* Covid-19 Update 18/03/20 *
My priority is always the health and wellbeing of my clients. I am monitoring the current situation on an ongoing basis and please be reassured that you will be updated accordingly. Please let me know if you would prefer online or telephone sessions at this time.
Hello - I am Richard Hughes - a psychotherapist and counsellor.
I offer weekly psychotherapy and counselling in central Walthamstow which is on the Victoria line - 17 mins from Oxford Circus - or on the overground from Liverpool Street Station.
Weekly one hour sessions: £50
I am sure you will have some questions, so in the first instance if you would like to speak with me, please call me on 07970 245 899 - there is no obligation.
I work with a wide range of issues and with people from all walks of life - including LGBT+ and BAME - and with all adult age groups.
Issues I work with include: Relationships, anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, PTSD, childhood trauma, bereavement, loss, toxic work environments, work/life balance, panic attacks, adult ADHD, ruminating/catastrophizing thoughts, life/career changes, feeling stuck, self-confidence, self-esteem, being broken-hearted and being relationship ready.
I am committed to changing the perception of psychotherapy and counselling which I believe is 'everyday, essential, wellness maintenance'.
I also work within Wandsworth NHS as a counselling team leader.
I have completed a 4 Year MSc/Diploma in Psychotherapy (Level 7) at the Metanoia Institute which is validated by Middlesex University.
I am a student member of the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) www.psychotherapy.org.uk and UKAPI (United Kingdom Association for Psychotherapy Integration).
I accept and follow the principles set out in the UKCP's Code of Ethics and Conduct.
The UKCP is the leading body for the education, training and accreditation of psychotherapists - and as an organisation, requires annual renewal and continual professional development.
I also have a diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (NCFE), which can be helpful for phobias, anxiety, insomnia and habits such as nail-biting and smoking.
I carry full professional indemnity and public liability insurance and I have an up-to-date enhanced DBS certificate.
I worked in television production for over 20 years and was actively involved in creative diversity and mental health awareness in that industry.
PSYCHOTHERAPY & COUNSELLING
What I Do:
I offer both psychotherapy and counselling. So what is the difference between them?
I have heard it said that counselling is for when you have a problem in your life and psychotherapy is for when your life has become a problem.
This is reflected in the open-ended or long term nature of psychotherapy, whilst counselling is usually short term, perhaps 12 sessions in the first instance.
Psychotherapy and counselling is a safe and effective way to explore the many emotional, practical and psychological issues that play a part in your life.
Through this, you will begin to develop new perspectives, whilst gaining greater self-knowledge, self-care, self-reflection and self-acceptance. This can facilitate change.
There are many reasons why people decide to do psychotherapy and counselling, and with this in mind, I am interested in how you understand the issues that have brought you here – and then – within the professional boundary of our weekly sessions, we will begin to explore how you have dealt with these issues up until now – what works for you – and what you find challenging.
Here are a few questions people often ask as they embark on psychotherapy and counselling:
THINGS TO KNOW
Everyone has a few questions - here are just a few of them
IS IT CONFIDENTIAL?
As a member of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), I abide by their Code of Ethics.
I respect, protect and preserve the confidentiality of everyone I see in practice.
It is also important to understand that there are legal and ethical limits of that confidentiality. There are circumstances under which I might need to disclose confidential information to a third party. We will always discuss this if possible.
- Due to a request by a court of law, a child protection agency or the terrorism act.
- If there is a possibility of harm to yourself or others or in cases of crime.
- If a referring agency require a report.
All psychotherapists have supervision. I will therefore share some of the content of our sessions with my clinical supervisor though your full name and personal details will not be shared. I will also keep notes of all my work and may write reports. Any digital recordings - which we would agree on in advance - are password protected and encrypted. All my records are kept securely locked away at my place of work in accordance with the Data Protection Act (2018). You have the right to inspect your records should you so wish, and this request will be fulfilled during a therapy session.
COUNSELLING? PSYCHOTHERAPY? OR BOTH?
Psychotherapy is usually open-ended / long-term - at least a year. Counselling can be short-term or long-term. I offer both.
As a psychotherapist, I have completed 4 years of training to Level 7 which includes the clinical skills and knowledge to work with high risk or severe issues including PTSD.
All counsellors and psychotherapists need to do annual CPD - continuing professional development - throughout their careers.
