Richard DemwellCounselling & Psychotherapy in London Bridge

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your approach or modality?

I am a psychodynamic therapist. This is psychoanalytic in origin and works on the premise that we all have a past, and that our early relationships and our experiences are vitally important to how we have developed, relate to others, and understand ourselves today. There is an appreciation of the 'unconscious'; an area of the mind or psyche that we are not fully in touch with in our day to day lives. Sometimes in times of difficulty or pain, or when life becomes difficult and lacking in pleasure, people seek out a professional listener - a therapist - to help them to understand their pain or symptom. None of this is achievable without a good rapport with your therapist.

Is this confidential?

Yes. What you disclose to me is confidential; I am duty bound to protect what you tell me, and I take this very seriously. There are very rare circumstances where I would breech confidentiality - this would be discussed when we meet.

Do you work with a psychoanalytic couch?

No. We sit opposite each other.

Do you recommend 'homework' or should I prepare in some way?

No. I encourage you to bring whatever is on your mind to your sessions. I believe this space and time is yours to see what emerges, and for us to work together on what you bring. This provides an opportunity for new understandings to emerge.

Can counselling and psychotherapy help me?

Talking helps. At its base, discussing your concerns with a professional listener (who is not a friend or relative) can be both a relief and a release. What is also very important is to gain some understanding, a perspective, and an awareness of your difficulty - counselling can facilitate this and enable you to be in a better position to make informed decisions about your life.

Will we just talk about the past?

No, but the past will inevitably be in the present (it always is!) and in this sense, we will be thinking about your past experiences in order to understand and reflect on your current circumstances.

How do I know how much counselling or psychotherapy I will need?

Counselling will generally be shorter than psychotherapy, and usually for a fixed amount of sessions (time limited), sometimes up to 20 sessions. Although this is explorative; that is, we will explore what you bring to sessions without a rigid agenda; it is likely that we will agree a focus to the work. Psychotherapy is longer in duration and often open ended - there is no fixed end date. This is also explorative; the focus is on you and what you bring to your sessions to explore. Its open-ended nature gives more time to work with problems that may have been troubling you over a long period. Some people decide to work initially on a short term basis and then decide to work in an open ended way. For others, a few sessions can feel enough. You are under no obligation to start your therapy with me after your initial consultation.

How do I know you have the right qualifications to help me?

I am a qualified, registered and Accredited counsellor and psychotherapist with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). You can check my credentials on the BACP register here

In addition to being a registered member, I have also completed the BACP's accreditation process - the BACP uses the term 'Accredited' to "show registrants who have sought a higher level of quality assurance through the BACP accreditation scheme, over and above the minimum registration" (
The BACP register is also scrutinised by the Professional Standards Authority to help protect the general public. Click here

Is there a written agreement?

Yes. It is a short, simple document that outlines our responsibilities on both sides - such as when and how we meet, cancellation and holiday policy, confidentiality and so forth. This will be discussed in depth when we meet.

For information about the professional body I belong to as a counsellor and psychotherapist - British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. I have a profile you can view via their 'search a therapist' tool here

Counsellor and psychotherapist for SE1 (Southwark), Southwark, London Bridge (southwark) , Borough (Southwark) Elephant and Castle and central London.

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