Online Therapy Sessions

I am continuing to offer counselling and psychotherapy via video call to those based in Brighton and throughout the UK.

Please feel free to learn about me and my approach below, and get in touch if you would like to explore beginning therapy in this way.

Based in Brighton, UK, I am an experienced, BACP registered counsellor and psychotherapist. My way of working is founded upon psychodynamic, Jungian and somatic (body-based) psychotherapeutic approaches, and is informed by teachings from Buddhist psychology.

My practice is LGBTQ+ affirmative, trauma-informed, and sensitive to the societal and structural – as well as personal – factors involved in emotional, psychological and relationship difficulties.

Whether your reasons for seeking counselling and psychotherapy feel vague or specific, I welcome you to find out more about my practice, and to get in touch with any questions you might have, or to arrange an initial consultation.

Thank you for visiting.

 

About therapy

How we work together

Regular sessions provide a reflective, confidential space for self-exploration and support, in which to look together at any areas of concern to you. As we begin to make sense of troubling, confusing or conflicting feelings and experiences, it can become possible to discover greater ease, choice and fulfillment in the present.  

Therapy involves a joint inquiry into the underlying beliefs and automatic ways of being and seeing that we carry. Together we work collaboratively and at your pace to explore the roots of present issues and to move towards greater clarity in relation to areas of difficulty.

The exploration of familiar dynamics in relationships, dreams and mindful exploration of the felt-sense in the body all provide valuable doorways into understanding the inner world, and beginning to relate to it in a more helpful, compassionate way, that supports your growth and healing.

These sessions are yours, a space for you to be as you are. It’s my intention to create an environment that is safe, accepting and open in which you can speak freely about how things are for you and feel seen, heard and responded to. While I share knowledge or perspectives that I hope may be helpful, my aim is to help connect you with your own inner knowing, and it is what you choose to bring that will guide the focus of our work.

As well as being a way of alleviating the pain and struggle in our lives, therapy also aims to help us live more fully, in a greater sense of aliveness, authenticity and connection. Over time, the building of a reliable, trusting therapeutic relationship becomes the container in which a deeper healing can occur.

Philosophy and approach

I weave together insights from a number of therapeutic disciplines in my approach: psychodynamic, Jungian, somatic (body-based), feminist, trauma-resolution and Eastern wisdom traditions. While these modailities differ and offer a rich variety of perspectives, they share in common a depth-oriented and de-pathologising approach that centres a respect for the individual, the importance of relationships and an appreciation of the power of the unconscious mind.

My way of working centres connection and relationship: those between ourselves and others, but also between the conscious and unconscious, mind and body, inner world and outer life, present and past.

I believe that, as human beings, we have a rich and complex unconscious life, a life that is deeply interwoven with the body as well as the mind. Without our awareness, this inner world powerfully shapes our sense of self, how we relate to others, and our overall felt sense of life and what is possible for us. By shining a light into these hidden places and beginning to integrate what we find, we can be freed up to live with greater ease, empowerment and authenticity in everyday life.

I bring an awareness of trauma in its many dimensions to my work, whether that be related to single or repeated events, or the trauma that results from ongoing, cumulative stress and relational difficulties, particularly early in life. On this note, I am informed by attachment models of psychotherapy, which bring particular attention to the ways in which our core blueprints for relationship, created early in life, shape our present styles of relating – to ourselves, the world around us and others.

I view the therapeutic relationship itself as central to the transformative process that therapy can be, and take a non-pathologising approach. This means that I recognise all emotional and psychological experiences – even those that are very painful or distressing – as possessing a value, meaning and purpose that, when unlocked, can serve as a deep resource for personal growth and healing.

About me

I completed my core training at the University of Brighton and hold a Post-graduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Psychotherapeutic Counselling, a BACP accredited course of training grounded in psychoanalytic theory.

Other notable trainings include Hakomi (mindful somatic psychotherapy); working with trauma; gender, sexuality & relationship diversity (GSRD); and LGBTQ+ affirmative practice.

I am also an accredited specialist Sexual Violence Therapist, trained with the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC).

I am fully insured, and a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and abide by their ethical framework.

Prior to working solely in private practice, I served as a therapist in a range of settings, including a specialist sexual violence service, a community counselling charity, and an LGBTQ+ mental health service. Through this time, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside clients from a diversity of backgrounds seeking support in relation to a wide range of issues.

        Before becoming a therapist, I completed an MPhil in Gender Studies and spent many years in the social justice sector, where I worked in support and community engagement roles with groups and individuals of marginalised identities, advocating for equality in health and social care. An anti-oppression, social justice lens continues to be a core thread that I carry throughout my work.

        My first degree in Theology and Religious Studies set the tone for a lifelong exploration of spirituality in its many forms, especially as it relates to emotional and mental wellbeing. This curiosity about the deeper questions of life is an important current throughout my work, particularly resonating with Jungian psychology and inspiring a fascination with the integration of Eastern wisdom traditions with Western psychotherapy approaches.

GSRD & LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy

I specialise in working with individuals and couples across the spectrum of Gender, Sexuality and Relationship Diversity (GRSD), taking an affirmative approach to working with LGBTQ+* clients and those practicing non-mainstream relationship styles, such as non-monogamy or kink.

Beginning therapy is understandably daunting, but for those who are LGBQ, trans, gender-diverse or questioning, or practice an alternative relationship style, there can be an added sense of risk. Seeing a therapist who is GSRD affirmative and competent in these areas can free you up to discuss any issues related to your sexuality, gender or relationship with a greater sense of safety or confidence. Or, indeed, not to discuss this at all, knowing that these aspects of your experience are understood, accepted and respected.

My affirmative approach is informed by my experience as a therapist at an LGBTQ+ specific counselling service, specialist GSRD training, an MPhil in Gender Studies and experience from several years of working and volunteering in the LGBTQ+ sector. My therapeutic approach takes account of the impact of societal systems of oppression and the intersections of identity and cultural background with mental and emotional wellbeing.

If you feel you might benefit from working with an LGBTQ+ affirmative, GSRD-specialist therapist, I welcome you to get in touch to arrange an initial conversation.

*LGBTQ refers to the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, queer and questioning. The ‘+’ can refer to intersex, asexual and other identities and experiences across the spectrum of gender and sexuality. Some queer, trans and intersex people of colour prefer the term QTIPOC.

Sessions

I am currently offering therapy via video call

I offer weekly therapy on an open-ended or fixed-term basis.

Sessions are 50 minutes long, held at the same agreed times each week.

Fees

Fees are £55 per session (50 minutes), including the initial consultation, payable by bank transfer.

What to expect

Once you have been in touch, I will let you know about the spaces I have available and, if any of these are suitable, we can then arrange an initial consultation.

I will provide a copy of my therapeutic agreement for you to review in advance of our first session, which outlines the terms of the therapeutic contract, particularly around strict confidentiality and my policy on cancellations.

The initial consultation is an opportuntiy for us to meet, discuss your intentions for therapy and get a sense of what working together in a therapeutic relationship might be like. It’s also an opportunity for me to understand what you are looking for through therapy and if this is something I am able to support you with.

There is no expectation that you begin therapy with me after the initial session. You are very welcome to take time to reflect and consider whether you would like to work together, or you may decide straight away that you would like to go ahead, and we can begin the following week.

Contact

I recognise that there is a lot to consider when beginning therapy and welcome any questions you may have prior to arranging an initial consultation.

Please get in touch via email at contact@sophiebarnestherapy.co.uk and I will endeavour to respond within 48 working hours.