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Counselling / Psychotherapy / Mediation. counselling

Counsellors , Psychotherapists and Mediation at Alternatives

We have several counsellors and psychotherapists at Alternatives, all members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, providing counselling for individuals and couples.

A brief introduction to each follows but for much more infornation about our whole counselling/psychotherapy group click here to go to our dedicated website www.counsellingnorthwood.co.uk

Barrie Hopwood is a person centred counsellor and has been qualified for more than twenty years,he has a Diploma in Counselling and is a BACP and UKRS Accredited Counsellor. Barrie is also a Metanoia trained and experienced supervisor. For much more information about Barrie please visit his own website by clicking here .

Robyn Saffer Robyn Saffer Is an experienced and BACP accredited counsellor working individually with adults and children, offering both short and long term counselling. She is also a qualified psychotherapist qualified to work with children, young people and families,

She has worked with many clients where the therapeutic relationship has empowered them to make positive and lasting changes. Her experience includes working at a Women’s Centre and the Place2Be (school counselling service in schools) as a Volunteer Counsellor.

Lynn Leftwich is an experienced BACP Accredited Counsellor, a qualified Supervisor and a counselling Tutor.
Her qualifications include BSc (Hons) in Reflective Therapeutic Practice, Diploma in Counselling, Advanced Diploma in CBT and Diploma in Supervision. She is a UKCP registered independent counsellor offering both short and long term therapy.
Lynn is a Person-Centred counsellor and supervisor, and calls upon a wide range of experience integrating other approaches (including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) within her practice.
She has extensive counselling experience having worked within the NHS across various GP surgeries (including being part of an IAPT service).

Carly Coren is a qualified counsellor who is registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and adheres to the BACP’s code of ethics. She holds a Diploma in Integrative Counselling from The Minster Centre in London.
Whatever it is that is worrying you, exploring your feelings and thoughts in a confidential place, with someone who is there to support you can be very helpful. Do consider getting in touch so that she can talk about how you might work together to help you make the changes in your life that are right for you.

She has worked with a diverse range of clients, working in an integrative way. She is mainly guided by a strong belief that the relationship between counsellor and client, is at the heart of the client’s healing process. Her aim is to help those who are looking to find a more fulfilling way to live their life.

Amma Ansah is a Brief Psychotherapist whose main practice and focus is in Mind Body Therapy. This includes Hypnotherapy if applicable.

What this means is that she will sensitively consider you as a whole being; all of your expressions, including your thoughts and emotions, are considered as vital in their influence on your wellness. She will also consider your environment and your perceptions of it as important in their effect on your well-being.

Together, with the offering of modern dynamic approaches, her aim is for you together to activate fast acting and lasting changes that bring you inner peace and desirable shifts in established patterns of suffering within your psyche.

With innovative practices and powerful techniques, you can utilize your mind-body connection to facilitate healing and restore inner balance. Each of these approaches allows you to re-identify and connect with the natural flow of well-being and harmony; thus creating a full and healthy expression and integration of your physical, emotional and spiritual selves.

Amma is am a fully qualified Hypno-Psychotherapist who has a B.Sc. Honours Degree in Social Psychology from the University of London (L.S.E.) and a Diploma in Advanced Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy from The National School of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy.
She is also a member of the Cambridge Register of Advanced Hypnotherapists.Whatever you discuss is treated with the highest level of confidentiality.

For much more information about Amma please click here for a link to her page on our dedicated counselling/psychotherapy website www.counsellingnorthwood.co.uk


Counselling provides a confidential, safe and friendly environment in which to explore those issues which concern you. A time and space set aside for you each week. Non-judgemental, listening support from a professionally trained counsellor. It helps you learn more about yourself in order to explore your concerns, to talk in a confidential setting, to see how your past can interact with the present.

Counselling can help with Stress, Depression, Anxiety, Bereavement, Low self esteem, Crisis and Anger.

You can also Learn about yourself, Explore new opportunities, Find new ways forward, Come to terms with and accept the past, Develop coping strategies, Gain Strength, Face your fears, Achieve personal growth.

