Nicole Marais Psychotherapy - Counselling - Coaching

Practice in St John's Wood & Little Venice - Central London. Islington - Tufnell Park, Archway - North London. International practice via various video call systems and telephone.

“Therapy springs from the hope that authentic meeting between human beings is still possible. In therapy it is the way we treat each other that is the treatment…..The really decisive moments in psychotherapy are unpredictable, unique, unforgettable, always unrepeatable, and often indescribable”.
R D Laing 1981.

This page covers the differences between Counselling, Psychotherapy and Coaching. It also covers various technical approaches and the ways in which I work. I have listed them below and each link will take you to the relevant paragraph.

What's the difference between Counselling, Psychotherapy and Coaching?
What is Transpersonal Psychotherapy?
What is Integrative Psychotherapy?
Ways of Working
Self Development
Feelings, Thoughts, Behaviours, Choices
The Unconscious Factors
The Body
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Confidentiality & Ethics

What's the difference between Counselling, Psychotherapy and Coaching?

Whilst the differences can be debated, briefly, it is whether you choose short term, long term or specific work oriented goals.

- is usually short term and deals with specific issues which are happening in a person's life at that moment in time. It could be for example: relationship difficulties, divorce, bereavement, redundancy, anxiety issues.

- is usually longer term and leads to a deeper self examination. A person may have hit a crossroads in their life and not knowing which way to turn begin to question who they are, what they want....and look for new meaning in their life - look for a new way to light their path.

- can be seen as a method of helping a person to unlock their potential to maximise their performance and achieve their goals - be it at work, at home or in a specific life situation. It can also involve helping the person reveal hidden skills such as the art of negotiation.

What is Transpersonal Psychotherapy?

Transpersonal is that which goes beyond the personal. It embraces the concept that a person has a central core which is seeking to express itself, to become fully known. It takes into consideration the connectedness of all things, the meaning of life and spiritual beliefs - bridges the gap between mind, body and heart. When a person is off-balance or uncomfortable, within themselves, the transpersonal sees this as the unconscious trying to bring into awareness new learning, new possibilities, new healing - a new level of consciousness. It does not see this as something 'wrong' with the person - but something new to be born.

What is Integrative Psychotherapy?

Integrative psychotherapy recognises there are many different schools of therapy and allows for a fusion of these therapies. Being inclusive, I work integratively as this enables a fuller picture of the client to unfold and the sessions to work with the person's processes rather than fitting the person into a particular theory.

Ways of Working

I bring my training of the transpersonal to work integratively, so as well as talking, I work with body awareness (body language), body symptoms (illnesses, unexplained pains), breath-work, creative visualisation, dreams, drawing, meditation and others. I listen to what the person is saying and to the silences. I honour the person's pace and work with them to find the ways which they find most helpful.

Self Development

It is becoming more and more widely accepted for people to undertake personal development. More businesses are learning that it is not just IQ but also EQ - emotional intelligence - self awareness, that helps people to build bridges with clients and flourish in the workplace.

Feelings, Thoughts, Behaviours, Choices

To be truly in contact with our feelings gives us choices as to how to respond to ourselves and others. We connect our feelings with our thoughts and make choices as to how to behave. Feelings are potent. They can lead to impulsive action. Self awareness, connecting with ourselves on a deep level and understanding ourselves, can lead to more varied and wiser choices, a greater sense of personal fulfillment and wellbeing. My approach explores feelings, thoughts, behaviours and their connections to choices leading to a more fulfilled person and life.

The Unconscious Factors

Consciousness has been described by Dr Carl Jung and others along the lines of 'a cork bobbing on a sea of unconsciousness'. So much of how we are is outside of our awareness. We explore these unconscious factors by bringing them into awareness through working creatively with a fusion of therapies - finding the best way forward for the person. We may explore childhood issues, family dynamics but equally the week's events - the spectrum of life for the person.

The Body
When we have experienced a trauma (consciously or unconsciously), shock, consistent stress, or ongoing difficulties in our lives our fight, flight, freeze, avoid or absorb response can stay on alert. This affects the way we think, feel, the way we experience ourselves, others - the way we see the world. I work with bodily symptoms through CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), creative visualisation, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), painting, drawing as well as talking and NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) to re-programme the body back to it's natural state.

There have been and are continuing studies on trauma and it’s definition; however to capture the essence;

Trauma is a psychological and physical experience. (Psychophysical). Whilst it can be caused by a wide variety of events, there are a few common aspects;

(i) Psychological and/or physical disrespect/abuse.
(ii) Violating a person’s rights
(iii) Putting the person in a state of extreme confusion and insecurity leading to
powerful feelings of, terror, fear, a sense of being trapped, personal power being
taken away and many others.

Furthermore, trauma can be experienced by listening to events as well as witnessing events.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy commonly known as CBT can help you change how you think (‘Cognitive’) and what you do (‘Behaviour’). It looks in detail at your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, identifying the patterns and teaches you ways of dealing with and overcoming the problems with the aim of breaking negative cycles.

What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a relaxed yet aware altered state of consciousness which everyone can learn. It is scientifically proven to lower anxiety and stress levels as well as other states of discomfort to enable you to understand your belief systems and more importantly to change them.

What is Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)?
Neuro-linguistic Programming commonly known as NLP is a method of re-framing our thoughts and turning positive thinking into positive action. Neuro – your neurological (nervous) system, Linguistic – communication skills, Programming – to recode or re-programme your thinking to a more positive way of being.

What is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)?
Emotional Freedom Technique commonly known as EFT is an energy therapy which is used to rebalance the flow of energy that gets blocked in the system for emotional reasons. Emotional Freedom can be experienced through tapping on acupuncture points on the body whilst focusing on a statement of personal belief.

What is Havening?
Havening is a psychosensory & energy therapy which gently uses touch (either by the therapist or by the client) and simple statements to help release blockages with the purpose of releasing psychological, physiological and emotional blockages. To create a safe Haven within.

What is Hypnosis
Whilst there are various definitions of Hypnosis -according to the American Psychological Association's Div. 30 (Society of Psychological Hypnosis), "hypnosis is a procedure during which a health professional or researcher suggests while treating someone, that he or she experience changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts or behavior. Although some hypnosis is used to make people more alert, most hypnosis includes suggestions for relaxation, calmness and well-being. Instructions to imagine or think about pleasant experiences are also commonly included during hypnosis. People respond to hypnosis in different ways. Some describe hypnosis as a state of focused attention, in which they feel very calm and relaxed. Most people describe the experience as pleasant." It is growing in popularity.

In a hypnosis therapy session – the person usually experiences a deep sense of relaxation with their attention narrowed down and focused on appropriate suggestions made by the therapist – which have been jointly agreed. The aim of the suggestions are to help people make positive changes within themselves and their lives. Hypnotism is ultimately about self empowerment.

It would take an initial session to establish which therapy is suitable or whether another approach is required. Further, sometimes they can be used in conjunction with other methods of therapy again, if a person wants to understand themselves on a deeper level.


Confidentiality and Ethics

The work I conduct is confidential. In exceptional cases (i.e. if a client reveals intent to cause serious harm to self/others) therapists have a professional and ethical duty to inform clients that they may find it necessary to take this information outside of the session. Any action is discussed with the client first. My therapeutic work is undertaken in accordance with the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

In accordance with the BACP, UKCP as well as the CCPE Code of Ethics, I have a professional will and receive ongoing supervision.

For the UKCP telephone 020 7014 9955 or email at:
For the BACP telephone 01455 883300 or email at:

I am GDPR compliant

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How I Work. ukcp

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