Stress

I can’t cope

Stress is a commonly used term to describe a feeling of overload and pressure. But a stress response is actually how the body reacts to any kind of pressure or even threat, flooding the nervous system with adrenalin and cortisol to alert the body so its ready to act.

This explains the feeling of hyper-vigilance that is often associated with this feeling where a person is in a heightened state of alert, hyper-sensitive and fractious. Often people describe themselves as ‘stressed’ as they feel worried and overloaded, fearful and anxious, with everyday symptoms that include not being able to relax or sleep, suffering headaches or upset stomach and easily losing their temper. Sometimes people use prescription medication or alcohol to help ease the symptoms, but this is usually a surface ‘sticking plaster’ solution, and unless they attend to how they manage the stress in their life, this can easily turn into a dependence.

Some stress is normal and can even be necessary to motive you to take action. But too much stress, or mismanaged stress, can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, asthma, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer. Learning how to better manage the stress in your life can be as simple as learning a few tools to be better organised, improve your communication and become more forgiving. However, sometimes the roots go deeper in a person where there is a profound need to control or to get things right. In such cases it is important to unravel the deeper less conscious motivations to alleviate the levels of stress.

At CHARTER we can help you to do both: to learn ways to better manage the stress in your life using CBT and Mindfulness techniques and also to support you to explore any deeper issues that may be fuelling this self-defeating response to pressure in your life.

Families & Partners

It is not easy being around someone who is stressed either as their intolerance can spread causing arguments and tension. Frequently families express feeling anxious around someone who is displaying unhealthy levels of stress, and often disrespect too. This can exacerbate the problem as no-one feels heard and levels of blame increase which in turn can cause communication difficulties. It is important for everyone to recognise the impact stress and how it is managed is having on them so that each person can take responsibility for their own experience, and this is where family therapy at CHARTER can really help. Instead of avoiding, confronting or accommodating to bend around someone in the family who is over-stressed, you can learn to stay in relationship whilst maintaining your dignity and self-respect.

Getting help for stress

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can make an appointment with our assessment team using our Enquiry Form or simply give us a call so that we can discuss how we can help you or a member of your family.

We also have a library of useful documents for you to download and read in our PDF Library.

PDF LIBRARY

Therapyst

CHARTER's team of therapists & psychotherapists

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Tom Tomaszewski

Clinical Manager
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist
EMDR Therapist BA (Hons), GRAD CERT (GROUP ANALYSIS), PGCE, PGDip (PSYCHOTHERAPY STUDIES), MClinSci, SMMGP, UKCP

Tom has undertaken various trainings as an individual and group psychotherapist. He’s accredited as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and completed a clinical masters exploring and training in various aspects of client care including medication, different psychiatric and psychological models of the mind, CBT and research methodology. He was for some time an honorary psychotherapist at St Martin’s hospital in Canterbury working with people suffering from psychosis, usually seeing them in their own homes. He’s worked at Charter since it began and knew Mandy Saligari for some time before that – they’ve always shared an interest in self-representation through writing and originally met while he was developing writing as a particular approach to therapy. Together with members of the Charter team, Tom has developed a TDR (Trauma, Dissociation and Recovery) group work programme, which he outlined at the 2015 UKCP research conference. He is a qualified EMDR therapist and is very interested in the intersection between psychoanalytic and EMDR work.

Tom’s relational approach involves exploring the different ways in which we represent ourselves. He believes in engaging the imagination and doesn’t have one fixed approach. Each therapy is a new beginning.

Tom’s first novel, The Wisdom of Uncle Kasimir, was published by Bloomsbury in 2006 and his second, The Eleventh Letter, was published by Dodo in 2016. He has published various stories and articles and written regularly for Independent on Sunday.

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Clare Sole

Clinical Manager
Psychotherapist
ADV DIP Humanistic Integrative Counselling, Practitioner Skills for eating disorders, BACP (accred)
Clinical Co-ordinator / Psychotherapist

Clare is a qualified psychotherapist. She has worked at Charter for many years and is the Clinical Co-ordinator. She has a lot of experience working with family members and she is responsible for all assessments. Clare has worked in health care for several years and has previously worked as an Auxiliary Nurse prior to starting a career in the field of addiction. Clare has experience working in detox and secondary care treatment centres. She has worked in both residential and outpatient treatment centres.

