TAMARA M. HOWELL
COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY

Hello and Welcome

If you have found your way here, welcome.

My hope is for you to find a therapist you love to work with, who provides an excellent clinical experience and a thoughtful and respectful therapy space.

For me, finding someone like this was incredibly impactful and healing, and I want everyone to have that experience.

Tamara

Tamara Howell  |   she/her

PGDip, MSc, Reg. MBACP (Accred)

Welcome... Please have a look around and drop me a line if I can help with any resources.

How You Might Be Feeling

Sometimes we feel a bit broken and we don't really know why. It might look like exhaustion, or feeling flat, or not enjoying things you used to love. Or it might be hating your job, wanting a long term relationship or figuring out what the point of life is. Therapy is great for those moments in life when we need a consistent, secure spot in the world where we can share the overwhelm.

It is usually an involuntary swerve in the projected path that brings people to me. Dealing with conflict at work may be causing you stress, maybe because your boss is dismissive, or you might find managing a team challenging. Your role might have made you aware that your internal monologue is discouraging you and making you question yourself. 

Or maybe you are killing it at work - accomplished, assertive and propelling forwards... and yet you wish you could feel more confident in your romantic relationships, more self assured and less needy... because even the word neeeedy is excruciating, isn’t it?

Maybe you've discovered that you would like to change your relationships with partners, work, family or friends... figure out how to set boundaries. Or repair your relationship with yourself so that you don't replay awkward moments over and over whilst trying to fall asleep, wishing things were different and saying to yourself, 

If only I was ……, I would be ok

Maybe now is the moment to dig deeper.

Some of the reasons people come to me...

These are some of the things that bring people to my practice. You may identify with them, or find them challenging to read, and I want to reassure you that we all need to regroup and repair from time to time.

Approaching Burnout

The impact of comparison and achievement culture is sneaky and stealthful. It edges up on people day by day, incrementally increasing stress levels so tolerance increases and joy decreases.

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The impact of comparison and achievement culture is sneaky and stealthful. It edges up on people day by day, incrementally increasing stress levels so tolerance increases and joy decreases. The impact often manifests in the physical, or through impaired sleep. A feeling of missing out on life’s true purpose, or that others are doing better, or that you can’t keep up eventually leads to burnout.
 
This term used to be limited to career only, but the concept has been extended to include other situations where you don’t have enough space for rest, for self, and for creativity. Some people are worried I’m going to suggest they start painting, but that’s not what I mean (although painting is great of course). I mean that when we don’t have balance and time for rest, the work, or the parenting, or the volunteering don’t have space to be fulfilling. Even the most meaningful of activities can lead to burnout if we don’t prioritise balance. Some of the work I do in therapy is supporting clients as they figure out how they can do that.

Intercultural Adjustment

There are many situations that lead us to feeling like we don’t belong. Growing up in a culture other than our parents’ countries of origin can lead to a feeling of being different from everyone else, feeling separate or that nobody quite understands our life.

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There are many situations that lead us to feeling like we don’t belong. Growing up in a culture other than our parents’ countries of origin can lead to a feeling of being different from everyone else, feeling separate or that nobody quite understands our life. There are many benefits to cross cultural upbringing, like adaptability and having an expansive experience of cultures and languages, but there are also challenges which can show up in our relationships, careers and self concept.
 
The book Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds
(Pollock, Van Reken & Pollock) has become a seminal piece of literature on the shelves of many Cross Cultural families, expatriates and immigrants, followed closely by The Culture Map (Erin Meyer), Boarding School Syndrome (Joy Schaverian) and The Making of Them (Nick Duffell). There is always more nuance to an individual’s experience than in one book, and exploring the permanence of grief against the impermanence of location is a fundamental theme in my work.

I also work with people who didn’t grow up abroad but now live away from their country of origin, and people who are returning to and reintegrating with their country or culture of origin. Searching for roots, or feeling rooted in multiple places, are often themes in my work as are intergenerational trauma, family relationships and the chameleon effect. We may look at practical steps to increase comfort and connection, self care and structural care as well as a more conceptual exploration of identity.

Addiction and Connection

You may have heard Johann Hari’s TED talk “The Opposite of Addiction is Connection” by now, and if you are interested in or affected by addiction you may have come across the work of Gabor Maté.

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You may have heard Johann Hari’s TED talk “The Opposite of Addiction is Connection” by now, and if you are interested in or affected by addiction you may have come across the work of Gabor Maté. I love the compassionate and trauma-informed approach they share, and know that for people who find themselves in the spiral of despair that accompanies addictive processes, it can be incredibly healing (if a little uncomfortable) to be treated with such care and understanding.

Having started my professional journey in the world of addiction treatment, I have a keen interest in supporting people affected by addiction. So many people’s lives are touched by addiction, and that might look like using prescription or illegal drugs, or it might be someone who intuitively learned to adapt their behaviour and voice level based on the way the door was opened by an alcoholic parent returning from work.
 
