Toby Burton Integrative psychotherapist , NW5
If you're looking for help with an issue related to addiction (alcohol, drugs, love, sex, porn), relationships, anxiety (generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder), anger, depression, or life-stage transition, I can offer you a no-obligation first meeting to assess your counselling needs, at a little over half my usual fee.
As well as practising privately, I work as a counsellor and psychotherapist in the NHS: with younger adults and students at Marylebone Health Centre, and with older adults with alcohol related problems, at Lisson Grove Health Centre. I have done a lot of work in addiction over the last 25 years, and during this time helped a multitude people with their dependencies and related emotional issues.
Addiction Counselling (alcohol, drugs, love, sex, porn, etc.)
I have worked in addiction for almost 25 years. Much of my experience is working in the private and public sector with people with drug abuse and alcohol problems, but in recent years my clientele has broadened to include those struggling with sex addiction, love addiction and porn addiction, as well as other compulsive behaviours.
I believe these dependencies usually develop as an attitudinal response to, and a behavioural defence against, emotional problems. These problems can be current, and they can originate in early life experiences and relationships.
Some people with drug abuse or alcohol problems need detoxification treatment from their substance of abuse before beginning therapy or require medical treatment alongside counselling. If you do need treatment, please get in touch, as I may be able to help you access this.
Some over-drinkers want to move from problematic drinking to what we call 'controlled' or 'moderate' drinking. This transition may require a temporary period of abstinence, with the support of addiction counselling. Achieving a moderation of one's drinking habits, however, is not necessarily an easier option than complete abstinence, as it involves changing the way you think about alcohol, as well as constantly exercising a similarly strict level of self-control, which is obviously more difficult to do after a couple of drinks.
If you have an addiction and are seeking help, I can assess your needs at our first appointment.
How I work
I am an ‘integrative’ psychotherapist and counsellor, which means I believe that a single therapy approach - one of those listed below - will not help you with all issues that arise for you, and that there are many different therapeutic ways for problems to be explored and worked on. Consequently, I draw techniques and ideas from different ‘schools’ of therapy, depending on the needs of the people I see.
Psychotherapy versus counselling
In case you don’t know, psychotherapy involves deeply exploring emotional issues and their roots, and so is usually a longer-term process - many months, sometimes years, as opposed to weeks. Psychotherapists are qualified to a higher level than counsellors and are trained to be able to ‘diagnose’ what is going on for you psychologically. Counselling, on the other hand, tends to be shorter term work to identify problems and change patterns of thinking and behaving, in the here and now.
My toolbox of therapy approaches:
Here is a brief explanation of some of the different approaches that I integrate into my practice - in no particular order.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Put quite simply, this is an approach that is useful for exploring and breaking cycles of unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, uncomfortable feelings and self-defeating behaviours, which impact on you in the present. It sometimes involves you undertaking some between-session tasks and challenges, but in its basic form it can be a tool to help you better understand what's going on for you.
This approach allows you to talk freely and openly, and my role is to listen and guide you to discover solutions to your problems for yourself by nurturing greater self-awareness and drawing on your innate potential to make changes towards a more satisfying and positive way of living.
I use a series of questions taken from this approach to help people get a better sense of their goal, and to envision a future free of their problem. Rather than focus on their current 'symptoms' or concerns, this model helps people develop the skills, resources and abilities they need to achieve their vision, and move them from where they are, to where they want to be.
This is a useful approach for looking at the roots of current problems. This is done by exploring unconscious thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and patterns in relationships, that have their root in the past but continue to impact on the present.
Intensive short-term psychodynamic therapy (ISTDP)
I use theory from this school of therapy to help people understand how anxiety works in the body to defend us against threatening emotions, and how we maintain our problems by the use of cognitive and behavioural defences, and ultimately not facing and effectively acting on our feelings.
Techniques and tools from this therapy are helpful to look at what are called 'life-traps' or schemas - patterns of seeing yourself, others, and the world. These develop and stay with you into adulthood, as a result of things that were done to you as a child, such as not being shown enough love, empathy and guidance, or being abandoned or abused.
I use exercises and experiments taken from this approach to help my clients explore and reconnect with aspects of themselves that they have been disregarding, overlooking or denying, as well as to examine personal conflicts.
I use this approach to therapy to look at how we interact with others. It is useful as a way of resolving conflicts or relationship issues.
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment. For some people, understanding and practising mindfulness through meditations and activities can be a way of controlling anxiety.
Training and qualifications
Accredited membership of BACP
MA (distinction) Counselling & Psychotherapy
PGDip (distinction) Counselling & Psychotherapy
An initial meeting to assess your counselling needs is £35. My usual session fee is £65. I have a few weekly sessions charged at a lower rate, at less busy times of the day. Please email me to discuss availability, rates and times of these.
Integrative Cognitive behaviour therapy Person-centred/humanistic Psychodynamic Solution-focused therapy Issues often worked with:
AddictionAnger/violenceAnxietyDepressionInterpersonal relationshipsSocial communication Availability:
In less than a week Therapy offered:
In person Client groups:
IndividualsAdolescents Member organisations:
Toby Burton Counselling
155a Leighton Road