Nicola Stephenson

Nicola Stephenson


Registered Member MBACP

Contact information

Phone number
07954428214

Contact Nicola

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Therapist - Hove

Hove BN3
07954428214
Sessions from £80.00

Features

  • Flexible hours available
  • Concessionary rates

Availability

I charge £80 per online session. I charge £90 per face to face session. Sessions can be booked on a weekly or fortnightly basis. 

ABOUT ME

In 1990 I graduated in European Business with French (BA Hons). This led to a successful overseas career in travel. In 1999 I returned to the UK. In 2005 I took on the role of MD of a niche ski business, a position I held for two years before finally leaving the corporate world in 2007.   

I began my training as a therapist in 2010. My growing interest in this area was born out of a long-standing curiosity about my own general sense of unease, and a deeply personal search for autonomy and meaning. Having qualified as a Humanistic Psychotherapeutic Counsellor (PG Dip) in 2016, and a Master of Science in Psychotherapy (MSc) in 2018, I have spent the last few years as a psychotherapist in private practice. Along the way I have also had the privilege of volunteering for a number of local charities.

A key advantage of being a mature therapist (I am 56 years old) is the humility and wisdom I have gained through an examination of my own life. I first had to make sense of painful life experiences and, in doing so, learn how to honour my own truth. I leant heavily on existential notions of freedom of choice and personal responsibility to help me. Slowly, I began to understand the importance of balancing the need to steer my own ship with the need to accept that there is much in life I cannot control. With greater self awareness and a growing sense of confidence, I turned to spiritual teachings to help me connect more deeply to the people and natural world around me. I finally emerged as a more grounded and integrated individual with a renewed sense of aliveness. 

About me and my therapy practice

WHAT IS PSYCHOTHERAPY? 

Psychotherapy is a process designed to relieve suffering, promote healing and restore hope. It does this by harnessing the energy generated by the very experiences and environments which hurt us. In doing so, it provides a unique gateway to unlimited personal growth, expansion and vitality. This is the paradoxical wisdom of trauma and adversity.

At heart, it is an ethical endeavour that privileges the client's authenticity and their right to self determination. It is an experiential activity requiring a relationship built on mutuality and collaboration. It offers the opportunity to create meaning out of suffering and find compassion for self and other. As the therapist, I offer transparency and openness whilst also playing an active role in gently guiding each client on their journey. At your own pace and in your own words, I will help you find your voice and tell your story. The simple act of sharing and exploring your concerns within the safety and confidentiality of the therapeutic relationship usually brings immediate relief.

Your struggle might relate to an affair, a miscarriage, a dilemma, or a tragic accident. Or, it might be a more general struggle with anxiety or depression. You might long for a partner and/or a baby. You might be worried about an addiction or a compulsive behaviour. You might lack the motivation and energy to get out of bed. You might feel irritable and angry. You might be unhappy with the lack of sex and intimacy in your relationship. You might be curious about your history and how it has shaped your life. There are endless reasons to seek help from a psychotherapist.



Practice description

MY APPROACH

I blend skills and ideas from many different disciplines including philosophy, attachment theory, neuroscience, and trauma and body psychotherapy. The process of honing my craft has been facilitated by the pioneering work of a vibrant community of world-renowned scientists including Stephen Porges, Peter Levine and Bessel Van der Kolk. Their ground breaking research into the autonomic nervous system demonstrates that human beings are born with an innate expectation to be loved, to be cared for, and to matter. In short, we are designed for co-regulation rather than self-regulation.

Other key influences include retired physician, Dr Gabor Mate, who similarly concludes that healing is a process of reconnecting to the self in the presence of a caring other. Belgium psychotherapist Esther Perel, meanwhile, highlights the pitfalls of seeking absolute certainty and security in adult relationships. Her deft exploration of three major tensions - between security and freedom, mystery and transparency, and trust and betrayal - provides invaluable insights into the paradoxical nature of healthy adult relationships. 

My approach is further influenced by spiritual teachers, Eckhart Toller and Thomas Hubl, who call for greater awareness of our collective disembodiment. Toller claims that our evolutionary history has provided us with a means of torturing ourselves with our "higher" brains, which seek peace and fulfilment in the external world, rather than internally, within our bodies. Hubl recognises this behaviour as a hidden symptom of transgenerational trauma and its legacy which lives on in each of us. Spiritual practices such as yoga, tai chi and meditation show us how we can heal our individual and collective wounds by reconnecting to our bodies, each other and nature. These ancient traditions overlap in a very functional way with the more modern traditions of neuroscience and trauma psychotherapy.


My first session

I offer online sessions by video link (£80 per session). I also see clients face-to-face (£90 per session) at Wilbury Clinc in central Hove. 

The best way to find out if I am the right therapist for you is to book an introductory session - either at the clinic or by video link.  This will allow us to have a chat and see how it feels to spend time together. We can ask each other questions to find out about each other. To book your session please contact me at nicola@nicolastephenson.co.uk or call me on 07954 428 214. No planning or preparation is required on your part for your introductory session - I will guide you through the session and help put you at ease if you are feeling nervous.  

What I can help with

Abuse, Anger management, Anxiety, Bereavement, Child related issues, Depression, Disability, Eating disorders, Health related issues, Infertility, Loss, Obsessions, OCD, Personal development, Phobias, Post-traumatic stress, Pregnancy related issues, Redundancy, Relationships, Self esteem, Sexual identity, Spirituality, Stress, Trauma, Work related issues

Types of therapy

Brief therapy, CBT, Emotionally focused therapy, Existential, Humanistic, Integrative, Phenomenological, Psychodynamic, Relational, Transactional analysis

Clients I work with

Adults, Couples, Older adults, Trainees, Young people

How I deliver therapy

Long-term face-to-face work, Online therapy, Short-term face-to-face work, Telephone therapy, Time-limited

Languages spoken

English