ABOUT A GIRL ; This Monday Central London's First Women-Only Private Psychotherapy Clinic Opens, Run by Three Former Career Women. Jasmine Gardner Gets the Lowdown on What They Will Be Offering
Gardner, Jasmine, The Evening Standard (London, England)
[broken bar] T'S NOT often that you sit on a sofa opposite three psychotherapists. Anybody might think that my problems must be bigger than most. But today it is me asking the questions.
Sabina Amiga, Trudi Seely and Anna Tierney open the doors (and plump the sofa cushions) of their women-only therapy clinic, Woman to Woman, next Monday.
According to Seely "there is a trend for this kind of clinic in America", but surprisingly, Woman to Woman will be the first private practice of its kind in central London that is not semi-charity- funded.
A former lawyer, a novelist and a businesswoman, who all retrained as psychotherapists, the trio hope to make therapy more accessible and acceptable for women like them.
"There is quite a shortage of therapy in general for people who can't afford to pay, so the NHS is very limited on who gets seen and there are long waiting lists," says Tierney.
"So career women and high fliers wouldn't be taken on by charitable organisations because they're earning too much," explains Amiga.
Yet women are more than twice as likely as men to suffer from depression, a recent study suggests, and demand for psychotherapy among women is high.
"It can be the overstressed career woman who doesn't sleep at night," says Amiga. "It could be the girl who always has the wrong boyfriend, who can't keep a relationship and wonders, 'Why do I always pick the wrong man?' Or the woman thinking, 'Why am I so anxious?'" I put the three therapists on the couch to find out how they can help.
THE LAWYER Sabina Amiga: Previously worked as a criminal lawyer and then as the head of HR in a large company. She began doing some counselling while working in HR and decided to train as psychotherapist 10 years ago.
Outside the clinic: Works for the NHS in a prison with disturbed and vulnerable women of all ages. Common problems: "A huge range that are interlinked and usually go back to very early childhood problems."
Client profile: "Women who are saddened and feel low and don't understand why; young women in their twenties and women with new babies. Lots of women bring their babies into the session."
Style: Psychodynamic psychotherapist. "Working with the unconscious -- not just what the client presents but what is underneath. This reveals itself usually through the client- therapist relationship, which is the centre of my work. This will then indicate how the client relates to other people. To establish the relationship I feed back what I hear, give back my suggestions and make interpretations. I'm not silent as silence can be quite scary for some women. …