It might be a person who notices a pattern in their relationship choices that leaves them in excruciating pain or for you it might be just wondering if you have hangovers a bit too often.
 
You might find words like codependency, people pleasing or love addiction helpful for understanding what you are going through, or you might find labelling terminology outdated and judgmental. I’m even a bit reluctant to use the word addiction in general because there is so much negativity and heaviness associated with it.


It shows up in many ways individually and on a societal level, and my approach, whether I am supporting someone just starting to question their relationship with alcohol or someone reintegrating at home after graduating from inpatient addiction treatment, is to provide shame reduction, self understanding and continuity of care.

Meet Tamara...

I see the welcome page of a therapy site as a space to share something meaningful so that you can figure out if we might mesh well together.

I hope that the way I’ve written my website has given you a sense of what I’m like. I write all my copy myself, so this is pretty much how I sound, even if it’s text.

WHAT INSPIRES ME

There are parts of my story woven into the way I work - I came to this work through my own therapy journey and can’t explain with words the awe and respect I hold for this profession.

For me, the things that feel meaningful are always related to connection. I find purpose in the moment where a person feels truly seen and heard, when the contamination of the world’s expectations and limitations are lifted and our core values align with the life we carve out for ourselves. 

And in non-therapy speak, that means, I like spending time with people. I care deeply about each person who enters my life, whether that’s my neighbour, a person I went to primary school with or a therapy client. I feel inspired and moved by the willingness of others to share with me, and I want for everyone to feel the impact of true radical empathy.  

MY CAREER SO FAR

After years in industries that did not suit me - bartender, sous chef, underwriting assistant, Lloyds Broker - I took a “career break”, which means I worked in BabyGap and trained to become a therapist.

In 2007, I caught the addiction treatment bug as a peer support volunteer at PROMIS Treatment Centre, accompanying patients to 12 step meetings and later co-facilitating group therapy. I was fortunate to complete my placement at The Priory Hospital North London in 2008 with some incredible therapists whilst obtaining my Masters degree.

Whilst at uni, a fellow student on the course offered me a position at Kairos Aftercare Community Trust at their aftercare programme and I eventually graduated to become manager there. The incredible commitment of the clients who attended the aftercare was so impactful for me and if I hadn’t been sold on the idea of therapy as a calling, that was when I truly saw how transformative an outpatient programme can be.

I opened my private practice alongside my Kairos role in 2009 and moved to Paris in 2011 after graduation from my Masters.

I started working via the telephone and online to maintain my London practice and opened an In Person practice to English speakers in Paris before moving away again in 2015. It sounds disjointed but throughout that time I have been able to maintain a practice and provide continuity to clients, making space and time for training and learning, especially around how to make online therapy as professional and meaningful as possible.

In 2018, I joined The Integrated Practice at 127 Harley Street with an amazing group of colleagues who share an integrative mind-body-emotion understanding of distress. I moved my hybrid practice completely online again due to the pandemic and am firmly rooted in online practice for the foreseeable future!

OUTSIDE THERAPY

Aside from my practice, I host a support community for therapists and provide workshops, courses and coaching to therapists in private practice.

And outside of my professional pursuits, I love music, animals and parks… I avidly scribble in recycled notebooks and take hundreds of pictures of the Thames at sunset. I am a vegan, feminist, dedicated Thermobexta fan and completely unrelated but in case it is important to you, I’m happy to share that I am Covid vaxxed.

My Invitation to You...

If you have found my website and are facing a challenging time at the moment, I would like to support you in the process of beginning therapy and finding a therapist you’ll love working with. I welcome enquiries and have an excellent network of wonderful therapists I will be happy to recommend as well as psychiatrists, other medical professionals and trauma practitioners.

If you enquire and I have space for clients, either myself or my assistant will invite you for a free 15 minute introductory call so we can meet and see whether the way I work might be a good fit for you at this time.

In the introductory call, I’ll ask about what brought you to look for a therapist, how things have been for you lately and a bit about your background. As well as liking your therapist, it is crucial that therapy is convenient and affordable for you so I will be checking in with you about your scheduling limitations and budget for therapy. I'll invite you to ask any questions about therapy, about me and my approach and to share any concerns you have. 

There is no commitment to enter into therapy with me, and I refer much more often than I accept new clients. My priority is finding someone that you will have an excellent experience of therapy with, even if that isn’t me.

Drop me a line if you'd like to set up an introductory call or have any questions. I wish you the best on your quest to find a therapist!

Thanks for visiting!

Get In Touch

If you would like to enquire about therapy with me or ask for a referral to another therapist, please drop me a line via the form. My emails are read by my administrative team and you may receive a response from my assistant.


We will try to respond within 2 working days so it might be Monday if you write on a Thursday. If you don't hear back from us, please check your Spam folder or drop us another note in case there has been a technical error.

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