Core Process Psychotherapist
Hello there and a warm welcome.
I am Tim Synge, a psychotherapist accredited by the UK Council for Psychotherapy. I offer an awareness-based approach to psychotherapy called Core Process both online and from an established practice in Camden Town, London NW1.
I appreciate how enormous reaching out for help can be, especially when life becomes overwhelming or very uncertain, but my aim is to give you exactly the right support you need at this time in your life.
My website is designed to tell you a little of who I am, how I work and to address some questions you might have about starting psychotherapy. Please feel free to phone or email if you would like to know more about me, or to answer any questions you may have about us working together. I offer an initial free consultation, an opportunity for us to meet and explore the kind of help you might be seeking.
Discovering our inherent health
We may come to psychotherapy simply with the desire to grow in awareness and to know how our 'habitual ways of being' obscure our inherent health, spontaneity and aliveness.
Often people come to psychotherapy because they recognise that they’re unhappy, that something’s not right and that they could do with some help and guidance. Sometimes the reasons behind our feelings of fear or a lack of confidence are clear — a bereavement perhaps, a failing relationship or difficulties at work. At other times we might not be able to pinpoint an exact cause behind an ambiguous sense of dissatisfaction and agitation.
Some of us may experience low self-esteem, hopelessness, depression, a lack of motivation or a loss of purpose or meaning. We may be suffering from trauma-related conditions, a persistent state of anxiety, dissociation, feelings of being overwhelmed or shame. It may be an experience of marginalisation because of our gender, sexuality, erotic or relationship diversity that brings us to therapy.
The heart of being human is relational in nature. Our wounds nearly always arise in relation to another, and so too does our healing. Alone it is easy to stay stuck, but working together it may become easier to let go of deeply held issues. Hidden parts of you may emerge, leading to a more complete and authentic approach to life. This is transformational work that is both challenging and rewarding, and can provide you with strength to meet life’s struggles, rather than turn away.
Our actual experience with whatever arises in the moment is the foundation of meaningful psychotherapy. It is the doorway to self-acceptance and authentic change, in which we become liberated from unnecessary suffering, through courageously learning to experience ourselves exactly as we are, here and now.
What is Core Process Psychotherapy?
Core Process Psychotherapy is a contemplative, psycho-spiritual approach that combines the curative power of awareness with western psychotherapeutic theories. The word "Core" refers to the inherent health at the heart of our being and "Process" is about the exploration of any suffering and our pathway back to this inherent health. It enables us to be present to our current experience and explores how our past conditioning and experiences affect us. It also provides an opportunity to explore our unconscious processes and to challenge our habitual reactions which, may have at one time been crucial to our survival but which now inhibit us causing suffering.
Our actual experience in the present moment becomes a means to self-acceptance and authentic change, in which we explore how we are in this experience and how it expresses our past conditioning. The approach aims to increase awareness of the way we think, feel, respond to others and all the events in our lives. From a Core Process Psychotherapy point of view, our essence is inherently healthy, but our awareness of this health is often obscured. Practically speaking, it is not a question of trying to get rid of anything, but rather of continually resting in the uninterrupted flow of experience, which gives rise to the freedom from pain.
Habitual ways of thinking, seeing and relating, cause us to hold onto how we have always been, unconsciously repeating patterns, attitudes and ways of relating, causing us to close down and narrowing our perceived options in life. From here we lose touch with our inherent health.
In Core Process Psychotherapy, we notice how we hold on to our past experiences in the present moment. In developing our awareness in this way we find the wisdom to discriminate between the habit of thoughts and actions that entrap us and those that can free us.
What happens in a psychotherapy session?
Is psychotherapy confidential and is it safe?
Confidentiality is an absolutely crucial component in the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Client confidentiality is held sacred and there is no normal circumstance where your confidentiality would not be absolute. However, there are exceptions where normal confidentiality will be waived, such as if you are a danger to yourself or others, when there are legal limits on the extent of confidentiality, or when you give me written permission to disclose information to someone else.
In the interests of both client and therapist, the UKCP requires members to incorporate supervision into the therapist’s clinical practice. This means that I use the services of another psychotherapist to review my work with clients, without identifying you by name. I work according to the UKCP Code of Ethics which can be seen on request. I am covered by professional indemnity insurance.
How long does psychotherapy take?
I offer both short-term or open-ended psychotherapy. The number of sessions will depend on you and the depth and complexity of the issues you want to resolve. Core Process Psychotherapy is most effective when continued for a year or more. However, people grow, heal and change at a different pace, everyone’s situation is different, and so the healing process will be different for each of us. Long term therapy does have a beginning, a middle and an end and we would regularly review our work together keeping in mind the original intention.
What happens when I go on holiday?
We would aim to discuss times of holiday breaks or unavoidable absences in advance. I am also happy to reschedule when possible so that it is rare that I will need to charge for missed sessions. I will also let you know my holiday dates in advance and take up to eight weeks per year.
How much does psychotherapy cost?
I operate a sliding scale of charges between £65 and £90 for a 60 minute session. The initial meeting is free of charge.
