ABOUT KIRSTEN HEYNISCH

Bio 

I love life and have learned to embrace it all – the challenges, victories and successes, the gifts, disappointments and losses, the storms, and the calm. I have had my fair share of challenges and adversity, overcoming them made me who I am today.

I am spiritual at heart & on my journey of learning, healing, and growing, I acquired a deep psychological understanding of human nature.

I am a mother to my 12-year-old daughter. I love motherhood. I am co-parenting my daughter (and our little dog Molly) with my daughter’s dad. Developing a mutually supportive and respectful co-parenting relationship has not been easy, but an invaluable process and achievement on our life’s journey.

Throughout most of my adult life, I have been in long-term relationships. I have learnt so much with, from and through my life partners. I have loved and lost. Currently and for the first time, I am exploring and enjoying the adventure of not being partnered with a ‘significant other’ – the emphasis for the last few years has been on partnering with myself, becoming and being my own best friend. A big and rewarding challenge.

From an early age, I have been curious and passionate about understanding human nature, which is why I became a psychologist. My professional choices have been inspired by a deeper calling to heal my own childhood wounds and to progressively open my heart and evolve my mind.  As an integral part of my training, I spent many years in individual & group psychotherapy, which has added richness, depth, and substance to my own life. It gives me great pleasure and purpose to share my learning and understanding with my clients.

I grew up in East Germany – behind the Iron Curtain in the Cold War era. The fall of the Berlin Wall has been a life-changing historical event in my life. It changed everything!

Well, almost everything. Growing up in an oppressive system created many ‘Berlin Walls’ in my mind – self-limiting ideas and beliefs based on fear and scarcity. It’s been a huge part of my life’s work to dismantle these walls and find inner peace, freedom, and the courage to live a life that is in alignment with my inner nature and values – rather than external expectations.

My professional journey in the field of psychology and psychotherapy began 30 years ago, when I started a 5-year degree at Leipzig University in Germany. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, I took the opportunity to come to England as an exchange student. I fell in love with an English man, which inspired me to leave Germany and make England my home.

Migrating from one country to another was exciting and challenging. Professionally, it was a bumpy and arduous journey.

My passion for psychology and healing, my tenacity and determination kept me going. In 2000, after many years of studying clinical psychology and psychotherapy in Germany and the UK and overcoming endless hurdles, I qualified as a Chartered Clinical & Counselling Psychologist.

From 2000 to 2020, I worked as a Clinical Psychologist in the NHS. I had the privilege of meeting, getting to know, and psychologically working with thousands of clients with mild, moderate, and severe psychological and mental difficulties.

As a Principal Psychologist, I set up and oversaw several specialist services, such as group psychotherapy services and other psychological therapy programmes in the NHS.

For many years, I managed and clinically supervised psychology colleagues, other mental health professionals and worked with teams who struggled to work collaboratively and effectively.

I take great pleasure in supporting and facilitating my clients’ and colleagues’ learning and psychological growth.

Prompted by an experience of profound burnout, I left the NHS four years ago. I managed to successfully set up a Private Psychology & Psychotherapy Practice.

I enjoy working with my private clients, who are professionals, business owners, and company directors, who struggle with emotional and psychological difficulties such as anxiety, depression, difficult life transitions, stress, burn-out, loss, divorce, grief, low self-worth, unresolved trauma etc.

As a clinical psychologist and life coach, I support and guide my clients to recover and bounce back from trauma, loss, hardship, and whatever life throws at us by cultivating inner emotional balance and resilience.

The gift that I bring to my work, relationships and life is a capacity to form deep, substantial, trusting, and rich connections. The feedback I often get from my clients is that they feel safe, secure, and seen in our ever-evolving connection. This allows, inspires and deepens the connection to their own inner wisdom and wellbeing.

Over the last 30 years, I have studied and practiced several enriching and valuable therapeutic approaches (please see in professional section).

Recently, I have decided to branch out into life coaching and have joined a reputable coaching school (Ankush Jain Coaching School), which I am very excited about.

 

Professional

I am a Clinical Psychologist, Group Psychotherapist & Coach. I am registered with/ accredited by the following professional bodies:

I have studied and worked in the field of psychology and psychotherapy for over 25 years. Originally, I obtained a MSc in psychology from Leipzig University (Germany), which included a clinical training in cognitive-behavioural and client-centred psychotherapy.

After my move to London in 1996, I also qualified as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Group Analyst, Group-analytic Supervisor and Certified MBT Practitioner.

I have worked in the NHS, in voluntary sector organisations and in private practice for many years providing psychological services for people with a wide range of difficulties. I specialise in mental health problems in adults and young people.

I have wide-ranging experience in working with individuals, couples, families and groups. I also offer supervision and consultation for psychologists and other mental health professionals.

My Therapeutic Approach

I have had substantial training and experience in the following treatment modalities:

In my practice, I integrate diverse and effective skills from these therapeutic models and also from the world of coaching. These different therapeutic approaches have a good evidence base for their effectiveness and have been shown to work reliably and effectively for a wide range of psychological problems.

Valuable ingredients that I bring to my work are empathy, self-awareness, insight, clarity, spontaneity, responsiveness, directness, a great deal of life and work experience and a fair understanding of the complexities and challenges of life and our relationships in it. I have curiosity, a desire and determination to make sense of difficult life experiences and to promote growths and change in myself and others.

What Makes Psychology & Coaching Programmes Successful?

In my experience, the outcome of therapy & coaching is successful when both of us bring a certain set of ingredients to the therapeutic endeavor:

For me, it is professional competence, authenticity, commitment, empathy, a curious and open mind.

For you it is a commitment to learn and grow, a curiosity and willingness to learn; coupled with a wish to change aspects within yourself that maintain the status quo.