The first step

For Counselling in Northwood contact us to arrange an informal chat with any of the therapists or for any more information you need. All calls are strictly confidential.

The fees for the initial approx. one hour assessment session are usually from £35. This session will help to assess your needs and to look forward through further counselling or an appropriate referal to another professional if necessary.

Further one hour sessions are normally £35 -£50 depending on circumstances, time of appointment and if on own or as a couple.

Psychotherapy may be defined as any form of treatment for psychological or emotional disorders in which a trained, certified or licensed individual establishes a relationship with one or several patients for the purpose of modifying or removing existing problems or behaviours. This may be done by the use of particular techniques.

Treatment methods in psychotherapy are guided by well-developed theories about the sources of personal problems. This is the case even if the theory happens to be one that stresses the uniqueness of the patient. In most forms of psychotherapy, the problems of the individual presenting for therapy, is discussed in confidence with the therapist, who in turn utilises his or her training to understand and assist the individual to make positive and lasting changes. These changes may be made on the level of thoughts, feelings or behaviours.

Problems treated with Psychotherapy: Two of the most common problems that have presented for psychotherapy are depression and persistent anxiety. Depression may be related to feelings such as low self-esteem, an inability to view the future with much hope, and a lack of interest in people and activities, once found compelling or pleasurable. Anxiety disorders may be related to problems such as phobias, panic attacks, lack of confidence, sleeping problems and stress. People experiencing emotional traumas as a result of marital problems, family disputes, problems at work, isolation and loneliness, or disturbed social relationships, may indeed benefit from psychotherapy.

Other problems treated with psychotherapy include obsessive-compulsive disorders, alcoholism, personality disorders, drug dependence, problems stemming from child abuse, and behavioural problems such as eating disorders and juvenile delinquency.


Mediation at Alternatives

Our Family Mediator and Conflict Coach is Rita Jackson LLB

FMC and CMC Accred.

Rita is a qualified family. community and civil mediator and has been mediating since 2009. She is accredited by the Family Mediation Council and authorised to carry out pre Court Mediation Assessments (MIAMs). Rita is also a qualified child inclusive mediator and has an enhanced DBS certificate

Family Mediation is not therapy but it is an alternative remedy. Mediation is a practical and economic alternative to sending lawyer’s letters and going to Court. It enables everyone who wishes to avoid the stress, expense and delay of using the legal system to resolve problems in a less formal and non judgemental environment. Unlike the legal system it can also help to build and preserve relationships between parents who need to find ways to minimise the impact of their decision to live apart on their children.

Meetings are confidential. Confidentiality gives everyone the freedom to be creative in their approach to overcoming problems. Sessions are designed to ensure that conversations remain calm and respectful.

Any decisions reached can be made binding if both clients wish to do so and any financial decisions are based on clients providing full information to each other. Research has shown that mediation supported by good quality independent legal and financial advice is more effective than using lawyers alone.

Prior to becoming a full time Mediator Rita practiced as a Solicitor specialising in litigation and social welfare law for over 20 years. Rita has studied what drives conflict and its impact on children extensively and as a result she is well placed to guide clients through the many legal, practical and emotional hurdles that they may encounter on their journey to living separately. Rita uses her legal background to encourage clients to get best value from the legal process by ensuring that they are aware of when it may be appropriate to seek legal advice and what they should seek advice about.

All clients are invited to attend an initial no obligation Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings ( MIAM) either jointly or separately to discuss whether mediation or other options may be suitable for their needs and how many sessions are likely to be required.

Mediation can help married and unmarried couples with;

· Practical Arrangements for children(formerly known as contact, custody and residence)

· Parental communication and co- operation, parenting plans and helping children rebuild relationships which have been interrupted

· Seeking the views of older children

· Divorce planning and preparing to live apart

· Arrangements for housing , savings, pensions and debts and also maintenance

Conflict coaching can help where mediation is not taking place and is designed to help clients assess their options and reduce destructive conflict behaviours.


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