be all it takes for you to gain perspective as they guide you through your concerns. The overall aim is to help you understand how various external factors can affect your relationship; consider the past and how it impacts in the present; communicate together in a more constructive way; understand why arguments escalate; negotiate and resolve conflicts where possible.

As your counselling sessions progress, you and your partner may find a way of overcoming your problems, or you may decide it is time to both go your own way. Either way, counselling will offer you the space to grow and decide what you would like the future to hold for both of you.

Most of Asana's therapists are experienced in dealing with relationship issues, but some, including those listed below, have additional specialisms in this field, that may be appropriate for you.

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More about Therapy for Children & Adolescents

At Asana we are fortunate to have six amazing specialists who are experienced in helping troubled children suffering from a wide range of conditions. Whether your child needs help to gain increased confidence or overcome anxiety, bullying, phobias or depression; to working with eating disorders, bereavement and specific childhood trauma (eg: physical, sexual and emotional abuse); and helping young people and families with more complex needs.

The detailed profile of each therapist gives more information about their work and experience with children and teenagers and even greater insight can be found on their own website links.  Please do take time to decide who may be best suited to help your child and do not hesitate to give them a call to discuss your needs and concerns.

You may also find the information contained in this link helpful. Child Related Issues.

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More about Family, Systemic, Relationship and Constellation Therapy

Please do take some time to watch the video link at the bottom of this page and take in the important and powerful messages.

Family Therapy

This is used to treat a family system rather than individual members of the family.  A form of Systemic Therapy, it requires specifically trained counsellors, experienced in dealing with child and adolescent mental health and families with complex needs.

Systemic Therapy

Systemic therapy seeks to understand the individual in relationships with others, rather than in isolation. It seeks to identify deeply entrenched unhelpful patterns within an individual's relationships and between family members rather than seeing problems located within an individual. All people are embedded in their context and are part of a larger unit or system, such as, a couple, a family, or an organisation.
During the therapeutic process the clients' views and relationships are explored in order to understand the problems they are experiencing. This approach helps family members to communicate better with each other. It can help families to change, develop and resolve conflict.

The issues that a Systemic Approach can address:

Family  and systemic therapy can be useful in times of crisis and also with regards to longstanding problems. It also serves to prevent problems such as behavioural difficulties in children and improves parenting skills. Some of the issues or situations where a family could benefit from family therapy are listed bellow.

  • Promoting parenting skills and communication among family members.
  • Relationship difficulties.
  • Health problems, particularly chronic physical illnesses. 
  • Psychosomatic problems. 
  • Child and adolescent mental health. 
  • Adult mental health. 
  • Psychosexual difficulties. 
  • Alcohol and other substance abuse. 
  • Marital problems including lack of communication, separation and divorce.
  • Foster care and adoption.
  • Family life cycle and transitional stages of life issues. 
  • School-related problems. 
  • Work-related problems. 
  • Traumatic experiences, loss and bereavement. 
  • Disruption of family life due to social, political and religious conflicts.

Relationship Therapy

Relationship counselling enables the parties in a relationship to recognise repeating patterns of distress and to understand and manage troublesome differences that they are experiencing. The relationship involved may be between, for example, members of a family (see also Family Therapy) or a couple, or work colleagues.

Constellation Therapy

Profound and compelling, Family Constellation work goes beyond therapy as it explores life events and traumas in previous family generations that is able to affect the lives of concurrent and future generations, often manifesting as physical illness or disruptive life patterns. Working with and understanding these influences can bring about transformation and healing. Petar Rodic is our specifically trained therapist.

The following animated video made by BeaconHouse is a powerful example of the causes of intergenerational trauma and it's repair, including the use of EMDR and Family Therapy.

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More about Addictions

If you have an addiction, you're not alone. According to the charity Action on Addiction, 1 in 3 people are addicted to something.

Addiction is defined as not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you. The strain of managing an addiction can seriously damage your work life and relationships. Some addictions can have serious psychological and physical effects.

Addiction is most commonly associated with smoking, drugs, alcohol and gambling, but it's possible to be addicted to just about anything, including: sex, work, shopping, food and solvent abuse.

Worryingly, a major and growing area affecting children and adults is Digital Addiction, including - mobile phones, social media, video gaming, online gambling and internet surfing.

Even more concerning is the 'Persuasive Design' technology (or algorithms) built into apps, video games, etc. that specifically targets areas of the brain responsible for forming habits and addictions. The WHO (World Health Organisation) now recognises video gaming addiction as a mental health disorder. Even the NHS has launched a gambling addiction clinic for children.

There are many reasons why addictions begin, such as: peer pressure; habits getting out of control; a need to block unpleasant issues, thoughts or feelings; trying to re-create powerful urges and feelings to the point of needing more and more to satisfy cravings and achieve a 'high'. 