Clare has a wealth of experience in the field of eating disorders and addiction, and has toured schools and colleges giving talks on eating disorders and self-harming. She has worked in both the public and private sectors of the addiction treatment field. Clare is a PruHealth recognised treatment provider.

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Tanya Refson Marks

Psychotherapist

PGDip in Psychotherapy & Counselling
Psychotherapist

Tanya Refson Marks has a Post Graduate Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy from SPCP and she is both UKCP accredited and a member of BACP.

In addition to working at CHARTER, she is a CAT psychotherapist at the Munro Centre which is a part of Maudsley NHS. Tanya has developed an integrative approach. She has an insightful and empathic understanding of attachment and personality disorders and of their consequences which she applies to her work with clients during their time at CHARTER. She has worked at WBAF providing emotional and therapeutic support to homeless families and at Blenheim CDP providing 1-1 therapy to vulnerable adults living with drug and alcohol dependence.

Tanya grew up in both France and the UK and received a BA from UCL in French and Italian Literature and went to business school in Paris. She had a career in fashion and art in the UK and abroad before turning to a vocational career in mental health. She currently lives in London with her two children.

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Marie-Claire Prust

Psychotherapist

BA Hons, Adv Dip, MBACP

Marie-Clare has an Advanced Diploma from CPPD and is a qualified psychotherapist. She is a member of the BACP and is due to complete her accreditation this Summer.

After graduating in 2005 with a BA honours in Politics and Sociology she worked for a global sports management company in the golf division. During her time there her role varied from brand licensing to the representation of professional golfers. A career change at the end of 2011 brought on the start of her psychotherapy training which began at SPCP and finished at CPPD.

Marie-Clare’s particular area of interest and expertise lies in eating disorders and other behavioural addictions. She has spoken around the UK to schools on this delivering an engaging talk on a difficult subject. Marie-Clare has worked at CHARTER since 2012 and is currently part of the assessments team, she see’s clients for individual psychotherapy and co-ordinates the focal group programme.

Marie-Claire is passionate about sport and has achieved international sporting success on a number of occasions  She has taken part in physically demanding challenges across Europe which have included marathons and mountain climbing. She now takes life a little slower although will try to get as many days as she can in the French Alps working on her skiing and snowboarding.

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Zoe Aston

Therapist

MSc MBACP NCAD SMMGP (accred) BACP (reg)

Zoe has worked at CHARTER for 6 years after graduating with an MSc in Addiction Psychology and counselling at London South Bank University. She was the youngest recipient of the Esmond Robinson Scholarship award. Her specialist areas include working with addictions including eating disorders and self-harm as well as trauma, attachment and identity development through a person-centered approach.

Zoe has completed Trauma Reduction training with Sarah Bridge from The Meadows, Arizona. She is currently accredited with NCAC from FDAP and seeking accreditation from BACP in 2017, with whom she is currently a registered practitioner.

Prior to her involvement with the therapeutic world Zoe worked in the performance industry, founding and developing a successful dance enterprise. The expertise of working with young people and their families through challenging developmental stages as well as her own life experience motivated her to explore wider dimensions of physical and emotional expression. This experience in managing groups has served her well within her therapeutic career and allowed for a kind yet firm approach to group therapies.

Joining CHARTER Harley Street in 2011 she is part of the Intensive Outpatient Programme team as well as Trauma Reduction (known as Parenting From Within) workshops and aftercare program. Zoe also offers one to one therapy sessions at CHARTER. In her spare time Zoe can be found cooking, choreographing and dancing and playing with her much loved cats.

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Kevin Feighery

Integrative Therapist

BSc (Hons), Dip, BACP

Kevin has completed a BSc in Reflective Therapeutic Practice in conjunction with a diploma in Integrative Humanistic Counselling. He is also working towards accreditation with the BACP.

Kevin came into this field following his own journey into recovery. Kevin has gained invaluable experience by working in structured day programmes and Custodial Recovery Teams, where he works as a counsellor within both a prison setting and the community.

