What is therapy?

The therapy room is a confidential place to question, think, explore, examine, and feel. I see therapy as an educational and philosophical experience rather than a clinical one.

People live lives where things have happened to them, or they have done things that burden them. These things have to be seen as they are. Therapy provides a space where people can talk about anything that preoccupies them. It is also a place where they can talk about the things they don’t ordinarily talk about.

The therapist listens to the client, with acceptance and encourages examination at points of interest, and explores possible hidden meanings with them. It is an open-ended exploration, and the client and therapist can’t know what will happen as a consequence of entering therapy.

It is the synergy of ideas plus the relationship that creates the real therapeutic power.

The underlying value assumption in therapy is that this self-knowledge is a good thing, affirming as Ralph W Emerson said of the Socratic ideal, that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’. My assumption is that examination and understanding will likely lead to relief from non-productive anxiety and discomfort.

Who comes to therapy?

People usually come into therapy because they are suffering and looking for relief. They have often tried many different methods to alleviate their pain and found that all their efforts have failed.

Events like, birth and death, hunger and sex, love and loss and aging are what bring people into therapy and what people consider are their extraordinary responses to those events. With contemporary culture urging us to be the person who knows what they want and knows how to get it, we are often terrified by our frustration and dissatisfaction.

People often struggle with doubt and fear and feel trepidation about taking the risk and entering therapy. Therapist and client know there are no guarantees in therapy. Individuals appropriately fear revealing to themselves and the therapist, aspects of their lives that have long remained hidden from view. Therapy asks us to wonder whether by doing this, it can get us the lives we would rather live. Asking ourselves searching questions and revealing ourselves, in the presence of a therapist, is not I imagine, at first, high on most people’s list of pleasures.

What should I expect from an initial session?

What happens next?

I believe the length of therapy depends on the time it takes each individual to identify and redefine a problem. A client may after all choose to keep a symptom rather than bear the unknown consequences of relinquishing its need. How can anyone measure the shift of focus from the security of old problems to the uncertainties of change?

I am currently working online offering sessions via the telephone, FaceTime, WhatsApp, or Zoom.

An initial assessment session will help both of us identify issues, and decide whether to proceed and work together. If we decide to continue therapy sessions, I then believe at least six sessions are a realistic initial commitment. After the initial six sessions, we can then assess if you would like to continue. This continual assessment helps the client decide what they want to do in therapy as the process continues.

I charge £65 for an initial assessment session and for each subsequent session.

I do provide some low-cost places in the day.

I operate a 48-hour cancellation policy

About me

I do not offer answers or advice but hope to help the client discover their own answers and advise. I believe the truth one discovers for oneself has far greater power than a truth delivered by others. I believe my task is not to make clients feel better directly, but to help clients know themselves better. I believe there is only ever any point in being in therapy if it proves useful to the client.

I am a BACP accredited/registered Person Centered Counsellor and Psychotherapist, membership no: 00548941. This means I am registered with the National accrediting bodies for counselling and psychotherapy in the UK and I am bound by their ethical and complaints procedure. I carry professional liability insurance with Towergate Insurance. I am registered with the Information Commissioners Office. All electronic personal information for clients is maintained under password protection and deleted from my system when the client work ends. I do not share data with third parties. Clients have the right to access personal data.

I trained and qualified at The Metanoia Institute in Person-Centred Counselling/Therapy and have worked for 20 years as a therapist. I was the Counselling service manager (2 years) and a Senior Counselling Assessor for Mind in Enfield for 15 years.  I also have a certificate in Online and Telephone Counselling from Counselling Tutor.

I am involved in services within education.

As a therapist, I also work for The North London Counselling Partnership.

My own private practice is based in Crouch End, North London, which is easily accessible using public transport, and there is free parking. You can contact me by phone, or email. I always call back.

Get in touch

Please complete the contact form.

or alternatively

You can email: anna@annasternberg.co.uk

or call/message me: 07866 047887

I look forward to hearing from you.

Information sent from this website is encrypted and confidential.

    First name*

    Last name*

    Your email*

    Phone (optional)


    *Required items. Please agree to sending me your information (for GDPR). You can read my T&Cs here.
    I agree to the T&Cs