Why seek therapy?

Everyone struggles at some point in their lives. Research shows that at any one time 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem over the course of a year[i]. Mental Health difficulties are more common than most people realise, but you don’t have to suffer from a serious mental health difficulty to benefit from professional support.

Everyone, at some point in life, may have difficulties in their relationships; may struggle to lead their lives according to their values and goals or may get stuck in unhelpful or unhealthy patterns of behaviour. Systemic family therapy can also help these individuals, couples and families to reflect on their patterns of behaviour and relationships; to improve communication; to realign themselves with their goals and values in life; and to develop strategies and coping skills to help move their lives in the direction that is most meaningful to them.

To find out more about systemic family therapy and how Teresa might be able to help you please refer to the About Family Therapy and About Teresa Sections.


[i] Health and Social Care Information Centre website. Last visited 30th November 2015. http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/psychiatricmorbidity07


What should I be aware of when looking for a therapist?

There are a broad range of theoretical approaches, therapy modalities and therapeutic trainings in the mental health field. It is important to ensure that professionals have the appropriate training, experience and registration to match your needs. You can ask the therapist for evidence of their qualifications and/or check their registration on the professional association website with which they are registered.

It might be helpful to have a conversation with the professional to find out more about their ways of working and to see if it will be a good fit for you.

To find out more about systemic family therapy and about Teresa please refer to the About Family Therapy and About Teresa Sections.


Is Systemic and Family Therapy right for me?

Systemic family therapy can help with a number of presenting difficulties from serious mental health problems (e.g. depression or eating disorders) to issues such as marital difficulties, bereavement, issues around identity, family conflicts or unhealthy patterns of behaviour.

Teresa has also qualifications in clinical psychology and dance movement psychotherapy which is under the umbrella of creative arts therapies. All the qualifications and approaches combined enhance Teresa’s ability to help individuals, couples and families with a variety of needs or difficulties.

Teresa has over twenty years of experience working in a variety of settings and client groups. If you are unsure whether Teresa might be able to help you with your particular problem, please contact her for a free discussion to consider this further.

For more information please visit sections Therapy, About Teresa and About Family Therapy.


Can I come to family therapy on my own?

Yes. Systemic family therapists can see individuals as well as couples and families.

For more information please refer to the What is Family Therapy? and Therapy Sections.


Which therapeutic approaches does Teresa use?

As Teresa has qualifications in systemic family therapy, clinical psychology and creative arts therapies, she is able to work creatively and flexibly to meet the needs of those with whom she works.

Teresa draws largely from systemic and social constructionists approaches including:

  • Narrative Therapy
  • Coordinated Management of Meaning, which is a communication theory.
  • Emotionally Focused Family Therapy
  • Attachment-Narrative approaches
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy
  • Non-violent Resistance (NVR)

Teresa might also integrate concepts and strategies from:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Mindfulness-based techniques
  • Compassion Focused Therapy
  • Non-violent Communication
  • Creative techniques 

What does a session look like?

Sessions can vary considerably according to the needs and preferences of the person in consultation. There is a great deal of talking, with an emphasis on questions that help to explore and reflect on the issues of concern as well as the persons’ values and goals in life.  It also incorporates consideration of the person’s resources to help identify ways forward.

Some sessions might include practical, visual and/or creative activities, such as diagrams of patterns of relationships, family genograms (family tree), timelines, connections between feelings-thoughts-actions-body sensations, role-plays, mindfulness and others means of expression.

If the sessions include children, Teresa will adapt her approach taking into consideration their ages, abilities and communication style. Teresa may include more play activities or storytelling as part of the work.


How often are the sessions and how many sessions are necessary?

It is difficult to know in advance how many sessions are necessary to help you with your difficulties. However, we can discuss if therapy will be open-ended or whether we would work towards a fixed number of sessions.

Session frequency usually ranges from weekly to monthly meetings. Sometimes they can be further apart, occurring every 6-weeks or even longer. The gaps between meetings will depend on the needs and progress of the therapeutic process. This will be discussed and negotiated with each person or family and reviewed on a regular basis.

Teresa reviews the progress, flow and frequency of the sessions on a regular basis and always aims to work with the least number of sessions as possible.

For more information please refer to the Therapy Section which comes under Services Offered.


From which locations does Teresa practice?

Teresa works in North London (Hampstead/Golders Green), Welwyn Garden City (Hertfordshire) and online video-conferencing sessions.


How much does it cost?

Teresa works within a sliding scale. Fees depend on the duration, frequency, time and location of sessions.


  • Individual sessions (55 min) 
    £100: North London, Welwyn Garden City & online 
    £120: Saturdays – Welwyn Garden City & online only
  • Couple and family sessions (55 min) 
    £120: North London, Welwyn Garden City & online 
    £150: Saturdays - Welwyn Garden City & online only 
    Longer sessions for couple and family can be arranged upon request
  • Liaison with other professionals, reports and email exchanges - £80 per hour


Payment can be made in cash at the end of each session. Online sessions require bank transfer prior to session.


What happens if I need to cancel my session?

The cancellation policy depends on the location of the arranged session. 

  • In-person/clinic-based sessions: 
    Cancellations made less than 48 hrs before the session: 50% of the session cost. 
    Cancellations made 3 hrs or less before the session or no-show: 100% of the session cost. 
  • Online sessions
    Cancellations made less than 24 hrs before the session: 50% of the session cost. 
    Cancellations made 3 hrs or less before the session or no-show: 100% of the session cost.


What about privacy and confidentiality?

All details discussed in sessions are private and confidential. If the work involves a combination of individual and family sessions, it will be discussed and agreed with those involved what will be / will not be shared with others.

It is necessary to ensure everyone’s safety. As such, where there are concerns of risk to the person in therapy or others, it might be necessary to discuss the concerns with others e.g. family members or your GP. At the beginning of the work with Teresa you will receive a document with more information on this. Confidentiality and the above described procedures regarding risk are part of the code of professional ethics as highlighted in AFT guidelines.


What to do in a crisis?

If you or someone you know is:

  • Feeling suicidal
  • Has an injury due to self-harming
  • Has become very ill, incapable or violent due to alcohol or drug use
  • Is in a violent situation
  • Aware of children at risk of abuse, neglect or violence

**********   Call the emergency services on 999    ****************

If the risks are not immediate, like some of the examples above, but are part of the person’s presenting difficulties, they might be better dealt with in services specialised for each condition. For a list of services specialised in a number of mental health and social care issues please refer to the Services and resources for mental health and social care issues Section which in under the Resources and links.


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