Welcome to my website!
I am Karin Sieger, a BACP accredited and registered psychotherapist. I offer online psychotherapy and counselling across the UK and beyond. I am based in London (UK).
I am an approved health care provider with AXA Health, AVIVA, Allianz, CIGNA and WPA.
My guiding belief is:
Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever has happened, living in peace is possible.
I specialise in life changes and transitions many of us may struggle with:
- general anxiety
- chronic illness
- Long COVID
- sadness and regrets
- lack of motivation and hope
- health, chronic illness, cancer
- change, ageing
- loss, grief, bereavement
- existential questions and sense of purpose
- dying and death
My approach is non-preaching, jargon-free, intuitive, empathic and I also like to call a spade a spade. I listen, but also offer views and experiences where relevant and helpful.
Below is some information about me, which you might find of interest and of use.
1. Stages of my journey
My childhood was spent in a rural part of West Germany, which I left in 1984, aged 19, to settle in the UK. Those were the days when we did not talk of gap years, travelled without mobile phones and did not have internet access.
I worked for a few years and then parallel to my full time university studies. After obtaining a BA (Hons) in Politics and History from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1986, I spent some 25 years in national and international consumer and media research (including BBC World Service and AOL UK). I have worked in a range of organisational structures and cultures in Europe, Africa and Asia.
In my early 40s I found myself at a crossroads, a real crisis of purpose, when I decided to take voluntary redundancy. Having run a busy consumer research department with 20-30 staff I made significant life changes.
In 2006 I started training as a counsellor and psychotherapist, while working as a case worker at a Women’s Refuge. My clinical training was done in the NHS primary care and charitable sector.
The new direction I had opted for came with a new economic reality. I embraced financial vulnerability as an opportunity for more lifestyle changes and moved onto a quirky and neglected boat. With lots of TLC, DIY and some professional help this has now been my home for many years.
After obtaining my post graduate qualification (MA in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy) as well as BACP Accreditation and Registration, I continued working in the NHS.
The next transformative event in my life happened in my late 40s when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the same time my trusted therapist was also diagnosed with cancer and died a few months later.
As a result, my view on life and death has evolved, which is reflected in the choices I make for my own life, my therapeutic work and my writing.
Following my treatment for cancer (surgery, chemo and radiotherapy) I decided to set up my private therapy practice in Richmond, West London.
Following a local recurrence of my cancer in 2018, further surgery and chemotherapy coinciding with the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020 I continue to focus on assisting others (and myself) to grow and evolve.
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2. Qualifications & Accreditation
- MA, Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy, Roehampton University
- BA (Hons), Politics and History, SOAS, University of London
- Accredited by the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).
- Member of the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.
- Member of Cancer Counselling London.
- In accordance with requirements of my accreditation I attend regular supervision.
- I work in adherence to the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
3. A brief overview of what integrative therapy means and how I practice.
I am what is called an integrative therapist. That means I have been trained in several approaches, which I ‘integrate’ and rely on depending on what is most helpful to my clients at any given time. I combine four main approaches:
I. The Humanistic approach, which encourages us to think about our feelings and to take responsibility for our thoughts and actions. The emphasis is on self-development and achieving our potential.
II. The Person-Centered Therapy is intended to help for us to become able to see ourselves as a person with power and freedom to change. Crucial to this are a range of conditions, which the practitioner brings to the work; core are accurate empathy, genuineness or congruence, warmth and unconditional positive regard for the client.
III. The Psychodynamic Therapy approach is derived from Freudian psychoanalysis, but it is not analysis. It acknowledges the importance of the unconscious and past experiences (eg with our parents or other significant people in our lives) in shaping our current behaviour. Here, insight is the tool by which what is unconscious is brought to consciousness, freeing us to make new choices.
IV. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) focuses on the link between our thinking and behaviour patterns, and how changes in our thinking can bring about changes in how we behave, and thus enhance our well being. Negative thoughts and ‘self-talk’ are challenged using various techniques and the introduction of different ways of thinking. CBT is applied mostly to short-term solution-focussed counselling.