GWYN WHITFIELD
UKCP registered Systemic Psychotherapist





My Style of Psychotherapy and Counselling


I find the closer counselling and psychotherapy is to ordinary conversation, the more potential it has for extraordinary outcomes. I think of therapy as a collaborative way of exploring why unhappiness, frustration or worry persists. And, of course, it is about looking at how to move things on so there can be an improvement in people's quality of life.


It isn't always easy to speak about these things so we can discuss what style of talking works for you. Some people appreciate a direct type of talking, others prefer a more reflective pace. Some enjoy playing with creative thinking or write; other people just like to talk and hear some of my ideas.


I have a lot of experience of working with people to think through difficulties and stucknesses - and plan major life changes - whether about relationship decisions, gender identity, re-locating, life and death matters, health, family relationships, having children, career changes and so on.


People seem to have developed a heightened relationship with reflection since the pandemic, and a desire or need to talk about matters that have been probably bothering them for a while and that they can no longer side-step.


'Systemic' therapy really means 'relational'. It points to people living in a world of others, not just in their heads. Systemic and narrative therapy looks at which ideas are at work and in what ways those ideas are useful or restrictive in some ways and where those ideas come from.



What sorts of things do I specialise in?


The most common things people want to talk about are feelings of depression, feeling stuck, not feeling good about themselves, or not good about relationships with significant others. Many people are struggling with anxiety and worry, trying to get over really difficult things that have happened to them either recently or in the past. People approach us about very different matters and while most people feel okay about seeing a therapist, some feel more self conscious. People usually get over some of these worries quite quickly once we start talking.


I work online and have been surprised at how easy it has been to get into intense and intimate conversation with people. I really enjoy connections with people. I am always moved and impressed by people finding ways of speaking, reflecting and finding ways through. Online therapy tends to work for many people who can find a space in their working days to shift into some personal reflective time for themselves.


I am one of the founding members of the Pink Practice. It was important to get together with other lesbian and gay therapists to establish a quality service for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities at a time when nothing else like this existed. We have worked towards finding a style of therapy which does not reproduce the bias about being gay or trans and which embraces people's unique mix of cultural, racial and ethnic identities. I offer short or longer term online therapy and you can decide how often you want appointments - depending on our diaries!



Training and Supervision


I have undertaken a few psychotherapy training programmes over time. The one which still feels the most influential is the Post-Graduate Diploma in Systemic Therapy with Individuals. I did that over four years at the Kensington Consultation Centre and qualified in 1992. I orientate towards conferences and workshops where there is a focus on depathologising and decolonising therapy to make therapy relavant for a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds. This builds on the work of The Pink Practice which has a history of developing ways of offering therapy which create a gender and sexuality sensitive space and which intersects with a range of other cultural and community memberships. Like all counsellors and psychotherapists I have monthly supervision where I discuss my work and how I am working. This is a very useful part of my work which I look forward to. When talking in supervision about anyone, I change key details to preserve confidentiality.



Professional Membership


I am a registered Systemic Psychotherapist with Registered Systemic Psychotherapist with The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).



What Do I Enjoy About Counselling and Psychotherapy?


From time to time people often ask me what I enjoy about my work. I tell them that I find people very moving, and insiprational, and that people never fail to amaze me with their resiliance, resourcefulness and creativity. While I have learned a great deal from my trainings, I learn a great deal from the people I meet through my work and this equips me with ideas and experience to use with other people.


I am enjoying online therapy. I do miss central London and meeting people in-person but I enjoy the relaxed pace of working from home. I have a dedicated office which has privacy and is comfortable and excellent coffee and wifi!



Email The Pink Practice

020 7060 4000