Individual, Couples and Relationship Counselling
Crouch End near Finsbury Park, Peterborough and Online
Individual, Couples and Relationship Counselling in Crouch End near Finsbury Park, Peterborough and Online
Following government rules on social distancing, I am able to offer counselling sessions online, or by telephone. Counselling can help you to feel less isolated, as we live through through these difficult times. I participate in the Key Workers Counselling programme with the National Counselling Society, where reduced counselling fees apply.
I'm Thalia Martin, a skilled counsellor with 25 years experience in mental health. I have a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, and have completed the Open Dialogue Foundation Training. I'm an accredited member of the National Counselling Society, and follow their code of ethics. 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.
I work with individuals and couples experiencing problems in the following areas, among others:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 satisfaction, helping you to get through the difficult times, and enjoy the good times.
Potential for communication online
Have you ever wondered about the effects on the way you communicate, of looking at screens for long periods of time? Each person will have their own individual response to this. Much of what we do on screen seems to me to be one-way, whereas a two-way conversation means we listen to the other person, and we are listened to by them. The potential for mutual understanding is there, within the conversation. Although slightly different from a face-to-face conversation, this kind of communication can work online, in chats with family, friends, and colleagues. It also works with online counselling, where the effect of someone listening attentively and confidentially to everything you say can be healing.
Could "doing nothing" be good for you?
The Dutch are some of the happiest people in the world. Maybe this is connected to the Dutch practice of niksen – the art of doing nothing, or doing something without a purpose. There are no instructions, just turn off all your screens, and let your mind wander. You could be sitting down, walking, or looking out of the window on a train journey for instance. The idea may seem strange, as we're so used to having a purpose in everything we do. But it can be refreshing and even productive, as your mind comes up with new ideas. For those who don't get on with mindfulness, this could be for you.
What has been your experience of coronavirus and lockdown?
People's experiences of coronavirus and lockdown have been very varied in the past few months. Perhaps you have had more time than usual to reflect on your life, and relationships. Maybe you have been busier than ever, working in very stressful conditions, and haven't had time to stop and think. Maybe you have been ill, lost a loved one, lost your job, or worried about money. Whatever your experience, coronavirus has highlighted how much we depend on each other, and can help each other.
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.
Conversation between people who disagree with each other
I've seen plenty of conversations between people who agree with each other, on the internet. What is rarer, I think, is to see an extended conversation between two people who disagree about most things. I've just watched one, and it was inspiring to see them talk for over an hour, willing to listen to each other, and also express their own ideas honestly. Something new and hopeful comes out of a dialogue between them.
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.