TAMARA M. HOWELL
COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY

What You Can Expect

Here's a roadmap of my intake process so that you have an idea of what to expect if you decide you would like to work with me.

If you'd like to start therapy with me, please submit an email enquiry. Let us know when you might be free for an introductory chat!

My assistant or myself will invite you to an introductory call so we can meet and you can ask any questions you might have about therapy.

I will offer recommendations from my professional network if helpful or schedule an intake appointment if we decide to work together.

We send over a welcome pack for you to read and sign. We will go through all aspects of paperwork together in our first session too.

You will receive appointment confirmations with payment instructions included and automatic receipts.

My Practice Principles

Here are some of the values and principles that shape the way I work.

Clarity

It is super important to me that clients know exactly what to expect from me. We discuss your intentions for therapy and we review regularly. My paperwork is clear and you'll get a copy to refer back to.

Congruence

For me, congruence is about about providing you with room to be, not do. To be heard, and seen and appreciated. My intention is to listen, understand and create a space with authenticity and integrity where you feel secure.

Continuity of Care

I am connected with holistic, integrative practitioners with brilliant minds and hearts. I keep in mind what other therapeutic support would benefit you and your body, and provide referrals and recommendations.

What, Where, When...

Love Online Therapy

If you are quietly distressed, uncomfortable or even defiant in the face of new challenges you are facing, finding a private space to take your concerns where you can focus on your own needs exclusively can be a relief. 

The benefits of online therapy? Most people have spent a lot of time online by now. The pandemic sent professionals to the corner of a bedroom squished against the window, kids were suddenly encouraged to engage in screen time and families relied on their laptops for catch ups and quiz night. Pre-Covid, I would spend time talking about the legitimacy of online therapy and trying to convince colleagues and clients that convenience and flexibility was enough of a reason to consider telehealth as an option. These days, we mostly have a widespread gratitude and appreciation for internet connectivity, but many have also had too much of it.

So how does online therapy help people who are in online meetings all day, or feeling burnt out and overwhelmed by constant access to each other? 

Top of my list is the sanctuary of home, a comfortable couch or armchair, your dog or cat next to you, a cup of tea, warm blanket and no public transport. Online therapy is a haven in a world of overstimulation.

Beyond that, I can support you in creating a dedicated therapy space, meaning increased opportunities for therapeutic association. This means that when you settle into your Therapy Corner between sessions, you might remember a moment of relief, or remember to do a grounding exercise, or read an article we discussed, which offers continuity and the opportunity for implementation between sessions. 

I won’t tell you all the reasons I love working online so much, because we’ll be here all day and you might like to have a look around the site, but I’ll end on this. Online therapy isn’t less than in person therapy. It’s different. It offers the opportunity for depth, discovery, therapeutic connection and it means you can work with a therapist who you might not have access to in person.

Discretion in Therapy

People that come to me are often very concerned about discretion. Confidentiality is a tenet of therapy at the foundational root, and therapists promise privacy within the limitations of the law. There are certain circumstances in which we are obligated to involve someone else in a client’s care, and we will carefully discuss and explore these when we begin to work together. Most people find them completely inapplicable to them and laugh when I say I’ll have to report money laundering, but there are some others that everyone should be aware of, such as being required to release information under a court order, or needing to call emergency services if a client has a seizure in a session.

I take your privacy and safety seriously, and my intake documentation will give you something to look at for reference if you ever need to check back.

I feel incredibly honoured to be trusted by my clients and respect that in some professions such as journalism, medicine, creative arts and business it can feel especially important to have a therapist who understands the importance of discretion. My assistant has been vetted and trained with respect to privacy and is sensitive to the needs of my clients.

Location, location...

I often work with clients who live in a different country to me, or who travel. There is some research involved to make sure I meet the professional and legal requirements of the location of the client as well as myself, so I ask people to let me know their location in advance of a call.

I am based in London, United Kingdom and practise from France and occasionally other countries. I always let my clients know when I will be working from a different location so they can prepare for a different visual background and I use an automatic scheduling system to ensure changes in timezones do not thwart us!

Flexible Scheduling

Part of the reason I work with very few clients is so that I can provide flexibility with scheduling, as my clients tend to have demanding work and personal schedules.

