A warm welcome to Southdowns Psychotherapy

Empathic, Caring & Professional Mental Health Support in West Sussex

Here to help

Welcome to Southdowns Psychotherapy and Counselling, a private practice led by qualified practitioner 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 leading an enjoyable and fulfilling life. Therapy will be the understanding and challenging environment to promote emotional resilience and optimal growth.

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 help you increase your understanding of yourself and your situation. I will support you to make better use of existing resources and to also develop new resources to help you change and grow.

We will work together to explore what’s going on for you as an individual person with your own history and experience. We will create a coherent narrative to support you moving forward. You won’t need to do this alone.

I work from my base in Washington (RH20) and I see anyone looking to improve the quality of their life and relationships. No matter your reasons for wanting to have therapy, in my experience we are all seeking to be more emotionally fulfilled. Counselling and psychotherapy can support us in achieving our goals.


September 2021: I continue to offer client sessions via online video calls (Zoom).

Alana Burton
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!

Read more
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!


Read more
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.

Read more

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.

From the blog

Hybrid Working

  During the pandemic, many of us had to embrace a new way of working. This emergency way of working included remote working and offering Zoom therapy. Having had to offer online therapy sessions for the length of time that we did, many practitioners, myself included, are now seeing the potential benefits of continuing to […]

read more
Making the most of your therapy

The therapeutic relationship is unlike any other relationship. The unique structure and premise of the therapist and client relationship is different to our other real world connections. It is therefore often quite useful to have an idea of what you want to gain from having therapy from the outset. This will help ensure you are […]

read more
Your Mental Health During Lockdown

For the last few months, the majority of us have been living with new limitations. This has come with a wide range of complex challenges to our mental health. Freedom of movement has been restricted and ‘social distancing’ is now not only a standard part of lexicon but a new way of life. Mental health […]

read more

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.