“I believe that somewhere inside us all we know what we need and how to get it. We all possess an inner life force, urging us to develop and grow. To be alive is to move and change, it is an ongoing process.”
Michaela’s Approach to Therapy
Michaela McCarthy is the Managing Director of The Awareness Centre. She is also a qualified and accredited counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor with more than 25 years of experience. She works in private practice with individuals and couples in Wimpole Street, Marylebone, London, and will see clients/patients who will benefit from the following support:
Michaela is an integrative practitioner, which means that she has combined many theories of thought and has found her own style of working as a therapist. Above all she believes that the most important part of therapy is the relationship between client and therapist, and that this relational process enables developmental growth and change.
Initially Michaela meets clients for an assessment and if both agree to work together then she will offer the client a further 5 sessions. After the initial six sessions, there is a discussion to review the process of the clinical work and to decide if therapy will continue into a longer-term agreement. She specialises in longer-term therapy for individuals and works up to one year with couples. Although Michaela has a lot of experience of working with couples supporting them to engage better with communication and intimacy, she values the importance of the couple’s sexuality and creates a safe place for both partners to develop their trust for each other.
Michaela works with a variety of clients including people from the media and public speakers.
Michaela McCarthy: Training and Accreditations
Michaela’s training has been in cognitive behavioural therapy, existentialism, gestalt, object relations, person-centred, psychodynamic and transactional analysis. Her current interest is in early attachments, object relations as well as a psychoanalytic approach to therapy.
Accreditation & Memberships:
Michaela set up The Awareness Centre in 2005 – the realisation of her desire to create an organisation that would incorporate most of her personal and professional experiences. Her vision is to share her knowledge and make it accessible to all who want to embark on a journey of self-discovery and change. With the support of an experienced and robust team, Michaela has been able to develop each department within The Awareness Centre to a high standard, and they continue to nurture the development of each department and clinic. Michaela believes in creative psychological health to support an individual’s wellbeing and works alongside medical professionals, if needed, to support medication management.
Michaela has worked extensively within the private, voluntary and NHS sector. She has worked in private practice with individuals and couples for 25 years and has run many therapy and training groups over the years, with different colleagues, as well as managing counselling services throughout London.
Areas of Expertise
Counselling and Psychotherapy
Counselling and psychotherapy can offer a safe and confidential space to support you in exploring and understanding your issues with warmth, empathy, acceptance, and respect. This therapeutic process can create a greater understanding of why you are the way you are, enable you to find more appropriate ways of coping with how you feel and think which will enable you to accept the ability for change. Therapy involves exploring feelings, beliefs, thoughts, and relevant events, sometimes from childhood and personal history. The process can also identify the defences and coping mechanisms you created in childhood, and whether those structures are still relevant and helpful today. An experienced therapist can help you heal your deepest wounds and leave you feeling free to reach your true potential.
Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy
For people who want to explore their sexuality, with or without a partner. Clients may be individuals looking to find their confidence in expressing their sexuality without feeling guilty or ashamed. Or they may be couples looking to resolve their conflicts and explore a healthy sexual relationship. Most romantic relationships will experience communication difficulties at some point. Sex is sometimes withdrawn because one or the other does not feel safe within the relationship. Michaela works with difficulties such as sex avoidance, which may be a lack of libido, or fear of intimacy – and sexual dysfunction, which may be a developmental block from puberty, or a lack of experience in performing.
Addiction Aftercare Therapy
For clients who have completed a 12-step residential or day treatment programme, working on relapse prevention, 12 steps, relationships, family, inner child issues and structured goals. Clients are encouraged to attend at least three 12-step meetings per week to support their recovery. Michaela works with clients struggling with drug/alcohol abuse, sex addiction, eating disorders and dual diagnosis. She also works with clients who have been in recovery for some time and who want to explore deeper issues.
Abuse comes in many forms – some aggressive, some subtle. Abuse has the potential to have long-lasting effects on a person’s physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. There are many types of abuse including domestic violence, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, modern slavery, discriminatory abuse, institutional abuse, neglect, and self-neglect. As a therapist Michaela will work longer term with clients when working with survivors of abuse as it takes time to work through your trauma. Clients need time to feel safe to process their stories so they can understand their trauma before they go on their healing journey and feel empowered.
Bereavement, Grief, and Loss
The grief that accompanies bereavement and loss can be overwhelming. It can take quite some time to adjust to the loss in your life and imagine what life will be like in the future without your loved one. Grief is a process that has several stages. Denial, bargaining, anger, and depression are key elements of that process. It can take a while to reach the final stage – acceptance – where it becomes conceivable that life will go on.
Grief can become more complex if the circumstances of death were difficult, unexpected, or traumatic – for example, through accident, suicide, or sudden illness. The loss you experience today may also remind you of losses from earlier in your life.
Of course, bereavement isn’t the only time you experience feelings of loss. You could be coming through the break-up of a relationship, mourning the end of a career, or feeling empty now your kids have flown the nest. You might also experience anticipatory grief, in cases where a loved one has dementia or a terminal illness.
Every person is unique, and Michaela believes it’s important to go at the client’s pace and support them through their lonely and sad journey so they can eventually come to terms with the loss during their lifetime but to always understand the importance of holding onto good memories too.
Michaela’s focus during supervision with trainees and newly qualified therapists is to work with clinical assessment, risk assessment, contracts, fee structure (if any), formulations and treatment plans, the relational process, relating theory to practice, the development of the supervisee enabling them to be more experiential during sessions, as well as, looking at transference issues (parallel process and/or objective identification). She will write reports for training and accreditation.
Michaela supervises more experienced supervisors to explore analytic thinking and therapeutic processes, so they are supported in their practices as a therapist.
Michaela supervises in private practice offering space to more experienced supervisors to explore analytic thinking and therapeutic process.
Michaela was born in the UK, and her heritage is second-generation Irish. As a child she was fascinated by human behaviour and wanted to become a psychiatrist at the age of seven.
Before training as a therapist, she worked extensively in business, and describes herself as an entrepreneur who enjoys the challenge of corporate enterprise. Over 25 years ago Michaela found herself unsatisfied with life and realised that she had somehow lost her direction and passion. Her response was to enter therapy to explore her issues and embark upon a journey of self-discovery, which included twenty-seven years of individual and group therapy, as well as self-development support groups and spiritual groups. As her values, feelings and frame of reference slowly changed, she decided to train as a therapist and eventually opened The Awareness Centre which has become her way of life.
“I’ve been a client of Michaela’s since my early twenties. She’s always been professional and reliable – and I particularly enjoy her wholistic, relaxed approach. Now in my early thirties, there is no doubt that working with her has enabled me to articulate what I want from my life and make that happen.”
Clinical Working Hours
Tuesday: 8am – 12pm
Thursday: 8am – 12pm