Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Counselling in Twickenham, Richmond Borough of London
Welcome to my website.
My name is Elisabeth Auer and I am a UKCP accredited psychoanalytic psychotherapist and counsellor in Twickenham. I provide counselling at the Maple Leaf Clinic on Twickenham Green, which is easily accessed by public transports from Richmond, Ham, Whitton, Hampton, Teddington, Hounslow and Central London. There are also direct train links from Waterloo Station to Twickenham and close-by Strawberry Hill.
I am a counsellor for English and German speaking people and enjoy engaging with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and religions.
People seek psychotherapy and counselling for a range of reasons: difficulties in adult relationships; feeling lonely or a sense of not-belonging; struggle within the family or with children; work-related issues; feeling trapped. Many people have experienced early trauma and loss.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is an orientation, in which we attempt to bring unconscious processes into awareness:
The way we behave, think and feel is often shaped by our earliest relationships and the social and political environment in which we grew up. We internalize these ways and repeat them out of conscious awareness. However, internalised models which were meaningful and useful in the past, may not be relevant in the present anymore. In therapy, we try to analyse and explore these models and bring them into conscious awareness. Once conscious, we can make these models susceptible to change.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy needs your commitment and your curiosity. It does not promise a "quick fix", as the process of exploration and change takes time and we will come across a range of defense mechanisms. These are strategies which protect a person from anxiety arising from unacceptable thoughts and and feelings.
For those people who seek quick solutions to their problems, psychoanalytic psychotherapy is probably not the right path. However, if you are curious to understand your way of being, thinking and feeling, then you may get a lot out of longer-term analytic psychotherapy.
I am accredited with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and I am a member of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Social Studies.
How does counselling and psychotherapy work?
The way we experience and understand our interpersonal world is shaped by our earliest relationships. These early experiences become deeply engrained in our personality. They impact on the way we think, feel and behave in our adult relationships, but largely out of conscious awareness. These internalized mental models mediate and often distort the way we react to losses and separations in our lives.
When separations and losses are experienced as traumatic we may lose our sense of identity and try to avoid engaging with the painful experience. Sometimes mourning a current loss is complicated because it is linked to a much earlier, unremembered, loss. Having no meaning for our experience, we may become anxious and panicky, or aggressive and sometimes violent.
We may isolate ourselves; seek solace in addictive forms of behaviour (drugs, alcohol, sex, eating, shopping, work, gambling), or fall into depression. We may even entertain thoughts of ending our life through suicide.
By means of a new relational experience with the therapist (the therapeutic relationship or alliance) our old and stubborn models of thinking, feeling and behaving may be challenged and new creative and proactive ways may gradually be developed and internalized. These new ways may help us to be more emotionally and psychologically resilient.
The therapeutic relationship is characterized by trust, confidentiality and safety, serving as what John Bowlby calls a secure base from which our various difficulties in living can be collaboratively explored. The more securely attached we are the less difficulty we have in mourning losses and in finding new and creative perspectives in our life.
Psychotherapy and Neuroscience
Neuroscience findings show that our brain retains plasticity throughout life, being shaped and sculpted by experience in the environment. Novel relational challenges and demands generate new neural connections in our brains. Therefore, an emotionally meaningful therapeutic relationship can gradually facilitate relational and neurological changes in our brain structure.
Find more information in this article:
Dan Siegel on the Craft of Rewiring the Brain
Even though the traumas we have experienced in our life do not disappear as a result of counselling or psychotherapy, and may re-emerge in certain stressful contexts, psychotherapy can help to change the way in which we experience such trauma.
People see psychotherapists and counsellors for various reasons. Some of these are listed here:
— depression and general unhappiness
— relationship problems
— anxieties and panic attacks
— bereavement and loss
— work related issues
— emotional and sexual abuse
— family and parenting issues
— low self-confidence and self-esteem
— sexuality and identity
— obsessive behaviour and addictions
— transgenerational and developmental trauma
— migration and adaptation to a new language
If you are looking for an English or German speaking counsellor or psychotherapist in Twickenham, please get in contact.