Addiction is a treatable condition. Whatever the addiction, there are lots of ways you can seek help. You could see your GP for advice or contact an organisation that specialises in helping people with specific addictions.

At Asana, many of our qualified therapists are able to help with common addictions, such as smoking, alcohol, etc. But we also have some highly regarded specialists including:

Petar Rodic - is an Integrative Counsellor who was a Substance Misuse Practitioner for the NHS. He offers private Addiction Recovery Support to those who have addressed their addiction to alcohol or drugs and now require assistance to maintain their sobriety. Petar also helps people regain a sense of meaning and purpose in life.

Nicola Todd - is a Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist who has been successfully treating addictions and habits like smoking, as well as many other conditions, for over twenty years in the NHS and private practice.

Carolyne Ash-Brazier - has been successfully treating children and some adults who have experienced digital addiction, with a combination of CBT, NLP and hypnotherapy.

We also have two Psychosexual Therapists (Joanna Benfield and Cecily Criminale), who are recognised experts in their field and able to work with clients experiencing sex addiction. 

View their profiles to find out more. Just click on a name below.

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More about Depression

Depression is sometimes referred to as the "Black Dog". Just like a real dog, it needs to be embraced, understood, taught new tricks and ultimately brought to 'heal'. If you are in difficulty, never be afraid to ask for help. There is absolutely no shame in doing so.

The World Health Organisation states:

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Depression can happen to anybody.
  • Depression can be treated.
  • The first step is talking.

Please ... Watch this video 

Many of our specialists treat depression, including those listed below.

(Note that Pierre Cachia is specially interested in seeing depressed patients who find individual work taxing and prefer being seen with their partner/wife/husband ...)

(Deboroah Quy is also experienced in working with couples and families, who wish to work together in dealing with depression)

NICE - National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - has a public information section on their website dedicated to the Recognition and Management of Depression in Adults. Click here to access it.

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More about Eating Disorders

The NHS states: "An eating disorder is when you have an unhealthy attitude to food, which can take over your life and make you ill. It can involve eating too much or too little, or becoming obsessed with your weight and body shape. But there are treatments that can help, and you can recover from an eating disorder. Men and women of any age can get an eating disorder, but they most commonly affect young women aged 13 to 17 years old".

Eating disorders can be a way of coping with feelings or situations that are making the person unhappy, angry, depressed, stressed, or anxious. They are not the fault of the person suffering, and no one chooses to have an eating disorder. 

The most common eating disorders are:

Anorexia Nervosa – when you try to keep your weight as low as possible by not eating enough food, exercising too much, or both.
Bulimia – when you sometimes lose control and eat a lot of food in a very short amount of time (binging) and are then deliberately sick, use laxatives, restrict what you eat, or do too much exercise to try to stop yourself gaining weight.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – when you regularly lose control of your eating, eat large portions of food all at once until you feel uncomfortably full, and are then often upset or guilty.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) – when your symptoms don't exactly match those of anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder, but it doesn't mean it's a less serious illness.

OSFED is the most common, then binge eating disorder and bulimia. Anorexia is the least common.

You can recover from an eating disorder, but it may take time and recovery will be different for everyone. Treatment will be different depending on the type of eating disorder you have, but will usually involve some kind of talking therapy.

Please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists, below, to discuss your concerns in more detail.

For more in depth information on eating disorders from the NHS click here.

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More about Sex Therapy

"Sexual health and happiness is defined by the individual."

Sex and Relationship Therapy is a counselling service for men, women and couples looking to improve their sex lives and their relationships; to overcome undesirable compulsive behaviours; or even to address past relationship trauma affecting a new relationship.  It is provided in a safe and confidential environment in which all sexual and relationship issues can be discussed. 

Sex therapy often involves the treatment of sexual dysfunction using psychological techniques and talking therapies.  Available to individual clients and to couples, irrespective of sexual orientation, it aims to help overcome sexual problems; improve sexual performance; build sexual confidence; overcome compulsive sexual behaviours or addiction; or address emotional flashbacks that are impacting a new relationship.  In addition to counselling, sex therapy can include aspects of sex education, as well as coaching, the development of psychosexual skills and the improvement of communication skills. Sex therapy is usually short-term, lasting between 6 and 20 sessions, but can sometimes also be provided on a long-term basis.

Our highly regarded expert in this field offers Individual Counselling and Relationship and Couples Therapy on issues such as:

  • Compulsive Sexual Behaviours
  • Sex Addiction
  • Love Addiction
  • Sexual Function
  • Biological Sex
  • Sexual Practices
  • Gender
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Improving Personal Relationships
  • Enhancing Compatability
  • Resolving Sexual Problems
  • Past Sexual or Relationship Trauma
  • Emotional Flashbacks
  • Fertility Difficulties
  • Changes associated with Pregnancy and Birth
  • Working through the aftermath of Affairs