Existential Psychotherapy

Existential therapy is an optimistic form of psychotherapy heavily influenced by the existential philosophers including Kierkegaard, Heidegger and Sartre. Determinism is rejected and instead the emphasis is on free will, choice and freedom within existential limits. This means that although none of us can choose the conditions of our birth and our genetic make-up and we cannot control all external events, nevertheless, we can choose our own responses to our existential situation. Existential therapists work phenomenologically to help clients to understand their own contributions to what is going on in their lives and thereby to begin to use their own freedom to a greater extent. The therapist helps clients to identify and elucidate his or her own choices in life and each client decides for him or herself when, and if, to make any changes.

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Psychoanalytic psychotherapists believe that experiences in childhood continue to influence adult life. These experiences result in hidden assumptions and worldviews held onto since childhood that may be hindering your freedom to lead an authentic life and preventing you from reaching your full potential. A psychotherapist can help you to identify these false presuppositions and over time and with hard work they may be discarded.

My work is heavily influenced by Freud from whom I take his phenomenological observations and his practical advice as regards framing the work, however I do not follow Freud’s deterministic theories and I am more likely to refer to the Sartrean concept of “bad faith” than the Freudian “unconscious”. Nevertheless, I follow Freud in aiming to interpret dreams, fantasies and actions in order to help my clients to uncover the truth about their own desires, needs and hopes to allow them to be in control and take charge of their own lives.

Skype or Telephone Sessions

Although face-to-face sessions are the most effective, if you cannot attend in person, perhaps because of your travel schedule or for health reasons, I am able to provide Skype or telephone sessions.

Canine Assisted Psychotherapy

Canine assisted psychotherapy is an available option. In this way of working, a fully trained and professionally assessed therapy dog is present during the psychotherapy sessions. As a client, you would have the opportunity to interact with the dog and get to know him. If at any point you preferred not to have the dog present, he would be taken away.

I particularly recommend working with a dog for clients who are recently bereaved or depressed but there is no obligation to do so. A therapy dog does not hide his feelings and is lacking in any form of deception or pretence. He outwardly demonstrates his emotions, especially with his tail. The advantages of relating to a dog have been extensively researched and include reductions in blood pressure, stress and anxiety. 'A therapy animal can enhance the establishment and continuation of a therapeutic relationship between the client and the human therapist.' (Chandler, 2005, p.7).

Dogs have played a part in psychotherapy from the very beginning. Sigmund Freud and also his daughter Anna Freud had their dogs with them in the consulting room while they worked with patients. Canine assisted therapy began in the USA in 1919 with psychiatric patients and in 1942, the US military began to use animal therapy with recovering veterans. Therapy Dogs International was founded in 1976 by Elaine Smith and remains the largest therapy dog organization. For more information about research studies on the effectiveness of Canine Assisted Therapy see: "Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling" (2005) by Cynthia K Chandler.

About the Dog

Jasper is a golden retriever who has been living with Angela Buxton since he was seven weeks old. Following extensive training, he has regularly assisted her in the consulting room. He has been professionally assessed as safe to work as a therapy dog including with children and vulnerable adults. Jasper has undertaken voluntary work since he was two with people suffering from medical illnesses including advanced dementia for the charity Pets As Therapy, having met their very high standards for therapy animals. He enjoys his work and is always keen to meet new people.


I offer supervision from an existential perspective. I provide a non-judgmental space to discuss your client work phenomenologically. Psychotherapy is a moral enterprise and I focus on the ethical and philosophical dimensions of the work. I see supervision as a parallel process to psychotherapy and therefore my aim is to work with supervisees collaboratively to assist them to greater awareness in all aspects of their work.

Office Address

My consulting room is located at

17 Riverview Gardens,
West London,
SW13 8QY

Contact us

  020 8746 3905
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