Ware, United Kingdom
My name is Hannah and I am an Existential Psychotherapist.
What does this mean? Existential therapy is focused on exploring your individual experiences, thoughts, emotions and patterns of behaviour through compassionate and empathetic conversation. I am interested in exploring who you are - right now - and how you came to be who you are through the decisions and choices made along the way. As an existential therapist I am interested in the freedom you have (or don't have), the choices you make (or don't make) and the responsibility you have (or don't have) in your life and how these factors are impacting you. It is a dialogue between us and I hope to build a safe and trusting relationship with you to explore whatever is causing you distress in your life. I am non judgemental, empathetic and patient - I can be challenging too - but I do this with kindness and compassion.
Existential therapy accepts that there will be anxiety and suffering in life - we cannot be and feel happy all the time - that is not a realistic goal for any of us! Together we can work through what is causing you difficulty, pain or suffering, and explore how we might move forward with it, and find ways to bring more fulfillment, purpose or enjoyment to your life along the way too. Perhaps you have suffered a significant loss, a bereavement, a life change, a new diagnosis, are unhappy at work or, perhaps you do not know what is causing your unhappiness. That is OK too.
Existential therapy does not have a focus on diagnoses (such as depression or anxiety) and I am not able to provide you with a diagnosis or medication. Some people find having a formal diagnosis helpful, and you may feel medication is a helpful tool, whereas others do not. There are no right or wrong answers. You are the expert in your own life and I am there to support you make the best decisions for you.
Existential therapy does not use rigid tools, techniques and homework in the way a therapy like CBT might do. However, no one type of therapy has all the answers, and so where there are tools or techniques that might benefit you, I will incorporate those. And if I think another type of therapy might better serve what you are looking for, I will always be honest with you and you can always be honest with me.
A bit more about me. Therapy has been pivotal to making me the person I am today, and has transformed my life for the better. I, like everyone else, will always be a work in progress but I believe my life experiences have made me the therapist I am today and motivates me to do the work I do. I have worked for a wide range of mental health charities, the NHS (both with patients and staff, including during COVID-19) and with students, researchers and academics in Higher Education.
I am happy to work with anything you wish to bring, however I have significant experience in working with career/work difficulties, bereavement, chronic and long term illness, reproductive health (including abortion, miscarriage and menopause), perinatal mental health, student mental health, neurodivergence, exploring your identity, thoughts of suicide and feeling in crisis.
Part of being a responsible therapist is acknowledging my limitations. I am happy to work with the long term impact of sexual assault or abuse (childhood or adult), however if you feel you may have PTSD and are experiencing significant symptoms (such as 'dissociation' or 'flashbacks') then this is not my primary area of expertise. If you are looking for a therapist with this specialty then I will gladly recommend one to you free of charge. Therapy being accessible to all is important to me, so I offer concessions to students (in higher education or psychotherapy trainees), those on low incomes an anyone claiming benefits.
If you think that I might be the right therapist for you then I am really looking forward to working together soon.
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