Dr Philip Gatter
in London N16 and Online
BA MA PhD FRSA
PgDip Counselling and psychotherapy (Integrative)
BACP ACCREDITED THERAPIST
What are counselling and psychotherapy?
Counselling and psychotherapy provide you with an opportunity to change your life, whatever the problem, and however difficult it may seem. This happens through the therapeutic relationship between counsellor/psychotherapist and client. There is no absolute difference between counselling and psychotherapy, but psychotherapy is often more long-term (more than one year). I offer both.
I work as as a gay affirmative therapist with clients, regardless of their sexual orientation. The problems I have worked with include anxiety and depresson, drug and alcohol problems, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and various phobias and psychoses.
I work with relationship issues with all kinds of clients. Following experience working with the Sex And Relationship Problems service at Guy's Hospital, I have expertise in working with psychosexual problems where sexual functioning and psychological challenges are linked. My special interest is working with people who have been persecuted for their sexual orientation, whether here or in less tolerant countries. I am also a Social Anthropologist interested in using counselling across cultures. I qualified in Life Coaching in the NHS and offer this as well as counselling.
I have twenty years postdoctoral research experience and have taught qualitative research methods to postgraduate students in the social sciences, including psychology. I use my understanding of research to underpin my daily work with clients. My experience of working with psychiatrists for a decade helps me to explain to clients what psychiatrists do, and why. It also means I can recognize when a psychological problem may need psychiatric input, such as when a client is becoming delusional.
If life is presenting you with a specific challenge, or you don't know your way forward, counselling provides a supportive relationship in which to gain insight about yourself and use this to change your life.
Counselling can be combined with other techniques. In depression, for example, getting better might best be achieved by counselling with graded exercise, and, if necessary, prescription of antidepressants. I am experienced in all these areas.
There is no categorical difference between counselling and psychotherapy, but the latter typically lasts longer. I do brief counselling for a few weeks, through to psychotherapy which may last more than a year.
I have also trained as a life coach/mentor in the NHS where I have worked to help solve interpersonal and life/work balance problems.
I have worked for a Mental Health Trust in the NHS organising the postgraduate training programme for junior psychiatrists. My nine years in the NHS equipped me with an extensive knowledge of psychiatry, including psychiatric medication.
I did my psychotherapy foundation year at Regent’s College, and my postgraduate qualification in counselling and psychotherapy at the University of East London.
I have worked for:
People with psychosexual problems in the Sex and Relationship Problem Clinic at Guy's Hospital (NHS).
Deptford Reach, a charity for the homeless and highly socially marginalised.
Psychiatric Outpatients in The Ladywell Unit, Lewisham Hospital (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust).
The Metro Centre, Greenwich (LGBT, with Short and Long-term clients).
For five years from 2014 I also worked with Islington Mind (generic counselling service and Outcome LGBT service). I have been in private practice since 2009.
At Islington Mind Outcome I worked mainly with asylum seekers who had been persecuted in their home countries because of their sexuality.
how I work
I am an integrative counsellor / psychotherapist, which means that I integrate different models in the way I work. My main approach is called humanistic, or person-centred.
The core belief in this approach is that we all have within us the capacity to find solutions to problems, but these problems may be deep-seated and long-lasting, and buried beneath the surface of awareness.
I am trained to listen very carefully and work with you to build a picture of your life problems before shifting to focus on how they might be overcome.
The other two approaches I use are CBT and psychodynamic. CBT, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, has been shown to be effective in the relief of many psychological symptoms. It is widely used in the NHS. Typically it involves challenging negative thoughts, and rests on the assumption that if thoughts can be changed, better feelings will follow.
I offer relationship counselling to individuals, straight and LGBTQ
"I was in despair. I felt I was so ugly that my boyfriend would leave. Slowly, I came to see there were other possible reasons for the ways people reacted to me. There was no overnight cure, but now I can cope and my mood has come up while my anxiety has lessened."
Client with body dysmorphia
I use this approach occasionally,
where relief from acute symptoms is needed before deeper work can begin.
Psychodynamic counselling / therapy has its roots in psychoanalysis, the creation of Sigmund Freud. At the heart of this approach is the idea that the developing relationship between therapist and client reflects how the client has formed attachments throughout life, and repeated "mistakes" without knowing why. The therapist helps find out "why" so the client can move on. It also considers that some presenting problems are symptoms of long-standing conflicts in the unconscious mind.
I use some psychodynamic techniques where relationships are the main issue.
I am also clinically qualified to offer supervision to trainees and qualified therapists.
I review client fees at two year intervals. Currently I charge £50 per session until 6pm, and £65 thereafter. I reserve three places for people on low incomes, students and trainee therapists, for which I charge £40.
I work from home either face-to-face or via Zoom/Skype. In the context of Covid-19 the bulk of my work has shifted to online.
I work Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 8pm. I have some spaces on all these days. Please contact me directly for further details on philip@philipgatter.