The Initial Conversation

Once you have made contact with me, we can arrange an initial conversation. This is an opportunity to get a feel for each other and see whether we can connect comfortably. On my side, this involves exploring whether my approach is potentially going to be helpful for you. On your side, it may involve getting a sense whether you feel comfortable with me and my approach. Our initial conversation is also a good time for you to ask any questions that matter to you.

I take your privacy seriously. Any information you share with me will remain confidential. The only exception to this would be if I felt that there was a serious risk to your own or to another person’s safety. Under such circumstances, I will need to consult with your GP or other relevant mental health professionals.

Cancellation Policy

Please note that I operate a 48 hour (two working days) cancellation policy. Sessions cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice will be charged at the normal session rate, irrespective of reason for cancellation. There is no charge for sessions cancelled with more than 48 hours’ notice.

Read Some Testimonials About Kirsten

“I was referred to Kirsten by my employer’s occupational health provider following my attendance at a major incident – I work within the emergency services. Following the incident I was experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. I guess at the time I didn’t really know what I was feeling other than that I wasn’t right. As time went by I felt less and less in control of my feelings and emotions to the point that I wondered if I’d ever feel “normal” again. It felt as though a dark cloud was hanging over me. I wasn’t sleeping well and had vivid traumatic dreams and sometimes woke up crying. I had a fear around me that something bad was going to happen to my family and even had what I can only describe as out of body experiences where I could visualize people around me dying. The anxiety around those experiences was terrifying. I felt scared, isolated and worried that I would never be able to do my job again.  I started seeing Kirsten, ready to do whatever it took to feel a sense of control again. Initially, all I wanted was to feel better. After the first few sessions I not only felt better I was confident that with Kirsten’s help I would recover and I would be able to get back to work. One of my symptoms was avoidance. I became very good at avoiding my feelings and emotions around the incident doing whatever I could to avoid thinking about the traumatic experiences I had. Kirsten was very good at making me face up to and accept these experiences and let them be part of me. I never looked forward to my sessions with Kirsten because there was nowhere to hide. Kirsten asked the difficult questions; told me the truths others avoided; put me back to the incident to allow me to express the emotions that I couldn’t when I was there. 
I have no doubt that without the work Kirsten and I did together I would not have made the progress I’ve made. But my time spent with Kirsten was more than achieving recovery. It was about building resilience, learning skills to better face trauma in the future. Kirsten has given me the gift of inner awareness and emotional maturity. The ability to not only accept my emotional vulnerabilities but to embrace them and not be afraid to allow those close to me to see them.”
“I came to Kirsten for help in understanding and addressing some complex issues arising from my father’s death. I found that she took on board the issues quickly and through her skilful questioning, opened up new insights for me as I tracked back over several decades. Her observations stuck with me and enabled me to move to a more optimistic and positive frame with some clear intentions on what to do. It is work in progress but Kirsten provided very valuable and safe space to reflect and work issues”.  

A mother’s testimonial

“As the mother of a young person with years of mental health problems, starting from early adolescence and going into adulthood and after having tried different therapies with no success, I was desperately trying to find the therapeutic help that my daughter needed. 
I searched for a psychologist on the internet; I was very lucky to come across Kirsten. 
After a telephone conversation Kirsten gave us the opportunity to meet up and have an introductory meeting. 
Kirsten listened to us attentively, she explained her approach to work and gave us her professional opinion.
My daughter started having weekly therapy sessions. As a mother I had to trust that my daughter was in the right hands and she certainly was. 
With time it was obvious that a new door had opened up for my daughter: A new way of being herself and managing her condition took place whilst working in therapy with Kirsten. 
The progress that my daughter achieved in managing her life and condition has been remarkable 
The tools and skills that my daughter developed through therapy with Kirsten are still very much useful and put into practice when managing her daily life. 
Kirsten has always been very understanding and cooperative in every way. She made herself available to talk to me about my daughter’s condition whenever needed and made me feel understood and supported. 
I am very grateful to Kirsten for her professionalism and humanity. 
As a parent I would not hesitate to recommend her. 
The positive impact she has had in my daughter’s healing process has been life changing and that in itself is invaluable.”

The therapeutic Journey from long-standing Depression & Anxiety to Becoming an Autonomous Happy Person

“I started seeing Kirsten for one-to-one sessions after having suffered with depression and anxiety for a number of years. From the first meeting, Kirsten was incredibly supportive and understanding, helping me dismantle my own internal demons one by one.
Having not had much success previously with other therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), I was looking for someone who could help me dig deeper into the causes of my depression and anxiety in order to overcome them. With Kirsten’s guidance and encouragement, I was able to do just that.
Prior to our first meeting, for a long time I had struggled to engage with my emotions, but from the get-go Kirsten provided a safe environment in which I felt comfortable enough to open up and be vulnerable with those same emotions. Then, thanks to her keen insight (she manages to hit the nail on the head every time!), I began to understand what had led me to that point and how I could learn from it and move onward to better things.
After a year of one-to-one sessions with Kirsten, I joined a therapy group run by her. As someone who had always struggled to open up to others publicly, this was quite a daunting prospect, but Kirsten’s support along the way made the transition so much easier. With her facilitation, I was able to engage with others on a level I had never felt comfortable with before, and, very soon after joining, began to see the benefits. It was one of the most rewarding and valuable experiences of my life.
I spent two years attending group therapy with Kirsten and it would be impossible for me to count up all the ways in which it helped, but I know that I came out the other side stronger.
There aren’t enough words in the universe for me to describe how much Kirsten has helped me since we first met. I know I walked into our first session unemployed, financially dependent on others, feeling tired and overwhelmed by the world; and I left our last session as a happy independent individual ready to take on the world! I think that says it all.
I’ll be eternally grateful.”
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