I therefore do not require that we commit to the same time each week, although I am happy to accommodate a regular space. We will usually look one or two weeks ahead and I will give notice of any breaks I am planning to take with as much notice as possible.

I operate a one week rescheduling and cancellation policy, which means that I will not charge any fee if you give notice of one week or more to cancel. If you need to reschedule, I will try to offer a suitable time before Friday of the same week, however if I am unable to, I ask for the full fee to be paid.

Some therapists have 48 hour cancellation policies, or give a certain number of cancellations fee free per year and there are some who require a regular weekly payment no matter what. Each therapist will have made the choice with their clients in mind as well as their own needs. I have landed on this amount of time so that I can plan my professional and personal schedule, and want to reassure you that I am pretty flexible with rescheduling. 

When someone cancels at the last minute and I charge for the time, I take time to read or consider their therapy journey and hold the space, whether they are physically present or not. This is a topic I explore and welcome discussion around in your therapy sessions, because I am aware that cancellation fees can feel punitive (and can lead us to even stopping therapy in some cases), especially when we cancel due to something unavoidable. I always avoid charging them as much as possible and this is why I make provision for rescheduling. 

Core Values & Continuous Learning

My practice is inclusive and welcoming to people of all ethnicities, nationalities, abilities, religious affiliations, spiritual practices, political opinions, sexual orientation, body shape, gender identity and ages. I know a lot of websites and organisations write something similar so I’ll explain what that looks like for me.

I would love to say this is a done deal and that I don’t make mistakes in this area (and others!), but I think that at this stage, what I can say is that I am committed to continued learning in this area and welcome opportunities for deeper understanding.

Inclusive & Affirming Practice

The core values that are particularly meaningful to me are validation, congruence and compassion. For me this is about identity and value exploration and challenging ourselves to dig deeper. I spend time every single day in conversation and collaboration with people who are living lives and building businesses that are focused on impact, empathy and improving the life experience of others.

Having people around me like this inspires me, and pushes me to learn more widely about culture, identity and politics. This means I learn and teach keeping in mind the importance of identity, feminism and anti-racism. I am unequivocally affirming of the LGBTQIA+ on a community and individual level, and support movements to eliminate the judgment and oppression that anyone from a marginalised community experiences. I am constantly learning through interactions, discussion and literature the impact of racial trauma and anti-semitism and in the therapy room, I invite exploration in these areas.

The last few years have led me to the discovery of the Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size® communities. I remember listening to a podcast and hearing a therapist talking about body size in an affirming and unconditionally supportive way. “You are not broken” she said, which is the fear of so many people with eating disorders. I have come to understand the pervasive negative impact of diet culture and how widely judgment of appearance appears in society and hurts individuals. I welcome people of all shapes and sizes and will make no assumptions about health in relation to size.

I think about accessibility, which means I consider ways that I can respond to each person’s needs, whether that’s switching on live captioning in a Zoom call for a deaf person, using the telephone for someone who feels overwhelmed by the intensity of screens or exploring supportive resources alongside neurodivergent clients.

I am also committed to building a diverse referral network and professional team. If you prefer to work with someone of another heritage, religion, ethnicity or racial background, expertise or lived experience, I welcome enquiries and I will be happy to try to find you a practitioner who feels like a great fit, where you feel comfortable to explore anything you’d like to.

Continuing Professional Development

Here are some of the areas of post qualification training I have undertaken. Some have been courses, seminars, conference presentations, webinars. Some have been self study and some have been group or individual coaching based programmes.

  • Person-centred counselling
  • Social Psychology
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Existential Therapy
  • Psychosynthesis
  • Drama Therapy
  • Music Meditation
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
  • Alcoholism & Addiction
  • Codependency
  • Trauma & Embodiment
  • Child Development
  • Working with Ex-servicemen
  • Telephone Counselling
  • Online Counselling
  • Group Therapy
  • Ethical Online Practice
  • Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours
  • Anti-Racism Coaching
  • Respectful Parenting Approaches
  • Suicide Awareness - Prevention, Intervention, Postvention
  • Trans Affirming Therapy and Practice Policies
  • Creative Techniques in Online Therapy

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