Andrew Martin Counselling in Muswell Hill and Crouch End, North London

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What does counselling feel like?

Comments from past clients


Former clients have kindly given their permission for me to publish extracts of their feedback on my website. I hope this will give you a better idea of what seeing me for counselling or psychotherapy might feel like.

I have changed the names of all clients to preserve their anonymity.


Counselling for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Annabelle in Muswell Hill:

What I found helpful:
I really appreciated you spending time getting to know me before we tackled my specific issue with checking [OCD]. This make me feel confident that you really understood me and quickly built my trust in your approach so that I felt sure that you could help me.

I also appreciated the way you presented the counselling as a process that would give me the strength and belief to overcome my anxiety-led behaviour. With your help, I quickly saw my problem as a challenge and our sessions as giving me the motivation and encouragement to succeed in overcoming my checking.

Another element to the sessions which I found fascinating was your descriptions of anxiety and the psychology behind anxiety. I will always keep the idea of being “antifragile” in my mind, especially at times of stress and self doubt.

Over a 10 week course, Andrew has helped and empowered me to overcome my compulsive checking of perceived danger in the house. His calm, confident and intuitive approach gave me the space and belief I needed to focus on myself and stop unnecessary anxiety-led behaviour.

He motivated me to confront my anxiety and challenged me to reject the need to over-check. I feel liberated and proud that with Andrew’s help, I now feel in control of the anxiety that was controlling me. I cannot recommend him enough.


Psychotherapy for panic attacks and panic disorder, Rajesh in Muswell Hill:

I would recommend Andrew Martin without hesitation. I have been suffering from anxiety for over a few years on and off and suffered from a recent episode so overwhelmingly that it had started to cripple my capacity to manage both my work and personal life. This is when I sought help from Andrew.

Being of a shy personality, I find it hard to open up to people, but as soon as I met Andrew he put me at total ease and made me feel comfortable. He listened attentively and only asked questions that helped me elaborate or to clarify. He is very wise but also very down-to-earth and sensitive. I found that his forte is when he participated in the few exercises that he conducted along with me.

Andrew made me feel like I was one of his only patients, and he wanted to bring me back to optimum mental health as soon as possible. After 8 weekly sessions, together we found the underlying root causes to my problems and he guided me on how to deal with them. Now, I can honestly say that I am confident that I have the tools to deal with my anxiety, thanks to Andrew.

What I found helpful:
You did understand that I was not keen on doing one of the exercises, and the way you motivated me by joining in and doing the activity yourself helped me to take part in the exercises more willingly. I think this helped a lot.


Counselling for relationship issues, Suzie in Crouch End:

What I found helpful:
I particularly liked the homework tasks you set me. I found them very thought-provoking and perfectly chosen for each situation I was in. Sometimes frustrating but the most part very useful to learn more about me, my real inner thoughts and reactions, good and bad!

Andrew came highly recommended by my GP after I admitted that I felt like crying every day but had nobody to turn to, to listen to me or help me make decisions on my failing marriage, daily stress from work, children, money and life issues in general. I needed to focus on why I had become this sad person every day.

Andrew listened, advised and guided me so much more than I ever thought I needed. 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. I found it so hard at times to deal with, but I am so grateful to him for that. My advice to anyone contemplating going to see him would be to just book in your first sessions and go. Sit down and just talk. He, without doubt, made me a better person, wife and mother.


Counselling for anxiety, Claire in Crouch End:

What I found helpful:
I really liked the comfortable atmosphere. Other people I knew seemed to have a lot more structure to their counselling sessions (esp on the NHS). They would have to complete mood sheets, etc, homework essentially. I don't doubt the usefulness of this method but I much preferred being able to come into a safe space every week and just unload whatever was on my mind.

I found the comfortable atmosphere Andrew created really reassuring. I appreciated his ability to be able to listen without judgement or pressure me to reach a certain understanding. Talking to him felt like unloading your anxieties onto a friend - but without the worry of being burdensome. My weekly sessions provided an outlet I needed to vent a constant spiral of negative emotions. I can't say my problems are all solved forevermore, but through the guidance he provided, I am continuing to learn how to manage and confront my anxieties! Would still be attending if I hadn't moved across the globe. Thank you for all your help, Andrew.


Counselling for work anxiety, Don in Crouch End:

What I found helpful:
The fact that the process is set up to be a two-way street. Andrew is not in the business of lecturing, he's in the business of listening. But to make it work, you have to play your part too. Do the homework. The work you do outside of the sessions is essential. It keeps things practical.

