Sara Gilbert PsychologyClinical Psychologist in Barnet, North London

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Consultant Clinical Psychologist in North London

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What I Offer

I am a chartered clinical psychologist available for private consultation. I offer assessment and therapy for people who are struggling with: emotional difficulties including low mood, anxiety, low self-esteem, difficulties with relationships, or a tendency to use unhelpful behaviours such as overeating, or undereating, drinking too much or smoking and obsessive compulsive habits as ways to deal with stress and manage emotions.
I also work with people who struggle with issues around body image, over-exercising, excess weight or obesity; or who are considering bariatric surgery to help them manage dietary change and would like some support along their journey.

My work is based in Finchley and Golders Green, North London,

Coping in our current situation

Now, more than ever, we are prone to feeling stressed in the light of pressures put on us due to economic and social restrictions that have affected so many of us for the past two years. We have missed our normal social contacts and activities and been prevented from finding new ones for many months. It is only now that some of us are noticing just how important these things were and are to our wellbeing; and issues that we normally face with equanimity or even ignore can feel so much more troubling.

We all experience difficulties in different ways: so no list can include every possible issue or problem. Some people know exactly what it is they want help for, while others will need to have an initial discussion or session in order to clarify what troubles them and to think about the changes they want to make.

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Online sessions

Currently, I am continuing to meet with clients only on line, though will hope to reassess this later in the year. In normal times my client base is mainly in North London, but I have found that geographical location is not a barrier to working with people who do not live nearby and it has been feasible to work with clients in different parts of the country or even abroad, as long as we can create a good uninterrupted online connection.

If you are interested in a consultation, feel free to get in touch with me and we can discuss whether or not meeting on line would work for you in your situation and regarding the issues you want to tackle. You are probably familiar with this kind of communication, but if not, all you would need is a private email address plus a computer with a camera and microphone included or a mobile phone or tablet and a good wifi connection. We would have a discussion prior to setting up a call about confidentiality and about how appropriate this method would be in your situation (eg do you have a space in the place where you live where you needn't be interrupted for the duration of our call).

My background

I have over thirty years’ experience of working with a wide range of emotional and behavioural issues in a variety of healthcare settings, including mental and physical health and primary care (in GP practices), both in the NHS and privately. In addition, I have specialised in offering psychological therapy to people with concerns around overeating and binge eating, undereating, shape, weight, and obesity for over twenty years; for twelve years I worked as a service lead in an NHS specialist community eating disorder service.

My approach to therapy is broadly cognitive behavioural but I see myself as an integrative therapist. (for more information see here)

Thinking about change

it is far easier to think about making changes than to carry them out, and however much we may want to live life differently, finding a way to make those changes is no easy task.

Neither is it easy to ask for help with an emotional or behavioural problem; especially as it can be difficult for a person to describe what exactly it is that they need to resolve (and harder still to know what to do about it!)

A major part of my role is to work with clients to help them describe and understand the difficulties they have and explore what keeps them going. The next step is to discuss possible ways to change and what the options might be for achieving this.
Some people find that it is enough just to understand more about how a problem has come about and what keeps it from resolving on its own. This can give them the 'push' they need (in the nicest possible way!) to make changes for themselves, without further outside help. Others decide that they would like to consider a programme of therapy to help them in the process of change. I can help you to look at some options for change and work out ways to find new directions as an alternative to treading the same, well worn and familiar, but not always helpful, paths.

A note about fees

I am registered with several of the major health insurance companies and fees may be recoverable for people who are insured. Clients should check with their provider for more information.

Teaching and writing

I have extensive experience of teaching and training. My publications include three books on eating disorders and dieting. My most recent book, "Therapy for Eating Disorders" (SAGE) was published in 2014 in its third edition (for more information and reviews see here; and in 2015, I made some short educational films for Sage publications' Counselling and Psychotherapy collection on the subject of eating disorders.
My paperback book, "Tomorrow I'll be Slim: the Psychology of Dieting" was republished by Routledge in summer 2014 and continues to be just as relevant today as it was when I first wrote it - in a world where food is becoming ever more tempting and available and interest in the process of preparing it so all consuming; while all the time we are under increasing pressure to look fit healthy and toned!

Workshops and discussion groups

I am available for teaching seminars on eating disorders and weight concerns for professionals and for the general public. Discussion around the issue of diet and how best to take care of ourselves can be emotive topics for any and all of us in a world where food, both healthy and unhealthy, is so much in abundance . For more information see here.

Contacting me

Do browse my website to find out more about my experience and what I offer, and you are welcome to contact me by email or telephone with an enquiry. I am always happy to have a brief telephone discussion about whether I am able to help with a range of emotional problems, or an eating disorder.

My practice is accessible to people living in Barnet (Finchley or Golders Green, Hendon, or Mill Hill), Hampstead, Highgate, and Muswell Hill. I am open to working with people who are not living in this immediate area, and we can have a discussion about whether this would work for you. The answer phone on my dedicated private office landline is switched on when I am not in the office or am unavailable, but please do not be put off - if you leave a brief message with your phone number, I will call you back as soon as I can.

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