Kevin has a particular interest in working with anger, codependency, love addiction-avoidance through to intimacy and attachment issues stemming from the relational trauma created through ‘family of origin’ dynamics. He is also interested in working with the wounded child aspect that develops into the adapted teenager and less functional adult.

Trained in Musical Theatre where he toured and performed for some 25 years, his acting ability is an asset in therapy, breathing a vibrancy into his work, helping individuals re-build their confidence and self-esteem through role play, education, promoting abstinence as a way of life and better accepting themselves.

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Madeleine Muir

Therapist

Associate member of the IGA
PG DIP in Addiction Psychology & Counselling, FDAP/SMMGP & NCAC (accred), MBACP
Grad certificate in Group Analysis, Diploma in Group Analysis, Group Work Practitioner cert in Group Analysis

Madeleine has been working in the addiction treatment field for over ten years. Her previous experience has centred on structured day care group facilitation and one to one counselling in both harm reduction and abstinent day programmes. Madeleine has a Post Graduate Diploma in Addiction Psychology and Counselling and has recently completed her studies in Group Analysis at the Institute of Group Analysis. She has devised and run her own therapeutic drama groups for five years and is continuing to facilitate drama groups on a regular basis at CHARTER. She also lectures at LSBU on the addiction psychology and counselling MSC.

Madeleine has a theatrical background, having trained as an actress at The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and The Drama Studio in Sydney, Australia, and subsequently worked as an actress for many years in community theatre companies. She is one of the Directors of Outside Edge Theatre Company.

Madeleine has also run her own catering company, and has devised and run therapeutic cooking workshops with clients at all the projects she has worked at.

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Victoria Smith

Psychotherapist

BSc (Hons), BACP (accred)

Victoria is a BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist, and a qualified Clinical Supervisor who has over 20 years experience of working with clients with addiction problems and a dual diagnosis. She has trained under Pia Mellody in Post Induction Therapy.

She has worked in both the public and private sectors of the addiction treatment field and maintains a private practice.
She is also a long standing member of the CHARTER team. 
Most recently Victoria has worked with women with addiction and mental health problems within the Criminal Justice System. Prior to this she managed the Outpatient Programme for Lifeworks Community and she has also held a management position for The Drug and Alcohol Foundation where she researched, designed and ran a new Day Programme.
 
 Victoria has an interest in working with members of the armed forces who have witnessed and experienced trauma resulting in PTSD and she is experienced in working with gender/sexuality issues. She is also a Reiki Practitioner.

Victoria is a BUPA and PruHealth recognised treatment provider.

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Nalini Persaud

Psychotherapist

BA (Hons), PGDip , MA (Counselling & Psychotherapy), QCF Level 5 (Management & Leadership), UKCP (accred)
Psychotherapist

Nalini is a UKCP accredited psychotherapist with over 10 years experience of working with individuals and their families to gain recovery from addiction. Working within the charitable and private sectors and both residential and out patient settings, Nalini’s approach is integrative, drawing on a breadth of experience and training, allowing greater flexibility and a more personal feel.

Prior to this, Nalini enjoyed a successful career in marketing and management, and travelled extensively, including a six-month sabbatical to backpack around the world which included working in an ashram in rural India teaching English.

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Karina Sarmiento

Psychotherapist

Adult Psychotherapist
BA in Psychology; MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience; MA in Psychotherapy.
BACP Accredited

Karina is a qualified adult psychotherapist with a background in clinical psychology, neuroscience and parent-infant psychotherapy. She has a diverse range of experience in the field of mental health, having worked with adults, families and parents of infants and small children as well as with individuals presenting problems such as addiction, personality and mood disorders.

Early in her career Karina became interested in the impact that negative childhood experiences have on the onset of mental health disorders in adulthood, and how this affects the adult’s ability to parent. In the last ten years Karina has specialised in working with parents presenting with a range of diagnosed mental health conditions, domestic violence, addiction and/or unresolved trauma. Karina offers a range of therapeutic interventions and approaches to help parents explore and acknowledge the negative impact that their childhood experiences and current mental disorder have on their parenting and their relationship with their infant or child. She has worked for NHS hospitals and clinics, and various settings in the statutory (local authority) and voluntary sectors. She has acted as an expert witness in numerous high-risk cases of child neglect and abuse brought before the Courts.

