About Alexandra Stevens, psychotherapist for individuals, couples and families based in Forest Hill, SE23.
Alexandra is an accredited Gestalt psychotherapist CBT and EMDR practitioner working with individuals, families and groups. The daughter of a Swiss psychotherapist mother and an African politician father, she is at ease working with issues of diversity. She is able to relate to high achievers, industry leaders and target driven Type A’s. Having been immersed from a young age in the Swiss/German psychotherapeutic traditions starting with Freud and Jung, she brings her extraordinary perceptiveness and understanding to issues of perfectionism, overworking and onerous responsibilities, as well as other issues such as anxiety, depression, addiction, OCD, trauma and relational difficulties.
As a young child she was hungry for new experiences. Restless in the state system she competed for a scholarship to private school and played the violin, flute and piano. As a young woman she singlehandedly set up two businesses as well as experimenting with six different professions including tour leader, project manager, teacher and astrologer, amongst others. This means she can relate to people from all walks of life in a very down-to-earth way.
Her curiosity led her to study Thai and Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies and to backpack extensively in Asia and South America working with street children and sailing up the Amazon. It was on her travels that she immersed herself in Vipassana meditation and Kundalini yoga, which she has been practicing ever since. It was while living in France that she mastered French and the art of eating croissants elegantly.
Her calling to help others then changed from the outer world of international development to the inner world of the human psyche. This led her to spend six gruelling yet satisfying years studying Gestalt psychotherapy, culminating in an MA and an Advanced Professional Diploma. She is an Associate Tutor at the University of Surrey Counselling Psychology Doctorate programme.
Alexandra combines her expertise in psychotherapy with her knowledge of body and mind practices such as yoga and mindfulness, when she feels they may be helpful. She believes that we are responsible for shaping our own lives, that we have an innate propensity towards growth and healing and that all emotions have equal value. There are no positive or negative feelings, just helpful and unhelpful ways of dealing with them. What she loves most about her job is observing people improving and having ‘A-ha’ moments as the therapy starts to work, until eventually they leave therapy because they can get by just fine on their own. Her biggest compliment from clients is that she is a safe and trusty pair of hands that guides them in a time of crisis towards healing and wholeness. She has a very ‘real’ presence and retains a sense of light-heartedness and humour, when appropriate. When not delivering psychotherapy she can be found splashing in the pool, getting muddy in nature, or at home tucking into a nice roast dinner.