Psychotherapy & Counselling in Sussex

Empathic, Caring & Professional Mental Health Support in West Sussex

Here to help

Welcome to Southdowns Psychotherapy and Counselling, a private practice led by Alana Burton (CTA, MBACP).

Are you struggling with something you can’t seem fix alone? Perhaps you need to support to work through something together with your partner in couples therapy? Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed by something that’s going on for you? Therapy sessions provide an understanding and challenging environment through which you can develop emotional resilience and experience optimal growth.

I engage in conversations with people, like you, who may be experiencing some sort of emotional challenges. I believe that emotional distress, can be complex and bewildering. It can also be viewed as a legitimate emotional response to certain life experiences. As a therapist my role is to help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your circumstances. I will support you to utilise existing strengths more effectively. We can also can also work on developing new strategies to facilitate your personal growth and transformation.

Together, we will delve into your unique experiences and personal history to create a coherent narrative that will guide you toward a brighter future. You won’t have to face this journey alone.

I am located in the village of Washington (RH20) in West Sussex, and I work with individuals and couples seeking to enhance their overall well-being and relationships. Additionally, I offer psycho-educational groups and group therapy sessions. Regardless of your motivations for seeking therapy, it is my belief that we all strive for greater emotional fulfillment, and counseling and psychotherapy can be instrumental in helping us achieve that objective.


Issues For Counselling & Therapy:

  • ABUSE: Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse, Drug & Alcohol Abuse
  • ADDICTION: Drugs, Alcohol, Shopping, Gaming, Internet, Sex, Solvents, Technology, Work
  • DEPRESSIONBereavement, Depression, Low Self-Esteem, Low Self-Confidence, Male Depression
  • FEARS: Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/OCD
  • RELATIONSHIPS: Relationship Difficulties including physical intimacy, Divorce and Separation
  • SELF-HARM and SUICIDE: Self-harm, Suicidal Ideation (thoughts)
  • STRESSAnger, Dissociation, Stress, Work Related Issues
  • TRAUMA: Traumatic Events, Childhood Trauma, Vicarious Trauma
Alana Burton
Believe in yourself note
How can therapy help me

My job is to help you increase your understanding on what is going on for you and your situation. I will also help you to gain the resources you need to help bring about changes in your life.

Therapy can help you navigate feelings, develop better behaviours and support you to relate to your thoughts differently so that you can live the life you want.

We don’t always have to be experiencing some sort of difficulty or trauma or going through a rough patch to benefit from therapy.

Therapy can help us achieve our potential, lead more engaging, enriched lives and to have more emotionally satisfying relationships both with ourselves and with others. It may be a time of crisis that brings us to therapy but many people find they get so much more than they anticipated!

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Trees shaped like heads
What to expect

I am a warm and approachable therapist and I believe that the relationship between therapist and client is the most important aspect of successful work.

I offer a selection of daytime and evening appointments Monday – Friday. Your therapy can be brief and short term or longer term work and we will discuss your expectations and goals for therapy.

From then we will have an opportunity to explore what is going on for you at this point in your life. I offer a 50 minute assessment session to have the chance to talk further. During this time you can also ask me any questions and decide whether I am the right person for you and the journey together begins from there!


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Sunshine in the mind
What happens in therapy?

Sessions are 50 minutes long and once we have agreed to work together, we will meet at the same time and place each week.

Starting therapy can be quite a daunting process and during our initial sessions we will have the chance to unpack the issues you want to bring in more depth and to work together to establish a working therapeutic relationship together.

I recommend that at the start of therapy you let me know the range of difficulties you may be facing and also about any misgivings or preconceptions you may have. This will give us the chance to work together to ensure they are addressed at the appropriate time and pace for you.

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Your Therapy

Professional Qualifications

Qualified Practitioner with a Post-graduate Diploma in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy (Dip TA Practice). Registered Member of the BACP (MBACP).

Convenient Locations

West Sussex location in Washington (RH20). Washington is just off the A24 and within easy distance of Storrington, Steyning, Ashington, Thakeham, West Chilt, Worthing and surrounding villages. Daytime (Mon to Fri only) and evening appointments available.

Memberships and Insurance

I am fully insured and a member of professional bodies including BACP, UKCP, UKATA.

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Why We Crave Connection

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What are Counselling and Psychotherapy?

Both counselling and psychotherapy come under an umbrella term of ‘talking therapies’. In many contexts they are used interchangeably and both refer to a fundamental process that involves talking through difficulties and issues and facilitating psychological change. Counselling constitutes a part of the wider psychotherapeutic process but you may also find that counsellors can work in a psychotherapeutic way. The principle difference lies in the length of relationship – counselling is broadly a more shorter term process and psychotherapy is offered on a longer term basis.

Counselling is a talking therapy involving a collaborative relationship between counsellor and client working towards the improved mental well-being of the client. A counsellor will be trained in counselling skills and theory in a safe and supportive environment. Counselling may be shorter term work and focuses on supporting an individual to better use resources they may already have.

Psychotherapy is similar to counselling in that it is also a talking therapy but it is usually done longer term and often goes into more depth than counselling. A focus in psychotherapy is a broader self-awareness of emotional issues and will seek to identify maladaptive patterns of thinking, feeling or behaviour that may be getting in the way of you leading a more satisfying life. Psychotherapy offers someone the chance to develop new personal resources.

Mindfulness is a fundamental life skill and involves the human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing and to be able to respond appropriately to what is going on for us or around us at any given moment.

Even though it is a fundamental and innate skill, we can often find ourselves not being particularly mindful on a daily basis, perhaps doing things on auto-pilot, unable to remember anything about a journey we’ve just done or oblivious to the sights and sounds around us as we walk to work, and so on. Being mindful can be learned. Mindfulness can be developed through awareness and via proven techniques.

When we are mindful we can reduce stress, gain insight and understanding about ourselves, increase our receptive capacity, increase awareness to our well-being and also that of others. When we practice Mindfulness we are training our brain to be more aware of what is going on around us, we are developing an increased capacity to be more present, not worrying about the past or anxious about the future. Mindfulness teaches us to be curious about the present and to be compassionate and warm towards it.

It is also possible for anyone to do.