Be Heard, Gain Insight, and Change
Experienced psychotherapist in Crouch End, Muswell Hill & East Finchley
An accredited counsellor and psychotherapist based in Muswell Hill and Crouch End
We all have difficulties and need some extra help at times.
We can work together to:
... gain understanding and insight
... achieve a sense of relief
... make the changes you need
My name is Andrew Martin and I have been a practising counsellor in North London for the past 12 years. I am committed to providing counselling in a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment.
My approach to counselling
For some people, it is important to understand the past, while others prefer to work in a more solution-focused way. I take an integrative approach to counselling and psychotherapy, which allows a really flexible treatment based on your individual needs. Click here to learn more about my qualifications and experience.
Areas of experience
As a counsellor in North London I work a lot with relationship issues, and the feelings of betrayal, low self-esteem and stress associated with separation and divorce. A counsellor can help you clarify your thoughts and feelings and discover how to move forward with your relationship.
Anxiety is also linked to assertiveness issues like the experience of being 'used' or 'walked over' by the people in your life. This often leads to low self-esteem, depression, guilt and shame.
Contact me to talk about...
- Relationship issues
- Panic Attacks
- Social Anxiety
What to expect
You might talk about your background, your relationships, or what you hope to achieve through counselling and psychotherapy. It's also a good time to ask me questions about the counselling process, and I’ll answer them as clearly as I can.
By the end of the session you’ll probably know if you feel safe with me, and want to come back and see me again.
From my perspective I want to use the first session to get to know you, to explain things like confidentiality, what I offer, and what it might feel like to see me.
I’ll also start to formulate your concerns using one or more psychological models. At the end of the session, I’ll tell you my thoughts and recommend our next steps.
If we both feel that there is a good ‘match’ then I will suggest a time-limited course of counselling. I find it useful to begin in this structured way since it provides a good opportunity to step back and evaluate progress.
We would also need to agree on a location for counselling in Muswell Hill, Crouch End or East Finchley that you can attend for 50 minutes a week for an agreed number of weeks.
New Article: Panic Attacks and Disorder
What is a panic attack?
A panic attack is the name given to a frightening set of symptoms characterised by strong emotional feelings, physical sensations, and unpleasant thoughts.
The emotions are of strong fear, anxiety, or terror. These emotions are accompanied by physical sensations, such as increased heart rate, palpitations, chest pains, difficulty breathing, numbness, dizziness, dissociation, abdominal cramps, and dry mouth.
The unpleasant thoughts that can come during a panic attack include, “I’m going to pass out; my heart is going to explode; I’m going to have a heart attack or stroke; I’m going to suffocate; I’m going to soil myself in public; I’m going to be humiliated; I’m going mad; I’m going to die.”
Usually an attack will peak after 10 -15 minutes, with the worst of the symptoms calming down after that.
As with all anxiety issues, avoidance and safety behaviours are likely to surface. Sufferers will want to avoid the situations that might bring on the panic or where they would not want to have a panic attack, for example on public transport or in a place they fear they cannot escape from.
Many people will experience a panic attack in their lives, so having a panic attack does not mean you have panic disorder. Panic attacks are often seen in other kinds of anxiety disorder such as OCD, PTSD, or social phobia.
What is panic disorder?
To be diagnosed with panic disorder you have to have experienced at least four of the following symptoms:
- Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
- A feeling of choking
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
- Feelings of unreality (derealisation) or being detached from oneself (depersonalization)
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Fear of dying
- Numbness or tingling sensations (paresthesias)
- Chills or hot flushes
Moreover, when people are suffering from panic disorder the attacks appear to come out of the blue, with no obvious trigger. The panic attacks have to be persistent, and the sufferer must have experienced fear of having another panic attack for at least one month.
The best way to define panic disorder, as distinguished from just a panic attack, is that it is strongly linked to the fear of having a panic attack. I like to think of it as a fear of fear...
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New Article: OCD - An Introduction
What is it?
So many of my clients come to me suffering with the symptoms of OCD that I thought I would write a set of articles about it to answer some of the common questions that come up in our sessions.
This article is an introduction to OCD. Over the next few months I will add to the subject, with relevant links to make it easier to find what you are looking for.
OCD is an anxiety disorder where the sufferer is dogged by unwanted thoughts, called obsessions. These are usually (although not always) accompanied by a strong desire to carry out an activity or behaviour of some sort to get rid of the unwanted obsession. These behaviours are the compulsions that are talked about in OCD.
What is an obsession?
In OCD the disturbing thoughts are called ‘obsessions,’ and they are usually unpleasant with very negative and disturbing content. They are intrusive and unwanted; regardless of your desire, they just seem to pop into your head without being invited.
Obsessions are really varied; however, some unwanted thoughts might be about being responsible for causing, or failing to prevent, harm to yourself, your loved ones or others. For example, the thought of killing your child or a stranger might be the core of an obsession.
People who suffer from OCD may interpret the thoughts they have to mean something really bad about themselves, such as that they are going mad, or that they are a danger to others.
What is a compulsion?
The compulsions in OCD can be thought of as the way that the discomfort from the obsessions is reduced.
They are often tasks or behaviours that are repeated over and over again, perhaps in a specific order. They may become ritualised over time. Common compulsions include arranging objects in a particular order, washing yourself over and over, cleaning, tapping, and saying prayers...
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He helped me face up to truths not only about my marriage but mainly about myself - even when I didn’t want to accept them. Without a doubt, this made me a better person, wife and mother."
Person-Centred Therapy - The Basics!
What is it?
Person-centred therapy (PCT) is a school of counselling which started with the renowned American psychologist Carl Rogers in the 1940’s.
It’s also sometimes called Rogerian Counselling, Client-Centred Counselling, or Humanistic Counselling. It is one of the three key schools or modalities of psychotherapy.
Carl Rogers believed that people have the resources within themselves to drive personal progress and development. He called this idea ‘self-actualising’. He was also convinced that individuals, not therapists, are best placed to know and heal themselves. He rejected the idea that therapists were the all-knowing experts. Instead, he focused on a relationship of equals, which was built on trust, honesty, and congruence.
The client and the therapist work together to build a warm, trusting therapeutic relationship where the client remains responsible for the progress, instead of handing over power to the therapist.
Rogers thought that his client's concept of self was tremendously important,
In a similar way to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Rogers felt that, although the past may have useful information and help clients to understand where difficulties may come from, it was more important to focus on the present and the future...
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