Individual, Couples and Relationship Counselling
Online, Crouch End near Finsbury Park, and Peterborough
Individual, Couples and Relationship Counselling in Crouch End near Finsbury Park, Peterborough and Online
I'm offering counselling online or by telephone for the time being. Counselling can help you to feel less isolated, in this difficult time.
I'm Thalia Martin, a skilled counsellor with 25 years experience in mental health. My approach is to treat you as a unique individual, with your own experience, understanding and potential to grow. If you've never seen a counsellor before and don't know what to expect, it can seem like a big step to take. I'll help you to feel at ease, and explain how counselling works.
I work with individuals and couples experiencing problems in the following areas, among others:
I provide a confidential, supportive environment, where you can explore your thoughts and feelings without being judged. Whether you are looking for open-ended or short-term counselling, my aim as a counsellor is to help you to live your life in a more fulfilling way. Together we can work on finding a way forward for you. Short-term counselling can help you to deal with a specific problem, and can be very useful. Open-ended counselling is an opportunity to look at things in more depth, to explore underlying themes in your life that are affecting long-term or recurring issues.
As well as individual counselling, I offer relationship and couples counselling in Crouch End, near Finsbury Park, and Peterborough. Coming to counselling as a couple gives both of you some valuable time to reflect on your relationship, with an independent person present. This can lead to a greater understanding of the issues that bring you to counselling, and your relationship as a whole. This approach can also be applied between friends, and family members. For couples counselling, I offer longer sessions of 1 hour and 20 minutes. This gives more time for both of you to talk, making a change of perspective more likely.
My qualifications include a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, as well as the Open Dialogue Foundation Training. I'm an accredited member of the National Counselling Society, and follow their code of ethics; I'm also a member of the International Association of Psychology and Counselling. I've worked as a counsellor for Cambridgeshire Consultancy in Counselling, for Counselling Initiatives in Haringey, and worked for many years in the voluntary sector for mental health.
You can find out more about my approach, qualifications, training, experience, couples work, and fees on the other pages of my website. If you think I could help you, please contact me by phone or email to find out more. If you decide to arrange an introductory session, we can talk about what you'd like to get from counselling, and how we could work together.
Counselling in Crouch End is based at the Haelan Centre, 41 The Broadway, Crouch End, London N8 8DT – convenient for Finsbury Park, Harringay and Hornsey – click here to see it on the map.
My work as a counsellor in central Peterborough is based at 16 Crawthorne Road, Peterborough PE1 4AB – convenient for Stamford, Whittlesey, March, and the Deepings also – click here to see where it is. There is metered parking outside the building.
Thanks to Paul Thoma for his photographs.
What is going on for you?
One of the things I've noticed in recent months is how unique people's responses are to the strange times we're living through. Some people are struggling to make sense of what's going on around them – the narrative doesn't fit with their own perceptions. Others are having difficulty with their relationships, or feeling anxious without knowing the reason for it. Some realise that things are difficult, but are determined to get on with their lives anyway, and enjoy life as much as possible. Whatever you are going through, you can reach out to others and help each other to feel less isolated.
Online help for mental health
My experience working online with individuals, couples, and support groups, has shown that it is possible to create therapeutic relationships online. It is a bit different from meeting in person, but it is effective and supportive. It meets a need for many people, it's convenient, and enables contact with people from different areas who wouldn't normally be able to meet in person.
Interesting psychological insight from 2,500 years ago
Herodotus, in The Histories, writes "One thing, however, I am very sure of: and that is, that if all mankind agreed to meet, and everyone brought his own sufferings along with him for the purpose of exchanging them for someone else's, there is not a man who, after taking a good look at his neighbour's sufferings, would not be only too happy to return home with his own."
This rather surprising opinion resonates many centuries later, for some reason. I think just being able to talk about our problems with someone else, gives us a different perspective. Saying something out loud to another person helps us to see it differently. It becomes an opportunity to learn from it, and grow.
Can Counselling Make You Happy?
Most of us would like to be happy all the time, or at least more of the time. What counselling can do is help you find your own meaning to life, and a better understanding of your relationships. This provides greater contentment and self-confidence, helping you to get through the difficult times, and enjoy the good times.
The Undiscovered Self – The Dilemma of the Individual in Modern Society
I've just read this fascinating book, by Carl Jung. Although written 65 years ago, he could be writing about today. One of his points is that our individuality can become lost, when the State has too much power over us. Our ability to think for ourselves is reduced, and even discouraged. Carl Jung believed that when we develop and learn more about ourselves as individuals, including the part of ourselves we'd rather not look at, society as a whole benefits, as well as the individual person. By understanding ourselves better, we can understand others better.
Conversations with people we disagree with
It's always great to have a conversation with a friend where you both agree, and can support each other. But what about those potentially difficult conversations, where you're not sure if the other person will agree with you? Opinions have become quite polarised, and it can feel risky broaching difficult subjects even with close friends. It can be surprisingly rewarding if you can state your point of view, and listen to another's point of view, without trying to persuade each other. Agreeing to differ is an important part of conversation, and actually quite a relief sometimes. It's like something unspoken has been said, and a burden has been lifted.
What has been your experience of Coronavirus and lockdown?
People's experiences of Coronavirus and lockdown have been very varied in the past year. Maybe you have been busier than ever, working in stressful conditions, and haven't had time to stop and think. Maybe you have felt isolated, been ill, lost your job, or worried about money and health. Perhaps you have had more time than usual to reflect on your life, and relationships. Your perspective on life may have changed. Now that things are opening up a bit, we can reach out to each other and share our experiences more.
A balanced approach to research
Influential US psychiatrist Allen Frances has written an interesting article (on Aeon website) about funding for brain research in America. Since the 1990s, $50 billion has been poured into researching how the brain works, partly in the hope of finding some effective psychiatric treatments. He argues that the research has not produced clinically useful results so far, because they have found out that the brain is unbelievably complicated. Research into talking therapies during this time has been neglected, and Allen Frances suggests it would produce more helpful results. It's not so much a question of either/or, but a more balanced approach.
Memories, Freud and Archaeology
Do you ever experience a long-forgotten memory, popping up seemingly from nowhere? Sigmund Freud compared these memories to archaeological objects, that have been preserved underground. He collected such items, and his consulting room was full of them. He would show them to patients, to illustrate his point. Archaeologists nowadays explain that the context in which objects are found, gives them meaning. This can work with memories, too. If you take the time to think about them, when and where they happened, and your feelings about them, you may find that they are meaningful and valuable.
Sanity, Madness and the Family
This book was written by two British psychiatrists, RD Laing and Aaron Esterson. It's based on interviews with families where one member has been identified as schizophrenic. Their aim is to show that the experiences of people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia make sense, in the context of their family relationships and society. The interviews they conducted with family members show how confusing such relationships can be. It's a fascinating book.