At CHARTER, Karina offers one-to-one therapy for adults presenting depression and anxiety linked to addiction. She is currently developing CHARTER’s service for parents of under-5s with addiction issues, particularly working with mothers and fathers during the perinatal period from pregnancy until toddlerhood. This service focuses on helping parents adapt to their new parental roles. The ultimate goal of this service is to support and enhance the parent-baby relationship.

Karina also facilitates training for mental health professionals focusing on early intervention with mothers-to-be, parents and babies, infant brain development and the impact of neglect and/or maltreatment, and working with parents with mental health disorders. Karina is a visiting lecturer at the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela. She provides therapy in both English and Spanish.

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Michael Gavridis

Psychotherapist

Psychotherapist
MSc in Philosophy of Mental Disorder, MA in Psychotherapy & Counselling, UKCP

Michael’s psychotherapeutic training is at the postgraduate level with extensive clinical experience in diverse settings. Michael holds an MSc in Philosophy of Mental Disorder from King’s College London & The Institute of Psychiatry, an Advanced Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and an MA in Psychotherapy & Counselling, both from Regent’s College London. Michael worked for several years at the Department of Psychological Medicine at Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital, at the Women & Family Health Services unit at Newham University Hospital and at the West London Centre for Counselling.

Michael’s clinical experience thus far has equipped him with the capacity to establish helpful and effective psychotherapeutic alliances with people experiencing a range of mental health issues and concerns including complex and challenging presentations.

In addition to his psychotherapeutic training and experience, Michael has an extensive experience from careers in the financial sector as proprietary quantitative analyst-trader in London, Paris and New York as well as the academia as postgraduate programme manager, principal lecturer and supervisor.

Michael is registered with the UKCP and abides by its Code of Ethics. Michael can work in English, French and Greek.

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Sarah Wood

Psychotherapist

Psychotherapist, BA, DPhil Oxon

Sarah is a psychotherapist, with experience working one-to-one in private practice, at the Guild of Psychotherapists’ Clinic and in the NHS. She was born in Sutton Coldfield and completed her education at Cheltenham and Oxford, where she read English and wrote a PhD on poetry and autobiography. As well as practising psychotherapy she is Reader in English Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Kent and has published books on Robert Browning, Jacques Derrida and most recently Without Mastery, on literature, psychoanalysis, deconstruction and climate change. She has experience as a home care worker and in academic pastoral care at the Universities of Oxford and Kent. She is currently completing her psychoanalytic training at the Guild of Psychotherapists.

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Harry Harris

Psychotherapist

Psychotherapist, MBACP

Harry trained as a psychotherapist at Spectrum in London, completing their post-graduate course in psychotherapy in 2002. Spectrum’s approach is both experiential and theoretical and encompasses both humanistic and psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy.

Harry has worked as a counsellor and group facilitator for various organisations including for:

  • TVI, The Violence Initiative. TVI was a community based charity that had a unique approach of working psychotherapeutically with perpetrators of violence. The TVI model had its roots in conflict resolution and was a nine month programme for change that was composed of three months one to one counselling followed by a six month group work programme. The groups were both supportive and challenging and used techniques that drew on the work of Augusto Boal
  • Rapt, Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust. I worked for Rapt in HMP Pentonville and The Island Drug Project
  • Drug prevention educator for FCD, Freedom from Chemical Dependency. I taught drug education in many schools and was one of FCD’s first teachers in the UK. I trained in the FCD approach at their headquarters in Boston, USA
  • as a volunteer counsellor for the drug treatment charity Addaction and the mental health charity Mind.

In addition to his counselling work Harry has worked as a television presenter for the Discovery Channel where he presented his own history series ‘War Time Secrets’ and ‘War Digs’.

Harry’s journey to becoming a psychotherapist is grounded in his own recovery from addiction which started in 1993. Living in North London, Harry is married with two daughters. He enjoys reading, writing, watching films and football. relaxing and keeping fit through swimming and walking his two dogs. A passionate advocate of life-long learning Harry is currently studying social psychology with the Open University.

