Meet the Therapist: Sian Naftal
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I have had counselling myself and really saw the benefit of it and so wanted to offer people the same. I had experienced quite a lot of loss and anxiety with miscarriage and infertility and realised that I wanted to be a support to people who had been through similar.
Where did you train?
I trained at Lambeth College in London
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I am an integrative therapist and so work quite flexibly depending on the needs of the client; this could involve working with several modalities at once. If someone comes to me with anxiety, I might use some CBT techniques to help them deal with issues in the here and now but then work therapeutically with that client to work out where the root of their issue is.
How does integrative therapy help with symptoms of loss?
It provides clients with the space to talk and process their grief, and to explore any previous losses and/or difficult relationship experiences that have happened in the past that could affect how people can move forward with their loss. CBT (or similar) techniques can help with any anxiety that has arisen because of the loss.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see people of all ages, gender, sexuality etc. but because of my interest most clients tend to be women or couples who have or are experiencing relationship difficulties, pregnancy/baby loss, infertility issues, pre and post-natal depression and general anxiety.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I really enjoy building relationships with people and seeing them change through their own self awareness. I am naturally curious and I find it a privilege to listen people’s stories.
What is less pleasant?
Because I see a lot of people who have suffered a lot of loss, usually pregnancy or baby loss, it can be devastating to hear their stories.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have been using welldoing.org for a few months now and I really like the site. I like the idea of the matching service as sometimes trying to find a therapist can seem quite daunting. I have just joined the Facebook group for therapists.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I often suggest Irvin Yalom Staring at the Sun.
What you do for your own mental health?
I like to go running and practise yoga. I am part of a peer support group which I find so helpful and also I try and speak to my friends regularly.
You are a therapist online, in Walthamstow, Shoreditch and Holborn in Central London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in those areas?
My clients are quite diverse and can vary from stay at home mums, to city professionals to creatives, from all ages. Walthamstow is a very ethnically diverse area too which is so important to my practise.
What’s your consultation room like?
My rooms are very light, airy and comfortable. In Walthamstow I work out a rooms within a yoga and pilates studio so there is a definite air of peace and tranquility.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That therapy can be for everyone, not necessarily someone with a specific issue. Sometimes its helpful to have space in our busy lives that is just for us.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
So many things! I have become so much more self-aware and so have an understanding why I might react to situations in the way that I do.