A warm welcome to Southdowns Psychotherapy

Empathic, Caring & Professional Mental Health Support

Welcome to Southdowns Psychotherapy and Counselling

Welcome to Southdowns Psychotherapy and Counselling, a private practice led by qualified Psychotherapeutic Counsellor Alana Burton (Dip. TA Practice, MBACP).

Are you struggling with something you can’t seem fix alone? Or are you feeling overwhelmed by something that’s going on for you? Perhaps you have the feeling there’s something preventing you from really leading an enjoyable and fulfilling life. If so, therapy can give you the emotional resilience and empathic support to help you explore what is going on for you.

I meet and talk to people, like you, who may be experiencing some sort of emotional distress. I believe that all emotional distress, no matter how complex or confusing it is, will make sense in the bigger picture of your life. My role as a therapist is to listen carefully to your story, to understand what it is like to be you and to help you make sense of that.

We will work together to explore what is going on for you as an individual person with a unique history and experience. We will create a coherent narrative to help you understand what is going on and figure out how to move forward. You won’t need to do this alone.

Working from locations in Washington and at Bluecoat Sports in Horsham (Christ’s Hospital), I work with anyone looking to improve the quality of their life and relationships. No matter your reasons for wanting to have therapy at a particular time in your life, in my experience we are all seeking to be more emotionally fulfilled and counselling can support us in achieving our goals.

Alana Burton
How can therapy help me

A misconception of therapy is that we need to be experiencing some sort of difficulty, going through a rough patch or experiencing a traumatic episode to seek help.

It may well be that at times in our lives the support of others is particularly useful but these days there is also an increasing appreciation of therapy as a way of improving mental well-being. 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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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 depending on location and when you first get in touch I will ask which location is most suitable for you. Your therapy can be brief and short term or longer term work.

From then we will have an opportunity to explore what is going on for you at this point in your life. If appropriate, I offer a free 1 hour consultation 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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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 Psychotherapeutic Counsellor. Post-graduate Diploma in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy (Dip TA Practice) and Registered Member of the BACP (MBACP).

Convenient Locations

West Sussex locations include Washington (RH20) and Christ’s Hospital, Horsham. Daytime and evening appointments available.

Memberships and Insurance

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

From the blog

What Is The Therapeutic Alliance and Why Is It So Important

The therapeutic alliance is the key to successful psychotherapy. It is the strength of the bond and connection that can be built between you and your therapist over time. Without a trusting and respectful therapeutic alliance, no meaningful therapy can happen. So what is a good therapeutic alliance? The therapeutic relationship is multifaceted and varies […]

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Diagnosis vs. Person

As a therapist I see my role as someone who is there to listen to you as a person with a unique history and own story to tell. I believe everything we go through in life can potentially have an impact on who we are and how we choose to live our life. There are […]

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Best Things To Say To Someone With Depression

We quite often come across lists of things to avoid saying to someone with depression but can we say to someone suffering? Our immediate inclination may be to want to help them out of their dark space. We want to make things better and we want whatever is troubling them to go away. If you […]

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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 all about improved awareness. It teaches us to be more compassionate with ourselves through observation without criticism. There are proven benefits of Mindfulness to our mental health as well as overall general health as a simple yet very effective practice.