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Chris John

Psychotherapist

Chris John is a London based psychotherapist, trainer & supervisor who is known for his innovative and empathic style of therapy. Having gained a Masters degree at Greenwich University, Chris went on to train extensively with Pia Mellody of The Meadows and he has become a leading trauma reduction specialists. Working with codependency, love addiction and shame based issues created through ‘family of origin’ dynamics.

Chris is also a Nuro Affective Relational Model (NARM) Practitioner. The Neuro Affective Relational Model brings the current understanding of self-regulation into clinical practice. It is a therapeutic model for both developmental and shock trauma that, while not ignoring a person’s past, does not put the primary emphasis on the past sources of problems. Instead, NARM helps us build and expand upon our current capacity for biological self-regulation and interpersonal connection.

An expert in issues relating from developmental and attachment trauma, Chris draws on his years of experience and a rich combination of theories to provide the most effective therapeutic outcome for his clients whom have struggled with relational issues, including love addiction & avoidance, betrayal, sexual issues.

Chris is also a passionate trainer who has delivered P.I.T training in the UK, Iceland, Switzerland, Germany & the USA.

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David Gittelson

Psychotherapist

Psychotherapist, BACP

David is a graduate of the Tavistock & Portman Clinic as well as the Manor House Centre for Psychotherapy & Counselling. He is a BACP-registered Psychodynamic Psychotherapist.

David currently works with individuals in the NHS and with individuals, couples and families at CHARTER, as well as co-facilitating the Men’s Group. David holds lecturing roles with a private counselling training centre and a leading London university where he designs and delivers Psychotherapy and Counselling training programmes.

Previously David held senior positions in the IT, Property and Advertising industries, working with a range of clients from small businesses to FTSE 100 enterprises. He often combines past and current experience to coach individuals and teams in a commercial environment.

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Louise Wigan

Couples and Family Therapist

Family Humanist Counsellor

Louise works as a family and relationship therapist at CHARTER.  Louise has over 24 years experience and trained at Roehampton University. She has also studied in the USA at the Meadows Clinic and has worked extensively with adolescents covering a variety of emotional issues stemming from dysfunctional backgrounds. Her specialty is working with co-dependency and family relationships. She is a trustee for the charity Place2Be and has experience of working with children and adolescents in schools.

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David Behrens

Mindfulness
Homeopathy
Mindfulness teacher and Registered Homeopath – DSH RSHom

David brings his expertise through his in-depth study and practice of Meditation while living 27 years as a teaching monk in an international retreat site and school of Yoga in South India. There he learned the eastern and yogic philosophy’s which are the origin of mindfulness and developed his knowledge of health and well-being through study of Ayurvedic Medicine. He transitioned from his monastic life in 2007 to further his studies of mindfulness and gain his advanced practitioner diploma in Homeopathy.

Through his knowledge of mindfulness, meditation and holistic medicine he has developed a therapeutic model to serve Mental Health Recovery, Relapse Prevention and Pain & Stress Management.

Mindfulness based programmes can offer effective tools and skills that empower and resource an individual. They complement well and enhance a counselling/psychotherapy programme.

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Kate Alden Smith

Acupuncturist
Massage Therapist
Dip.Ac MBAcC ACUPUNCTURIST

Traditional acupuncture is a healthcare system based on ancient principles which go back nearly two thousand years. It has a very positive model of good health and function, and looks at pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance. The overall aim of acupuncture treatment is to restore the body’s equilibrium. What makes this system so uniquely suited to modern life is that physical, emotional and mental are seen as interdependent, and reflect what many people perceive as the connection between the different aspects of their lives.

Kate has been in clinical practice for over 25 years and has a special interest in treating anxiety and stress disorders. She enjoys working in conjunction with psychotherapists using acupuncture to help restore balance of mind and body. She is a member of The British Acupuncture Council and as part of that membership is required to undertake regular continuing professional development.

Kate lives and has her practice in Kent, is married and has two children. She is also very happy to be working in London at CHARTER.

All our team at CHARTER have been hand-picked by Mandy Saligari and have extensive clinical and practical experience. Whether you are seeing them one-to-one or as part of a group or workshop, their compassion, empathy and success rate is second to none. Meet the CHARTER therapy team »

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