How I work

Whether you are seeking brief, solution-focused or longer term therapy, I offer a flexible approach drawing from different models, tailored specifically to your needs and based on what we agree together will be most effective for you.

I am passionate about discovering a diverse range of psychotherapeutic models, psychological and philosophical thinking to integrate into my approach. More recently, neuroscience as a basis for understanding human attachment and trauma has become a focus. It has proved hugely productive to be able to help clients to have a basic grasp of what is happening in the brain and nervous system when painful experiences from the past are triggered by events in the present. 

Polyvagal theory is also of particular benefit when working with clients to help them understand why their emotions and body are responding to life in ways that are difficult to manage. I incorporate a simple educational approach into my work to bring an awareness of what is happening in the mind, body and emotions when someone is struggling with persistent, negative patterns.

I am currently training to become a yoga teacher and am finding my growing knowledge of the use of breath work, which in yoga is called Pranayama, a great support to clients as we work through processing difficult experiences. 

The first meeting

During our initial consultation we will discuss what has prompted you to contact me; the issue as you see it and any past or current background information you are willing to share at this point. I will talk through my ideas for a treatment plan with you, which, if you continue, will be shaped by us both over coming sessions. You will have a chance to ask me any questions about how I work or voice any concerns so that you can decide whether I am someone with whom you feel comfortable to share personal thoughts and feelings.


A flexible model

The next few sessions may include an exploration of your early life to help understand problematic or limiting ways of thinking and behaving with the ultimate goal of achieving greater self acceptance. This is likely to be part of a longer term therapy which for some will remain open-ended until it feels as if some resolution has been reached. For those seeking short-term therapy, lasting for around 6-12 sessions, a more solution-focused, structured approach will be appropriate, incorporating specific tasks and homework between sessions.

During our first few sessions we will discuss whether brief or longer term therapy will be more appropriate for you and spend some time clarifying exactly what it is you hope to achieve from therapy. Whatever we decide, my approach will draw from a variety of models supporting growth and change, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), systemic and constellations approaches, existential and psychodynamic psychotherapy in addition to gestalt, my core approach.


Gestalt therapy

I am trained in an approach called gestalt therapy which places an emphasis on working in the ‘here and now’. This means that although the events that are being focused on may have happened in the past, they are impacting your life in the present. I see my role as getting to know you and supporting you towards a greater understanding of yourself in a confidential and safe environment. As a gestalt therapist I take a holistic perspective, helping you to see more clearly the fixed patterns and beliefs that prevent you from leading a satisfying and creative life in mind, body and spirit. Gestalt therapy also places an emphasis on the presence of the therapist not as simply a listener who reflects back to the client what they are understanding about him/her, but as someone actively engaged in a dialogue, sharing thoughts and feelings in response to what is happening in the sessions both verbally and non-verbally, to support growth and change in the client.

"I have been working with Simon for some years now and, his most striking quality is his patience and kindness. Simon always listens so you feel heard and understood and with his commitment I made it through some difficult times. I highly recommend Simon to be able to take you along that path of discovery and healing.” "

Michelle F, London