Are you facing a tough time, feeling stuck and struggling with confused and difficult emotions?
Would you like to wake up tomorrow feeling different from today?
I offer psychotherapy and counselling in a confidential, non-judgemental and comfortable setting. In this safe space you can start to explore, understand and address underlying repeating patterns which may prevent you from moving forward or living a more fulfilling life.
I am a qualified psychotherapist trained in adult psychotherapy and counselling. I work with adults across all age groups, backgrounds and levels of distress, offering short and long-term therapy at my private practices and also online.
Besides private practice, I work as an honorary psychotherapist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) - one of the UK's leading providers of mental health services, where I work on one-year contracts with patients suffering from childhood and adult trauma. I also conduct short-term psychotherapy in a residential drug and alcohol substance abuse rehabilitation centre.
M.A. Psychotherapy and Counselling (Distinction) – Regent’s University, London.
Foundation Certificate in Psychotherapy and Counselling - Regent's University, London.
Introductory Lectures and Seminars - completed at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.
M. Phil (Cantab.) International Relations - Queens' College, University of Cambridge.
PGCE - Institute of Education, University of London.
B.A. (Econ) (Hons) - University of Manchester.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) (registration number: 399568) and abide by their professional code of ethical practice for matters of confidentiality, supervision, complaints and continuing professional development.
We are all individuals with a unique way of being in the world. I work as an Integrative Psychotherapist, meaning I draw on various theories and approaches personally suited to your unique needs.
The experience of being listened to non-judgementally, feeling heard and understood can bring deep relief from distress, with such greater self-awareness setting you on a new path with yourself and others.
My approach is exploratory, supportive, and collaborative. Initially, you may find it helpful for us to explore your past in order to understand links with your present patterns of behaviour, attachment relationships and feelings. We can then work out your true needs and what choices may achieve them in a positive and practical way.
People come to me for help a wide range of issues. Here are a few of the more common difficulties that can be supported:
Feelings of anxiety, panic attacks and work-related stress
Grief, loss or bereavement
Problems with addiction – drugs, alcohol, sex, over-working
Relationships and problems with family life – children, affairs, separation and divorce
Trauma and dissociation
Abuse – physical, emotional, sexual and domestic
Loss of meaning, purpose and direction
Adverse childhood experiences
Depression, loneliness and sadness
Problems with confidence, low self-esteem and life transitions
Issues relating to sexuality
Disorders – personality, attachment, OCD, PTSD, ADHD and mood
Difficulties at work or in retirement
Meeting House Lane
78-80 Borough High Street
Regular weekly sessions are from £60 (in north-west Lancashire) and £80 (in central London) and last for 50 minutes. (Concessionary rates for students and people with limited means are available - please enquire).
I offer a free twenty-minute initial video or phone consultation to assess and explore your presenting issues. This will give you a feel for how I work and allow you to express your hopes and expectations for therapy and ask any questions you may have. You would then usually come on a weekly basis for 50-minute sessions at a regular time and day.
I tailor therapy to individual needs and offer both shorter-term counselling and longer-term psychotherapy. Counselling addresses immediate problems of concern. This can include issues with relationships, abuse, lack of confidence, anger management or bereavement. Psychotherapy looks at repeating patterns of negative behaviour, mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, addictions or personality disorders which are causing you distress. These may originate from childhood experiences or trauma which requires deeper work as the origin may not be immediately obvious.
Some people like to have a specific number of therapy sessions, with reviews, while others want open-ended therapy. You can decide or we can mutually agree on the duration and when to end therapy. I always provide an ending session to review the work, assess the progress made and consider what an ending means.
We'll discuss in more detail why you are coming to therapy. I shall then conduct an assessment in order to explore your concerns. From that we'll mutually discuss a framework for how we can work together to explore your presenting issues, try to understand them better and how we can change repeating patterns to live a different and more fulfilled life. Coming to therapy is a brave step. I liken it to an act of rebellion - you've finally had enough of suffering, and feeling stuck and you want to seek comfort from issues causing you distress. Ibsen in his play Ghosts writes, 'It is the very mark of the spirit of rebellion to crave for happiness in this life'. My role as your therapist is to support that rebellion.
The therapeutic space we create will be non-judgemental, safe and healing. Therapy is an opportunity to unburden yourself of how you feel, the pain suffered, the difficulties of this and your desire for change. Freud said 'We can't bury pain - it doesn't decompose'. Therapy allows you to take pain, trauma and associated negative emotions and difficult feelings out of the darkness and expose them to the cleansing power of sunlight. It can be very emotional and challenging. That's ok. You'll be in a safe and contained environment and if necessary I shall apply the brakes rather than the accelerator such that we proceed at a pace that such emotions and feelings can be processed effectively. So be yourself, be authentic and allow yourself to describe material that you might be explaining for the first time.
As a registered practitioner I adhere to the ethical framework of my professional body, the BACP. This includes responsibility to manage your information confidentially and in line with GDPR. Confidentiality means that I will treat your personal information and what you share with me with utmost care and respect, and in line with the BACP ethical guidelines. Occasionally I share clinical work with my accredited supervisor who is also bound by confidentiality. However, this is always done on an anonymised basis.
Therefore, whatever happens or is said in therapy stays between you and me. This only tends to be broken should any safeguarding issues arise. These could include any risk of harm to your own health or that of other people. If such a situation arises then I am legally and ethically bound to raise my concerns to my supervisor and / or your GP. I would always aim to discuss this with you before making any disclosure.
Therapy is an opportunity for you to discuss and process matters that may have remained unsaid to anyone previously. It is unlike any other conversation especially those we have with friends or relatives. It is important that you open up about difficult matters and you may feel uneasy, embarrassed or ashamed doing this in front of people who are close to you. This is especially the case when friends or relatives may be part of the problems you wish to bring to therapy. Therefore, given it is important not to censor yourself or withhold information that may need processing I always see clients on their own, unless it is a couples counselling or therapy session. I do understand that coming to therapy alone for the first time can create anxiety. However, such feelings are normal and once you settle into the process it will become less daunting.
© Paul Carter Therapy
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