About Paula Saunders
Paula has a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling from the University of Brighton. She has experience of working with brief therapy and longer term counselling models .
Background in working with charities
She was inspired to become a counsellor due to her experience of working for a number of years for charities including Childline, The Samaritans and Cruse Bereavement Care, and her belief in and experience of the therapeutic benefits of a safe, confidential space to explore how we are feeling through a trusting, supportive relationship.
Paula understands the courage and vulnerability involved when making that call to try counselling for the first time. She takes a collaborative, creative approach with clients. Keen to demystify the process of therapy, working with Paula would involve starting with a good conversation about what brings you to counselling. The relationship formed would be grounded in connection, curiosity and hope.
A creative process
Paula values the creative process, and has a background of working in the arts and specifically many years in the Publishing industry. She is like a “friendly editor”, promoting self-discovery by offering different perspectives, helping you connect your past with the present and discover unconscious constraining patterns and beliefs. She believes being curious together about your story and harnessing your imagination and creative abilities to therapeutic effect can help you re-write the “narrative” that often defines and constrains us.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” : Anaïs Nin
Even when we know that change is needed and may ultimately benefit us, it can be alarming. Paula will work with you to find a balance between supporting and challenging you through this time of change, working in a way that allows both for exploring vulnerabilities but is also strength enhancing. Just when we feel at our most broken there can be great opportunities for transformation and recovery of aliveness, joy and satisfaction. Whilst attending therapy cannot prevent future difficult situations, increased insight and the ability to process feelings more effectively can mean that you are more able to manage difficult situations with greater resilience.
About the Psychodynamic Approach
Psychodynamic counselling makes use of the therapeutic relationship to gain insights into relationship patterns that are unconscious and have evolved since childhood. The process of change occurs as one becomes more aware of the power of the unconscious, including our defense mechanisms, to affect behaviour. As a result there is an opportunity to become more able to control responses and actions.
Paula also incorporates ideas from Narrative Therapy and the Relational School – with its belief that individuality and uniqueness comes out of and is expressed in relationship. She also draws on the strength affirming ideas of Carl Jung and Depth Psychology.
Paula currently also works at The University of Sussex Counselling Services.
With a background in business as a Board Director of a Publishing Company, Paula has extensive experience of supporting people in developing their professional, creative and personal potential , including mentoring for organisations such Nesta – an innovation charity. Combining her counselling and business skills she offers Psychodynamic Executive Coaching and Career MOTs for people feeling “ stuck” and wanting to make a change.
Paula's articles in expertise and resources
Available for appointments
Friday afternoon at Seven Dials