Andrew is extremely committed to his professional environment where I can rant about the world, people, and myself - but knowing it's not being vented and unleashed upon a supportive and sympathetic friend over a coffee, which to be honest, never helps. I not only got the sense Andrew was actively listening to me, he was seeking keywords too.

My favourite parts were when I stated something profound, and he jotted it down. That's part of the work, that's part of the process. We built from that and moved forward, even if there was a setback. It's all professional conversation and the reason why I am where I am now, almost a year on. We moved forward - the only direction I wanted, the only direction there is. Thank you Andrew.


Counselling for health anxiety and lack of self-esteem, Sarah in Muswell Hill:

I went to Andrew to help me deal with some anxiety issues - particularly around social and health-related anxiety - which were making me feel very low and lacking in self-belief. The sessions were invaluable in providing me with ways to approach things differently. I feel I now have a helpful toolbox that I can use in day-to-day life, and am finding I'm seeing things in a more balanced and positive way than I was before. Andrew was a fantastic listener and he made me feel very comfortable in being honest with him about how I was feeling. I'm so glad I sought help from him.

What I found helpful:
I found the approaches you went through with me - that I could then take away and apply to real-life scenarios - really useful. Particularly how to recognise and then challenge my unhelpful beliefs with the rigid/true/logical/helpful measures. I felt you were very good too at returning to the key learnings during all of our sessions. That really helped to consolidate the learnings in my head.

Finally, I just found it so helpful to be able to talk openly about how I was feeling - you're a fantastic listener and I felt I could be very honest with you in the sessions.


Counselling for anxiety, depression, and relationship issues, John in Muswell Hill:

The sessions I had with Andrew were a real comfort to me and as we progressed I felt a genuine excitement on his side when trying to constructively solve problems and answer questions. He has a warmth and positivity that was of great help to me during difficult times.

What I found helpful:
I found your relentless positivity regarding all potential action very helpful and comforting, I found I was put in a more positive mindset during and after the sessions. I found the direction of sessions quite natural. I felt genuinely listened to always, regardless of what I was talking about. I also thought I perceived a genuine excitement when trying to work through some issues which was encouraging, it was nice to think me and my problems were interesting.


Counselling for health anxiety and lack of confidence, Bruce in Crouch End:

I have been suffering all my life from lack of confidence and mild anxiety (mostly health anxiety) - never quite bad enough to prevent me from building a financially rewarding career and have normal and healthy relationships but still sufficient to make my life a bit unpleasant at times. When I finally decided to seek help, Andrew proved to be not only an excellent counsellor but also a great and inspiring coach. In my six months of therapy, we discovered why I can get anxious at times or do not believe I can do certain things but also found effective ways to fight off such intrusive thoughts by identifying flawed premisses, learning how to question them and remove such obstacles over time.

Andrew did not promise magic pills that would make my fears and insecurities go away after a few sessions but instead effective methods that are now helping me deal with them and mitigate them to the extent that I am now living a happier and more rewarding life.

It is a misconception that seeing a counsellor is only needed if you are about to be put into a straightjacket but instead, most of us will have little flaws that can take lots of joy out of our lives if not treated but are surprisingly easy to treat for life by only investing in therapy for a couple of months. While it is evident that you should seek help if your condition makes life truly unbearable, I want to recommend to those who are in a similar situation as me - generally happy and successful but occasionally held back by worries, fear and self-doubt - spend some time with Andrew and it will pay back enormously for the rest of your life.


Counselling for feeling trapped and overwhelmed by life's responsibilities, Maria in Muswell Hill:

When I started my therapy I felt overwhelmed! I felt that I was banging my head against a brick wall. That those people close to me were not listening to me! That there were no solutions to any of my problems and I felt trapped and unhappy.

Through working with Andrew I have learned strategies to confront the different problems. He has been someone to talk to every week who wouldn’t judge me. I was surprised that I found you so easy to talk to.

Thank you very much for listening, not judging, and guiding me in such a professional manner. You were easy to talk to and you have made me realise that I am an important person too!


Counselling for relationship issues and substance use, George in Crouch End:

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Andrew, who helped me when I felt I had nowhere else to turn. Andrew strikes the perfect balance between showing real empathy and understanding during sessions, but also always working towards getting results to make you feel like things are getting better.

Together we came up with new ideas on how to approach the issues I was facing and to move forward, and I am in a much better place now having spent the time with him.


Psychotherapy for health anxiety, assertiveness and confidence at work, John in Crouch End:

I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that the experience has changed my life in many positive ways.

