Rhona WooldridgePsychotherapeutic Counsellor & Life Coach based in North West London

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Initial Consultation - £35
The session gives you the opportunity to talk about your concerns and ask questions. This will help you decide whether my way of working is right for you. All Counselling and Coaching sessions last 50 minutes. There is No Commitment at this stage.


Weekly - £60
Open-ended - No time limit is placed on the number of sessions, but regular reviews are held to take stock and discuss if further time is needed.

Consecutive, Non-Refundable Block Booking
Time-limited - A set number of agreed sessions which can be renewed on an ongoing basis.
6 Weeks - £295
12 Weeks - £540

Weekly Low Cost Counselling & Coaching £25 (available on Thursdays and Fridays between 10am and 2pm) for students and others on a low income.

British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists Just click here
BACP Coaching Just click here
Association for Coaching Just click here
International Attachment Network Just click here


Life Transitions< The Gulbenkian Foundation's "Transitions in Later Life" identifies the following transitions:
retirement; moving home; becoming a grandparent; relationship breakdown; becoming a carer; bereavement; acquiring a long-term health condition; entering a care environment; preparing for the end of life. click here to find out more.

MindfulnessJon Kabat-Zin's book "Full Catastrophe Living", is one of the first books to introduce mindfulness meditation as a practice to manage stress, anxiety, and to live in the present moment. In it he says: "We are all subject to old age, illness, and death. The real question, and the real adventure, is how do we live our lives while we have the chance. And how do we work with what comes our way in ways that are healing, that nourish us deeply, and make use of the full spectrum of our experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly...?" There are various mindfulness apps on the market, however the one I found very user friendly is Headspace. click here to find out more.

Psychological Trauma and Dissociation Trauma is a result of terrifying, stressful life events that impact on your sense of security and overwhelms your existing coping mechanisms. Carolyn Spring, Director of PODS (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors) click here says: " For a traumatised individual, the event continues to be experienced as 'present', as 'still happening', because the brain has not been able to integrate the whole experience .... In order to cope with this the traumatised individual may then try to shut off from the 'now' experience of trauma by numbing and avoidance. " She describes Dissociation as "an entirely normal response to overwhelming trauma ...a way of surviving something that otherwise would be unbearably painful...." Sounds, smells or situations can easily trigger the recurrence of traumatic memories or overwhelming feelings associated with the traumatic event. In therapy you will learn how to manage strong emotions, begin to build trust with others and process the trauma associated with memories and feelings.

The Silence of Therapeutic Listening How hard can listening be if we as therapists do it all the time? How do we listen? What are we listening for? Are we aware when we stop listening? How do we know we are being listened to? Why do we listen differently from one person to another?
The philosopher and psychologist, Peter Wilberg writes about therapeutic listening as “an active form of silent inner communication with others”. This type of listening is different from ordinary listening where, for example, the listener is trying to relate the other person’s experience to their own, or thinking of responses to carry on a conversation. Therapeutic listening goes beyond verbal and nonverbal listening skills. It engages all of the therapist’s senses and perceptions to fully experience the emotional essence that the client is expressing between sentences and words.

As therapists, we listen for meanings. Therapeutic listening has the potential to capture a word that pinpoints the client’s feeling or thought, while also resonating with the therapist’s own intuitive felt sense. Therapists' intuitive strength rests with their ability to sense connections between the client’s past and presenting issues. The silence of listening is at the very heart of therapeutic presence.

'I don’t know' - A Signal to Stop and Explore What is Going On
How often do we respond to a question or enquiry with 'I don’t know'? How does it feel when you say ‘I don’t know’? What unconscious expectations may be associated with it?

'I don’t know', may have various meanings.
  • Indecisiveness - when we are struggling to decide about something important be it about work, making a choice, a relationship - the 'I don’t know' can simply be another way of saying that you are not ready to know, and a sense of uncertainty or risk creates a feeling of ambivalence and hesitancy. All you may know in the moment is that you genuinely don’t know.
  • 'I don’t know' - could express a fear of being wrong. Under pressure to give the right answer it might be associated with embarrassment, fear of ridicule and diminishing self-worth.
  • 'I don’t know' - as a dismissive statement might be in response to wishing to avoid difficult situations.
  • 'I don’t know' - may also be a way of saying that you do not have the words to express your feelings or emotions.
  • 'I don’t know' - could express not being in touch with your feelings and emotions.
  • 'I don’t know' - may be an indicator that you are experiencing a range of different feelings and feel confused or conflicted.

    Any of these may suggest that you find it difficult to process your feelings and emotions.

    I don’t know’ is ‘not knowing’. In therapy, curiosity is an encounter with what we do not know. Through the collaborative work between therapist and client, both strive to be open and tolerate ‘ not-knowing’ or ‘I don’t know’.
    'Knowing what one doesn’t know – the known unknown - is at least as important as to know what one does know – the known known'. (Bob Chisholm ‘ The Wisdom of Not-Knowing’)

    The Johari Window is a technique to help individuals make sense of the unknown areas of themselves in relation to others and to different parts of ‘self’:
    Open Self: What you know about yourself and are also known by others
    Blind Spot: What is unknown about yourself but is known by others
    Hidden Self: What you know about yourself that others do not know
    Unknown Self: What is unknown by you and is also unknown by others.

    According to Daniel Siegel ('The Mindful Therapist'), the ‘unknown’ is an integral part of the psychotherapeutic encounter, which brings us face to face with uncertainty. “… sometimes the most powerful statement we can make is an authentic 'I don’t know' or “I’m not sure'.

    If you are new to counselling, you may feel confused by uncertain feelings, thoughts or questions that arise. It is in these moments that the therapist’s role is to remain curious and open to explore with you the underlying issues of ‘I don’t know’.

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