Laura Lonsdale is a therapist in W8

What attracted you to become a therapist?

I have a genuine interest in people and am naturally empathetic and aware that people need support going though difficult times. Friends and family are sometimes too close and it can be very helpful speaking without bias. 

I like the challenge of meeting new clients and helping them through their journey. I listen with compassion and interest as people offload things and explore their feelings. It seemed a natural thing for me to pursue as I like to support people and welcome new clients.

Where did you train?

I trained at Regent's College where I completed a Foundation Course in counselling and psychotherapy and then I followed up with a Post Graduate/Masters Diploma in psychotherapy and counselling. This included studying existential psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and humanistic therapy. 

Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?

I practise person-centred therapy which is based on Carl Roger’s theory which puts empathy and congruence at the forefront of the relationship between client and therapist. I believe that being understood and heard can be the beginning of healing. This is a collaborative relationship where the client is the expert in their feelings and I am there to offer support without judgement  and help my client move on with their life.

What sort of people do you usually see?

A mixture of people from all backgrounds and cultures. People come for a number of reasons ranging from relationship breakdowns, fertility problems, depression, lack of self-esteem, bereavement, and anxiety. Some clients are professionals, some students and some are just people are finding their way. There is nothing too small to bring to therapy.

What do you like about being a therapist?

I feel very privileged in getting to know my clients and am humbled by their courage in unloading things they never spoke of before and their struggle to make sense of things. I feel a sense of pride and joy when people begin to shift their outlook and I see their confidence return.

What is less pleasant?

I enjoy seeing my clients very much and don’t have a negative thing to say as each person brings something different and I hope I can make a difference.

How long you’ve been with and what you think of us?

I am quite new to and find you very helpful and encouraging. I have had some lovely clients from you and hope to be able to support more. 

Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?

Yes, I suggest books sometimes relating to co-dependence, particularly Pia Melody as she explains it in such a good way, allowing clients understand the condition.

What you do for your own mental health?

I walk outside and practice yoga. I make sure I have a balanced diet and look after myself so I am in a better position to look after my clients.

You are a therapist in W8, Kensington London. What can you tell us about the areas you practise in?

I see my clients in a health spa, Anamaya, in Kensington, which is very easy to get to. It is a few minutes from Kensington High Street tube station, so just off a busy high street but then you arrive at a quiet oasis of calm.

What’s your consultation room like?

You are first welcomed by the receptionist who will offer you a cup of tea or some water. My room is on the first floor and has soft colours, a window, a comfortable sofa where you sit opposite me or you could sit in a matching chair opposite me if that is more comfortable for you. There is a table between us where you can put your tea/water and there are tissues and a clock.

What do you wish people knew about therapy?

I would like people to know that it is something which can make you feel better and give you permission to be yourself. It is a process where two people work together to find the best outcome, knowing that the therapist is there to help the client and listen without judgement, allowing the client to move on with their lives. 

What did you learn about yourself in therapy?

I think I learned that you can’t rescue everybody and that it is important to look after yourself so you are in a better position to help others. Therapy taught me about self-awareness and being present in the moment and I try to encourage others do the same.