Stephen Weaver Online Counselling, Psychotherapy & Supervision Rye, East Sussex & St.Paul’s, Blackfriars, City of London

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How I Work

How I Work. mangroyne

What my clients say when beginning therapy:

  • I have lost all my confidence
  • I have this crippling anxiety
  • I just feel trapped
  • I feel I have missed out on life
  • I wish I could forgive what happened
  • I don't deserve to be happy
  • We can't talk without ending in a row
  • I'm in a spiral of self-destruction
  • I want to make sense of what happened
  • I want to cope better when the pressure is on
  • I want to be able to accept who I am
  • I'm afraid of letting other people see me cry
  • I no longer feel I know who I am
  • I need to change but I don't know how

Each client brings a unique presence to bear on the work of therapy and my first task is to listen closely to your own reading of your situation. The initial session will often involve learning something of your life story and helping you to feel safe and comfortable enough to agree to work with me.

What so many clients' stories have in common is a sense of wanting " something more" from life.

Counselling and psychotherapy can provide a bridge from your current unhappiness to that elusive something more, sharing your emotional pain with a skilled and compassionate listener but also learning and practicing new ways of thinking, feeling, relating and being.

At the simplest level, my task as a counsellor is to help you to manage your problem better.

I begin by trying to understanding your current scenario.
Then, together, we identify the scenario you would prefer to move towards.
Then we can begin to work through the obstacles and levers to making changes, all the while testing out and refining strategies which work for you.

The outcome is usually an increased sense of confidence in managing the issues you have brought.

This approach can be extremely practical and helpful, but maybe it lacks the "something more" you are seeking. Call it Meaning,Truth or Soul, but there is often a deeper level of understanding to which many of my clients aspire.

As a therapist my task is not just to hear the many personal details you may bring me, but also to pay attention to what you may be saying non-verbally, at the more subtle levels of communication. All good counsellors should be able to make you feel safe and listened to, as well as mirroring back to you what you have said and what you haven't said, in helping you to make sense of your experience. My own approach is also at times to open out the spiritual dimension of the issues you may bring. That doesn't mean that you need to believe in God or that I am engaged in some sort of indoctrination. My therapeutic work is soul-based in the wider original sense of psychology as "the study of the soul," not merely “mind” or “personality.”

That, I believe, is the crossover point between counselling and psychotherapy.

How I Work. fisherman

My work is driven, not by theory, but by a heart-felt connection with you. In the safety and intimacy of the therapy room we can together explore the exciting difference between who you think you are and who you really are, underneath the masks you feel obliged to wear in order to please your family, your partner or your boss. Dreams and fantasies, with all the symbols and archetypal figures they contain, provide one approach to exploring the inner life. Away from the demands of the external world and the false self we live out there, dreaming is a time when our true self gets to express its deepest fears, desires and joys. Likewise, creative expression such as writing, artwork and photography can help us to develop the clues to our unlived lives.

The long-term goal is to bring into everyday awareness the riches of the unconscious, which could be lost if we remain stuck with our old defences, negative thinking or self-destructive behaviour. As therapy continues, you will come to recognise the ways in which your true self is seeking to express itself, not only in the therapy room but in transforming your daily life.

About Me

How I Work. interior headshot

I was born in Warrington in 1960 and was educated in Manchester and at the Universities of Oxford and London. I worked as a teacher then as a priest in parishes, hospitals and university chaplaincy. I began work as a couple counsellor in 1995 and as an individual counsellor in 1999. I qualified with Diplomas in Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2001 and in Supervision in 2003.

I have spent nearly 20 years now building a private practice in central London, working with couples and individuals. I have been living and working in Rye since 2016.

My personal therapy continues to help me make sense of life, but I have probably learned most from working with my clients and supervisees. I like to think that two decades' privileged experience as a skilled helper makes me well-equipped to help you feel seen, heard and understood.

About confidentiality

Our work together is confidential.

I aim to be fully compliant with current GPDR legislation and to let you know how I use and protect the data you give to me. Please read my Privacy Policy, which explains fully why I collect and keep specific data and what I do with it.

Please read about my Digital Policy, which explains how I handle contact and communication with clients.

I hope to offer you choice and control in the way your data is used. You are invited to consent to my keeping specific data. Consent is not a precondition of the services I offer. You can withdraw consent at any time, without detriment.

