Testimonials to Francis Atkinson
I worked with Francis on a weekly basis for a few months in 2012/13 and then on an ad hoc basis after that.
Francis helped me work through many issues related to my childhood, family, bereavement and self confidence. His kind and empathetic manner helped a great deal as well as his questions that were thought provoking and challenging and allowed me to confront and work through my issues. By working with Francis I was really able to move forward in my life to a place where I am very happy and have a set of coping tools for difficult situations. As someone who was completely new to counselling, I cannot recommend Francis enough.
I had therapy with Francis when I was experiencing some strong anxiety due to a stressful period of my life. It was the first time I had therapy. The induction session was about defining what I wanted to achieve and sharing my personal background. Then Francis helped me deal with anxiety and some grief by working on techniques such as behavioural and cognitive therapies and some relaxation techniques such as mindfulness. Very quickly I felt we built a space where I could focus on what I wanted to work on. I had a very positive experience with Francis and I would recommend him for his methodological approach, his knowledge of psychotherapy and his strong interest in his patients. After less than one year, I manage to cope with periods of anxiety better and I now feel more confident in my ability to take care of myself.
I've seen a number of therapists over the years, but it was only after spending time with Francis that I recognised how I hadn't been able to express myself honestly with the other therapists I'd worked with.
This was particularly important as I came to Francis at a time of crisis. I was battling with some aspects of my upbringing that, for most of my life, I hadn't paid enough attention to and they had begun to impact my relationship.
Francis' created an environment where I felt comfortable enough to explore these issues and relieve the pressure they were placing on me. I found him to be professional, but also able to empathise and draw on his own experiences in order to help me. Looking back this was a crucial factor in us forming a good working relationship.
I would recommend Francis to anyone seeking professional help at times of difficulty.
My self belief & conviction of my thoughts & emotions were very low, which is what brought me to Francis. He was recommended to me by a friend & I would not hesitate to do the same for others. I had found myself feeling emotionally isolated in London with no family or long term friends as I am not originally from the UK. I was in a marriage which I knew deep down was not fulfilling my needs but I lacked the support & confidence to be able to feel strong enough to rely on & trust my feelings. Through 14 months of counselling with Francis, he made me believe in myself again. He became the support that I needed to take myself on to the next stage of my life as we worked together to help me regain my trust in my own intuition. I feel confident that I made the right decision to come out of my marriage, the right decision to have Francis to guide me through the process & I now feel I have the strength to make better decisions for myself in the future as I can now trust myself again.
'I was recommended Francis and I would recommend him to others. Being a psychotherapist myself finding a therapist with a certain level of experience was very important to me.
Having the free initial meeting gave me a chance to meet Francis and decide in person whether I would like to continue. I saw Francis short term (6 months) after experiencing some difficulties in my personal life that where impacting my work and my general well being.
I found Francis to be professional, flexible and I felt his consulting room was comfortable and confidential. The location and building were really accessible, but at the same time offered privacy and a bit of sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When I met Francis I was having time off work, was tearful and was really struggling with my personal relationships. After a short time I began to feel grounded again. Francis was able to offer many insightful reflections that began to support the way I was viewing and responding to those around me, as well as supporting me to understand the relationship I had developed with myself. When Francis and I finished working together I was back enjoying work, issues in my personal life had shifted and I felt much more stable emotionally.'
Finding the right Therapist or a good Therapist is a daunting task particularly when faced with lengthy counselling and psychotherapy directories whilst also being in a difficult or challenging time in life. I was very fortunate in choosing Francis from the BACP directory whom I was in therapy with for several years. Having various deeply seated issues which were having a serious impact upon my life, I was able to work through these issues in a safe and trusting space which has had a highly reparative influence upon my life. Francis's non-judgmental, emphatic and containing presence has enabled me to lead a more authentic, happier and fulfilling life and I will be forever grateful to him. He has a wide range of experience and takes an integrative approach with his clients. I have recommended him to various friends and colleagues who have been contemplating having counselling or psychotherapy and will continue to do so.
I had little experience of therapy when I started seeing Francis however his process dispelled my preconceptions; I assumed I would be told my thought patterns were wrong or that I needed to be fixed. Rather, Francis' professionalism and empathy provided a safe and non judgmental environment to discuss any issues and to challenge my beliefs where necessary. It was a very trusting environment and I felt like I was 'in good hands.'
This has greatly improved my self belief and my ability to articulate myself. Upon finalising my sessions with Francis I feel more able to communicate - both with myself and others. I also feel more confident in my choices and trust myself more.
Francis' guidance and demeanour was invaluable in helping me to come my own conclusions about what arose from the therapy and I would have no hesitation in recommending Francis to anyone who feels they would benefit.