About Me - Counsellor West Hampstead
My name is Fatima Fernandes. I have been working in Central and West London as an integrative counsellor and supervisor for many years. After my initial training as a counsellor I gained experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in areas around addictions and severe trauma. I have run my private practice for over ten years helping both individual clients and couples who may be struggling at managing their lives. In my work I encourage self discovery and openness while respecting individual strengths. I am committed to maintain a safe therapeutic environment based on trust where people can safely share and reflect on issues without fear or prejudices. I firmly belief in the power we all have to make choices for ourselves with capacity to determine our own lives. The aim of my work as a counsellor is to help people find a sense of who they are and what they can be capable of.
Apart from running my private practice based at West Hampstead and Mansion House I also work for an organisation as a trauma specialist supporting women who have suffered severe traumatic experiences in their lives. In this space women are helped to rediscover their unique valuable resources to gain re- empowerment and rebuild their lives.
My work with trauma involves helping clients who often present problems such as, anxiety, depression, panic attacks and many other issues. In whatever situation or difficulties people may face my aim is to help build confidence and increase self-esteem. This can involve the need to revisit past difficult situations . Being reminded of painful memories can initially increase fear however, through the process it also creates the opportunity for personal growth and change. This allows a person to move from a painful past into a life where personal fulfilment is possible. Holding on to a painful past often leads to low self-esteem issues reinforcing negative self perceptions. This is a situation I often encounter as a counsellor, I welcome such challenges aiming to facilitate change. My resolve when faced with such situations increases my determination towards reaching a long lasting positive outcome.
I have until recently also worked for an organisation helping people struggling with any form of substance misuse problems. The focus of the work with dependency involves exploring issues beyond present problems and behaviour. When reflecting on behaviour associated with such difficulties people often gain self awareness about themselves. This often leads people to consider the possibility of change and contemplate a life free of dependency.
At times in our lives we all struggle to find ways to make sense of our world but fear and self-doubt can at times block our capacity to develop as people and reach our goals. I firmly believe we all have the capacity to heal ourselves achieve our goals reach fulfilment if given the right help. My firm belief in the strength of the human character guides my work with clients. I developed this fundamental core belief out of my own life experiences as well as from the many people I have worked with and helped over the years. My work with both individuals and couples has lead me to cover a wide range of issues such as emotional, physical and sexual problems. Again over time I have gained wide experience at working with cross culture and gender issues valuing individual differences.
I am also trained as a group facilitator with over twenty years of experience helping individuals relate to each other through exploration and self-discovery.
My approach can help with traumatic experiences, problematic relationships, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, gender and cultural issues.
Regular weekly attendance is needed. Here I help clients reflect on presenting difficulties by making connections with the past to make sense of their world and find a way forward.