In exceptional cases, ( eg. if a client reveals current abuse of children or intention to cause serious physical harm to him/herself or others), counsellors have a professional and ethical duty to inform clients that they may find it necessary to take this information outside of counselling. For this reason, I may request the name and address of your General Practitioner. Any action is discussed with you first.

I have ongoing supervision to support and ensure my practice is safe. When I share client material or images this is always done confidentially, protecting your identity.

Privacy Policy

Following guidance from my governing body, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), I aim to be fully compliant with current GPDR legislation and to let you know how I use and protect the data you give to me. I wish to be transparent with regard to the processes I have in place. Identifiable information, if shared, will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

I hope to offer you choice and control in the way your data is used. You are invited to consent to my keeping specific data. Consent is not a precondition of the services I offer. You can withdraw consent at any time, without detriment.

In sending an enquiry form from my website you are consenting to my use of the information you provide therein. Enquries submitted through the contact form are sent directly to me by email and then deleted from Webhealer's systems. They are retained only until they are confident they have been successfully delivered.

I do not keep process notes. When I decide to do so, I shred and dispose of this confidential material as soon as possible, often after supervision. I keep minimal content notes which I hold for seven years. After this time frame, they are disposed of securely. You have a right to see the information I hold about you should you wish to. You have a right to change any information which you consider to be incorrect. Though there are some details I need to keep due to legal and professional obligations, you can ask me to delete all/any of the information that I hold by emailing me at
I occasionally use creative interventions, but any drawings or art done in session is yours. I will store this material safely and dispose of it in a timely manner. I will never use any of your data/artworks for writing, publishing, research or training purposes.


I promise to keep all sensitive data safely. This involves my anonymising, using passwords and encrypted documents. I keep all written notes in a locked document store and dispose of them after seven years. No one but myself, as data processor and controller in my practice, has access to the information gathered and held during our work together.
While we work together, I store your name, phone number and email address in an encrypted database, which is protected by a password. When we discontinue working, I retain your name, phone number and email address, together with the location, starting and ending dates of our work together in the same protected environment.
I do not store any of your personal details on my mobile phone. I only contact you in response to you or concerning appointments. I dispose of client emails, phone and text messages on a weekly basis. I do not engage with clients through any social media.


I have ongoing supervision to support and ensure my practice is safe. When I share client material or images this is always done confidentially, protecting your identity.


In the event of a sudden cessation of practice - eg through an accident or death,- I have appointed a professional executor to manage things on my behalf. This is arranged for your welfare as my client and every step is taken to ensure GDPR standards are met.

Digital Policy

I do not maintain an active social media presence and nor do I engage with clients’ social media presence.

I am not currently using an e-mail encryption programme, so any emails we send to each other may be vulnerable to viruses or human error. For this reason, it is best to be thoughtful about what you include in emails to me, and which email address you choose to use with me. Often, it is best to rely on email for non-confidential communications like setting up appointment times and things like that. In an effort to keep psychological material confidential, it is best avoided in emails unless we discuss it beforehand. Please let me know your preferred email address at the commencement of our work together.
If you choose to communicate with me by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of Internet Service Providers. Furthermore, they can be vulnerable to viruses and unintended forwarding or replication. If you are concerned about the confidentiality of your emails, you may wish to contact me by telephone instead.
I check emails only at fixed times during office hours – I avoid checking them on weekends and holidays. I try to respond to all emails within 24 hours upon opening them. If I am away for an extended period, you will receive an automated response.
Emails should never be used in the event of an emergency, in which case you should contact emergency services.

Feel free to contact me by text message to alert me if you are running late for a session or for similar reasons. However, because of the lack of context of text messages, it is generally not the best method for communicating with me about more important matters, so please do phone and leave me a message.
As a private practitioner I am unable to offer an emergency service, even by phone. Should you experience an emergency please contact either the emergency services or if you are feeling suicidal, ring The Samaritans: 116 123. If you feel that this may be an issue, please discuss it with me.

I make use of Zoom - a secure, reliable conferencing tool, available for Windows, Mac, iOS or Android, which can be used either on a computer or a mobile phone. Unlike Skype, Zoom has no contacts list and I simply send you a link each time. Each conversation is protected by a unique password that is unavailable to anyone but yourself. When the conversation ends the password and the link expire, so there is no means of tracing your use of the service.
If you would like to make use of remote therapy, we would first sound out your expectations of working in this way and then carefully run through all the practicalities involved.
When engaging via video conferencing, we both agree not to record sessions.
It is also crucial that the space from which you are conferencing with me is safe, secure, and private.

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