Ultimately, it is important to know about your therapist's background, qualifications and ethical framework (their membership of an association).
HOW DO WE MAINTAIN BOUNDARIES?
Boundaries are extremely important. They allow us to build and maintain trust.
I uphold the UKCP Code of Ethics which sets out boundaries concerning the therapist's conduct as well as confidentiality both in and outside of the therapy room.
Psychotherapy and counselling are only formally described when the therapist and client work together on an agreed basis, and for this reason, we will draw up a contract, which will include a focus on the work, the responsibilities of both sides and the terms and conditions.
WITH SO MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF THERAPY, HOW DO I CHOOSE BETWEEN THEM?
Just some of the modalities out there include classical psychoanalysis, relational psychoanalysis, existential, integrative, gestalt, and person-centred. There is art therapy, drama therapy, CBT and body work and that's just the start!
Empirical research shows that the 'therapeutic relationship' is key to the effectiveness of psychotherapy and counselling - the type of therapy is rather less important. I practice integrative psychotherapy which is probably the most popular way of practicing these days. Integrative psychotherapy is about self-acceptance and the 'integration' of who you are - including the 'tricky' bits - the bits you may have disowned or find difficult to acknowledge. It is not about me telling you what to do, rather I encourage curiosity and exploration in our session as patterns and ways of being often get replicated in the therapy room.
HOW LONG WILL THERAPY LAST FOR?
Some people decide to do a few sessions, whereas others find it useful to do a longer period of time. It may be that if you have done therapy before, or if you are familiar with the therapeutic process, you may now feel that open-ended work is something you want to explore further. It is an individual choice. What I would suggest is that we use the first 1-2 sessions as an assessment. This will give us the opportunity to see how we might work together. We may then decide to contract a time frame. I would suggest a minimum of 12 sessions. You can stop whenever you want to, and we will keep this under review. I would class anything over a couple of years as longer, open-ended work.
IS IT ALL ABOUT THE PAST AND MY CHILDHOOD?
Traditionally, psychotherapy has always been interested in childhood and family dynamics but there's a lot more to it than just that. Together we might explore how old narratives get replayed in current relationships and how our experiences of work, society and culture interact with our developmental and relational history. We may explore big 'existential' themes - or dreams and metaphors. I am also interested in what is happening in the 'here and now', here in the therapy room.
WILL I LIE ON A COUCH?
There is popular image of Freud sitting behind a couch - smoking a cigar - nodding sagely. Of course that was a long time ago. The kind of psychotherapy I do does not involve lying on a couch. Rather we sit with each other in a relaxed, informal environment - this is key to building a trusting, working relationship. I do have a sofa though - and you are more than welcome to sit on that too.
WILL THERAPY FIX ME?
Many people embarking on therapy ask if it will 'fix' them.
It is a good question. After all, the anticipation of change is at the heart of the psychotherapeutic process. Anticipation usually presents itself as 'hope' and 'expectancy' - but of course, as we all know, there is no 'magic wand'.
There's plenty of empirical evidence that some therapeutic techniques can help people reframe their issues - giving them space to be more flexible and self-reflective.
But I also hold this observation from psychotherapist Thomas Moore in his book The Care Of The Soul:
'The trouble with some of our modern therapies and psychologies is that they aim at goals that are known - fantasies or normality or unquestioned values ... but there are times when we may need to be weak and powerless, vulnerable and open to experience ... in relation to the symptom itself, observance means first of all listening and looking carefully at what is being revealed in the suffering. An intent to heal can get in the way of seeing. By doing less, more is accomplished.’
HOW DOES THERAPY END?
Usually by agreement between us. Endings can trigger all sorts of thoughts and feelings and it is important to acknowledge and explore that as part of our time together. For this reason, I always suggest that we take at least 2-4 sessions to process the ending.
I offer weekly psychotherapy. There are many reasons why I believe this is preferable. It establishes a clear parameter and this creates a more 'holding' or 'containing' environment. If sessions are done twice monthly or once a month they can become 'catch up'. Sometimes when people have been doing long term psychotherapy - over a year - less frequent sessions can be part of the ending process.
I offer weekly sessions that are for 50 minutes - a therapeutic hour.
The sessions happen at the same time on consecutive weeks for as long as we contract for.
How long is up to you.
Please email me at or call me on 07970 245 899
Mon - Fri: 7.30am - 8.30pm