Counsellor East London - Sonia

Counsellor East London – Sonia

Sonia T. Piergiovanni Counselling

About me

I am a qualified integrative counsellor based in East London. As a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), I work within their Code of Ethics.  My core training is in Person-Centred Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.

I offer short and long term counselling to adults and adolescents.

Having grown up in Italy in a bilingual environment, I provide sessions in both English and Italian.

My approach

I believe that only when you are able to own the parts of your self that you dislike or find problematic you will be able to change them. A healthy sense of self-acceptance requires freeing oneself from one’s conditioning and embracing forgiveness of self and others.

Counselling is a two way street: it involves personal development and awareness on the part of both the client and the counsellor to be effective. I work in a warm and non-judgmental manner building a positive, genuine and safe therapeutic relationship, which will allow you to disclose your thoughts and feelings.

I will create the necessary conditions for you to engage in a meaningful self-exploration of your emotions, beliefs and behaviours, encouraging you to build upon your personal strengths. I will assist you in your growth process, enabling you to cope with current and future problems.

While you are responsible for making changes in your life, together we can explore your unconscious relationship patterns that evolved from childhood and negative thoughts and perceptions that may be causing distress.

Identifying these patterns will help you move forward toward self-knowledge and positive change to a more fulfilling life. The exploration of emotions formed through your childhood attachments can reveal much about how you live and perceive your life today.

We will focus on the understanding of your past, on being present in the ‘here and now,’ and on building the future, so that all aspects of your experience are examined, honoured and taken care of.

Initial consultation

The initial consultation is our opportunity to decide if the relationship is a fit and we both feel we will be able to work together effectively.

During our first appointment we will explore what you expect to achieve from counselling and discuss realistic time frames for reaching your goals, and agree on how you will measure your progress.

Sessions are usually at the same time, every week.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • Post-Qualification clinical training in adolescent psychotherapy. The Society of Analytical Psychology – London, UK
  • Certificate of Proficiency. BACP – London, UK
  • Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. ABC Awards – London, UK
  • BA (Hons) in Humanities (Medical Anthropology). University of Perugia – Italy
  • Autism and Asperger Syndrome Training (The 5P Approach). Linda Miller – London, UK
  • Domestic Violence Training. Solace Women’s Aid – London, UK
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I am attending a One Year Certificate in Clinical Practice with the Society of Analytical Psychology (SAP).

I undertake ongoing professional and personal development as part of my commitment to the BACP to build upon my existing skills. For example, I attend training and conferences and take part in supervision and peer supervision sessions to be able to provide optimal treatment.

I have experience working with children and young people as a SEN LSA and school counsellor.

I volunteer at the charitable organisation Positive Tools 4 Life.

I work with a variety of issues, such as:


Bereavement and Loss

Building Confidence & Self-esteem



Domestic Violence

Eating Disorders

Figuring out life directions

Life changes or transitions


Relationship difficulties


I offer a free of charge initial consultation to help you get started.Sonia T. P. Counselling

Therapy session – £45 (off peak commencing before 6pm/post 2pm Saturdays) – £50 (peak). Each session is 50 minutes.

Please note, as of September 2018, the following cancellation / missed appointment policy is in effect:

A full 24 hours notice is required for cancelling appointments. Clients who cancel with less than 24 hrs before your appointment time are billed for the full cost of their scheduled session. If you are uncertain when your next appointment is, please contact meSonia T. P. Counselling.

I am currently unable to accept payment by credit card.

Contact & Locations

Forest Therapy Centre, 75 Station Passage, South Woodford, London E18 1JL

Lily House, 11 The Shrubberies, George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1BD


As Winborn succinctly states: ‘The analytic attitude places
the encounter with the unconscious and the unknown at the core of the analytic process…It is reflected in the way the analyst listens, behaves, thinks, feels, and engages during the analytic process. The analytical attitude essentially comprises an ethical attitude adopted
towards the analytic process itself.’ (2019, p.65).
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Children react to abnormal situations in many different ways. It is common for children and young people to react to a stressful situation with behaviours and feelings such as increased anxiety, irritability, changes to sleep patterns, and regression into behaviours they had grown out of and this can be concerning. It is also important to remember that not all children and young people will show signs that they need support and may hide what they are feeling.

For most children and young people these issues will resolve with appropriate support and calm reassurance. While a significant minority may not fully recover without interventions offered by professionals.

Understanding cognitive development at different ages and common reactions to stress can help you to understand how to support them. Look out for these signs of distress in the days and weeks following an emergency or potentially traumatic event. Remember, each child is different, but there are some common ways in which different age groups may react to difficult experiences. It is also important to remember that children and young people with a learning disability or autism may react differently to this.

0-3 years

Cognitive development Common reactions
No or limited spoken language – communicate with face, body and noises Changes to behaviours, being more demanding than before such as: clinging more to parents; crying and irritability and very sensitive to how others react; afraid of things that did not frighten them before; changes in sleep and eating patterns
Very little or no understanding of an emergency or event, beyond the way that they see adults react to it, but they might know something is wrong Changes in play activity such as less or no interest in playing or only for short periods, repetitive play or aggressive play. Play may include playing out the critical events.
Physical contact is comforting

4-6 years

Cognitive development Common reactions
Language, but narrow vocabulary and understanding of the world. Everything is centered around personal experiences. Difficulty talking/thinking about things beyond ‘here and now’ without prompting. Clinging to parents / carers or other adults and hiding or shying away from other people
Does not understand the consequences of emergencies, but can be preoccupied by death and may not really understand that a dead person never comes back Physical symptoms of not feeling well, such as shaking, tummy aches, headaches, loss of appetite, aches and pains
Still fully dependent on caregivers’ reactions Hyperactivity or agitation and/or inactive – seeming to be withdrawn or very quiet with little or no movement. Not playing, or playing repetitive games, including the distressing events.
Anxious and worry that bad things are going to happen, becomes easily confused and are unable to concentrate. Curious about facts and will benefit from plain, factual language.
Take on adult roles

7-12 years

Cognitive development Common reactions
Deeper understanding of how things are linked together, such as cause and effect, risks and vulnerabilities; understand that death is forever, and what loss is. More interested in facts. Many reactions may be similar to the younger age group including:
Struggle with change Level of physical activity changes, sleep and appetite disturbances and withdrawal from social contact
Divide the world into opposites: good-evil, right-wrong, reward-punishment Feel and behave confused, talk about the event in a repetitive manner, show concern about other affected people, self-blame and guilt feelings
Difficulties being apart from parents, family and may be reluctant to go to school
Experience a negative impact on memory, concentration and attention
Teens and young adults

Cognitive development Common reactions
Searching for own identity Making decisions that they wouldn’t normally. For example, withdrawing more, reckless driving (if they are old enough), not going to school or college, and alcohol or drug use
Peers more important, although still attached to family Becoming afraid to leave the home or cutting back on the time they spend connecting with friends.
Understand perspectives of others and the consequences on self and others Concerns about their school / college/ university closing, and how possible exam cancellations and/or plans for catching up academically will affect them
Growing sense of responsibility mixed with guilt and shame Feeling overwhelmed by intense emotions and unable to talk about them. These emotions may lead to increased arguing and even fighting with siblings, parents, carers or other adults.
Feelings of intense grief, shame that they were unable to help those who were hurt and a sense of hopelessness about the present and the future
May become self-absorbed and feel self-pity
Experience major shifts in their view of the world
Selective mutism
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