No-one need struggle on their own …
I’m here for you
Therapy with me is …
- … a safe, confidential, non-judgmental, emotionally supportive space.
- … a time with someone who is approachable, caring and thoughtful.
- … a time when nothing is expected of you.
- … when you can talk about anything … or not, if you don’t feel like it.
- … not me talking about myself or giving my opinions.
- … not us talking about things that you are not ready to talk about.
This time is for you and about you.
Psychotherapy and Counselling with Stephen Johnson
I practice a type of talking therapy called psychodynamic therapy.
I offer both short-term (up to 20 sessions) and long-term (open-ended) therapy.
Short-term therapy is often useful for help working through a bereavement or loss, coming to terms with the end of a relationship, receiving emotional support for anxiety or depression or talking through a life situation such as a career change with someone independent.
Long-term, open-ended therapy, is more exploratory and helpful for more deep-seated issues. It might be that you are coming to therapy because life just doesn’t feel ‘right’ or ‘satisfying’ or ‘joyful’ and you can’t actually work out why, or you need to process something in your past that you feel has had a profound impact on you.
During our sessions, we may explore many different strands of your life and experience, and the therapy only really ends when you feel that the work is done.
Who I work with
I work with adult individuals over 18 years old. My clients come from all walks of life and with all manner of situations and challenges. No one person’s set of circumstances are ever the same as anyone else’s and so when we meet, we explore what has triggered your search for a therapist and where you would like therapy to take you.
I enjoy working with every situation and challenge that is brought to therapy.
Special Interests: Men’s Mental Health & LGBTQ+
Working with challenges that Men encounter with their Mental Health
From an early age, societal and family expectations of what it means to be a man can negatively impact our mental health. We might unknowingly try to live up to a ‘masculine ideal’, whether, for example, seeing ourselves as the ‘breadwinner’ in the family or fulfil a norm such as being ‘the strong and silent type’. We might not be great with managing or expressing our thoughts or feelings, and typically show signs of stress, anxiety or depression in different ways to women, for example our anger or aggression can surface more readily. However, we too can help improve our mental health by investing our time talking through what’s on our mind with a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist.
In my private practice, I help men explore the root causes of a diverse range of life issues, including sex, sexuality, relationships, intimacy, identity, self-esteem, employment, redundancy, anger, stress, anxiety and depression. By surfacing the origins of our issues, we can break unhelpful thought patterns, process past and present emotions, and live more freely as our true selves.
As well as my private practice, I work for a mental health charity for which I facilitate men’s mental health awareness and support groups.
Working with the mental health challenges that are specific to the LGBTIQ+ community
As a gay counsellor and psychotherapist, I understand how it can be to grow up feeling different to others and how this can feel a lonely and frightening place. Coming out can sometimes bring with it a range of difficult emotions and thoughts including deep sadness, potentially leading to depression and suicidal thoughts. It can also cause a profound sense of shame and low self-esteem.
When we identify differently to the heteronormative and cis-normative worlds in which we exist, whether in terms of gender or sexuality or both, this can, over time, drive significant psychological impacts in our adult lives. We might find loving relationships difficult to find or to maintain. We might face difficulties with love, sex and intimacy. Experiences can be traumatising, leaving deep emotional scars. Others can drive the development of compulsive and addictive behaviours, whether sex, eating, self-harm as well as many others.
In my private practice, I help clients work through their unique LGBTQ+ story. I adopt an approach in which complete trust, openness and lack of judgment are not just expected but essential. I work hard to build an empathic and affirmative relationship with my clients. This offers them the opportunity to feel they are in the best position possible to comes to terms with difficult and painful past and present experiences, thoughts and emotions, enabling them to live more freely as their authentic selves.
How we work together in the therapy sessions
I offer a safe, supportive and confidential space in which I listen to, and reflect on your difficult thoughts, feelings and experiences so that, over time, you are able to tolerate them.
I help you understand patterns with how you experience the world, yourself and your relationships by thinking about our therapeutic relationship and how you might experience your time with me. For example, we might recognise a pattern with how you experience a break in our work that is reminiscent of other times when you have experienced separation in your life.
I help you surface feelings, thoughts, memories and defences that are not conscious, to identify the potential root causes of issues that you have faced or are facing in your life.
These elements together provide depth to the therapeutic approach that can lead to longer-lasting change within you, healing emotional wounds and providing the freedom to live life connected with your true self.
I have a specific interest in working with you:
When you are struggling with relationship issues and challenges
Has the intimacy been lost between you and your partner?
Do your relationships never seem to last?
Whether you feel you’ll never meet anyone, or you’re in a relationship that feels wrong, both situations can lead to sadness and despair with a feeling that nothing will change.
Working together we identify patterns between your current and past relationships, discussing your experience of love, of being loved, of others’ acceptance of your love and work through how these aspects of your life have impacted and influenced you.
When you are questioning your gender & identity
Do you have feelings you don’t understand?
Do you feel trapped in the body that see you in the mirror?
When you’re struggling with who you are, confused about your sexuality or gender, or suffering from low self-esteem, you feel there is no way out, perhaps desperate or depressed, and in a lonely place.
When you’re struggling with who you are, confused about your sexuality or gender, or suffering from low self-esteem, leading you to feel depressed, desperate and lonely, perhaps with a sense that there is no way out, therapy can help.
Working together we explore your sense of who you are and the origins of where this sense of yourself comes from. We surface, in a compassionate and affirmative way, an authentic you and help you to reconnect with and rebuild a more compassionate self.
When you are suffering from a loss or trauma
Do you feel isolated with your grief?
Do you feel that you can’t get over the loss of a loved one?
You might be suffering from a past situation or a period in your life that felt traumatic for any number of reasons.
Losing someone or suffering from trauma can leave a pain that runs deep, that can come out of nowhere and can feel like it will never go away.
Working together we explore, at your pace, aspects of the loss or traumatic experience. We allow your mind to gradually process and catch up with the reality of what you have been through. Bringing together associated thoughts, feelings and memories enables you to experience your current life with more freedom. You can begin to think of your future that takes with it processed memories, in a tolerable form, of your loss or trauma.
Areas I work with:
The following list is by no means exhaustive but are issues and challenges that I find clients frequently seek my help with:
- Anger and rage
- Anxiety & panic
- Bereavement, grief & loss
- Depression / Low mood
- Eating Disorders
- Gender, identity, sexual & neuro diversity
- Historic & childhood trauma
- Life changes & transitions
- Mens mental health issues
- Personality disorders
- Relationship issues
- Self-esteem & self-confidence
- Sexual, emotional and/or physical abuse in childhood
Psychotherapy Qualifications and Training:
I’m a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist, registered with the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy).
I receive regular psychodynamic supervision with a BACP accredited supervisor to ensure I am working as effectively as possible to help you.
I follow a strict code of ethics and high standard of practice.
Over several years, I have reached a significant depth of training and experience.
- Foundation Certificate in Psychodynamic Counselling (2016)
- Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling (2018)
- Advanced Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling (2020)
What to expect
When you make contact, I offer a free initial chat with you to see if we feel I am the right person to help you.
At our initial session, we work through and agree on the terms of our relationship and contract together.
This initial session and ongoing weekly sessions are 50 minutes at the same time, on the same day and in the same room.
Please email me to discuss therapy and ask any questions you may have about the process.
£100 per session
Psychotherapy sessions at City Therapy Space: