Dr Natalie Raiher, Chartered Psychologist

MPhil DPsych CPsychol AFBPsS

I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist with experience in providing psychological therapy to people who seek to reduce anxiety, low mood, relationship difficulties and who are struggling to adjust to new environments or stages of life. I especially enjoy working with people who are interested in finding greater self-awareness and self-compassion and who seek to live more flexibly and creatively.

Increased insight and awareness into why things are like they are helps us to have more choice over how we interact with others and how we deal with difficult situations. Understanding why helps us to let go of beliefs and habits that may no longer be serving us and find new, healthier and more flexible ways to live our lives. We cannot rewrite history but we can transform our relationship to it, and live more fully and freely in the present.

Many of us have learnt to use rigidity and self-criticism as fundamental coping mechanisms. We seek to forcibly alter ourselves and the world with some idea of how things ‘should be’ in mind. While this may help us to feel more in control in the short-term, ultimately it leads to feelings of overwhelm and burnout, stuckness, low mood and anxiety. This is in part because we have learnt to confuse problem-solving with self-criticism and control. Developing greater self-compassion and flexibility in our thinking helps us to reduce anxiety and low mood and to be more creative at making adaptations to the circumstances that bother us.

In addition, we often tend to avoid unwanted feelings or experiences. Ultimately, it is this avoidance that exacerbates distress. Building up our tolerance of the natural fluctuations in thoughts and feelings helps us to be less frightened of our inner and outer worlds. Similarly, learning to reduce the fight with life and the more unwanted experiences it brings helps us to find more comfortable ways to position ourselves relative to difficulty. Again this shifts our position away from ‘this shouldn’t be’ to better problem solving that allows us to actually improve things.

I do not believe in a one size fits all approach, and so I integrate a variety of approaches to tailor each course of therapy to the specific needs and interests of each client. I work primarily from a psychodynamic and relational base and integrate tools from mindfulness, compassion-focussed therapy, CBT and trauma-informed approaches as needed.

I offer a confidential and creative space to adults and young adults to help them experiment, heal and grow. I wholeheartedly believe that there is always something to be gained from adversity and I support my clients to develop their strengths and build on their resources so that they might experience greater vitality, coherence and movement in their lives.

What I can help with

Psychological therapy encompasses a broad range of approaches and tools and as such, can help with many different problems. I have extensive experience in working with:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress and burnout
  • Low self-confidence and performance
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Change, adjustment and loss
  • Adjustment after immigration
  • Fertility problems, IVF and miscarriage
  • Gender and sexuality exploration
  • Physical illness
  • Bereavement and grief

This is not an exhaustive list. Sometimes people don’t know what they want to work on but are aware that something doesn’t feel right and they want relief. In that case, I tailor the course of therapy to help them understand what it is that doesn’t feel right, and what they might do about it.

Climbing

I also have a particular interest in mental resources for climbers. I am a climber and have found that perfectionism and fear of failure are rife among this group of athletes, amateur and elite alike. I work to help people re-engage with their joy of the sport and to reduce the rigidity they hold themselves to. Similarly, climbing can sometimes involve injury and trauma. I use my clinical experience of trauma work to help people with fear in climbing. I work with trauma-informed tools to help people to get back on the wall or simply back to life after a fall or injury.

Training, qualifications & experience

I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist. I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and am an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

My qualifications include:

  • Associate Fellow of The British Psychological Society (AFBPsS)
  • Doctorate in Counselling Psychology (DPsych)
  • Master in Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Bachelor in Social Sciences (BSocSci hons)
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)

My career has spanned NHS, private and community settings in the UK and abroad, and has included psychiatric inpatient and outpatient facilities including The Nightingale Hospital, The Royal Free Hospital and The Maudsley Hospital. I have worked in teams specializing in trauma, eating disorders and problems regulating extreme emotions. I have also worked in outpatient teams specializing in women’s health and chronic illness.

I currently divide my time between my private practice, writing, developing my meditation practices and rock climbing. Before becoming a psychologist, I worked in media and the arts and I enjoy bringing this element of creativity to my practice.

Session structure and fees

People engage in therapy for variable lengths of time. This might be for anything from a shorter, focussed therapy of six sessions or an open-ended course of therapy. Usually, we will contract to work together for a period of time, building in regular reviews and the opportunity to re-contract as suits you.

People usually see me for a regular, weekly session but this can vary. I am happy to discuss frequency in terms of what feels most helpful for you at the time.

Please email to enquire about fees. I have limited lower fee slots available and I offer discounts to students, particularly to psychology and psychotherapy trainees.

I am also a recognised provider for most major private health insurers and I am happy to accept payment through these schemes.

If you would like to make an appointment please email contact@thepracticeat322.co.uk or call 020 7018 0770.

I also offer free call-backs to discuss how I might be able to help.