I began counselling because I was overwhelmed with anxiety, causing extremely negative emotions. I felt out of control. Andrew helped to quickly identify the core sources of my anxiety and low mood, which gave me hope at a time when I was beginning to think I had tried everything to combat it myself.

During our time together, I learned valuable methods of overcoming my crippling anxiety and facing up to the realities I fear I would have avoided forever. The process of unravelling years of habitual thinking and actions was daunting and difficult in the beginning, but Andrew’s consistent patience, support and guidance gave me the chance to make effective changes within myself. I am no longer overwhelmed with anxiety like I was before our time together and I feel back in control of my life, which has lifted my general mood greatly.

The counselling also helped me to identify what my true value is, as a professional. This gave me the confidence to take a step into freelancing, which has been the most successful year of my career so far. The practical experiences and advice I gained from our sessions has been monumental in establishing myself as a freelance professional.

What I found helpful:
Your support and guidance have been truly life-changing. Your empathy and understanding are always clear in our sessions and your patience was greatly appreciated when we worked together on the more difficult areas of my thoughts and beliefs.

Your knowledge of the anxiety I was suffering and practical lessons have helped me to overcome the negative emotions I was overwhelmed with.

Identifying the true causes of the anxiety and discussing ways to change gave me the strength to face up to the things I feared the most. It helped me to connect with my truths and change my unhealthy habits which were stopping me from living a fulfilling life.

Your knowledge of business and personal values has helped me to understand my value as a professional. The practical skills I learned from your business counselling has made a massive positive impact on the way I approach my business and carry myself as a professional.


Psychotherapy, Stephan in Crouch End:

Right from the initial phone conversation and meeting, Andrew was clear, kind and focussed in starting me on my journey of understanding. He was flexible in trying to find mutually convenient times. His comments and observations always felt pertinent. And he was very supportive at the time of moving on.


Alcohol addiction and anxiety counselling, Richard in Muswell Hill:

What I found helpful:
Honesty and your willingness to offer insights and contextualise practical steps/actions/behaviours to reinforce positive change.

With you, there was nowhere to hide – this is so different from the other ‘counsellors' I have consulted in the past. I think what strikes me most with your approach is it’s about change. As a client, that is incredibly empowering. And that change can be made without endless ‘navel-gazing’.

I guess what I’m trying to say is there are some things about oneself (the past) which can’t be changed, but what can be changed is what happens next. Which is in effect a way of dealing with the baggage, and of putting it in its place.


Psychotherapy for long-term obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxiety issues, Helen in Muswell Hill:

What I found helpful:
I found that your pragmatic response to dealing with mental illness was unexpected, yet extremely refreshing. Not having been to therapy before, and unaware of what to expect, I was incredibly resistant and negative in believing it could help. However, thanks to your direct approach, alongside your positive and understanding demeanour, I found myself keen to persevere.

I always thought that your encouragement was excellent, it felt very kind and pure and as a result, was really helpful. You knew when to challenge me, and understood when I was struggling and when you needed to change your approach. You were always clear about what you thought and clear in explaining your methods.

During our time together, I had a true sense that we were working together, and that was really beneficial in helping me realise that I was in charge of my feelings and what I could change.

I saw Andrew for 18 months to help with my anxiety and depression. I was dubious about therapy prior to starting, as people often are, but Andrew’s direct approach and expertise immediately challenged any negative assumptions I had.

I found my sessions with Andrew were a practical way of understanding my illness, and working through it at my own pace, whilst being inspired to challenge myself and my beliefs.

I have been able to make many positive changes in my time spent working with Andrew, thanks to his support and guidance; which I didn’t think was possible before.

Andrew is understanding and encouraging, and I am thankful for the time I spent working with him.


Counselling for social anxiety and workplace anxiety, James in Crouch End:

Having only seen Andrew for a few months I was surprised at how quickly I progressed in reducing my anxiety. Andrew quickly guided me through understanding my social and workplace anxiety. He then set me homework so I could put theory into practice. This not only resulted in quick progress but allowed me to realise how my anxiety was affecting other parts of my life that I wouldn't have understood through conversation alone. I would encourage anyone suffering from anxiety to visit Andrew.


Counselling for anxiety, Jack in Muswell Hill:

What I found helpful:
What was most helpful was ultimately dialling down my level of anxiety. It was such a gradual process I'm not sure how you did it but it certainly worked, I assume just talking things through and helping me rationalise my irrational thought processes is what led to the calming down of my feelings.

Andrew gave me back my life, he helped me deal with my anxiety issues and altered my thought process which enabled me to deal with issues with a greater sense of proportion and clarity.



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