Can I come on a fortnightly or ad hoc basis?
What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist and counsellor?
Please feel free to make contact directly by phone or email, without obligation, if you would like to know more about me, or to answer any questions you may have about psychotherapy and whether it might be right for you at the present time.
From here we can arrange an initial meeting, an opportunity for us to meet and explore the kind of help you might be seeking. The initial free consultation is an opportunity to ask me questions and to experience how the relationship between us feels. It is important to choose a therapist you can work with and trust. The better the relationship between you and your therapist, the more you are likely to benefit from psychotherapy.
If you decide you would like to continue, we would mutually agree on the details. The work usually takes place for one hour each week, for an agreed initial period to give you the opportunity to experience its nature. At the end of this period, we will review the work and decide whether and how to proceed longer-term.
My commitment to what I do rests in helping clients come to know and experience their own wellbeing and to be present with them during this journey. I work in different ways depending on each person using imagination, dreams, felt sense, thoughts, feelings and a deeper spiritual sense of being. Sometimes art or other creative modes may also be introduced in order to help express and process what is being experienced.
From my own experience, I see that the heart of being human is relational in nature. Our wounds nearly always arise in relation to another, and so too does our healing. Whether it be childhood experiences, traumatic events or accidents, suffering is always relational in nature. From personal reflection and my experience in psychotherapy, I am committed to continue to deepen and learn what it means to meet another person in one’s own joy and suffering and to continually work on my own ability to be present at greater depths and subtler places.
A psycho-spiritual approach to clinical work, to psychological trauma and archetypal defences of the personal spirit, whether they be of dissociation, stuckness, depression or addiction is informed by my engagement with Jungian psychology, psychodynamics and the parallels of a life long study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism. I endeavour to bring this wisdom in my approach to psychotherapy and the possibility of finding a ‘primordial trust’ in relationship, with oneself and with one another, leading to greater contentment in the world and in how we relate.
My main psychotherapy training is in Core Process Psychotherapy, one of the original contemplative approaches to psychotherapy developed at the Karuna Institute in Devon. I undertook my clinical training at Homerton Psychiatric Hospital and at the Centre for Better Health, a community-based charity supporting recovery from mental ill-health, both in East London. I hold a Masters in Mindfulness Based Psychotherapeutic Practice from Middlesex University.
Additional specific training includes working with the Arts in psychotherapy, attachment theory, focusing and body psychotherapy. In 2009, I completed my foundation psychotherapy training in Art Therapy and hold a Diploma in the Therapeutic & Educational Application of the Arts from IATE.
Qualifications & Accreditations
Master of Arts in Mindfulness Based Psychotherapeutic Practice
Diploma in the Therapeutic & Educational Application of the Arts
Practitioners Diploma in Craniosacral Biodynamics
In my psychotherapy practice, as someone drawn to both the spiritual and psychodynamic aspects of our experience, I have seen that the clarity and breadth of the Core Process perspective, deeply informed by Buddhist thought, can bring great meaning and personal transformation for people, especially when life appears to have fallen apart or loses meaning.
Following university with an academic background in business and finance, I worked professionally, first for a well-known multi-national, and then in the charitable sector as a fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. In 1994, I started work with a worldwide organisation presenting the Buddhist tradition of Tibet, under the patronage of the Dalai Lama. I lived among the lay community and worked as International Finance Director both in the UK and in France. My clinical work is underpinned by over 30 years study of Tibetan Buddhism and practice of Dzogchen meditation, helping to make sense of my experiences through the realisation of the curative power of awareness.
In 2004, toward the end of a solitary one-year retreat, I underwent a profound transformation associated with a spiritual emergency. This experience, of severe physiological and psychological affect overwhelming ordinary reality, opened into a great curiosity about my own very early experience and set the foundations for my wanting to work with others suffering the effects of trauma.
I developed a keen interest in accessing very early experience and the possibility of resolving mental pain formed in pre-birth and through birth trauma. Working with pre- & perinatal psychologists and regression specialists, I found the use of artwork to be a transitional phenomena enabling clients to externalise intense bodily sensations and mental imagery where control could more easily be exercised.
Augmenting a body-based approach to my psychotherapy practice, I see feeling tone to be so important, since formed by our very earliest relationships, this sense of self arose out of a sensory felt experience early on in development. From 2011, I worked at the NHS Royal Free Hospital, London, in a specialist HIV/AIDS clinic with patients many of whom were from diverse cultural heritage and often refugees with traumatic histories providing craniosacral therapy, a non-invasive and yet extremely profound body-based therapy.
Contact & Location
Contact me to arrange a free introductory session, I'd be delighted to hear from you.
12 Bonny Street
Bonny Street, NW1 is a small quiet residential street next to Camden Road Overground Station and just north of the Regent’s Canal.
Camden Town Tube (Northern Line) is 4 minutes walk.
Camden Road Overground Station is 100 meters.
Nearby bus stops serve routes 24, 27, 29, 31, 46, 88, 134, 168, 214, 253, & 274.
By Car: there are usually plenty of pay & display parking bays available in Bonny Street which is not in the congestion zone.