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 to psychotherapy clients, 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, addiction, 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 Core Process psychotherapy session?In Core Process work, the idea is to slow one’s inner-world down, to pay attention, and to start to become aware of what is holding this sense of self together. The intention is to open to a subtler level of reality where one can apprehend process. In the work we distinquish between the mind that is conditioned by the body and the aspect of mind that is distinct from the body. We become very curious how the mind and body are connected particularly through the experience of feeling because it is feeling that engages both mind and body together. There is a bodily experience and an awareness of it and the two meet at the subtle level of energy described as the subtle body. Awareness of this subtle body is so important, because this sense of self arose out of sensory felt experience very early on in development. Perhaps a key difference in Core Process psychotherapy from some, but not all psychotherapy traditions is that the practitioner is expected to be deeply affected by the client. It is only by being deeply affected with the presence of the client, by having the internal embodied capacities to work with those affects and to maintain authentic relationship, that the client may feel that there is a ‘working through’ of deeply held issues. This can occur at all sorts of levels both personal, historical and if you do believe in something that are qualities of human mind that are beyond the cognitive, a quality of deep wisdom becomes available to support this joint practice of enquiry. Within an environment of respect and warmth, my aim is to honour the uniqueness of your process in a nonjudgemental way without any prescribed agenda and to help you find your own way of working. Practiced within this atmosphere of joint-enquiry and compassion, the approach understands awareness to be intrinsically healing and supportive of our discovering greater choice and freedom in our lives. I see my role to be that of a reflector and facilitator to your increasing awareness, a companion in your process.
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.
Can I come on a fortnightly or ad hoc basis?I do not offer fortnightly or ad hoc sessions. In my experience, therapy requires commitment and needs to be on a regular weekly basis.
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?My fees are from £70 for a full hour. The initial meeting is free of charge.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist and counsellor?"Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialise in psychiatry and, unlike psychologists, psychotherapists or counsellors, are permitted to prescribe medication for psychological problems. Psychologists have a degree in psychology and are subsequently trained in specialist areas such as clinical, counselling, educational or other fields. Counselling psychologists are trained to practice at least two models of evidence-based therapies. A large number of Counselling Psychologists work in the NHS. It is difficult to draw a clear distinction between psychotherapists and counsellors and it is often a matter of opinion. There are actually no strict, official definitions and they are not protected titles. Some say psychotherapy goes deeper into your issues and emotions, and is longer-term work, and may be more about making a specific diagnosis. Some say counselling is more about a specific issue or situation, and is possibly time-limited. It really depends on the practitioner and how they choose to work.
Please feel free to make contact directly by phone or email 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.
I bring a psycho-spiritual approach to clinical work, to psycho-physical trauma and the archetypal defences of the personal spirit, whatever they be. It is informed by my engagement with psychodynamics, Jungian psychology and Tibetan Buddhism. I endeavour to bring this wisdom in my approach to the work with the possibility of finding a ‘primordial trust’ in relationship, with oneself and with each other.
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.
My main psychotherapy training is in Core Process Psychotherapy, one of the original contemplative approaches to psychotherapy developed at the internationally renowned Karuna Institute in south-west England. 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, pre- and perinatal psychology 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.
My craniosacral therapy training was directly under Franklyn Sills, an early pioneer in the development of a biodynamic understanding and approach to craniosacral therapy and I qualified at the Karuna Institute. From 2011, I managed the craniosacral clinic at the NHS Royal Free Hospital, London which treats patients with immune deficiency.
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.
My spiritual practice led to me taking a solitary one-year Buddhist retreat in which I underwent a profound transformation associated with a spiritual emergency. This experience, of severe psycho-physical affect overwhelming ordinary reality, opened into a great curiosity about my own very early relational 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. Having worked with pre- & perinatal psychologists, I discovered the use of art media to be a transitional phenomena that enables clients to safely process painful or traumatic material. My experience in craniosacral biodynamics augments a body-based approach to psychotherapeutic work coupled with the use of dreams informed by Jungian psychology.
Before my clinical training I had an academic and professional background in business and finance. As a fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, I worked first for a well-known multi-national and then in the charitable sector. 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 based in the UK and France. My clinical work is underpinned by over 30 years study of Tibetan Buddhism and practice of Dzogchen, making sense of my experiences and how I engage with life.
Contact & Location
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.